ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Empowerment: A Myth for Informal Workers – A Study of Female Domestic Workers of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal

This paper considers a few indicators and uses the principal component analysis to explain the unknown indicators in assessing empowerment of 334 female domestic workers in South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal. Household autonomy, social interaction, economic decision, activity domain and protest against domestic violence are the principal components that have a positive and significant effect on empowerment. Fair wages and access to financial support and reasonable health facilities can be a great key to improving the physical and mental well-being of domestic workers.

Don’t

Geared up with valour, With strong determination, A will as turbulent as her intention, She is interrupted with a Don’t, For each time she tries, She is latched and tamed, Threatened with its consequences, Whatever be the circumstances, The future of her every action is decided before its reaction...

Marginal Girlhood: Caste, Girl Child and the Trope of Empowerment

In the wake of the reported rape and murder of a 9-year-old Dalit girl in the metropolitan capital of Delhi, it is paramount to discuss marginal girlhood. Marginal girlhood refers to alternative accounts of non-hegemonic girlhood which does not find a voice in mainstream literature and the story of the girl. Commentators on social media conveniently refer to her being a “girl-child” rather than a Dalit to dismiss the specificity of instances of caste violence against Dalit girls. This pushes the public rhetoric into a pitfall which increases the probability of misidentifying caste-based violence as gender-based violence. The fact that Dalit girls are the most vulnerable among an already marginalised group due to their caste location remains incontrovertible. The Brahminical lineage of the history of the girl child alludes to why we are robbed of a language which can effectively capture the gravitas of this case.

Money or Medium?

Women’s empowerment in the informal economy is mainly understood through a solution-based approach: improving access to finance or giving informal women workers avenues to express and acquire their political voice. Yet, little consideration is given to the root cause of their precarity, which, in the end, disempowers the very tools that can secure women’s rights in the informal economy.

Do Self-Help Groups Transform the Lives of Poor Women? A Reading List

While self-help groups are seen as vital to successful anti-poverty policies , they have failed to develop the collective bargaining power of women and comprehensively incorporate the demands made by beneficiaries.

Women’s Participation in Karnataka’s FPOs

Karnataka has evidenced a spurt in the formation and registration of farmer producer organisations in recent times, wherein the participation of women remains relatively low. There is a need for gender-sensitive initiatives to encourage women farmers to join the FPOs and benefit from the emerging agricultural value chains.

Understanding Education and Its Role in Empowerment

Education and Empowerment in India: Policies and Practices edited by Avinash Kumar Singh, Routledge: South Asia, 2016; pp 403, ₹ 1,050, hardcover.

Empowerment through Participation

Most approaches aimed at increasing the participation of people in development assume that this will uniformly lead to the empowerment of the marginalised. This essay explores the deficiencies of the participatory approach.

Shalishi in West Bengal

Traditional community/village level dispute resolution systems still coexist with formal processes of justice and administration. The `shalishi' is one such method of arbitration in West Bengal that has been used by NGOs to intervene effectively in settling domestic violence cases. Shalishi scores over the more formal legal avenues of dispute resolution because of its informal set up. But deriving its legitimacy as it does from the conventional norms and values of the community it works in favour of keeping the family intact, often compromising feminist notions of empowerment.

Social Capital and Collective Action

With the retreat of the interventionist state, development is often perceived as a product of partnership between the state and civil society with increasing emphasis on people's participation at the grass roots. Using a framework of collective action based upon social capital, this paper examines whether social capital is important for successful development outcomes at the grass roots in forest protection and watershed development. Three villages of Adilabad district in Andhra Pradesh are the focus of the study.

Urban Poverty Alleviation in Bangalore

Empowerment, participation and enabling frameworks are fashionable concepts of the presentday development discourse, especially in relation to poverty alleviation. However, their application is tricky due to problems of definition and in terms of practical implementation. A study of a participatory urban poverty alleviation project in Bangalore depicts the problems in bringing these promising concepts into practice.

Decentralised Government and NGOs

Issues, Strategies and Ways Forward edited by D Rajasekhar; Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 1999; pp 180, Rs 300.
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