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

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Honour, Gender and the Legend of Meera Bai

The 'Rajput' period in Indian history represents that interlude which evolved beliefs and practices that endowed a distinctive character to female honour - which linked the purity and honour of the clan itself with women's sexuality. The story of Meera Bai presents in a way the most flagrant violation of this Rajput notion of dishonour. This essay probes at the contradictions that Meera Bai embodies. Hers was a rebellion against conventional restrictive norms that sought to regulate and control women's lives, and Meera was condemned by feudal society for such acts of deviation, yet Meera still remains honoured and revered and till date survives in the cultural consciousness of the people.

It's the Image that Is Imperfect

Advertisements and media images have a stronger impact on shaping gender images than books on feminism and scholarly experiments on gender equality. Stereotypes and generalisations in ads continue to objectify women, and place stress solely on their appearance, thus devaluing their innate worth.

Literacy, Power and Feminism

The politics of literacy and education has thus far remained a marginal concern for the women's movement in India with little effort made to address power issues that form part of the education process. Concerns over ensuring quality in education that are limited to skill improvement and enhancing the learning environment all too easily overlook that educational arenas create boundaries that limit possibilities and reinforce stereotypes, especially long-standing patriarchal constructs. This paper describes three diverse teaching/learning environments that formed part of a women's empowerment programme in a UP district in a bid to examine the way power relations reproduce and transform themselves in literacy programmes, which consciously attempt an empowering and participatory pedagogy.

Encounters and Their Meanings

Gender, Religion and ‘Heathen Lands’: American Missionary Women in South Asia (1860s-1940s) by Maina Chawla Singh; Garland Publishing, New York and London, 2000; pp 393, $ 60.

Work and Gender: A European Perspective

The European Union recognises equal opportunities for men and women to be at the heart of the reformation of the labour market. Member states have committed themselves to equality for the sexes at the workplace. This should be accompanied by the adoption of a gender mainstreaming approach to improve employability and encourage adaptability of businesses and employees, to reduce the disadvantaged status of women at the workplace.

Feminist Theorising and Politics

 Gender and Politics in India , Nivedita Menon (ed); Oxford University Press, New Delhi, pp 539, Rs 650.

Feminist Classic Philosophers and the Other Women

Philosophy is concerned with the meaning of human life, whether there is any such meaning and whether the human can be made an object of systematic study. Feminist philosophers have shown that the study of the meaning of human life cannot be done without a feminist worldview. Although high brow philosophical theory is a small, indeed elitist, field it is enormously influential in the long run, with lasting effects on the shape of everyday life. It is important that women infiltrate the field of 'high brow' theory and research. Feminism should not only concern itself with fair play/equality but also with changing the rules of the game. Not only politics, economics and science, but philosophy is very important in making and changing the rules. This paper examines feminist philosophy as a process that has influenced the worldview on women and is significant for a continued emancipation process in development cooperation.

Is the Hindu Goddess a Feminist

The question of the Hindu goddess's feminism is embedded within the larger question of the instrumentality of religion in the post-colonial nation both for a 'secular' politics and for women's struggles in mass movements and thus, moves far afield of a de-contextualised if more focused consideration of an answer. This article attempts to problematise some of the connections between the Hindu goddess and feminism, between religion and women and the locations, theoretical and political, from where disagreement is articulated.

Sarojini Naidu: Romanticism and Resistance

Born in Hyderabad, India in 1879 Sarojini Naidu received a British education. Her poems pick up the diction of the English decadents, transposing the images into India. The pained passive women in her poetry stand however in radical contrast to Naidu's own life: she was a close friend of Gandhi's and active in the National movement, suffering imprisonment numerous times. In 1925 she was elected the first Indian women president of the National Congress. How can the cleft between her poetry and her politics be explained? What does it reveal about the complex procedures of Naidu's own evolving feminism as it struggled with colonialism?

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