There are over two-hundred million Dalits– people designated as "untouchable" – across South Asia. Dalit women are subject to greater oppression than men: many are denied access to education, meaningful employment and healthcare and are subjected to temple prostitution and rape. A Cry for Dignity explores the lives of Dalit women and the violence they face and examines whether their spirituality – manifest in songs, stories and myth – is a source of strength or oppression. The lives of Dalit women on the subcontinent are set within the broader context of Dalits in the diaspora. A Cry for Dignity presents the plight of Dalit women from the unique perspective of their own movements for solidarity and justice.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Caste in a Culture of Globalisation 2. Born a Woman and Dalit: The Poisoned Chalice – the Daily Life of Dalit Women 3. Religion, Violence and Dalit Women 4. Purity, Pollution and a Worsening Oppression 5. The Spirituality of Dalit Women - Sustaining or Oppressing? 6. Dalit Women, Christianity and Christian Church 7. Feminist Liberation Theology: A Resource for Dalit Women? 8. Opposition to Untouchability: Gandhi and Ambedkar 9. Dalit Women – Looking to the Future Appendix A: International Dalit Solidarity Network: Employment and Additional Principles on Economic and Social Exclusion Formulated to Assist all Foreign Investors in South Asia to Address Caste Discrimination Appendix B: Dalit Solidarity Network UK: Foul Play Appendix C: The 22 Vows of Ambedkar
Mary Grey is a writer and theologian, currently Research Fellow at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, UK and Professor Emeritus of the University of Wales, Lampeter, UK. She and her husband Dr Nicholas Grey are co-founders of the NGO Wells for India working for water provision and women's situation in the drought-prone state of Rajasthan. She is also a patron and former trustee of the Dalit Solidarity Network UK and has worked on the situation of Dalit women with the Centre for Dalit Studies in New Delhi. Recent books include Sacred Longings: Ecofeminist Theology and Globalisation (SCM, 2003, Fortress, 2004), Pursuing the Dream: A Jewish Christian Conversation with Rabbi Dan Cohn Sherbok (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2005) and To Rwanda and Back: Liberation Spirituality and Reconciliation (Darton, Longman and Todd, 2007).