Indian Feminisms : Law, Patriarchies and Violence in India book cover
1st Edition

Indian Feminisms
Law, Patriarchies and Violence in India

ISBN 9780367603816
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
162 Pages

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Book Description

Contributing to debates on feminism, this book considers the impact made by feminists in India from the 1970s. Geetanjali Gangoli analyses feminist campaigns on issues of violence and women’s rights, and debates on ways in which feminist legal debates may be limiting for women and based on exclusionary concepts such as citizenship. She addresses campaigns ranging from domestic violence, rape, pornography and son preference and sets them within a wider analysis of the position of women within the Indian state. The strengths and limitations of law reform for women are addressed as well as whether legal feminisms relating to law and women's legal rights are effective in the Indian context. The question of whether legal campaigns can make positive changes in women’s lives or whether they further legitimize oppressive state patriarchies is considered. The recasting of caste and community identities is also assessed, as well as the rise of Hindu fundamentalism and the ways in which feminists in India have combated and confronted these challenges. Indian Feminisms will interest researchers and students in the areas of feminism, law, women’s movements and social movements in India, and South Asia more generally.

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Indian Feminisms

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Geetanjali Gangoli is Research Fellow in the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol, UK. She is part of the Violence Against Women Research Group.


'This book focuses on a number of themes such as the legal regulation of women’s sexuality and makes very interesting and significant use of parliamentary debates. The author successfully draws the arguments together in the conclusion and shows the complexity of the debates that have been an aspect of feminist engagements with the law; altogether, a very useful addition to writings on the Indian women’s movement.' Uma Chakravarti, University of Delhi, India '...there are very few works that critically analyze the varied and multiple discourses of feminists on sexuality, and women's rights especially in the context of caste patriarchy and communal politics [t]his book attempts to rectify this...' Journal of Gender and Development 'Geetanjali Gangoli places her book in this theoretical context proposing to investigate "Indian femenist engagement with the law and legal strategies", especially given "the challenges posed by politics of caste, communalism and globalization". Tow decades of femenist struggle for legal reform, case law, interpretation by the police and the courts of law related to women, differences among the femenists over perspective and content of these laws, legislative responses to femenist demands for legal reforms are examined in detail. These, along with interviews with members of a range of women's and femenist organisations are used to assess the impact, effect, validity of "femenist engagement with law" in India...There is an intimate and insightful tone to the book drawn from an insider's knowledge of the women's groups and close observation of the women's movement over two decades ...' Economic and Political Weekly 'Gangoli navigates some fo the key debates that have dominated feminist agendas, showing debate, unamity, and variety...Gangoli points out the strong links between feminisms that claim autonomy and feminisms that are allied with left or other struggles...' Signs ’This book provides a comprehensive survey of the mutually e