Social Transformation in Post-conflict Nepal
A Gender Perspective
The concept of social transformation has been increasingly used to study significant political, socio-economic and cultural changes affected by individuals and groups. This book uses a novel approach from the gender perspective and from bottom up to analyse social transformation in Nepal, a country with a complex traditional structure of caste, class, ethnicity, religion and regional locality and the experience of the ten-year of People’s War (1996-2006).
Through extensive interviews with women in post-conflict Nepal, this book analyses the intended and unintended impacts of conflict and traces the transformations in women’s understandings of themselves and their positions in public life. It raises important questions for the international community about the inevitable victimization of women during mass violence, but it also identifies positive impacts of armed conflict. The book also discusses how the Maoist insurgency had empowering effects on women.
The first study to provide empirical evidence on the relationship between armed conflict and social transformation from gender’s perspectives, this book is a major contribution to the field of transitional justice and peacebuilding in post-armed-conflict Nepal. It is of interest to academics researching South Asia, Gender, Peace and Conflict Studies and Development Studies.
Table of Contents
1. Locating Social Transformation in Current Discourse 2. Understanding the Processes of Social Transformation: thinking beyond structures 3. Social Structure of Nepal: A Historical Overview 4. Women in Politics and the Unintended Consequences 5. Tea Stall Story: The Power of One 6. Women Combatants: Challenging Habitus 7. White Sari - Transforming Widowhood in Nepal 8. Women Tempo Drivers: Challenging Doxa 9. Conclusion: Rethinking Social Transformation
Punam Yadav is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Women, Peace and Security at London School of Economics, UK. Prior to starting her academic career, she worked in the Development Sector for over ten years. She is interested in examining women’s lived experiences in post-conflict spaces.
'A major contribution in the field of social transformation and post-conflict studies which examines in detail the insights of women’s lived experiences and the first study to provide empirical evidence on the relationship between armed conflict and social transformation through women’s perspectives in Nepal.'
Erik Paul, Vice-President, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, Australia.
'This strikingly original and impeccably researched account offers an unique insight into the workings of a complex society through the experiences of social, political and economic upheavals brought about by a people's war. Rich in paradoxes, Punam Yadav's powerfully argued thesis is supported by the wealth of idiographic detail, and sureness of touch in assessing micro-level changes, that only an insider can offer. It is, at the same time, firmly situated in a framework of cutting-edge scholarship, to which it makes a significant contribution.'
Jake Lunch, Director, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, Australia.
'Offering a unique insight into the lives and views of Nepali women post-conflict, Punam Yadav’s book is a great read and will be of interest to anyone interested in processes of social change. Her interview material is fascinating and by foregrounding the experiences of women she provides an important and novel contribution to theorizing social transformation from an under-represented perspective.'
Kiran Grewal, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Social Justice, Australian Catholic University.
'This volume is timely in presenting us with a new and sophisticated analysis of social transformation as we experience ever-changing global relations in conflict and post-conflict settings. In reclaiming our 'humanness' as central to any notion of social transformation: gender emerges as a defining category in our tool kit.'
Lynda-ann Blanchard, Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, Australia
‘This book gives unique insight into the lives of Nepalese women and women's determination to exploit the changes wrought by war.’
Lucy Fiske, University of Technology, Sydney