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

Articles by Govind KelkarSubscribe to Govind Kelkar

The Value of Rural Women’s Labour in Production and Wood Fuel Use

How do gender-related factors influence cooking fuel use? Why does an LPG capital subsidy lead to fuel stacking rather than fuel switching? The insights gained from authors’ research are supplemented by case studies, specifically aimed at exploring the connections between women’s labour time and fuel use. Using these observations and case studies, an analytical framework is developed, which yields propositions that can be tested empirically, such as the high value of women’s labour in production leading to the adoption of labour-saving cooking fuel and vice versa. This framework is used to assess the limitations of capital subsidies forLPG in remote rural areas where women’s labour has a low opportunity cost.

Energy Use and Women’s Work in Agriculture

Changes in women’s use of energy in agriculture, in the spheres of crop production and social reproduction, can bring about a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Two technological changes—the shift from household cooking with carbon-emitting solid biomass fuels to liquified petroleum gas as a clean cooking fuel; and the shift from methane-emitting flooded rice cultivation to the System of Rice Intensification with electricity-based alternate wetting and drying—have been considered in this regard. The changes in women’s roles and energy use accompanying these technological interventions have been examined.

Energy, Gender and Social Norms in Indigenous Rural Societies

Studying women’s work and energy use through field studies in Khasi communities in Meghalaya and Angami communities in Nagaland, the links between energy use and women’s work and leisure are explored. It is found that the choice of energy source is closely linked with women’s participation in the management of energy resources, their opportunities to earn incomes, and their ability to negotiate the cultural and social norms of their communities. Energy planning cannot stop with the provision of household access to electricity or liquefied petroleum gas. A new deal for women in the energy sector is delineated, which relates to overcoming sociocultural limits and increasing the opportunity cost of women’s labour and their right to assets.

The Fog of Entitlement

The study examines the experience of women farmers who lack rights to land and related factors of production, and provides insights into a number of conditions that hamper rural women's right to agricultural land. Further, it explores how inheritance practices disfavour women, and those women who claim land encounter many institutional and non-institutional constraints. In conclusion, the paper suggests policy and practice measures for women's economic empowerment that may facilitate the process of closing gender gaps.

Gender and Productive Assets: Implications for Women's Economic Security and Productivity

Asset ownership and control rights are preferable to numerous policy alternatives for women's empowerment. This paper is an attempt at drawing attention to the complex inter-relationship between women agricultural producers and their lack of rights to land and related factors of production. It further explores implications of women's marginal rights to land for their economic security and agricultural productivity.

Development Effectiveness through Gender Mainstreaming

Gender mainstreaming is a process to achieve greater gender equality and overcome the costs of women's marginalisation. Unequal gender relations distribute the burden of poverty disproportionately on women. They can also be the cause of poverty among women and girls in non-poor families. These unequal relations therefore need to be addressed both as a cause and as a factor in the intensification of poverty. Empowerment of women has to go beyond mere instrumentalism and begin with first addressing questions of women's agency, their well-being and self-esteem and then that of their families and communities.

Redefining Women's 'Samman'

In Bangladesh, the unintended consequences of the microcredit system with NGOs as partners have been far-reaching. The very structure of social production that focused on 'man as the breadwinner' has changed to accommodate a substantial and permanent role for women as income-earners. A clue to the far-reaching consequences of this transformation is the manner in which gender norms of respect are being re-created from glorifying 'purdah-nashin' women to valuing independent income, education, work outside the home, mobility and professional engagement. Such changes have in turn, led to substantial alterations in the norms and concepts by which women define their terms of engagement with the world.

Civilisational Change: Markets and Privatisation among Indigenous Peoples

The paper deals with changes in the social and economic system of indigenous peoples upon integration into market systems. The change in production norms is not confined to elite accumulation but also results in a change at all levels, marking a civilisational change from a system based on stability to one based on accumulation. The new norms, however,come at the price of loss of guaranteed access to productive resources, the decline of traditional social welfare systems and the spread of commoditisation. Such a transition, however, need not be a surrender to laissez-faire or neo-liberal policies, but can deal with negativities, including increasing masculine domination. New forms of community and continued non-market access to critical resources, like land and forests, would allow for a greater spread of the benefits.

Case for Local Forest Management

The paper argues that forests are not only sources of timber and non-timber forest products, but also of environmental services. It is through the fall in the supply of local environmental services, like nutrient recycling and soil formation, that forest communities bear the external costs that are not included in the price of timber and other forest products. Local environmental services are taken into account in forest management decisions by local communities, but not by external agents, like forest departments, and form a basis for setting up local forest management systems. In arguing for the establishment of forest communities' property rights over forests, the paper supports the establishment of markets for regional and global environmental services provided by forests.

Agrarian Involution, Domestic Economy and Women

Seeing the Asian crisis in only its urban dimensions, it is very easy to conclude that the crisis affects mainly men who have lost their jobs in construction. But though that statement is not true even of the urban economy, when the rural economy is brought into the picture, the role of the domestic economy and of women within it are both sharply brought out. In order to comprehend the rural dimensions of the Asian crisis, the authors take the example of Thailand, with some supplementary material from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Women as Witches and Keepers of Demons-Cross-Cultural Analysis of Struggles to Change Gender Relations

Cross-Cultural Analysis of Struggles to Change Gender Relations Dev Nathan Govind Kelkar Yu Xiaogang This paper examines the processes which led to the change in gender relations and the establishment of patriarchy. Specifically, the authors look at some events which are evidence of the struggle between women and men in the course of establishing men's domination. The phenomena analysed are those of 'dain' among the Santhal and Munda in Jharkhand, India; the 'pippa' of the Dai in Yunnan province of China; and the Chao Pu Xi among the Naxi and Du among the Mosuo, also in Yunnan province.

Collective Villages in the Chinese Market - II

Dev Nathan Govind Kelkar This paper studies the functioning of collectives in China's market system. How do they combine welfare provisions with the need for efficiency? How do they solve the 'free rider' problem discussed in relation to common property systems? Given that there does not exist a separate class of owners, do the collectives lead to a higher income level for the producers? Do they have a tendency to distribute more as benefits to workers and accumulate less than standard capitalist firms? Can one identify a stratum of managers within the collectives? If so, what are their relations to the workers?


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