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

Articles by Meena GopalSubscribe to Meena Gopal

Labouring over Sex Work

The Gendered Proletariat: Sex Work, Workers’ Movement and Agency by Swati Ghosh, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017; pp xxxiv + 227895.


Struggles around Gender

This is a brief critique of some of the positions put forth in Nivedita Menon’s article “Is Feminism about ‘Women’? A Critical View on Intersectionality from India” (25 April 2015). The paper covered diverse and complex grounds, delving into each through layers of connections.

Ruptures and Reproduction in Caste/Gender/Labour

This paper views labour, specifically gendered labour, through the lens of caste; and that which lies concealed within the relations of labour, despite its linkages with other social hierarchies, specifically caste relations. It throws light on the contributions of those who take on the burden of social reproduction, and whose labours continue to be devalued. It also addresses the relationship, if any, between stigma/the stigmatised body and the devaluation of labour. Finally, it locates a quest related to notions of autonomy and emancipation, which perhaps has led the mainstream women's movements to distance themselves from the burden that caste places on the lives and labours of women.

Body, Gender and Sexuality: Politics of Being and Belonging

This paper has been inspired by more than three decades of one's discovery of the body and its relationship to the self. As domination becomes unbearable, women have raised their voices and transgressed the boundaries set for them. Sometimes transgression has been expressed through mundane acts like challenging dress codes, veiling and cross-dressing, acts that give shape to their lives. The essay looks at the diverse constructions of women's bodies across castes, classes, regions, religions and other categories. Running through this is the role of the women's movement in dismantling these notions of the body. It then deals with the struggles and shifts in the understanding of the body over the decades. This is reflected in the campaigns undertaken by feminists along with voices from other movements. Finally, the paper places the complex unresolved concerns raised by the interface of feminists with movements of each of the marginalised peoples.

Gender, Ageing and Social Security

In the context of the state's withdrawal from the social sectors, this paper makes a case for the increasing need to ensure social security for older people, especially women. It touches upon some problems in implementing social security legislation, locating elderly women - including widows - the deserted and the destitute women as a vulnerable group. The gender implications of the various policies and schemes of assistance for older people, including the National Policy for Older Persons, are also discussed. The manner of implementation of the schemes is situated in the overall context of the vulnerability of older women in India.

A Sociology for the Marginalised

Marginalised Sociology of Gender: The Challenge of Feminist Sociological Knowledge edited by Sharmila Rege; Themes in Indian Sociology, Volume 1, Series Editor B S Baviskar, Foreword by Karuna Chanana; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2003;

Disempowered despite Wage Work

By employing a system of production using contractors and home-based workers, the beedi industry is able to gain tremendous profit with little inputs in infrastructure and comprehensive benefits to labour. The construction of home workers as housewives and homework as a practice that allows a woman to care for children and perform her household tasks while earning much needed income completely detracts from the fact that not only do women put in long hours to fulfil production targets set by employers but have no idea as to how they arrive at the wage levels they set. Women's subordinate status as workers is built into the production process.

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