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

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Impossible Immobility

In recent years, many activists working to prevent trafficking of women and children have recognised the thin line between protecting women against trafficking and contributing further to their immobilisation, especially in societies where regulation of women's mobility is a key element of patriarchal control. Addressing the ways in which migration and trafficking get entangled, especially in relation to women and children, it is argued that, in this story, a crucial role is played by the nature/degree of intermediation. The problem of trafficking of women is addressed with reference to the history of their work and migration, with a focus on Bengal, from the colonial period to the present day.

Impossible Immobility

In recent years, many activists working to prevent trafficking of women and children have recognised the thin line between protecting women against trafficking and contributing further to their immobilisation, especially in societies where regulation of women's mobility is a key element of patriarchal control. Addressing the ways in which migration and trafficking get entangled, especially in relation to women and children, it is argued that, in this story, a crucial role is played by the nature/degree of intermediation. The problem of trafficking of women is addressed with reference to the history of their work and migration, with a focus on Bengal, from the colonial period to the present day.

Bargaining over Wages

Focusing on wage determination, this paper looks at the various economic, social and cultural dimensions that enter the calculation of the wage and bargaining around it. Given the specificity of paid domestic work in urban employment, this study argues that both the supply of labour and negotiation of the wage are as much influenced by ideologies of feminine domesticity, performance of work in familial spaces and the social construction of skill, on the one hand, as by competition and lack of alternative opportunities and social security, on the other. In exploring the process of bargaining, it critically examines the role of recruitment agencies and unionisation. While the former becomes simply a "middleman", the latter moves at a slow pace caught between the dual role of organiser and employer.

Sharmila Rege (1964-2013)

Sociologist, feminist scholar, writer and activist Sharmila Rege was successful in bringing the structural violence of caste and its linkages with sexuality and labour into the feminist discourse. She made the Krantijyoti Savitribai Phule Women's Studies Centre of Pune University into a vibrant hub which not only gained from other disciplines but also created a bilingual system of teaching and training along with a unique syllabus that deserves to be emulated widely.

Intersections of Gender and Caste

This edition focuses on the relations between caste and gender and explores the intersectionalities involved. It includes articles exploring the politics of feminism and dalit activism located in urban spaces, in working class sites, through labour, "traditional" rituals, issues of honour and inter-caste marriage.

Marriage, Work and Education among Domestic Workers in Kolkata

This paper analyses the findings of a research project undertaken by the School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University on questions of marriage and related issues in the context of paid domestic work among the working women from two squatter colonies in Kolkata. The respondents are seen to be caught between the imperatives of early marriage and girlhood employment, but they insist upon the value of education for their daughters. Many of them have experienced and suffered early marriage and childbirth and are vehement in their rejection of such a trajectory for their daughters, even though not all of them are able to carry through such decisions. Parents from urban working-class neighbourhoods are not obsessed with sexual chastity of their daughters; they accept courtships and elopements, sometimes hailing the latter with some relief. What these mothers share with their middle class counterparts is an interest in tremendous investment in their children's education, which is in both cases accompanied by great expectations for the future.

State Policy and the Twelfth Plan through a Gender Lens

The rapidly changing urban scenario seems to have important implications for gendering governance in Kerala. Thus, besides the different histories mediated by caste and community, the spatial location of women leaders in local governance appears to be of central importance in shaping their agency. This article which is based on the research about women leaders in local governance in Kerala in 2005-10 explores the extent to which success in local governance allowed these women entry into politics and gave them a greater presence within the public life. Generally it is seen that successful women leaders are often the bearers of a specific form of power that has been historically associated with the deployment of sentiment and affect, and ideal femininity, and that such power is understood to be crucial to local governance as well. However, an entirely different picture emerged from this study on women leaders of urban governance. Besides gentle power, successful women attribute their success equally to knowledge - of official norms and procedures.

Police Intimidation

We, the members of the Executive Committee of the Indian Association for Women’s Studies (IAWS), write to you in shock in the face of our recent experiences of intimidation and harassment at the hands of the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) during the XIIIth National Conference of the IAWS in Wardha at...

Recast(e)ing Class

Recast(e)ing Class Samita Sen Miners and Millhands: Work, Culture and Politics in Princely Mysore by Janaki Nair; Sage Publications, New Delhi, 1998; pp 325, Rs 450 (cloth).
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