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

Articles By Women's Education

Imagining a New Ethic of Sociality

The works of three non-Brahmin educated women from 19th-century western India are read against dominant historiographies of womanhood. It is argued that these women resist being interpreted as evidence of liberal enlightenment thinking in anti-caste social reform, or as regional dissenting voices to incipient nationalist developments that place the spiritual–material binary at the centre of the women’s question. Rather, their works are read as intellectual resources that imagined a new ethic of sociality, using an embodied reason to alter the imagination of the “inner spiritual” by first destabilising it and then reimagining it. The paper locates the invention of the spiritual–material binary outside of anti-colonial motives via these women, making the articulation of a separation between the spiritual and the material untenable.

Missing Girls

Sex ratios in India have been declining for decades, and “missing girls” are a serious social and political problem. Drawing on subdistrict-level data from the 2001 and 2011 Censuses and detailed data on women’s education and fertility, we show that more-educated mothers have fewer girl children than less-educated mothers, but that these girls are also more likely to survive. The policy implication of these findings is that among uneducated mothers, the focus should be on child treatment and survival; among educated mothers, attitudinal campaigns that emphasise the value of having girl children are likely to be more successful.