Accepted paper:

Patriarchy, Caste and Urbanization: Locating Women of Scavenging Caste in India


Teena Anil (JNU New Delhi)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores the pattern of social mobility among womenfolk of scavenging caste in the context of growing urbanization in India. Further the paper tries to emphasize on two issues of special concern regarding the status of women from scavenging caste i.e. the gendered division of labour that expose women to specific forms of untouchability and sexual oppression in the unorganized sector.

Paper long abstract:

In the third world countries in general and India in particular, with the on going procees of urbanization, women irrespective of caste and class form a sizeable proportation of those who migrate from rural to urban areas in the hope of better livelihood options and life opportunities. But very soon these women especially those belonging to the scheduled caste find out that urban living / working conditions are inhuman, debasing and hostile and often permeated with the three axis of marginalization namely, patriarchy, caste discrimination and capitalist culture. They bear the brunt of the ongoing transformation of traditional structures of the society as well as an overall encompassing consumerist culture on the pretext of urbanization forcing women to be part of the unorganized sector resulting in a regime of insecure tenure and forced eviction. This paper maps out the interplay between caste, gender and urbanization and tries to locate the Scheduled Caste women manual scavenger in the context of urbanization. Further, it analyses as to how it enlarges or restricts the mobility and agency of women in general and women manual scavengers in particular. It provides insights into the ways in which the trio of caste system, patriarchy and capitalism operate together and continue to marginalize women in the urban sphere.

panel MMM21
Caste, community and class identities of Dalits in a global context