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Empowerment mechanisms: employment guarantee, women and Dalits in India
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1962-410x
Natl Univ Singapore, Inst South Asian Studies, Singapore, Singapore.
Natl Univ Singapore, Inst South Asian Studies, Singapore, Singapore.
2019 (English)In: Contemporary South Asia, ISSN 0958-4935, E-ISSN 1469-364X, Vol. 27, no 4, p. 486-501Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) in India opens a new chapter in rural governance, signifying transformative potential for enhancing economic and social security. One of the key objectives of the Act is to aid in the empowerment of marginalised communities, especially women, Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs). However, no analytically rigorous attempt has been made to study the mechanisms and processes that are leading to empowerment or even the (unintended) processes of disempowerment. Our paper investigates (dis) empowerment as a process rather than as a (quantifiable) outcome and analyses the mechanisms through which the embedded gender and caste norms are being challenged (though not completely eroded), but also how powerful actors at household, community and market levels can come to resent processes that entail upward mobility of women and marginalised communities. We draw on a comparative study based on extensive qualitative indepth interviews and participant observation, in rural areas of two Indian states, Uttar Pradesh (North India) and Andhra Pradesh (South India). The former exhibits almost all the elements we associate with low development, whereas the latter belongs to a group of southern Indian states with higher levels of human and economic development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019. Vol. 27, no 4, p. 486-501
Keywords [en]
MNREGA, Dalits, women, social protection programmes, rural India
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-398090DOI: 10.1080/09584935.2019.1686750ISI: 000500203500003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-398090DiVA, id: diva2:1374532
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-01245Available from: 2019-12-02 Created: 2019-12-02 Last updated: 2020-01-02Bibliographically approved

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