Situating Dalit Women Within Rights and Development
This chapter introduces the dialectics of structural violence, resulting in Dalit women’s chronic resource deprivation, and their collective agency to secure livelihood resources as entitlements. It shows that these dialectics, when located within prevailing discourses on poverty reduction, development, and human rights, raise questions regarding current approaches to development. The reality of structural non-implementation of rights arising from complex power configurations in specific socio-historical contexts demands a more contextual and actor-oriented approach. The focus thus shifts to how excluded and discriminated social groups are able to transform power relations in claiming the livelihood resources to which they feel justly entitled. In doing so, they give meaning to human rights. The examination of micro-political processes necessitates primarily qualitative, ethnographic methods, enabling the production of case studies of Dalit women’s livelihood struggles.
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