Dr Vibhuti Patel, Radhika Khajuria

Political Feminism in India: An Analysis of Actors, Debates and Strategies

The vocabulary of Feminism today is unfortunately more disengaging then engaging.

Oriental feminism taking a stand on women’s choice to wear a veil, Western feminism viewed as condescending, or neoliberal feminism which emphasizes representation and wages rather than work conditions ― to name but a few ― bring out such strong reactions and positions that they often overlook what feminists really want.

In India too, the feminist space though distinctive, builds upon a diversity of women’s groups, political party networks, feminist and HIV/AIDS-related NGOs, non-funded feminist and queer groups and individuals, democratic rights groups, eco-feminists, non-feminists, research institutes and universities. Despite the broad experience, this space remains rather disunited. How then, with this background, do we build a society that keeps up to the promise of a better life for all? How do we connect in the struggle as people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression in paving ways to achieving social justice?

Commissioned with these questions in mind, the present study analyzes the current feminist actors, organizations and debates around gender equality and feminist perspectives in order to provide an overview of feminist ideas and actors in the country. It shows that Feminism today is the constant questioning of the world we perceive and the boundaries we encounter. The more we understand, the closer we get to building a narrative for change. There are innumerable new energies arising from different positions transforming the feminist field: new contestations of patriarchy and new contestations of the normative feminism itself. It will be the interplay of fields that might change the system altogether.

Patel, Vibhuti; Khajuria, Radhika

Political feminism in India

an analysis of actors, debates and strategies
New, 2016

Download publication (460 KB, PDF-File)

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