Caste, Gender and Education in India
The Experience of Dalit Women
To Be Published January 1st 2014 by Routledge – 240 pages
In post-independence India, a stated governmental ideal of ‘Education For All’ has been promoted. The book examines the extent to which this has been realised. In particular, it examines the ways in which formal institutions of education in India discriminate in a variety of ways against a disadvantaged group – Dalit, or untouchable, women. The study reveals the physical and mental violence, the indignities and humiliations to which women have been subjected to. Based on extensive original research and through the lens of education, the author analyses the specifics of the life of Dalit women, for example what caste and patriarchy means in their everyday life, their vulnerability, their denigration, their insecurity, their erasure of personhood and a sense of self-worth.
The book raises wider questions about the ways that the subalterns, and specifically subaltern women, create spaces and sites for their own self-assertion and betterment, and how they engage with modernity in other ways. Furthermore, building upon the experiences of Dalit women, the author suggest and expand on some policy-making changes. A comparative analysis of the educational experiences of subordinated women in other parts of the world, such as the USA, Brazil, and Japan, puts the topic into a wider international and cultural context.
1. Introduction – An Education for the Oppressed 2. The Genealogy and Politics of Dalit and Mahar Identity 3. Dalit patriarchy disinterred 4. The Right to Education 5. Life in the Urban Slum 6. Escaping the Slum 7. Mahar and Matang Differences 8. Dalit Women in Employment 9. Experiences of Marriage and Child-Rearing 10. Conclusion
Shailaja Paik received her PhD from the University of Warwick. She is currently a teaching assistant at Emory University and a founding member of the Institute of Social Engineering, a Non-Government Organization registered in Pune, India.