Edited by Kartik Roy and Jörn Sideras
Chapter 11: Institutional Impediments to Women’s Empowerment in Rural India
11. Institutional impediments to women’s empowerment in rural India Kartik C. Roy INTRODUCTION Institutions set the conditions under which the process of empowerment works. The lives of poor women in rural India are governed by a number of such institutional factors, the most prominent among them being social customs and taboos. These exercise strong inﬂuence on other institutional factors aﬀecting women’s empowerment such as education and property rights. In this chapter, we discuss how the ‘ideology of seclusion’ embodying social customs and traditions imposes gender-based discrimination on women in their daily lives within and outside the surroundings of their homes, in pursuit of education and in exercising their property rights. The forces of the ‘ideology of seclusion’ need to be weakened to facilitate the empowerment process. Globalisation, by lessening the forces of the ‘ideology of seclusion’, can facilitate the empowerment process of women. Economic empowerment is crucial to the success of any empowerment programme. But even when a woman is economically empowered, her social status may not improve because of lack of conducive social institutions. On the other hand, a woman may not be economically empowered if there is a lack of conducive economic institutions. Institutions therefore, are rules both formal and informal that bring predictability and stability in modern economic exchange. The absence of contract empowerment and property rights comes down harder on the poor, since they often lack secure property and have limited, if any, political connections. Among them, poor women suﬀer most as they...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.