ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Gabriele DietrichSubscribe to Gabriele Dietrich

Women s Struggle for Production of Life-Public Hearings of Women Workers in Informal Sector

There is a growing tendency to focus on violence against women and on cultural deprivation. While this in itself is very important, it is often not clear, how this can go beyond seeing women as mere victims and how it relates to the work sphere. The recent public hearings, one on the entire informal sector in Tamil Nadu and another on women employed at all levels in the fishing industry, enable an understanding of women's social agency in the sphere of production and to identify how proditction relations need to be transformed.

Caste, Class and Patriarchy

Mukkuvar Women: Gender Hegemony and Capitalist Transformation in a South Indian Fishing Community by Kalpana Ram; Kali for Women,
THROUGH a micro-study on one particular fishing village near Colachel in Kanyakumari district, Kalpana Ram's book on the Mukkuvar women makes a much wider contribution to the discussion on the relationship between economy and culture and the concrete linkages between caste, class and patriarchy. She also gives very detailed insights into the daily lives of a south Indian fishing community and the gender specific transformation which capitalism has brought about. The author tries to overcome the economism of an orthodox Marxist position which tends to see women's situation in class-reductionist terms. At the same time she also goes beyond the 'cukuratism' of western anthropologists, who tend to dwell on stereotyped cultural patterns and miss out on the economic dimension and concrete historical changes brought about by capitalist penetration. She also make a valuable contribution in the sense that she renders visible a community differentiated from the caste society of agricultural villages and outside the mainstream of Hindu culture, at the same time representing characterise variations of south Indian kinship systems and perceptions of feminine power which are part of Tamil culture as a whole At a time where political force rapidly try to bulldoze our culture into a brahminical form of Hindu nationalist books like these give a heartening insight into the cultural creativty and resilience of micro- comunities.

TAMIL NADU-Construction Workers at Crossroads

Construction Workers at Crossroads Gabriele Dietrich In Tamil Nadu the process of independent union building in the unorganised sector started 13 years ago with the formation of the Tamil State Construction Workers' Union and later expanded to cover various sections of contract labourers under the banner of the Tamil State Labour Union. Today the struggle is in a crucial phase of its development and has a bearing on the process of organisation of the unorganised sector nationwide and on the role of independent unions in the political process.

Challenging the Giant for Freedom-Epic Struggle of TVS Workers

reportedly in response to directives from the home ministry The governor is also reported to have promised to tour the terror-torn areas in the state.

Kanyakumari March Breakthrough Despite Break-Up

Despite Break-Up Gabriele Dietrich The massive and moving mobilisation of people in Kanyakumari on May Day was to be the culmination of the Coastal March by two groups moving down the western and eastern coasts, after starting from Bombay and Calcutta respectively, to highlight the problems of the traditional fishing sector together with the water problem in general due to urban and industrial pollution, devastation of forests and destruction of river systems by dams. This closing event of the march, reflecting the people's unfolding potential to resist dominant development concepts, was, however, broken up by an armed assault by the police.

Plea for Survival

quality and to gain confidence and cooperation of investors and are opposed to any action by workers which will harm the ultimate interests of workers and the country.

Women s Struggle for Housing Rights

Rights Gabriele Dietrich The lack of housing affects men and women differently, but women have greater difficulty in securing even the most basic rights to shelter. Some of the problems women face not only in obtaining housing rights but also in evolving a relevant perspective which would specifically address their problems were highlighted at a recent workshop in Madras. The experience of a Madurai group in resolving the problems of the eviction and resettlement of slum dwellers also shows that women's involvement and their leadership are crucial to any struggle for housing rights.

Contributions to Feminist Ethics

Contributions to Feminist Ethics Gabriele Dietrich Speaking of Faith: Cross-Cultural Perspective on Women, Religion and Social Change edited by Diana L Eck and Devaki Jain; Kali for Women,

Social Work Approach to Women s Oppression

to Women's Oppression Gabriele Dietrich Women, Tradition and Culture by Malladi Subbamma; Sterling Publishers, New Delhi, 1985; pp 135, Rs 70.
THIS book is written by the chairperson of the Indian Radical Humanist Association, Malladi Subbamma, a well known Telugu writer and journalist and, as the jacket text says, "a crusader for women's emancipation". It consists of a collection of twenty- six essays, most of them just a few pages long.

KARNATAKA- Housing the Urban Poor

EVER since the historic Supreme Court judgment of July 10, 1985 on the Bombay pavement and slum dwellers case (Olga Tellis and others vs the Bombay Municipal Corporation) and the Tamil Nadu slum dwellers case (K Chandru and others vs the State of Tamil Nadu), it has become obvious that slum evictions touch upon the very survival of people. The right to life, guaranteed in Art 21 of the Constitution, as the court acknowledges, cannot be separated from the right to livelihood. Thus, slum eviction, wherever it does not provide liveable alternatives within the reach of the workplace of people has a tendency to become genocidal. Remarkably enough, the judgment nevertheless endorsed evictions, leaving them however open to challenge: "The State may not, by affirmative action, be compellable to provide adequate means of livelihood or work to the citizens. But, any person, who is deprived of his right to livelihood except according to just and fair procedures established by law, can challenge the deprivation as offending the right to life conferred by Article 21." The trend towards eviction in the big cities like Bombay, Madras, Bangalore is alarming and it has spread nowadays to smaller towns like Mysore, Hubli, Ballary, Madurai and others. All this is done in the name of 'development; 'public health', and 'city beautification'. The monsoon deadlines have run out, new stay orders are being fought for or have been obtained. At present a controversy is on whether the new stay order for Tamil Nadu issued in the middle of December is valid for the whole state or only for Madras. In the meantime, evictions do take place on a limited scale and the movement for the defence of the rights of slum dwellers is gathering strength. The question arises whether this people's movement can develop liveable alternatives.

Women s Movement and Religion

Women's Movement and Religion Gabriele Dietrich DURING the International Women's Decade, the question of women and religion did not come to the forefront much. The main emphasis was on women's deteriorating economic situation, declining work opportunities, victimisation due to technological modernisation, self-help through sell employment schemes and on sexual and other violence against women, like rape, wife beating, dowry deaths and the like. Attention was also paid to women's health situation, family planning schemes, the effects of certain contraceptives like lUDs, Depo- provera, and NET-EN, etc. This does not come as a surprise since patriarchy in the feminist debate has been understood as exploitation of a woman's labour, sexuality and fertility. It is therefore only logical that primary attention should go to the economic aspects and to the actual pysical subjugation of women. The only aspect where religion has come into the picture is the demand for a secular family code which has been raised on and off and short of this, battles are today fought for Muslim women's rights to maintenance, for the right of Christian women to get a divorce, against extremes of discrimination in inheritance rights like the Tranvancore Christian Succession Act.

LABOUR-Kanpur Textile Workers Struggle against Sub-Contracting

Kanpur Textile Workers' Struggle against Sub-Contracting Gabriele Dietrich THE situation of the textile industry in Kanpur represents in a nutshell the crisis of the textile industry in the country, the heartening difference being that the Kanpur textile workers ire better organised than workers in many other parts of the country and their struggle is in a way path-breaking for workers elsewhere, even as far as other industries are concerned.


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