Evolving humanity, emerging worlds
Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013
The impact of development projects on the quality of life of women in rural and tribal societies
Location University Place 4.208
Date and Start Time 07 Aug, 2013 at 14:30
Rural and Tribal women are leading a changing lifestyle under new social environment. They continue facing the biggest challenge for their survival and livelihood due to establishment of different development projects in their areas which create many issues and problems.
Development as a complex process involves the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of people. It is a cultural construct as well as brings new socio-economic order for people.
Women being half of the world's population are the integral part of development processes and they cannot be ignored from development strategies. Government has been implementing development projects, plans, and programs in the rural and tribal areas to improve the quality of life of the people which leads to displacement, resettlement, and even migration of people to various urban sectors. As a result, their socio-cultural and economic lives are influenced and affected in different ways. Any issue relating to women is always culture specific. In case of displacement, the compensation package given to a family is not being utilized properly because of the dominance of the male counterparts in tribal and rural communities.
The displaced women are neither able to assimilate completely with the new environment nor are they successful in maintaining their traditional social position and culture like; family structure, marriage pattern and kinship ties etc. Their traditional agrarian and forest economies undergo changes which are forcing them towards a new occupational structure. Of course, these development projects do give opportunities in the field of employment by paving ways of economic and political empowerment for women but also make them vulnerable to different kinds of exploitation for which their social position remains a big question today.
This panel invites contributions that address this theme.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Objectification of Women in Development Victimization vs. Empowerment?
Women in development not only lead to empowerment but also put them under victimization and objectification. Although we achieved in integrating women in economic systems through legal and administrative changes but we have to go further in our endeavour.
In development discourse and practice, women are still seen as vulnerable, weak and in need of protection. Hence, they are often categorized along with other vulnerable group such as children, elderly and disabled.
This not only conceals the patriarchal disempowering elements in hegemonic gender relations inherent in laws, institutions, policies and societal values but it perpetuates women's dependent and subordinate status. Consequently, women very often are not only victimized but also objectified - both by others and self. In a space of contested development, subordinate women being raped, stripped in public, burnt alive, for instance, by the dominant persons, groups and state-led armed forces are some of the forms of objectification of women to show power remains in the hands of those who have the right to objectify. Taking insights from Barbara Hooper, I will argue that the physical human body, particularly women's body, as a space is perhaps a critical site for the production and reproduction of power.
On the contrary, the subordinate women have learnt to self-objectify their body by being the front-line leaders in strikes and demonstrations; engaging in lewd behaviour and getting naked in public, for example, as mechanisms to protect themselves from assault, arrest, conviction and challenge the dominant forces are seen by some women as forms of empowerment. Building on Foucault's insights, I would show where there is resistance, there is power. Studying these complex and contradictory forms of objectification of women would help to understand the dynamics of victimization/empowerment of women vis-à-vis development.
Status of women in rehabilitated communities of Upper Kolab in Koraput district, Odisha, India
Rehabilitation resulting due to developmental programmes/projects lack proper social and economic dimensions and the worst sufferer are the women. A case study at Upper Kolab multipurpose project reveals this and suggest new dimension of rehabilitation programmes.
The rehabilitated areas comprise of members of different communities of both scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and other caste people. The socio-economic scenario here is different from the nearby villages which are isolated and inhabited by one or two communities. The male members are engaged in supplementing and compensating the economics of the households while females compensate and compromise with the household work. Because of rehabilitation, the male members often move to other places for doing menial jobs.
The present study is carried out in the rehabilitated areas of Upper Kolab multipurpose project of Kotpad block of Koraput district. Two villages and two blocks (rehabilitated blocks) are taken as samples having more than one thousand population. Some villages are retaining their original name though they are in the rehabilitated areas. Educational and health facilities in the rehabilitated blocks are worse than the nearby villages and worst sufferer is the women. The inter community interaction in the rehabilitated communities is very poor. As a result, women who mostly confine to household work and remain at home are not only subjected to psychological pressure but also suffer from different health hazards due to meager family income. The apathetic attitude of the policy implementers is apparent as the rehabilitated communities are deprived of the basic human needs and thus the rehabilitation programmes need to be redefined with integration of appropriate social and economic dimension.
Impact of development schemes on quality of life of women: A case study of Chattisgarh, India
Chattisgarh, the state in central India having more than fifty per cent scheduled caste and scheduled tribe population has implemented different development schemes to improve quality of life of women. More attention has been given towards their health and education.
The gender ratio has been steadily declining but the sex ratio in Chattisgarh is best in India ( 991 per 1000).The literacy rate of STs and SCs is better than the national average. Infant Mortality Rate by gender and resident wise reveals that girl children have higher death rate in both rural and urban areas. The Net State Domestic Product is 8.2, higher than national parameter. It has lowest HDI value (0.467) , lowest Health Index ( less than 0.127) , lowest standard of living ( income Index 0.127) and estimated poverty ratio in 2004-05 was 50 percent. It is also observed that women were still murdered for practicing witchcraft.
The present paper analyses impact of various government schemes like Chief Minister's Kanya daan yojana for arrangement of mass marriage for the poor marriageable girls, Auysmati Yojana for free treatment of women of below poverty line, Dhanalaxmi Yojna to increase birth rate of girl children and to stop child marriage, Mahila Jagruti Sibir , the women awareness camp for awareness of legal rights, Datak Putri yojana for development of education of the girl children and to stop the school dropout, Shakti Swarupa Yojana for widow and divorcee to make them self dependent, Kishori Shakti Yojana for health of 11 to 18 years adolescent girls and supplementary nutrition food program of ICDS for pregnant and lactating mothers. Increase of standard of living is found in the field of health, education, and socio-economic status among women covered by development schemes.
Changing Quality of life of migrated women in urban slums: An Anthropological approach
Poor people from tribal and rural areas have been migrating to urban centres for their livelihood and settling in different slums, which have low economic status, overcrowding, bad health and sanitation condition, lose morals, social isolation and high mobility.
The paper explores the impact of development programmes which brought changes in quality of life of women living in slum areas of Bhubaneswar city, the state capital of Odisha. They have been migrating from different parts of the state with their own cultural value systems, beliefs and practices. It also studies the extent of cultural assimilation in a new cultural setting.
Women have been migrating from remote tribal and rural villages and adopting new occupations different from the traditional types .The peculiarity is that even after forty years of living in the slum few of them are continuing traditional occupation like selling of Handia (Country Liquor) and forest produces . Women are working as labourers whereas in their villages they used to work as forest dwellers and depend on sal and kendu leaf collection. Now, these tribal women are getting adjusted their livelihood into a new economy setting. They change their traditional works and work as construction labourers. They have some adapted themselves to an urban living pattern and are constantly exposed to different schemes of the Government and volunteers coming from different social organizations. The tribal women are getting conscious about personal hygiene, pregnant care, sending their children's to primary education. The tribal women are now interested for education, and forming Self Help Group (Personal Saving Scheme). But it is also observed that they are still following their traditional way of life and maintaining originality like aboriginals.
Development projects and displacement: Impact on women of Rural Odisha, India : An Anthropological assessment
Displacement of tribal and rural people due to establishment of development projects raises various issues and problems, which are to be studied from anthropological perspectives. As a result displacement causes changes in the socio-cultural and economic life of rural women.
The term 'Development' means to growth, progress, improvement and expansion of a complex process involving the social, cultural, political and economic betterment of people and of society. Government of India has been implementing many development projects in the tribal areas and they were literally chased away from their own traditional land and turned into displaced, landless, migrant people in search of a livelihood. The rehabilitation and resettlement policy of the government is yet to be successful and women are suffering both by state machineries and customary practices. There is no proper effort to identify the discriminatory practices of rural and tribal women in the name of non-interference policy.
The present study is an attempt to assess the impact of development projects on socio-cultural and economic life of rural and tribal women of Odisha. It also studies the problems of displacement which creates dispossession of women as an effect of Government measures taken for their resettlements. It is seen that more number of people especially from among the rural communities has been displaced from their native villages. They are constantly and continuously losing their forest, land, house, source of livelihood and natural surrounding and even their cultural identity. Women are affected the most due to these changes. Both positive and negative consequences of impact situation are evaluated by observing the pattern of changing lifestyle. The shortcomings of development programmes are discussed which can be utilized to get fruitful results for women development of unprivileged sectors.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.