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Distributed for Zubaan Books

Dalit Women Speak Out

Caste, Class and Gender Violence in India

The right to equality regardless of gender or caste is fundamental in India. Yet even the Indian government has acknowledged that the institutional forces arrayed against this right are powerful—and, what’s more, that they shape people’s mindsets in a way that encourages them to accept pervasive gender and caste inequality. This is nowhere more apparent than within the cast-segregated localities where Dalit women live.

This volume presents an analytical overview of the complexities of the systemic violence that Dalit women face, through analysis of five hundred narratives by Dalit women from four states. The book joins analysis to excerpts of these narratives, which are then used to illustrate wider trends and patterns, with the goal of bringing attention, and understanding, to the plight of these women.

466 pages | 5 3/4 x 8 3/4 | © 2011

Women's Studies

View all books from Seagull Books


“A remarkable feature of this study is its attempt to evolve a taxonomy of violence….[T]he manner in which Dalit women work to preserve a sense of the self in the midst of all works against such an effort is moving and humbling.”

V. Geetha, The Hindu

Table of Contents

A Note from the Authors
1. Conceptual Framework
2. Profile of Dalit Women
3. The Social Context
4. Forms and Frequency of Violence: An Overview
5. Verbal Abuse
6. Physical Assault
7. Sexual Violence
8. Kidnapping, Abduction and Forced Incarceration
9. Medical Negligence
10. Female Foeticide and Infanticide, Child Abuse and Domestic Violence
11. Causal Factors for Violence
12. Dalit Women’s Courage and Resilience
13. Effects of Violence on Dalit Women
14. Responses to Violence against Dalit Women
15. Concluding Observations

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