Women and Poverty in India: Law and Social Change

Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 6, p. 278, 1993

27 Pages Posted: 14 Aug 2008

See all articles by Brenda Cossman

Brenda Cossman

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Ratna Kapur

School of Law, Queen Mary University of London

Date Written: August 13, 2008

Abstract

In this article, Brenda Cossman and Ratna Kapur explore the ways in which law is implicated in women's socio-economic inequality and poverty in India. The authors examine several different areas of the law to illustrate the extent to which law is based on and serves to reinforce women's economic dependence. Family law, labour law, and rural development law all serve, although in very different ways, to reinforce assumptions about women's economic dependence in tile family, and in turn, to reinforce the actual socio-economic conditions that produce that economic dependency. In the second part of the paper, Cossman and Kapur examine some of the ways in which attempts to use the law, and particularly, rights discourse, to improve women's socio-economic conditions in India, have been undermined. The authors consider the Indian experience with public interest litigation and its limitations for feminism, as well as the growing challenge of religious fundamentalism to women's struggles for social change in India.

Suggested Citation

Cossman, Brenda and Kapur, Ratna, Women and Poverty in India: Law and Social Change (August 13, 2008). Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Vol. 6, p. 278, 1993. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1223042

Brenda Cossman (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-6658 (Phone)

Ratna Kapur

School of Law, Queen Mary University of London ( email )

Mile End Road
London, E1 4NS
United Kingdom

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