The State Rajput Identity and Women's Agency in 19th and 20th Century Rajasthan

Unnithan-Kumar, Maya (2000) The State Rajput Identity and Women's Agency in 19th and 20th Century Rajasthan. Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 7 (1). 49 - 70. ISSN 0971-5215

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Drawing on historical and ethnographic material on lower-class Rajput women, this paper evaluates the their impact in transforming gender roles and relationships in rural Rajasthan. It focuses on the individual and collective agency of Rajput women and the role of the state in the promotion of gender-specific identities in Rajasthan, India. Overall, it is noted that the Rajputs have had a tremendous influence on the culture, customs and traditions of the people of the state. In terms of the impact of Rajput women, however, it is suggested that they would be in a stronger position to initiate decisions if the community structures that generate prestige and value were more in their favor. Nevertheless, a change in the prestige structure could result in gender conflict, hence, it is complicated with skepticism and reluctance by both sexes. Although the Women's Development Programme has raised an awareness of women's rights, it still remains constrained by state sponsorship. Moreover, while women's agencies are seen to be enhanced by state-level initiatives, middle- and upper-class Rajput women remain constrained by the nature of state and national politics.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Maya Unnithan
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:08
Last Modified: 25 May 2012 14:03
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