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Assets versus Autonomy? The Changing Face of the Gender-Caste Overlap in India

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  • Ashwini Deshpande

Abstract

Inter-group disparity in India is multifaceted; this paper focuses on gender and caste as two important indicators of disadvantage. An assessment of the contemporary state of the gender-caste overlap suggests that the economic condition of women continues to be defined and constrained by their caste status. At the same time, the traditional distinction between lower caste and upper caste women, based on the relative egalitarianism and greater freedom of movement of the latter, needs to be revised. The Dalit (low caste) women are the worst off, as they belong to a group that is materially at the bottom of the ladder; their relative deprivation is compounded by low levels of autonomy and greater exposure to domestic violence.

Suggested Citation

  • Ashwini Deshpande, 2002. "Assets versus Autonomy? The Changing Face of the Gender-Caste Overlap in India," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 19-35.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:8:y:2002:i:2:p:19-35
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700210160005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ashwini Deshpande, 2000. "Does Caste Still Define Disparity? A Look at Inequality in Kerala, India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 322-325, May.
    2. George Akerlof, 1976. "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race and Other Woeful Tales," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-617.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jumrani, J. & Birthal, P.S., 2015. "Livestock, Women, and Child Nutrition in Rural India," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 28(2).
    2. Luke, Nancy & Munshi, Kaivan, 2007. "Social affiliation and the demand for health services: Caste and child health in South India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 256-279, July.
    3. Abigail Weitzman, 2014. "Women's and Men's Relative Status and Intimate Partner Violence in India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(1), pages 55-75, March.
    4. Sharmistha Self & Richard Grabowski, 2013. "Female Autonomy In Rural North India: Impact Of Economic, Social, And Political Factors," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 38(1), pages 59-82, March.
    5. S. Charusheela, 2013. "Intersectionality," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Gender and Economic Life, chapter 3, pages 32-45 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Smriti Rao & Kade Finnoff, 2015. "Marriage Migration and Inequality in India, 1983–2008," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 41(3), pages 485-505, September.
    7. Nitya Rao, 2006. "Women’s Right To Land, Assets, And Other Productive Resources: Its Impact On Gender Relations And Increased Productivity," Working Papers id:767, eSocialSciences.
    8. Trenita B. Childers & Kevin Chiou, 2016. "Socioeconomic Status, Religion and Health in India: an Examination of Chronic and Communicable Diseases," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 43(2), pages 149-164, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender; Caste; Color; India; Autonomy; Disparity;

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