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STRATEGIES TO COUNTER GLOBALISATION: EMPOWERING WOMEN, DALITS AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

V. Rukmini Rao

The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, 2008, vol. III, issue 2 & 3, 67-86

Abstract: The article examines the social dimensions of poverty in the context of gender, dalit, tribal and Muslim minorities in the country. Reviewing the process of globalisation in the country, it notes that the largest section of workers continue to work in the unorganised sector. The shifting of global capital to the South and particularly to India has increased opportunities for women to work in the garment export industry. Characterised by low pay and poor working conditions, the industry exploits women. The fear of job loss has led to new forms of resistance by women workers not only at the workplace but within the community linking with social movements for protection and advancement. Small and marginal farmers including women agricultural workers are impacted by global markets leading to destruction of rural livelihoods. Dalit women have demonstrated how to create household food security by internalising inputs and creating alternative markets. Policy planners need to learn from these experiences and upscale at a national level. Regenerating commons and promoting non-chemical agriculture are other means to restore ecological balance and economic health of the agriculture sector. Tribal, dalit and Muslim minority socio-economic rights are eroded further due to the process of globalisation. To move towards more inclusive growth, public spending on education and health has to increase. Responding to people’s movements the state needs to implement pro-people policies and programmes. Mobilising women into SHGs is seen as a panacea to ensure women’s development. Currently, it has created a debt burden on women. An alternative agenda for empowerment is outlined for action.

Date: 2008
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