Gender, poverty, and domestic violence in rural Bengal: The Jeevika Development Society’s journey through women’s rights-based microcredit programs

Nilanjana Sengupta, Dolon Ganguly

Abstract


To understand the nature of the links among gender, poverty, and violence in specific sociocultural contexts, this article unravels a complex web of interactions among the Jeevika Development Society, the communities in which its members live, and women’s individual initiatives. It also examines the process by which ruptures are made in these links through women’s active participation in the Society. The article asks whether economic outcomes facilitated by the organization have any impact, or are impacted upon, by gender relations at home, which manifest themselves through different forms of violence. It further explores whether dimensions of participation that are more social than economic, such as voluntary work with anti-violence forums as well as positions of leadership in the Society, create possibilities of empowerment that are stronger and more direct than the possibilities that may emerge through economic gains alone.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15355/epsj.9.1.64

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