The Maternal Frame & the Rise of the Counterpublic among Naga Women in India

Citation data:

CONFERENCE: Violence Against Women conference

Publication Year:
2018
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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.lesley.edu/violence_against_women/2018/schedule/3
Author(s):
Ghosh, Payel
Tags:
Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Women's Studies
paper description
Nagaland, situated in the northeastern corner of India, has witnessed a violent conflict situation for more than five decades. It is a heavily militarized space with draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in place, which allows the army personnel to go unchallenged even after committing violent war crimes. What makes this region stand out is the way few women have used their tradition-specific gendered role strategically to subvert prescribed gender norms and exhibit agency – against the violence they face for the conflict situation as well as the systemic violence that bars them from entering the public-political sphere. In Nagaland the troika of State, Church, and customary laws have created a gendered social sphere where women have been debarred from participating in the decision-making sphere. This is a society where modes of patriarchy are intertwined with militarization. This paper shows how women from the Naga tribal communities are attempting to use their tradition-specific gender roles of motherhood to gain agency and resist the formation of a hostile gendered social space.