Invisibility of Women and Failure of Social Policy

February 21, 2017
02:30 PM - 03:30 PM
Community event
DSB C118

“Invisibility of Women and Failure of Social Policy: Exploring a Causal Relationship Through an Individual Narrative Account” 

Athabasaca University 

Tuesday, February, 21, 2017 
2:30 pm DSB C118 

Part of Political Sciens Spring Speaker Series

Despite vigorous scholarly discourses and targeted policy interventions for many decades, gender discrimination and inequality remain deeply entrenched all over the world. In the context of the rising sexual, social, and economic violence against women worldwide, my paper posits a relationship between social policy failure and the invisibility/erasure of women from historical movements/moment. I use the involvement of women in the freedom movement of India as a case study to point to a causal relationship. 

This paper thus problematizes the global history of feminism by highlighting the scale and nature of the involvement of women in the Indian freedom movement. Using multi-archival research, the paper highlights some of the mechanisms through which women’s role and agency has been erased from mainstream historical narratives. Finally, my paper relates a personal journey of discovery, of my research on the political activism of my grandmother as a twelve-year old girl imprisoned for sedition in 1930, which underscores the significance of individual narratives and archival resources as instructive accounts tracing continuities and changes in the socio-political context of contemporary policies. 

An alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi, Meenal Shrivastava is Professor and Coordinator of Political Economy and Global Studies at Athabasca University. Her research has led to more than two dozen peer-reviewed publications, one co-edited book (Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada (AU Press, 2015), and another book in press (Amma’s Daughters). She has served on several governance boards such as the Parkland Institute, CPSA, Canadian Consortium of University Programs in International Development Studies, and the South African Association of Political Studies. 

Co-sponsored by Gender Studies and the Global South Asian Group. Science 
Feng Xu