Widows in India - Social Neglect and Public Action

Widows in India - Social Neglect and Public Action

Product ID: 7839

Normaler Preis
Normaler Preis

Shipping Note: This item usually arrives at your doorstep in 10-15 days

Author: Martha Alter Chen
Editor(s): Martha Alter Chen
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 1998
Language: English
Pages: 455
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170367034


This important volume of original essays and case studies is aimed at bringing about a better understanding of the social and economic conditions of widows, to focus attention on widowhood as a social problem and to promote public action and policies in support of widows in India.

There are more than 33 million widows in India, comprising about 8 percent of the total female population of the country. Despite this, little is known about the actual living conditions of widows, about the quiet deprivations they experience on a daily basis. They are rarely mentioned in the literature on poverty, in public debates on social policy or even by the women’s movement.

The first three papers explore the dominant ideological construction of widowhood in India as well as variations in local customary norms. The next section, on the demographics of widowhood, includes a significant paper by P N Mari Bhat which eloquently demonstrates that mortality rates among widows in the 45-plus age group are 85% higher than those for married women in the same age group.

The volume then turns to four key areas for public policy and action in support of widows: property rights, social security, employment and social identity. The contributors highlight how customary law and institutionalized gender inequality combine to drastically restrict the human, physical and financial resources available to widows, thus making them economically vulnerable. They also discuss governmental and non-governmental efforts to rehabilitate widows.

Weaving together analytic essays, hard data and poignant case studies, this comprehensive and pioneering volume on the social and economic status of widows in India will be of interest to those in the fields of gender studies, sociology, demography and social policy, as well as NGOs and policy-makers.


List of Plates and Figures

List of Tables




The Ideology of Widowhood

The Demographic of Widowhood

Widows and Property Rights

Widows and Social Security

Widows, Poverty and Employment

Widow and Public Action


Notes on Contributors


About the Editor