Author: Flavia Agnes
Sudhir Chandra/Monmayee Basu
Compilor: Flavia Agnes
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195667670
This omnibus brings together three significant works on gender equality which comprehensively analyze key issues including women’s rights, social justice, and empowerment. Together, the books span legal change in India over two centuries when women’s rights were negotiated, rewritten and codes. In doing so they provide a comprehensive and significant understanding of why progressive laws, once passed, continue to be implemented in such a limited manner. They highlight the fact that legislations in the past fifty years have not brought gender equality in any real sense.
Law and Gender Inequality maps the issue of gender and law reforms upon a canvas of history and politics, and explores strategies which could safeguard women’s rights within India’s sphere of complex social and political boundaries. Flavia Agnes provides an invaluable analysis of the current debate on the Uniform Civil Code. She pinpoints the central issue in this context, that of arresting the trend of destitution and consequential impoverishment of Indian women from all religious communities.
In Enslaved Daughters, Sudhir Chandra studies the case of Rukhmabai whose legal crusade for freedom from conjugal claims of the husband she disliked sparked off a social and political debate on the position of women in society. Te author reveals the inner working of the legal system during the colonial period and studies the conflicting and overlapping ideologies underpinning it.
In Hindu women and Marriage Law, Monmayee Basu studies the development and changes in Hindu marriage laws over the last 150 years. She analyses highly contentious issues like child marriage, dowry, sati, widow remarriage, and divorce laws to explain constructions of women’s position in society. She also reviews remedial legislative measures to conclude tat although the position of married women under Hindu law has undergone much transformation, in actual practice, little social benefit has resulted.
In an introduction especially written for this collection, social activist and women’s rights lawyer Flavia Agnes explores the complex relationship between notions of patriarchy, sexuality, property, and the manner in which they are normalized and essentialized through state intervention and judicial discourse.
This omnibus will interest social workers, activists, and NGOs working in the area of women’s empowerment and justice. It will also be useful to researchers and students of law and gender studies.
LAW AND GENDER INEQUALITY
Flavia Agnes work interweaves numerous perspectives into a meaningful whole, crisp and racy, analysis backed by facts and cases, a valuable contribution.
-Economic and Political Weekly
Agnes provides facts to dispel long-standing myths, (she) presents a cogent argument that is engaging, accessible, and a solid read.
It goes to the credit of Sudhir Chandra that he has not just gifted us an extremely riveting and compelling monograph, but that he has made clear his feminist biases. For once, the discourse and interlocutor can be easily demarcated. And this requires some skill and sensitivity.
One glance at social attitudes and we could still be in Rukhmabai's time. Sudhir Chandra has written a well-researched, wonderfully detailed, empathetic book on the trials and tribulations of Rukhmabai.
HINDU WOMEN AND MARRIAGE LAW
Monmayee Basu has written a book on a subject to which we must return again and again interesting and varied package of insights that hang together in a readable way.
-Indian Review of Books
PART : I
LAW AND GENDER INEQUALITY
The Politics of Women's Rights in India
Table of Cases
A Need for Resrutiny
PART ONE: PRE-COLONIAL AND COLONIAL LEGAL STRUCTURES
Plurality of Hindu Law and Women's Rights Under it
Evolution of Islamic Law and Women's Spaces Within It
Colonial Rule and Subversion of Rights
Politicization of Women's Rights
PART TWO: POST-INDEPENDECE DEVELOPMENTS
Hindu Law Reforms-Stilted Efforts At Gender Justice
Erosion of Secular Principles
Communal Undertones Within Recent Judicial Decisions
Legal Significance of the Parsi Community
Political Reformulation of Christian Personal Law
PART FOUR: CURRENT DEBATES
Model Drafts and Legal Doctrines
Strategies of Reform
Rukhmabai and Her Case
A Disputed Charter
The Law on Trial
A Challenge to Civilized Society
The Brutal Embrace: Let it Stand
Appendices-A To E