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Not part of the plan? Women, state feminism and Indian socialism in the Nehru years

Sherman, Taylor C. (2021) Not part of the plan? Women, state feminism and Indian socialism in the Nehru years. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 44 (2). 298 - 312. ISSN 0085-6401

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00856401.2021.1884790


The 1950s are often derided in the scholarship as a period of welfarist policies which reinforced women’s role in the family and entrenched women’s economic dependence. This paper examines the Central Social Welfare Board, and in particular its Welfare Extension Projects, to provide a new characterisation of the approach to women’s issues during the period. It argues that the Central Social Welfare Board, with its unique administrative structure, its preference for voluntary activity, and its adherence to persuasion as a mode of action reflected many of the characteristics of Indian socialism of the time. It also sketches, from this angle, a partial picture of state feminism in India. In the Central Social Welfare Board, state feminism was concerned with the gradual transformation of women and a radical, if short-lived, makeover of the state.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 South Asian Studies Association of Australia
Divisions: International History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2020 15:57
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 23:00

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