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Securitizing women: gender, precaution, and risk in Indian finance

Kar, Sohini (2018) Securitizing women: gender, precaution, and risk in Indian finance. Signs, 43 (2). 301 - 325. ISSN 0097-9740

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Identification Number: 10.1086/693537


In 2013, the government of India announced the creation of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB), or the Indian Women’s Bank, offering financial services largely to women. The bank was a financialized response to the 2012 New Delhi rape case that mobilized mass protests against sexual violence and harassment in public spaces. Curtailing economic instability in the wake of the protests, the BMB became a means of securitizing women’s bodies through financial means. While the BMB was premised on an idea of precautious empowerment through financial inclusion, India offers a challenge to the almost global dominance of men in the upper echelons of finance. With around 40 percent of financial assets controlled by women-headed banks, Indian women have challenged the naturalization of men in finance. Their rise has been supported by a history of social banking and unionization of bank workers. Examining these two cases laterally, this article argues that both narratives of women in finance in India hinge on the notion of precaution. I argue that banking for women and women bankers stabilize the economic order under financialization rather than challenging the conservatism of patriarchal capitalism and the gendered production of public space.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2017 University of Chicago Press
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2016 11:38
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:37

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