Feminism – Law and Politics

This course examines the relationship between feminism, politics and the law.

On the one hand, activist courts in India have relied on constitutional protections to make significant contributions on issues where democratic processes have failed women – for example, sexual harassment at the workplace, maintenance rights, property rights etc. On the other hand, feminists like Nivedita Menon have argued that the operation of law within its rigid conceptual boundaries offer little for a feminist politics committed to democracy, and that we need to look beyond the legal rights framework to address the multiple marginalisations of women. There are of course, also situations where both the law and democracy have perpetrated biases. These issues will form the focus of this course.