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Women and Work in Precolonial India
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Women and Work in Precolonial India
A Reader

First Edition
Edited by:
  • Vijaya Ramaswamy - Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.


October 2016 | 484 pages | SAGE Publications Pvt. Ltd

A compilation of ancient Indian texts with feminist perspectives on women’s work

Women and work is an important dimension of the ongoing debate on gender parity. This book is a compilation of essays related to traditional perceptions of women’s work juxtaposed with recent feminist writings on women’s space in India’s labour history. The essays highlight the points and counterpoints of the ongoing debate on the nature, quantification and monetary valuation of women’s work.

Beginning with writings on the theme of women and work, and going on to historically plot women’s agency in labour processes, this book seeks to provide a panoramic survey of women and work in precolonial India. It is an endeavour to salvage the available data on women’s work—paid and unpaid as well as visible and less visible—in order to highlight their contribution and indicate the changes in women’s labour history. 

 


Aparna Basu
Foreword
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgements
Vijaya Ramaswamy
Introduction
 
WOMEN AND THE HOUSEHOLD: CANONICAL PRESCRIPTIONS AND THEIR FEMINIST CRITIQUE
Julia Leslie
The Daily Duties of Women
T R Sharma
Position and Status of Women in the Upanisads
M A Indra
Woman in the Household
Sukumari Bhattacharji
Economic Rights of Ancient Indian Women
Kavita Gaur
Dynamics of Women’s Work in the Sastric Sources: Household and Beyond
Vijaya Ramaswamy
Tracking Economic Transitions: Tamil Women from Tribe to Caste and Changing Production Roles
Jaya Tyagi
The Question of Women’s ‘Agency’: Women, Work and Domesticity in Early Textual Traditions
 
WOMEN AND WORK IN EARLY TEXTUAL TRADITIONS
I B Horner
The Woman Worker
Uma Chakravarti
Of Dasas and Karmakaras: Servile Labour in Ancient India
Upasana Dhankar
Women and Work in Kautiliya's Arthasastra
 
WOMEN AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES: WOMEN’S PROPERTY RIGHTS
Anant Sadashiv Altekar
Proprietary Rights during Coverture
Anant Sadashiv Altekar
Proprietary Rights: Inheritance and Partition
M A Indra
The Legal Status of Women: Their Right of Inheritance
N N Bhattachar
Property Rights of Women in Ancient India
Kanakalatha Mukund
Turmeric Land: Women’s Property Rights in Tamil Society since Early Medieval Times
A Padma
Property Rights of Women in Medieval Andhra
 
CONTEXTUALISING WOMEN’S WORK IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN
Vijaya Ramaswamy
State of the Field: Perspectives on Women and Work in Early South India
A Padma
Women’s Professions in Medieval Andhra
Anna Varghese
Temple Women and Work in Medieval Keralam
Uma Chakravarti
Gender, Caste and Labour: Ideological and Material Structure of Widowhood
Shireen Moosvi
Work and Gender in Mughal India
 
DEVARADIYA: HAND-MAIDENS OF GOD OR SEX-WORKERS?
Vatsyayana Mallanaga
Courtesans
Leslie Orr
Temple Women as Temple Servants
Shalini Shah
In the Business of Kama: Prostitution in Classical Sanskrit Literature from the Seventh to the Thirteenth Centuries
Sukumari Bhattacharji
Prostitution in Ancient India

The fact that many of the contributors to this book are women scholars, it is worth reflecting whether enough men are involved in feminist studies of labour history. The book is also very detailed and academic, with its scrupulous footnotes. This book is for students and scholars in the field.

The Telegraph, 27 October 2017

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ISBN: 9789351507413
$32.99