, Volume 62, Issue 1–4, pp 154–159 | Cite as

Inequalities, Caste, and Social Exclusion: Dalit Women’s Citizenship

  • Shobha RaghuramEmail author


The article focuses on the problematic issues of the extreme degree of inequalities, discrimination and social exclusion as faced by women and in particular Dalit women in a democracy. Social justice is the central column of a socially inclusive democracy and the lack of it is reflected in the unequal economic, political and social status of women as is so highly evidenced in the case of Dalit (Dalit means ‘broken, scattered’ in Hindi, Sanskrit and refers to ethnic groups. The term is officially referred by the State as scheduled caste.) women and other marginalized groups in India.


Gender Poverty Democracy Discrimination Vulnerability Violence 



I would like to thank Ms. Anitha Shanthakumari and Dr. Monica Erwer for their valuable comments on this paper. I remain indebted to Ms. Hannah Broman who collaborated with me on various aspects of the longer paper. This paper is a shortened version. Lastly, this work is a tribute to millions of women who live the conditions of poverty, caste and gender discrimination, and yet teach us what it means to be citizens, to achieve agency over their lives, refusing bondage and slavery in democracies.


  1. Baxi, Upendra. 1998. Voices of Suffering and the Future of Human Rights. Transnational Law and Contemporary Problems 128: 125–169.Google Scholar
  2. Indian Institute of Dalit Studies. 2010. Dalit Women Rights and Citizenship in India, 49. New Delhi: Indian Institute of Dalit Studies.Google Scholar
  3. Jodkha, Surinder S. and Ghanshyam Shah. 2010. Comparative Contexts of Discrimination, Caste and Untouchability in South Asia. Indian Institute if Dalit Studies, Working Paper Series 4(5), 1–16.Google Scholar
  4. Perera, Amantha. 2014. Human Development Report Finds South Asia’s Poor on a Knife’s Edge, Inter Press Service News Agency. Available at: Accessed 22 Dec 2016.
  5. Pradeep, Manjula. 2014. Situation of Dalit women and girls in South Asia: Need for greater attention by international community, documentation, Accessed 24 Nov 2016.
  6. Verma, Vidhu. 2011. Conceptualising Social Exclusion: New Rhetoric or Transformative Politics? Economic & Political Weekly xlvi (50): 89–97.Google Scholar
  7. Villatt, Nidheesh J. 2014. Caste Rules the Roost Across South Asia,, Accessed 24 Nov 2016.

Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent Researcher/Development ConsultantSocial Justice, Public Policy, EthicsBangaloreIndia

Personalised recommendations