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CeDR/CGWS Seminar: Anita Ghai 'Women and Disability: Conceptualizing a policy of care

Date: 8 June 2010 Time: 16.00-17.45 pm

Venue: Institute for Advanced Studies (IAS) Meeting Room 1

Speaker: Dr Anita Ghai,Associate Professor and Teen Murti Fellow,Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi

Title: Women and Disability: Conceptualizing a policy of Care


This paper explores care economy with specific reference to issues of care and dependency within the framework of feminist and disability theory through the voices of disabled women recipients and providers of care. Given that it is women who are most often care takers of disabled daughters, I am analysing the impact of caring on women's economical, social, and personal experiences Recent interest in the domain of care economy points to its inextricable links with the changing family, division of labour within the household, gender balance affecting the state, the public sector, the formal economy and the health status of people like aged and the stability of the policy structures The structural position of women makes the arena of the care economy a terrain of complex, interlocking gender and class equations particularly in the context of disability, Notions of care and caring have been subject to criticism by feminist and disability theorists To the disabled people's care is a pre-requisite for equal citizenship rights. For me, the notionof care is dis-empowering. The person in receipt of care is often assumed to be passive and dependent. This is exemplified in the limited access of disabled people to choices over the nature and form of the social support that they may need. As there is little formalized state intervention in India, care provision contributes to the social oppression of both care takers and disabled people. I would look at state policy that reflects 'care', from the point of view of both the need of disabled women and the responsibilities of caretakers. I wish to underscore Fraser's work so that the notion of 'needscape' can be used to construct a 'connection and consequent discourse' that will mediate between the disability studies and feminist perspectives on care.

About Anita

Anita is an internationally renown scholar who has written extensively around issues of disability and gender from a post-colonial perspective. Her publications include:

(2001)Marginalisation and Disability: experiences from the third world in Priestley (Ed) Disability and the Life Course: Global Perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

(2002) Disability in the Indian Context: Post-colonial perspectives in Corker and Shakespeare (Eds) Disability/postmodernity: embodying disability theory. London: Continuum.

(2002) Disabled Women: An Excluded Agenda of Indian FeminismHypatia, Vol. 17, No. 3, Feminism and Disability, Part 2 (Summer, 2002), pp. 49-66

(2003) (Dis)embodied form: issues of disabled women. New Delhi Har-anand Publications.

with Rachana Johri(2008)Prenatal Diagnosis: Where Do We Draw the Line? Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 15, No. 2, 291-316


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Associated staff: Eric Emerson, Chris Hatton, Hannah Morgan, Donna Reeve, Bob Sapey, Pam Thomas, Carol Thomas

Organising departments and research centres: Applied Social Science, Centre for Disability Research CeDR, Centre for Gender and Women's Studies, Division of Health Research

Keywords: Disability, Disability studies, Postcolonial, Postcolonial theory


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