The Journey of a Southern Feminist


New Delhi, 2018

300 pages

Price INR 795.00

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This book is a collection of Devaki Jain’s writings and lectures related to the women’s movement in India and interventions in policy and fact base drawn from that experience. A journey of over six decades, it presents important interventions in the design of national and international development policy.

Beginning with a fascinating account of Jain’s own evolution into a feminist, each chapter starts with an introductory note locating it in her own professional journey. The initial chapters of the book underline an important fact—better understood now but a radical intervention when Jain wrote it—that women’s reasoning and the ideas that emerge from their lived experience need to be converted into macro frameworks of development. The later chapters champion the role of local power, in economic planning led by women, in healing inequalities. They also pose a feminist challenge to inherited knowledge usually created and argued for by men. In her most recent work, Jain reiterates that poor women’s struggles, strategies and needs should inform development strategy at the local level. At a global level, she talks of how women and their networks in the South are offering ideas on rethinking development.

Devaki Jain

Devaki Jain, Honorary Fellow St Anne’s College, Oxford University, is Founder and former Director of the Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi, India. She was previously a lecturer at the University of Delhi, a founding member of Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), member of the South Commission (chaired by Julius Nyerere), and of the UN eminent persons group concerned with child soldiers. She has an honorary doctorate from the University of Westville in Durban, Republic of South Africa, and has held fellowships at Harvard and Sussex Universities. She has been a member of State Planning boards and many of the Government of India’s special committees related to gender and its inclusion.