Dalit Women's Rights and Citizenship in India - Phase I

Dalits - the Scheduled Castes - constitute more than 16% of India's population. In the caste-based social order, Dalits have experienced untouchability and faced social exclusion from economic, civil, cultural and political rights. By any indicator of development, the Dalit woman stands at the bottom of the social hierarchy in Indian society, featuring high levels of illiteracy, low levels of education, little occupational diversification, and little voice in the domestic or public sphere. Even within the Dalit community, traditional decision-making and representation has always rested with men.

Through a series of studies, this project will provide a nuanced understanding of the marginalization of Dalit women vis-à-vis other women. The project will lay the groundwork for a more comprehensive project on Dalit women's rights and citizenship in Phase II.

The idea is to challenge the existing gender-caste societal framework, foster enhanced agency of Dalit women, and promote proactive policy and practice with respect to the development of Dalit women in India.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, January 22, 2009

End Date

Friday, July 2, 2010


12 months

IDRC Officer

Singh, Navsharan

Total funding

CA$ 31,300


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Dr. Surinder S. Jodhka


Indian Institute of Dalit Studies

Institution Country


Institution Website