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Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy: Beyond the Weapons of the Weak
Synopses & Reviews
Women have often been divided by intersecting inequalities: class, race, ethnicity caste, amongst others. Their weapons of resistance have been the traditional weapons of the weak: hidden subversions and individualized struggles. This book explores the emergence of an alternative repertoire among women working in the growing informal sectors of the global south: the weapons of organization and mobilization. It offers vibrant accounts of collective action by organizations of women working as farm workers, sex workers, domestic workers, waste pickers, fisheries workers and migrant factory. With first-hand accounts from authors closely involved in emerging organizations, this collection documents how women workers have come together to carve out new identities, define their own agendas and develop collective strategies of resistance and struggle.
About the Author
Naila Kabeer is Professor of Development Studies at SOAS.
Ratna Sudarshan is Director of the Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi.
Kristi Milward works as a consultant for gender and rural development in West Bengal.
Table of Contents
1. Beyond the weapons of the weak: organizing women workers in the informal economy - Naila Kabeer, Kirsty Milward and Ratna Sudarshan2. Women and rural trade unions in North East Brazil - Ben Selwyn3. Understanding the dynamics of an NGO/MBO partnership: organizing and working with farm women in South Africa - Colette Solomon4. Organizing for life and livelihoods in the mountains of Uttarakhand: the experience of Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad - Anuradha Pande5. Negotiating patriarchies: Women fisheries workers build SNEHA in Tamil Nadu - Jesu Rethinam6. 'If you don't see a light in the darkness, you must light a fire': Brazilian domestic workers' struggle for rights - Andrea Cornwall and Terezinha Gonçalves7. The challenge of organizing domestic workers in Bangalore: caste, gender and employer-employee relations in the informal economy - Gita Menon8. Power at the bottom of the heap: organizing waste pickers in Pune - Lakshmi Narayan and Poornima Chikarmane9. Sex, work and citizenship: the VAMP sex workers' collective in Maharashtra - Meena Seshu10. Gender, ethnicity and the illegal 'other': women from Burma organizing women across borders - Jackie Pollock 11. Endnote: looking back on 40 years of the Self Employed Women's Association - Ela Bhatt
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