Beyond the Mantra of Empowerment: Time to Return to Poverty, Violence and Struggle

Volume 47 Number 1A
Published: March 14, 2016

This article examines some of the critical issues raised by the women’s movement in India on the violence experienced by women both within the family and through modes of development initiated by the state, and the manner in which the state has sought to both counter feminist critiques as well as co-opt them through state-initiated policies. It focuses in particular on literacy and microcredit programmes, to argue that the rhetoric of empowerment functions as a new ‘mantra’ which does little to dent the violence of women’s everyday lives especially when they are poor and located on the social margins.


  • Gender
  • Empowerment
  • Poverty
  • Feminism
  • Micro-Credit
From Issue: Vol. 47 No. 1A (2016) | Connecting Perspectives on Women’s Empowerment