CSSE&IP, SSS organises Young Scholars' webinar on "Dr. Ambedkar and Gender Question"

Event From Date: 
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Event End Date: 
Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Event Title: 
CSSE&IP, SSS organises Young Scholars' webinar on "Dr. Ambedkar and Gender Question"
Event Details: 


Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy

School of Social Sciences

Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 110067


Young Scholars’ Webinar


 “Dr. Ambedkar and Gender Question”

27 and 28 October 2020


Concept Note

Modern women’s movements began in Europe in the 1950s. Women’s movements started in India at about the same time. The Anti-Caste movements have been going on in India for around the last hundred years. The upper caste social thinkers in India have perceived caste and women’s movement as ideologically and politically separate entities and processes. Such thinkers consider women’s problems as an independent problem. Whereas in India, the problem of women is rooted in caste and distinguishes it from the western form and history of feminism. Even in Hindu religious texts, legends and idioms, women are considered as a burden and described as alien wealth. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar’s formulations on caste and patriarchy constitute the earliest intellectual reflections on the understanding of gender in Brahmanical Hinduism. These critical formulations provide an analytical rigour for the historical and sociological interpretation of subordination of women and a crucial hermetic mode for delineating the complexity of patriarchy, the general principles, and modes of subordination and oppression.

            Dr. Ambedkar presented a paper at Columbia University in 1916 titled ‘Castes in India- Their Mechanism, Genesis, and Development’. In this paper, he described the main feature of the caste system; the absence of intermarriage-endogamy, as the foundational base of caste. Therefore, the imposition of endogamy on exogamy means the formation of caste. And to maintain the caste system, Ambedkar considers the three customs as particularly responsible. These are; Sati System, Enforced Widowhood, and Child Marriage. He proposed the concept of ‘surplus’ as having a very crucial role in maintaining the ‘Surplus Woman’ (widow) and ‘Surplus Man’ (widower) to guard the caste contamination or corruption through intermarriages. If one can observe the aforementioned three customs, it clearly shows that the victims are women. Ambedkar foregrounded this relationship between women and caste and linked it to questions of status and rights in society. Caste notions, principles, and institutions thus, regulated the subordination of women in all aspects of life whether it is social, political, or economic. In the backdrop of this, structured inequality in mind, Ambedkar pledged to give women their rights. He encouraged women to participate in the movements and put their voices strongly. The significance he attributed to the centrality of women in the sustenance of the caste system is further evident in his radical proposal for the annihilation of caste in the form of inter-caste marriages. Thus, the gender issue constituted a critical part of his intellectual and emancipatory political framework.

            In order to provide equal rights to women, Ambedkar spoke on the social level as well as on the political level. He inspired women to become educated and also inspired them to live a respectful life by separating themselves from non-honorable jobs such as prostitution. He was also against the exploitative tradition of the Devadasi system.

            He carried out many such reforms keeping in mind, the interests of women such as population control, right to vote, provision for maternal leave, equal pay for equal work, and many constitutional provisions. Amongst these, the Hindu Code Bill was his most important endeavor to provide equality to women. Ambedkar’s effort in the form of the Hindu Code Bill started in the 1950s and the result of this is evident even after 70 years, in August 2020 in the verdict of the Supreme Court which deals with equal rights as a son in the property of the father. But it is still not so easy to avail of this right by the women despite the SC judgement.



Social Exclusion and Inclusion: Conceptual Perspectives on Gender

Intersectionality of Caste and Gender

The Question of Gender in Anti-Caste and Annihilation of Caste Discourse

Ambedkar’s Role in Intellectual Tradition on Gender Equality

Ambedkar on Social, Political, and Economic Rights of Women in India

Women’s Emancipation through the Constitutional Provisions

Women in Ambedkar’s Movements

Ambedkar on Population Control: Gender Aspects

Ambedkar’s Endeavors towards the Eradication of Anti-Woman Practices

Ambedkar, Women, and Buddhism

Gender Question in Other Religions

Ambedkar and Uniform Civil Code: Gender Aspects

Ambedkar’s Struggle for Hindu Code Bill

Ambedkar’s Relevance in Contemporary Gender Discourse


Call for Paper:

Interested academicians and research scholars are requested to submit their research paper abstract of about 500 words on the mentioned topic but not restricted to the sub-themes enlisted above, along with one-page CV. The abstract should be in English in MS word, Times New Roman font with font size 12, and line spacing 1.5.

            All papers must be submitted in original and unpublished, nor presented in any other seminar/ conference, or accepted in any journal and proceedings of the conference. The full paper length should be around 8000 words and should not exceed the given limit. The Abstract and full papers shall be sent to-

Email Address: youngscholarswebinar2020@gmail.com

Important Dates:

  • Last date for the submission of the Abstract is 10th October 2020
  • Selected participants will be notified on 16th October 2020
  • Last date for the submission of full draft paper 25th October 2020
  • No registration fee and all the participants /paper presenters will be given certificates accordingly.


Webinar Coordinator       :       Prof. Y. Chinna Rao, Chairperson, CSSEIP, JNU

Student Coordinator        :       Ms. Sangita Yadav, Research Scholar, CSSEIP, JNU

For Any Query.                 :        9560226117