An embodied political analysis of violence against women: Understanding female feticide in Punjab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Formal equality for Sikh women is explicitly enshrined in Indian and Sikh law. Despite formal guarantees of equality, Sikh women experience pervasive violence against women (VAW). I consider female feticide among Sikhs as one example of VAW. In particular, I examine current feminist explanations of VAW in Sikh and Punjab Studies and extend these explanations by bringing the symbolic and physical body into a single analysis because the symbolic body is mediated through contextual, situated, and embodied practice. I argue that we cannot equate the adoption of formal or religious laws with effective implementation or enforcement. Rather, I call for a critical examination of the gap between formal and religious law and women's lived reality to demonstrate how gender determines who is most vulnerable to violence, and to reveal how a singular focus on the symbolic body may maintain and perpetuate the very gender violence feminists seek to eradicate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Punjab Studies
Volume21
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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