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Gender and Caste Intersectionality in India: An Analysis of the Nirbhaya Case

Dey, Adrija; Orton, Bev


Adrija Dey

Dr Bev Orton
Lecturer in Criminology and Sociology/ Academic Contact for Collaborative Provision


Shaminder Takhar


This chapter deals with the concept of intersectionality with particular reference to the interconnectedness of gender, class and caste discrimination in India. Even though much of the work on intersectionality has been carried out by scholars from the United States with specific emphasis on gender and race, this framework can be applied universally to understand the multiple axes of power within a society that results in further marginalisation of certain groups of women. The 16th December 2012 Nirbhaya rape case forms the core of this chapter as it resulted in one of the biggest gender movements in India.

In order to develop a critical analysis a case study approach was adopted and data collected by analysing online news reports, videos, articles on blogs and posts on social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter.

The findings of the research showed interesting intersections of gender and class with relation to this case, which has not been deeply analysed in order to understand the reasons behind the public uprising which resulted in the government action.

It is important to look at gender violence in India through the lens of intersectionality since often it is the result of multiple levels of discrimination on the basis of class, caste, religion and geography. This is important to recognise in order to ensure that activism, education and changes in policy help to resolve problems related to extreme oppression and violence against women across the country.

Publication Date 2016
Publisher Emerald
Pages 87 - 105
Series Title Advances in gender research
Book Title Gender and race matter: Global perspectives on being a woman
ISBN 978-1-78635-038-1
APA6 Citation Dey, A., & Orton, B. (2016). Gender and Caste Intersectionality in India: An Analysis of the Nirbhaya Case. In S. Takhar (Ed.), Gender and race matter: Global perspectives on being a woman, 87 - 105. Emerald.
Keywords Intersectionality; India; Caste; Class; Gender activism; Nirbhaya rape case
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