chapter  12
16 Pages

A Fine Balance? Multilevel Governance and Women’s Organising in India

ByGopika Solanki

This chapter provides the Indian federalism, and discusses the feminist utilisation of political opportunity to advance women's rights within the federal system. It shows that the developmental deficit of the Indian state has spurred a multilevel governance (MLG) characterised by co-management and, to some extent, a mutual dependence between levels of government and feminists operating within the Indian federal system. Indian federalism was crafted out of the unitary administrative system of the British Raj. The chapter contexts Indian federalism in light of political changes that have occurred in postcolonial India from the 1950s onwards. Feminists have debated both the implications of federalism for women's rights, and the politics of women's movements that have organised within the federal structure and attempted to access the power of the state. The Indian women's movements have also built alliances with other social movements, including communist movements, peasant movements, environmental movements, and movements for communal harmony.