Women, Power and Politics

By Ningombam Shreema Devi   |   Department of Political Science, Nambol Sanoi College, Manipur
Learners enrolled: 537
This course is very essential for understanding the contemporary issues of women in private and public spaces. The rationale for developing the course is to sensitise the students about the relation between women and power. This paper will help the students to understand the basic issues women face in the political life as a participant. The paper shall be taught from a feminist perspective to understand women’s role in family, community and state at large.  It will try to develop the appreciation of domestic labour and sex workers not putting any moral judgement.  The course is to develop an awareness of women beyond their empowerment and moving toward an appreciation of women as independent and radical social agents. The first unit will deal with the concept and debates surrounding Patriarchy.  The sex gender debate says that sex is natural and biologically given fact where as gender is culturally constructed. The culturally constructed nature of being a man and a woman is so opposite to each other and so biased against women that it leads to male domination and the subjugation of women. Then we will talk of distinction between public and private space from gender perspective. Then, comes the issue of power. Power in the sense of decision making, agenda setting and formation of thought. How far can a woman exercise power at these three levels ?  Then this course will deal with the history of women’s movement in India, work labour and the ethics of child care. 

The objectives of this course are:
to propose the idea of women as active participants in politics and national development;
to inculcate feminism as a method of study;
to develop a rethinking of women’s labour;
to inculcate the dignity of labour of women;
to enhance the gender equality in personal; 
and professional life of the young minds;and
to equip the students for higher studies on gender issues.

In the Marxist feminist perspective there is the important debate of domestic labour. Should women’s domestic labour be considered worthy of value and payment? This course will examine the underlying argument. 

Course Status : Ongoing
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 02 Apr 2023
Exam Date :
Enrollment Ends : 15 Mar 2023
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 4
Level : Undergraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Patriarchy and its Ideological Foundation: Biological Determinism
The Social Construction of Gender
Sex/Gender System
Gender as Performative

Public-Private Divide and Feminism
Feminist Criticism of Public Private Distinction
Feminism and the Concept of Power
Feminism and the Concept of Empowerment

Feminism in the West
Liberal and Radical Feminism
Marxist Feminism and Post-modern Feminism
Ecofeminism and Black Feminism

Third World Feminism
Feminism in India 
Feminist Perspective on Family
Feminist Views on Family in India

Women and Community
Women and Caste System in India
Women and State
Women and Indian State

Women and Social Reform Movements in the 19th century India
Women's Organisation in the Pre-Independent Period
Women in India’s Independence Movement 
Women’s Movement in Post-Independent India

Women’s Studies and Women’s Movement in India
Women’s Movement in The Millitarised Region of India
Theorising Gender Based Violence
Violence Against Women in India: A General Overview

Domestic Violence and Domestic Violence Act in India
Sexual Violence: Rape and Rape Laws in India
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Violence Against Women and Militarisation

Women and Work in India: The Concept of Visible and Invisible Work
Why Women‘s Work is not Visible?
Reproductive and Care Work : An Introduction

WEEK 10:
Care as a Political Concept
The Status and Legality of Sex Work in India
The Human Rights and the Dignity of Sex Workers

Books and references

1. Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. Translated by H. M. Parshley. New York: Vintage Books. 1989.
2. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and Subversion of Identity. New York: Routledge. 1990.
3.“Performative Acts and Gender Constitution: An Essay in Phenomenology and Feminist Theory.” Theatre Journal, vol. 40, no. 4. 1988, pp.519-531. Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
4. Menon, Nivedita. Seeing Like a Feminist. United Kingdom: Penguin Random House Private Limited. 2012.
5. Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. & quot; The Body in its Sexual Being, & quot; in The Phenomenology of Perception. Translated by Colin Smith. Boston: Routledge and Kegan Paul. 1962.

Instructor bio

Ningombam Shreema Devi

Department of Political Science, Nambol Sanoi College, Manipur
Ningombam Shreema Devi is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, Nambol L. Sanoi College, Manipur. She has experience of teaching Political Science to undergraduate students for more than 11 years. She has been teaching Political Theory and Western Political Thought and other chapters related to women. She has received her MA and M. Phil degree from University of Delhi, New Delhi with specialisation in the area of International Relations. Her areas of interest are Northeast India, Gender Issues and Women’s Issues in the contemporary society of Manipur. To her credit, she has published articles in many journals. She has also contributed a few chapters in books. Along with these, she has presented a good number of papers in national and international conferences and seminars. In addition to these, she has attended and delivered lectures in workshops and conferences as resource person. She is also the co-author of an anthology of poems titled 'Tattooed with Taboos' dealing with women’s issues in Northeast India.

Course certificate

30% for in course Assessment & 70% of end-term Proctored Exam

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