Gender, Ethnicity and Political Agency: South Asian Women Organizing

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This book examines how South Asian women's collective agency is operationalized through civic organizations in the UK. Drawing on black feminist theory and third world feminism, it shows the complexity of political agency and its relationship to identity and subjectivity, and uses empirical research to demonstrate how women are empowered to resist domination. The historically racialized image of the South Asian woman as lacking in political agency is challenged through their long history of activism on the Indian subcontinent. The creation of critical spaces by South Asian women in the diaspora places them as active agents who have successfully influenced social policy on important issues such as forced marriage, domestic violence and sexuality. The engagement with the empirical data demonstrates the significance and impact of race, racism, sexism and religion on the lives of the women. The book brings to the fore the pursuit of equality, rights and justice, including multiculturalism and the often debated emancipatory role of religion.