Women in Gorkhaland Movement: The Question of Empowerment


Gorkhaland Movement has been a long political struggle of Indian Nepalis/ Gorkhas and is basically based on the demand for separation of Darjeeling hills from the domain of West Bengal. The movement was raised with the same agenda from time to time by different political parties, but the most significant fact has been the subsequent rise of women participation in the movement. Women participation in the movement has brought profound positive and democratic effect on party politics, communities and civil society so far. Evidence shows that they have been a part of the movement from the time the issues have been raised. But their participation was at a minimal level, as the movement was exclusively male-dominated. In the process, this movement witnessed ample participation of women from the hills, more specifically in late 2007, under a new political party Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM). However, in course of time, there has been a heightened political awareness among them and the resultant effort has been the outcome of women as political leaders and representatives in the hills. The basic aim of this paper is to bring in attention the nature of women participation and the role played by women in the movement which will lead us to identify, its implication on political empowerment of women in the hills.

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