Authors: Papori Konwar
The myriad dimensions of inter connectedness of the twin issues of women and food security even though would seem axiomatic from the feminists’ lens, have not been received in the right perspective by their contemporaries in the areas of policy-making and law, globally as well as in India. This gap has got reflected in legal and institutional measures undertaken to address the concerns of hunger, health, labour, poverty and development by the state and relevant international agencies. Gendered discussions around these issues have strived to renegotiate the dominant discourses on women’s interface with their ‘rights’ as perceived by women themselves through their own agency. The worldwide echoes of the ideas ‘women in development’, ‘feminisation’ of poverty and hunger etc. that begun in the early 90s have found expression in parts of the world necessitating rethought on gender sensitive ‘development’ funding. The Indian state responded with ‘gender budgeting’ in the middle of the last decade to highlight its awakening to the question of ‘women in development’. This trend has been countered by yet another paradigmatic (neo-liberal) shift in state led development programmes, which one puts as ‘looking away’. The juxtaposition of these counter waves has brought the Indian state to a crossroad, where there are real and pressing needs for social protection from a substantial size of its people, sizable of which is women, and on the other hand a systematic pattern of dwindling resource-allocation for the same. It is against this backdrop that one tries to locate the women and right to food debate within the recently enacted lofty central legislation, the National Food Security Act, 2013.
Keywords: right to food food security gender