Infrastructural Development’s Effects on Rural Women’s Livelihoods in Tehri-Garhwal, Northern India
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This thesis investigates the effects of change and modernization on rural women’s livelihoods in northern India. Infrastructural development projects have been identified by research agencies and scholars as beneficial to people in rural areas. I reconceptualize infrastructural development – which here consists of a road, electricity, and irrigation – to act as a lens in which to define and understand the processes of change and modernization. Grounded in feminist methodology, this research is based on interviews with fifty women from six different villages in Tehri-Garwhal, India. I found that while infrastructural development did increase the quality of life for women, women did not experience empowerment. Rather, I argue that the changes brought upon by infrastructural development restructure and redefine the gender inequalities that exist in a region. Infrastructure development acts as a catalyst in a liminal space.