Image Credit: Sam Eaton/PRI

India Feature | Women

The Women Enforcers of Ghunduribadi

While international media attention often focuses on oppressive conditions women face in India’s tribal regions, women from Ghunduribadi, in the eastern state of Odisha, have stepped up as the security forces to protect the land rights of their villages. Land rights reforms have sought to reclaim ancestral lands expropriated under British colonial laws, but enforcement has been spotty and, according to some advocates and lawmakers, diluted. As their community suffered from illegal incursions into the forest their village relies on for food and supplies, the women banded together to conduct patrols, stepping in where the law wouldn’t to ensure that their land and community are protected.

Read more:
These Indian women said they could protect their local forests better than the men in their village. The men agreed.” (Public Radio International)

Additional reading:
‘Centre, states undermining tribal rights’” (Hindustan Times)
Cong. protests ‘dilution’ of Forest Rights Act” (The Hindu)

(Image Credit: Sam Eaton/PRI)