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Asian Center for Women's Studies: Cross-cultural sisters? Eleanor Rathbone and the Indian feminist movement in the 1930s.

This article examines the private correspondence between Eleanor Rathbone, a leading early twentieth century British feminist and Indian feminists within the historical context of pre-Independence India. Rathbone was the first British feminist to take cognizance of the need to listen to indian women's own voices on the question of their reform. The letters that she exchanged with contemporary Indian feminists bear testimony to her attempts to break away from imperial feminism's traditional assumptions about the silence of Indian women and to have a dialogue with them over the question of their enfranchisement. The paper also examines the limits of this dialogic process by looking at the problematic aspects of Rathbone's interest in the question of the Indian women's franchise and how these often clashed with the Indian feminists' own ideological commitments. This dialogue has been placed within its complex historical moment in order to enable a more nuanced understanding of gender and its relations within the Empire.

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Title Annotation:Abstracts
Author:Roy, Shampa
Publication:Women and Language
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 22, 2007
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