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date: 27 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses sustainable livelihoods (SL) as a political rather than descriptive concept that needs to be “gendered” to address poverty and multifaceted vulnerability. It presents a typology of approaches to SL, drawing on the Indian experience, to illustrate what SL has meant for women’s transformative organizing. Dealing particularly with women’s livelihood struggles around natural resources, it deepens the concept of SL by including collective political action to capability, equity and sustainability, the three recognised elements of a SL approach. It suggests that a gendered understanding of SL would help to strengthen the collective political voice and agency of oppressed and poor women (such as Dalits) in the currently challenging global and local policy environments.

Keywords: Sustainability, women’s transformative organizing, livelihoods, natural resources, gendered understanding Dalits

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