Na shariram nadhi, my body is mine

The urban women's health movement in India and its negotiation of modernity

Kalpana Ram*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the Indian women's health movement for productive insights into current debates on the 'travelling' meanings of modernity. Taking the feminist demand for bodily autonomy as a starting point for the exploration, the article traces the trajectories described by some of modernity's central concepts: choice, freedom, autonomy, rights, and [developmental versions of] progress. The journeys described here take place not only between the 'global' and the 'local,' but between metropole and colony in the colonial period, and between the nation-state and the women's movement in the postcolonial period. As the case example of the controversy over amniocentesis (used in India in the identification and abortion of female foetuses) illustrates, terms such as choice and development have become central to contestations between the women's movement, the state, and the professional middle classes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-631
Number of pages15
JournalWomen's Studies International Forum
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998

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