Will it deliver? Women’s Rights through Land Rights
I am interested in looking at the relationship that human beings have with nature, particularly material – land/territory/space – in relation to their idea of themselves and their social production and reproduction. In looking at this relationship, I will use historical and gendered lenses. In my paper I will explore the question of territory and space in its material form, and explore the meanings of land for different genders by focusing on the indigenous Limbu group of Nepal. I will situate the position of Limbu women, in terms of their relationship to land, alongside the forces of globalization, capitalism, resistance inside Nepal and the current indigenous rights movements. I will juxtapose ideas of pure forms of Limbu culture (i.e. before the Gorkha kingdom annexation of ‘Limbuwan’) with current cultural and political practices regarding the role of women and their relationship to land among the Limbus. I will particularly focus on the rhetoric of women, land and identity in the current Limbuwan movement – particularly a Limbu woman’s conception of her relation with land and identity. I will draw on my own fieldwork research, secondary data and other sources such as folklore myths, historical archives, and songs.