By drawing on the Narmada experience in India, the study investigated the linkages between gender, forced displacement, resettlement policies and programmes and resistance strategies. The research built on research and contacts in the Narmada Valley from the early 1990s. It thus had the advantage of being able to trace changes in livelihood strategies, in social and gender relations and in economic activities amongst families over a ten-year period in both pre- and post-displacement settings. This longitudinal perspective also helped to observe and track the trajectories of change in the gendered strategies of the protest movement against the dam. Research methods included participant observation, surveys and semi-structured interviews with displaced women and men, activists and policy makers. The research findings have attracted considerable interest from international and national development policy-makers, and from development activists and researchers in India. In part, this is because the research is one of the few attempts to identify effective ways to overcome gender blindness and male biases in resettlement policies and initiatives as well as highlight ways in which gender justice can be achieved in the course of displacement and resettlement programmes. A highly well-received and attended international conference on gender and resettlement policies as well as a number of published and forthcoming publications will ensure the dissemination of the research findings in India and internationally.
Mehta, L. Gender, displacement and resistance: drawing lessons from the Narmada experience (R7578).SSR (DFID) Final Research Report. (2002) 45 pp.