Disciplinary mobility and women's empowerment: a complicated connection

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    The intersections between gender, mobility and power have been well established. While research has examined the inequity of (im)mobility, the role of restricted mobility as a form of domestic violence and the connection between freedom of movement and feminism, hardly any attention has been given to the relationship between physical mobility and women’s empowerment programming. By drawing on the literature on ‘disciplined’ mobility and feminist understandings of space and violence, this research argues that mobility and empowerment are complicatedly entwined. Through qualitative field research in West Bengal, India, this article illustrates that empowerment programming is limited in what it can achieve due to the disciplining of mobility. Women’s mobility is disciplined through patriarchal control, evident in three key domains: first, through actively restricting women’s mobility; second, through surveillance and monitoring; and third, through women self-regulating their own behaviour. Through showing the difficulty of improving women’s wellbeing via empowerment programs, this research illustrates the pervasive violence of disciplined mobility.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)282-296
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


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