How open and inclusive has the women's movement been? Broadly opposed to the politics of identity, has the movement been insensitive to the feelings of minority women within it? Questions have been raised internally about what some activists see as the majoritarian character of the movement, and its ignoring of the sensitivities of minority women.
More recently another major challenge has come from women mobilizing on the basis of same-sex identity. Lesbian groups have been strongly critical of what they describe as the silencing of their voices within the movement, and the ignoring of their concerns and issues.
Another criticism came from women with disabilities: this was particularly strong at women's conferences where, until recently, no particular attention had been paid to either discussing the issue of disability, or even ensuring that women with disability had access to such conferences.
If minority identity, sexual preference and disability posed challenges, so did the troubled question of caste. Dalit women posed a sharp challenge to the movement for having failed to make the links between gender and caste oppression, for not supporting the Dalit solidarity movement, and for marginalizing Dalit issues within the movement. With the formation of Dalit women's groups, as with that of lesbian women's groups, these issues came much more to the fore.
Another important campaign has been for the rights of other marginalized women such as sex workers. While a debate is ongoing about whether or not sex work should be legalized, there is widespread agreement on the question of the rights of women engaged in sex work, and this has been a major thrust within the movement. With the formation in recent years of sex workers' own groups, this issue has become much more visible.
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