The restitution of conjugal rights: making a case for international feminism
AuthorMoschetti, Carole Olive
University of Melbourne Author/sMOSCHETTI, CAROLE OLIVE
AffiliationFaculty of Arts, Political Science, Criminology and Sociology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsMoschetti, C. O. (2007). The restitution of conjugal rights: making a case for international feminism.
Access StatusOpen Access
This is a preprint of an article submitted for consideration in the Women's History Review  © Taylor & Francis.
The aim of this article is to investigate the late nineteenth century Indian and British feminist campaigns against child marriage. An analysis of the 1888 case Dadaji versus Rukhmabai, a trial of 'restitution of conjugal rights,' illustrates how the genesis of international feminist campaigns against the premature sexualization of children arose around this issue. Conventional historiography has omitted the more radical voices of nineteenth century feminist activists, in particular those voices drawing attention to and resisting male sexual practices protected by religion culture and the law. I reintroduce some of the voices of nineteenth century Indian feminists Pandita Ramabai Sarasvati and Rukhmabai in order to demonstrate how their involvement in controversies to do with child marriage, consent, and 'conjugal rights,' brought women's subordinated status into international focus.
Keywordsconjugal rights; feminism; traditional customs; religous customs; child marriage; feminist historiography
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