Women in Handicrafts Industry - A study of Sikkim

Women in Handicrafts Industry - A study of Sikkim

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Since the past, Sikkim the 22nd state of Indian Union is known for its traditional handicrafts, which had has enormous cultural significance. Many of the Bhutia and Lepcha as well as Nepali women are engaged in traditional handicrafts production. Undoubtedly, women have been playing the predominant role in producing number of handicrafts.

Sikkim is indeed much more interesting area and certainly claims special attention. Until its merger with India, Sikkim had remained mostly for many years in relative isolation and outside the influence of greater society. The socio-political structure centered around an hierarchy of lamas and monasteries and the temporal-cum-feudal ruler known as ‘Chogyal’. The changes have been the rise of social services and the large state expenditure for public welfare, utilization of public goods in the state for its development, administration and enforcement of law and order and the like. Allocation and the distribution of the state’s resources and rewards are carried out in an equally democratic way which is meant for the state’s citizen. Resultantly, the state witnessed unusual changes in all spheres of life – political processes, social structure, economy, culture and style of life.

In this context, this book reflects the case study of a situation of Sikkimese women in terms of their role and status with reference to some empowerment issues in Sikkim. Besides, it also reflects the situation of changes in the pattern of handicraft production as well as in the organization of its relation and commercialization including the role of women in it, apart from the role of cooperatives, welfare societies, development agencies, state departments, self-help groups, etc.

This book is the product of the comprehensive study which offers an empirical analysis of role and status of women in relation to some empowerment issues in present day Sikkim among those women who are involved in handicraft production and selling.

Moreover, it may add to the knowledge/information on women’s situation particularly in the arena of gender studies in Social Sciences, in view of unavailability of comprehensive and in-depth studies in Sikkim. Similarly, it may enlighten the facts of present situation of development and change i.e. the growth of handicraft industry and role of women in it.

No such in depth and empirical study on these aspects has so far been taken earlier in Sikkim.Therefore, the progrmme planners, policy-makers ,social scientists and researchers may also find the book of special interest. Certainly, it may be helpful to have a grasp over the situation of Sikkimese women as well as handicraft industry entirely from different angles. This book may become as very useful source of reference for students, teachers,researchers in social sciences and its allied subjects.


Mowsume Bose Roy (Datta) (b. 1967) holds an M.A. Degree in Anthropology from the Ranchi University. She received her Ph.D. (Sc.) Degree from the University of North Bengal in the aforesaid discipline. She was a Research Fellow (01.02.2002—31.01.2004) of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Government of India, New Delhi, worked as Project Research Supervisor of Taleem Research Foundation, Ahmedabad during January 2002. Dr. Mowsume has to her credit number of research papers/articles published in well known and reputed journals, and research papers presented in National Seminars. 

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