An Intersectionality Analysis of Gender, Indigeneity, and Food Insecurity among Ultrapoor Garo Women in Bangladesh
Across a number of indicators, Indigenous women worldwide experience poorer health and less access to resources and services than either non-Indigenous women or Indigenous men. This paper is specifically concerned with Indigenous women’s experiences of food insecurity, a key determinant of health. We analyse the links between gender, indigeneity, and food insecurity among a small group of ultrapoor Indigenous Garo women in Bangladesh. We demonstrate how the politics of indigeneity, both its erasure by the state and its place in the Indigenous rights movement, intersect with gender to shape the experiences of food insecurity among ultrapoor rural Garo women. We identify how indigeneity intersects with cultural marginalization and political violence in experiences of food insecurity and highlight the unique challenges Garo women face in relation to accessing culturally appropriate and sufficient food. Ultrapoor Garo women are in need of poverty alleviation attention from both Indigenous organizations, who market their cultural capital, as well as governmental and non-governmental aid and development programs that offer such assistance to vulnerable Bengali women.