Praveena Kodoth



Area of specialisation: Gender, Migration, Human Development


  • Ph.D (Economics), University of Hyderabad, awarded in April 1999

Title of Dissertation: ‘Women and Property Rights: A Study of Land-Tenure Structure and Personal Law in Malabar, 1890-1940’

  • M Phil (Economics) : University of Hyderabad, awarded in 1992
  • MA (Economics): Madras University, awarded in 1990
  • B. Com Madras : Christian College, Chennai, 1987



March 18, 2018 onwards        Professor, CDS

May 2, 2008 –  March 2018    Associate Professor, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum              September 2001 – May 1, 2008          Lecturer, CDS, Trivandrum

2000                                        Programme Officer, Kerala Research Programme on Local Level Development, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum.

1999                                        Research Associate, Centre for Education and Communication, New Delhi.

 Academic Achievements:

 2008-09                                   New India Foundation Fellowship (declined)

2006 (Jan to Sept)                   Sir Ratan Tata Fellow, Asia Research Centre, London School of Economics and Political Science.

2001 (Jan to Sept)                   Post doctoral Fellow, Kerala Research Programme on Local Level Development, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum.

Chapters in books

  1. ‘Re-rooting the Uprooted? Reform and the Quest for a Modern Nair Caste Identity’ in K Panikkar ed., Caste in Kerala: A historical and Sociological Study, New Delhi: Primus books (submitted Dec 2016)

‘Interest Conflicts, Indian State Policy and Unauthorized Recruitment to the Middle East: the Case of Women Domestic Workers from South India’ submitted for publication in Michiel Baas ed. The Migration Industry: Facilitators and Brokerage in Asia, Palgrave Pivot series (submitted January 2018)

2019                            ‘Locality Specific Norms and Wage Bargaining by Part time Domestic Workers in the National Capital Region’ in N Neetha ed., Paid Domestic Work, New Delhi: Tulika (Coauthored with Shraddha Jain, (submitted December 2017)

‘The Lure of Informality: The Kafala System and Malayalee women’s Negotiation of the Market for Domestic Work in the Middle East, in N Neetha ed., Paid Domestic Work, New Delhi: Tulika (submitted September, 2017)

2016                            ‘Migration Policies, Employment Choices and the Vulnerability of South Indian Domestic Workers in the Middle East’ in M Agarwal, Jing Wang and John Whalley eds., The Economies of China and India: Cooperation and Conflict, vol 3, Economic Growth, Employment and Inclusivity: The International Environment, Singapore: World Scientific

‘Gender in Internal and International Labour Migration: Women’s Migration, Social Disadvantage and Social Development’ in Kalpana Kannabiran and Asha Hans eds., Social Development Report, 2016, New Delhi: Oxford University Press


2015                            ‘Stepping into the Man’s Shoes: Emigrant Domestic Workers as Breadwinners and the Gender Norm in Kerala’, in S I Rajan ed., India Migration Report: Gender and Migration, New Delhi: Routledge, pp 26 – 43

2012       ‘Citizenship and the Gendering of Capabilities in Kerala’, in Sujata Patel. Tina Uys and S. Buhlungu eds. Social Exclusions, Citizenship and Social Exclusions. Contested transitions in South Africa and India, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan.  (co-authored with Mridul Eapen)



Emigration of women domestic workers from Kerala: Gender, State Policy and the Politics of Movement’ (with V J Varghese) in B Kalir, M. Sur and W van Schendel eds., Transnational Flows and Permissive Politics, Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam Press.

2010                            ‘The Institutionalization of Dowry in Kerala: Feminine Identity, Conjugal Patronage and Development’, in Ravi Raman ed., Development, Democracy and the State: Critiquing the Kerala Model of Development, London: Routledge, pp 192 -203.

2009    ‘Residual Farmers on household land: Women and Second Generation Concerns of Regulation in Kerala’ in Prem Chowdhry ed. Gender Discrimination in Land Ownership, New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp 117 – 139.


  1. ‘Hindu Marriage in the Nineteenth Century’ in Susan Mumm ed. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Love, Sex and Culture: The Nineteenth Century and the Victorian Age, Volume 5, Westport CT: Greenwood Press

‘Gender, Ageing and Property Rights’ in Irudaya Rajan, Carla Risseeuw and Myrtle Perera eds., Institutional Provisions and Care for the Aged: Perspectives from Asia and Europe, Anthem Press, London, 2008, pp 83 – 114

  1. Rendering Livelihoods Insecure: Dowry and Female Seclusion in West Bengal and Kerala, Maithreyee Krishnaraj ed. Gender, Food Security and Rural Livelihoods, Kolkata: Stree Publications, pp 138 – 182

2005                            ‘Framing Custom, Directing Practices: Authority, Property and Matriliny under Colonial Law in Nineteenth Century Malabar’, in Shail Mayaram, M S S Pandian and Ajay Skaria (eds.) Muslims, Dalits and Fabrications of History, Subaltern Studies XII, New Delhi: Permanent Black, pp 188 – 223.

2003                            ‘Gender aspects of Family Property and Land Rights: Issues of Regulation and Reform in Kerala’, in Sumi Krishna (ed.), Gender and Natural Resources: Equity Issues in Community Rights and Management, New Delhi: Sage Publications, pp 351 – 374

‘Family Structure, Women’s Education and Work: Re-examining the High Status of Women in Kerala’ (with Mridul Eapen) in Swapna Mukhopadyay and Ratna Sudarshan (eds.), Tracking Gender Equity under Economic Reforms, New Delhi: Kali for Women, pp 227 – 267.




Journal Articles

  1. ‘Structural Violence against Emigrant Domestic Workers and Survival in the Middle East’: the Effects of Indian Emigration Policy, in Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, Vol 28 (1)

2012                            Protecting Women or Endangering the Emigration Process: Emigrant Women Domestic Workers, Gender and State Policy, Economic and Political Weekly, October 27, 2012 vol xlviI no 56 43

  1. ‘Gender Equality in Local Governance in Kerala’, (with U S Mishra) Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 46 (38), pp 36 – 43.
  2. Gender, Caste and Match Making in Kerala: A Rationale for Dowry, Development and Change, Vol. 39 (2), pp 263 – 283.

2005                            ‘Looking beyond Gender Parity: Gender Inequities on some dimensions of Well Being in Kerala’ (with Mridul Eapen) in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XL (30), July 23, pp 3278-3286

‘Negotiating disciplinary boundaries or debilitating method? Learning what to avoid from research on matriliny in Kerala’, in Tapasam: A Quarterly Journal for Kerala Studies, Vol 1 (2)

‘Fostering Insecure Livelihoods: Dowry and Female Seclusion in Left Developmental Contexts, West Bengal and Kerala’, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol XL (25), pp 2543 – 2554

2004                            ‘Gender, Property Rights and Responsibility for Farming in Kerala’, Economic and Political Weekly Vol 39 (19), pp 1911 – 1920

  1. ‘Gender, Community and Identity in Christian Property Law Reform: The Case of early Twentieth Century Tiruvitamkoor’, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Vol. 3 (3), pp 383 – 394.

2001                            ‘Courting Legitimacy or Delegitimising Custom? Sexuality, Sambandham and Marriage Reform in Late-Nineteenth Century Malabar’ Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 35, (2), pp 349 – 384

‘Gender, Family and Property Rights: Questions from Kerala’s Land Reform Experience’, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 8 (2), pp 291 – 306.

‘Was Matriliny Ever Any Different? Resisting the Powerful Karnavan/ Dominated Women Dichotomy, Samyukta – A Journal of Women’s Studies, Vol 1, no 2

‘Sexual Violence and the Predicament of Feminist Politics in Kerala’, (with J. Devika), Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 36 (33), pp 3170-3177

Other Publications

2014                            Who Goes? Failures of Marital Provisioning and Agency among less skilled emigrant women from Kerala, CDS working paper no 456

2013                            International Mobility of Nurses from Kerala (India) to the EU: Prospects and Challenges with Special Reference to Denmark and the Netherlands, Working paper no 405, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

The same paper was also published as CARIM-India Research Report 2013/19, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, San Domenico di Fiesole (FI): European University Institute, 2013

  1. ‘Essays on Politics, Matriliny and the Media in India’ a review of Robin Jeffrey Media and Modernity: Communications, Women and the State in India by Robin Jeffrey (New Delhi: Permanent Black), 2010; pp 320, in Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 45 (46) November 13.


  1. Emigration of women domestic workers from Kerala: Gender, State Policy and the Politics of Movement, (with V J Varghese), WP 445, Trivandrum: Centre for Development Studies.

Book Review Sharmila Sreekumar, Scripting Lives: Narratives of ‘Dominant Women’ in Kerala. New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan, 2009. xiii + 312 pp. Notes, bibliography, index for Contributions to Indian Sociology: September 30, 2011

Dowry: A Way of Enforcing Women’s Subordinate Status, Review of Broken Mirrors: The Dowry Problem in India by Robin Wyatt and Nazia Masood,Sage, Publications, 2010, 244 pages, in http://www.Esocial Download/repecDownl …&AId=4134&fref=repec

Current Research                            

  • Evidence Generation on Child Migration: A State Level Study of Tamil Nadu and Kerala (Jointly with Prof. Vinoj Abraham)
  • Kadakavoor: A Village Study (Jointly with Dr Parameswaran, Prof. Vinoj Abraham, Dr Ritika Jain)
  • Political economy of international migration of nurses and domestic workers

Current Teaching

  • Gender and Development – optional course for MA  3rd semester students