Prof. (Dr.) Sameena Dalwai

Prof. (Dr.) Sameena Dalwai

Professor and Assistant Director, Centre for Women, Law and Social Change

B.A. LL.B. (University of Mumbai);

LL.M. (University of Warwick);

Ph.D. (Keele University)

Prof. (Dr.) Dalwai specializes in gender, sexuality and law. Her PhD thesis analyses the legal ban on dancing in the bars of Mumbai. In this work she focuses on sexuality and law during globalisation in India with a specific reference to caste capital of hereditary dancers. She has published in international journals, offered conference papers in many international conferences. Ms. Dalwai has worked as a lawyer with human rights organisations in Mumbai as well as health NGOs in rural Maharashtra. She envisioned and heads Development and Human Rights Institute ( ) a human rights education and exposure programme for students of western universities. Ms. Dalwai is a Research Consultant with Manndeshi Mahila Bank, where she is assisting research on financial inclusion of rural poor communities. She is a bi-linguial writer and her fortnightly column published in Marathi is called, “No Taboo Please”.

  • “Babri Masjid- 25 years on” a Special Volume of the Indian Journal of Secularism coedited with Ramu Ramnathan and Irfan Engineer, to be published by Gyan Prakashan (Forthcoming, December 2017)
    “Caste in Legal Education: A survey of law schools in Delhi” in Asian Journal of Legal Education, NUJS, Calcutta (Forthcoming, January 2018)
  • “Caste as a framework to study Domestic Labour” a book chapter in Domestic Labour in India– Co-edited by Indranath Gupta and Upasana Mahanta, Orient Blackswan, (Forthcoming, April 2018)
  • “Road safety via the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2016” in Law and Policy Brief, Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2016
  • “Dance bar ban: Doing feminist legal ethnography” in Social- Legal Review, NLS, Bangalore, Volume 12 (1), January 2016
  • “Caste on UK shore: lessons from the diaspora” in Economic and Political Weekly, January 23, 2016, Vol. 51, Issue No. 4
  • “Caste and the Bar Dancer” in Economic and Political Weekly, November 30, 2013, Volume XLVIII, No 48, pp. 131, 132
  • “The world is not enough: From travelers and tourists to activist humanitarian volunteers.” Co-authored with Dr. Brendan Donegan Journal of Tourism Consumption and Practice, Volume 4, No. 1, 2012
  • “The Field of Law, Gender and Sexuality: Inclusions and Exclusions” in Feminist Legal Studies, Volume 17, No 3, October 2009
  • Dangerous Sex Invisible Labour: Sex Work and the Law in India”, Social and legal Studies, Sage Journals, Volume 23, Issue 2, June 1, 2014, pp. 285-289,
  • “Dalit women speak out: caste, class and gender violence in India.” Contemporary South Asia, 24(2), August 19, 2016, pp. 210–211
  • Co-author of Secularism and Law: Tools and Strategies: A training guidebook on secularism and law printed by Combat Law Publications Pvt Ltd, Mumbai, 2006.
  • Co-author of essay on “Bodhgaya Movement in retrospect”, a report assessing the achievements of land rights for women in 2002.
  • Gender based documentation of 100 case studies in Osmanabad district, “Domestic Violence and Health Profile of Women”.Report submitted to Ford Foundation in 2002
  • Co-author of “Malegaon Riots; Reality and Myth”, an investigation report of communal Riots in Malegaon in 2001.  Available on
  • “Teaching Caste and gender in Law schools” – inspired by the experience of teaching this subject as an elective, this paper makes a case for inculcating caste and gender into legal education in India. The paper explores the reasons why currently law schools miss out on this and offers anecdotes from the classes conducted. (Submitted, under review)
  •  “Dalit narratives challenging Nationalisms” – this paper views the Indian nationalisms from the perspectives of Dalit women. It engages with the role of women – their bodies, chastity, motherhood – in upper caste, middle class nationalist discourses and questions its relevance for Dalit women. On the other hand, it views autobiographies of Dalit female activists from the Ambedkarite movement and explores what Nationalism, citizenship and activism means to them. (Literature review underway, primary resource gathering, including Marathi books and interviews)
  • “No taboo please” – a Marathi non-fiction book, a compilation of columns written in newspapers since 2011, Akshar Manav, Pune (Forthcoming, 2018)
  • January 2017- “Teaching pedagogies- inclusion of study of gender and caste in Law schools” in the All India Women Studies Conference, Chennai
  • June 2016 – Transnational Law Institute in Kings College, London – a two week fully paid programme
  • June 2015- “Caste in law schools” in Legal Education and Access to Justice conference, Centre for Legal Education Conference 2015, Nottingham Trent University
  • February 2014- “Globalisation, erotic labour and performing caste”, in Women in the Worlds of Labour: Interdisciplinary and Intersectional Perspectives, conference organized by CWDS Delhi and TISS Mumbai
  • April 2010- “Locations of power in the law making process: case study of the legal ban on bar dancing in Bombay” in ‘Transgressing Power(s)’ The PECANS workshop 2010 in Westminster University, London
  • February 2010- “Temptress on trial”, Speech in a public event called ‘Love on Trial’ organised by Join the Mutiny, London (
  • Sept 2009- “What is intimate about Capitalist modernity?”- Annual Conference of Research Institute of Law, Politics and Justice, Keele Unviersity, UK ( won the Best Presentation Award)
  • July 2009- “(Un)veiling a mosaic: Ethnography of the temporary struggle of a hidden community”, paper in an international conference on Ethnography of Social Movements in Munster University, Germany
  • March 2009- “Inclusions and exclusions: the field of gender, sexuality and law”- Presentation in the round table titled ‘Mapping the field of Law, Gender, Sexuality’ organised by Centre for Law, Gender, Sexuality in Westminster University, London
  • December 2007- “Sexual site of power and empowerment: Case study of Dance bars”–  International conference on “Agency, sexuality and law” co-organised by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, and the Centre for Law, Gender and sexuality, UK in Goa, India
  • Caste, gender and law
  • Erotic labour, sexuality and law
  • Cultural politics
  • Identity politics
  • Law and society in colonial and post-colonial India