September 27, 2007

Patriarchy’s Brutal Backlash

KEROSENE, POISON and now, acid — the new weapon against women. Haseena, a 19-year-old girl from a middle class family was attacked with acid in 1999 by her boss because she turned down his marriage proposal and refused to continue working in his office. Two litres of pure sulphuric acid were poured on her. […]

September 25, 2007

Women Everywhere

IN CONVERSATION with friends, one often comes across differing views about the state (or status) of women in India vis-a-vis other countries. These range from the slightly disturbing optimism of “the west has won its battles” to the even more disturbing “why should we complain; we don’t have it as bad as some others”. […]

September 25, 2007

Women in the Media, Listen Up!

MAYBE THERE will be a shift some day between the power held by blogs versus mainstream media. For now, no matter how you slice it, the media still rules with its ability to reach critical mass, stir up discussion and engage with citizens in dialogue. While blogs like Ultra Violet are doing a bang-up job […]

September 22, 2007

Of Exports and Other Exits

GARMENT WORKERS dying in and around the premises of factories where they work reveal an extremely disturbing trend. Two days ago, 39 year old Padmavathi started vomiting at her workplace at 9.30 am. She requested her Production Manager at the Shalini Creations Factory for leave so she could go to a hospital. She was […]

September 21, 2007

Whose Justice?

FOR THE LAST few years, I have been working on an Access to Justice programme or A2J (the cool new abbreviation for something civil society groups have been doing forever). Some questions pop up repeatedly in the course of my work: What is justice? Who defines justice? Whose prerogative is it to define justice? […]

September 19, 2007

Sexual Harassment: Beginning to Engage?

I WAS A YOUNG woman researcher inquiring into sexual harassment at the workplace soon after the Vishakha judgment in 1997. My boss had given me carte blanche and said I could begin wherever I wanted. Along with my co-researcher, I had to fill out 500 questionnaires from employees across all work sectors in Bangalore […]

September 18, 2007

Policing Change: A Personal Perspective on Violence Against Women and Children

A WELL-KNOWN TV news channel in English had a Women’s Day special recently, asking the question ‘Do we still need feminism?’ As someone who has worked with the Karnataka police for the past few years on issues of violence against women and children (and is a feminist), I found it startling and disturbing, that […]

September 11, 2007

Curtains at the Workplace and Gloria Steinem

TAKING OFF from Dilnavaz’s post on menstruation and the shame surrounding it, what I find particularly irritating are the practical implications of this at a workplace. In most offices, men and women work in close quarters and it can get really awkward because one is expected to hide something that’s so integral and, well, regular. […]

September 10, 2007

The Long Journey: Moving from Morality to Justice

From ancient Hindu myths to the Bollywood masala movies, justice has always meant the triumph of ‘good’ over ‘evil’. The multi-talented ‘hero’ wins over the ever-scheming and notorious ‘villain’. Perhaps, the concept of poetic justice has been transferred from ancient epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to give the masses their money’s worth of […]

September 07, 2007

Under Wraps: Drawing the Curtains on Female Sexuality

THESE QUESTIONS go out to the ladies who have lived any part of their lives in India: Ever been sanitary napkin/ tampon shopping? Ever had your purchases wrapped up in a newspaper/ bag, “safe” from the eyes of the world? Now here’s my gnawing question: Why?

Menstruation is a topic that is very rarely talked […]

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