Info Change India

An archive of knowledge resources of social justice and sustainable development
in India

Wed12132017

Last updateSat, 22 Jul 2017 6am

Linguistic inclusion on the internet

Linguistic inclusion on the internet

By AlokeThakore

Not a single one of the Eighth Schedule Indian languages is used by more...

Net neutrality: Superhighway to digital inclusion

Net neutrality: Superhighway to digital inclusion

By Ashoak Upadhyay

If users have to pay for the services available via the internet unde...

Ambivalent internet: Freedoms and fears

Ambivalent internet: Freedoms and fears

By Shivani Gupta

The internet is not a gender-neutral space. Women from patriarchal backg...

Digital inequality in the Global South

Digital inequality in the Global South

By TT Sreekumar

Studies which focus on information and communication technologies (ICTs)...

Caste concerns in landmark e-governance projects

Caste concerns in landmark e-governance projects

By Rahul De’

Many e-governance programmes in developing countries reach into the furthes...

By Anindita Sengupta

There is a severe paucity of counselling services for survivors of sexual violence in India. Organisations like CEHAT and RAHI are trying to plug a gigantic gap in the mental health system in India

counselling for rape survivors

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By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

Enhancing women’s status and power can have huge benefits, said Amartya Sen, pointing to Bangladesh, which performs better than India on many social indicators, including sex ratios

Amartya Sen

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Violence against women is on the rise in Bengal, but the state authorities are dismissing recent cases of sexual assault as ‘conspiracies’ by ‘liars’. What really has changed since the Mathura rape case 30 years ago, asks Rajashri Dasgupta

law on rape

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By Albertina Almeida

While a legislation on sexual harassment seems imminent, the Vishaka Judgment on sexual harassment at the workplace has, over the last 15 years, leapt out of the statute books and deeply influenced policy and practice in institutions and offices

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By Pamela Philipose

The women of Itaha Kalpi, a drought-hit village in Bundelkhand, UP, came together across caste lines to map water and other resources available in their village in rangoli, and then on paper. In the process, the barefoot cartographers also learnt to map their inequities, their aspirations and demands, and began to voice these

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By Sarada Lahangir

The Orissa government earns crores from the tendu leaf trade. But the poor women employed in the binding centres work 12 hours a day for less than minimum wages. Pregnant women, who work these long hours without adequate drinking water or sanitation facilities and no healthcare, are the worst-affected

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By Tripti Nath

Cyber gender crimes are on the rise in India. But how are these crimes to be policed and prevented, and why has there been not a single conviction in such a case so far?

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Efforts to tackle gender-based violence against women in India have concentrated on empowering women to assert themselves and prevent violence. Men have been insulated from the process of transformation, says Harish Sadani of Men Against Violence and Abuse. Until men are seen as part of the solution, the status of women will not change significantly

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By Shamita Das Dasgupta

Two out of 10 NRI marriages reportedly end with the wife being abandoned. India has no laws that protect wives whose NRI husbands get ex parte divorces and custody of children. Will government’s decision to issue two valid passports to women marrying abroad help this situation?

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By Moushumi Basu

Three members of a family were hacked to death under the gaze of an entire village because their witchcraft was believed to be responsible for the death of a young girl. This is one of three such incidents in recent times in a village just 14 miles from Jharkhand's state capital, Ranchi, which itself has seen 240 murders of ‘witches’ in the past 10 years

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By Panchali Ray

In Singur following the exit of the Tatas, with no farmland returned and no land development either, landless agricultural labourers were the first to slip into the ‘food unsecured’ category, followed by sharecroppers, fisher folk and marginal landowners. Most affected in each category have been the women

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Text and photographs: Manjima Bhattacharjya

A photo-essay on the poor, lower-caste, mostly non-literate women of Karnataka who labour undocumented and unrecognised behind the scenes of the multi-crore betel nut industry

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By Shreya Bhattacharya

More than 80% of women in Delhi say they are sexually harassed on public transport. The paternal administration’s only response is to further sexualise public spaces by offering ladies special buses with curtains to protect women from the male gaze

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By Rashme Sehgal

Leading American feminist Catharine MacKinnon makes a strong case for criminalising the client and not the sex worker

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By Monideepa Sahu

By 2010 60% of graduates across Asia, America and Europe will be women. At its third annual IT Women Leadership Summit held recently in Bangalore, India's premier trade body NASSCOM declared that workplace diversity and gender inclusion is a business imperative today

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By Anjali Deshpande

The Union Ministry of Health is examining the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act with a view to raising the time limit for abortion from 20 weeks to 24 weeks. What would the moral and ethical implications of this move be? And why has the women’s movement in India been strangely silent on these important developments?

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By Usha Rai

58% of girls in Maharashtra first conceive at 15-19 years. Following the success of an IHMP initiative which saw a three-fold increase in the use of contraceptives, delay in the median age of conception by a year, and a reduction in post-natal complications and reproductive tract infections, the Maharashtra government will reward villages that succeed in raising the age of marriage for girls

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By Mirra Savara

VAMP, a sex workers' collective, aims to ensure that marginalised communities like women in prostitution and transgenders can assert, articulate and access their rights. They couldn't have come up with a better way of articulating their concerns than My Mother, The Gharwali, Her Maalak, His Wife, a play devised and performed by the sex workers themselves

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By Nirupama Dutt

'Honour' killings of young people who marry outside their caste are making front-page news every day. Even as the administration and local politicians look the other way, some courageous women have raised their voices and filed cases against the perpetrators of these barbaric acts

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By Sujata Madhok

Many 'employment agencies' that are springing up in cities to place migrant women for domestic work are little more than traffickers. The condition in which these women work violates several laws including the Bonded Labour Act and in many cases the Child Labour and Juvenile Justice Act. Activists are calling for a specific law to regulate the domestic work sector

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By Aparna Pallavi

Triveni Devangan, daughter of a farmer in Chhattisgarh, set up an ice-cream factory a little over two years ago with a loan of Rs 22 lakh. Today, her factory has an annual turnover of over Rs 20 lakh. Her products sell in six districts of Chhattisgarh, with her signature flavours being most in demand

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By Keya Acharya

Around half of all agricultural land in India is now farmed by women, as more and more men migrate to earn money. Yet the slow pace of land and property rights reform has failed to keep up. Although women may have more rights on paper than they did 20 years ago, there has been little progress on the ground

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By Aparna Pallavi

Twelve illiterate tribal women belonging to a self-help group set up their own brick kiln, changing the power structure in their village in the process

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By Rashme Sehgal

Domestic violence is spiralling: 7 lakh cases are expected to be registered in this year. But India's path-breaking new Domestic Violence Act, passed last year, has not yet been notified. Activists in the capital met recently to demand that the government notify and implement the law

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By Freny Manecksha

A study by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' Prayas project supports the controversial 2005 ban on bar dancers in Mumbai on the grounds that there is often an element of human trafficking involved in the entry of these women into the dance bars. The majority of women spoken to were not, in fact, exercising free choice and the right to livelihood but had been duped by middlemen

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By Nitin Jugran Bahuguna

Will the amendments to the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act proposed by the government protect sex workers from exploitation at the hand of clients and police, or will it end up making them more vulnerable?

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By Durga Chandran

Sting operations are not conducted by the media and law-enforcement agencies alone. The Satara-based CSO, Dalit Mahila Vikas Mandal, has nabbed seven doctors red-handed for violating the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act and revealing the sex of foetuses

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By Freny Manecksha

As three bar dancers commit suicide in Mumbai following the ban on dance bars in Maharashtra, an SNDT study busts several myths about the working conditions, backgrounds and lifestyles of these

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By Rashme Sehgal

Delhi's sex ratio has become more and more skewed over the years. One study of families which already have one or more daughters shows just 219 girls being born for every 1,000 boys

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By Manipadma Jena

At a recent public hearing in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district, both men and women told harrowing tales of negligence, bungling and lack of facilities in the state's public healthcare system

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By Rashme Sehgal

More than a decade after the 73rd constitutional amendment made it mandatory for 33% of all panchayat seats to be reserved for women, have women begun to play a significant role in local self-governance?

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By Lalitha Sridhar

Prosecuting women such as Karuppayee, the first woman in Tamil Nadu to be convicted of female infanticide, is hardly the answer to the problem of female infanticide and foeticide, says P Pavalam, state-level convenor of the Madurai-based coalition NGO Campaign Against Sex Selective Abortion (CASSA). The role of the state and society in perpetuating the secondary status of women is the real issue to be addressed

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By Lalitha Sridhar

The PCPNDT Act prohibits sex selection by any means, before or after conception. But, as one survey in Chennai of 29 ultrasound clinics found, for the medical fraternity it's business as usual

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By Lalitha Sridhar

SANGRAM sees women in prostitution not as potential carriers of HIV/AIDS but as agents of change. The organisation and its peer educators work in six districts of Maharashtra and Karnataka's border areas

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By Lalitha Sridhar

Women of the SANGRAM collective for women in prostitution in Sangli meet regularly to discuss issues and problems. All have stories to tell about their lives and their profession

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By Sreelatha Menon

At Usayini in Uttar Pradesh, some 'health camps' funded by USAIDS are really places where local midwives are pushed to bring women in for sterilisation. There is absolutely no attempt to provide all-round reproductive health care. This approach flies in the face of India's official policy of target-free family planning

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By Rashme Sehgal

A major new survey involving 10,000 respondents reports that the practice of dowry is becoming prevalent amongst dalit, backward caste, Muslim and Christian communities, which never had a tradition of dowry in the past. Even matriarchal societies, which earlier paid a bride price, are now demanding dowry from the bride's family

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By Rashme Arora

One million women in the newly-formed state of Chhattisgarh have formed 76,000 self-help groups and are now running the weekly bazaars, the fisheries and even the stone quarries

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By Manipadma Jena

A new study of 22 of Orissa's 32 Short Stay Homes for deserted and destitute women reports trafficking of some of the inmates, cramped living conditions and inadequate vocational training and counselling

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By Rashme Arora

Women's activists are aghast at the suggestion that the women's reservation bill can only be passed if double-member constituencies are introduced in a third of all parliamentary seats. This will only send out the message that women MPs are incompetent, they claim

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By Anjali Deshpande

In Bhopal, young girls attend a course that teaches them that all marital problems stem from wives who don't know how to keep their egos and tempers in check. Here they learn how to surrender to the patriarchal forces in society, keep their heads covered at all times, and have sex only for procreation!

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Will the recently announced cash incentives to poor mothers giving birth to girls really help to discourage female infanticide, female foeticide or the pervasive neglect of girl-children?

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By Laxmi Murthy

In a society which reveres motherhood, deifies the mother in mythology and popular cinema, mothers in India have hardly any legal rights over their children. The Tamil Nadu order making it mandatory for schools to list the mother as joint or sole guardian of the child, is a small but significant change

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By Laxmi Murthy

Various legislations pertaining to women's rights are hanging fire, including the one on sexual harassment at the workplace. Others such as the Protection from Domestic Violence Bill 2002 are glaring examples of the co-option and dilution of serious issues

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By Rashmi Arora

Chandni Joshi, regional programme director, South Asia, of the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the women's fund of the United Nations, talks about the impact of globalisation on women, and the difference that advocacy has made to the way women's rights are perceived

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By Laxmi Murthy

On March 8, 1908, women workers in the needle trade in New York marched in the streets, demanding suffrage and an end to sweatshops and child labour. Almost 100 years on, over 100,000 workers took to the streets of New Delhi this February, to register their protest against the government's anti-worker policies and the severe impact of liberalisation on women workers

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By Laxmi Murthy

An estimated 20 million females in this country have been eliminated following sex-determination tests. But not a single doctor has been convicted. It is the providers of this technology who have to be held ethically as well as legally accountable. Will the recent amendment to the PNDT Act change anything?

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By Rashme Arora

Decades of female foeticide and infanticide have finally caught up with the people of Haryana. With the sex ratio in Rohtak district down to 796 females per 1000 males and the rest of the state faring not much better, young men are desperate to get married but cannot find themselves brides

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By Nachiketa Desai

With guidance from the NGO Utthan, women from traditional, feudal households in Saurashtra, Gujarat, are taking charge -- promoting water harvesting, ousting moneylenders and insisting that development projects provide employment to local villagers

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By Atul Tiwari

What does it mean to be a woman in prostitution? What does it mean to sell sex? In a first-person excerpt from 'Unzipped: Women and Men in Prostitution Speak Out', recently published by Point of View, Mumbai, the feisty Shabana, who works the highways on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border, but also distributes condoms in collaboration with two voluntary agencies, opens up to the reader her world of exploitation, survival, empowerment, victimhood and choice.

The testimonies of the men and women who speak out in 'Unzipped' chip away at the myth that those in prostitution are eternal victims -- with no power to deal with the situations in which they find themselves. They also tell us that it is not just poverty that forces women into prostitution, but poverty acting in concert with gender. Until we stop marrying young girls off, until we stop burning, harassing and discriminating against young girls in ways big and small, the family will not be a safe place for young girls. The family will be a place to run away from...into the arms of a pimp, a shyster, or even a distant relative who is a gateway to prostitution.

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By Huned Contractor

Travelling through the villages of Gujarat, Huned Contractor finds that women have shrugged off the tradition of centuries to assume the dual roles of wage-earners and housewives. Women who had never travelled outside their villages now speak about their work at international fora. Harijan women who had to sit on the floor now proudly occupy the chair of the deputy sarpanch. It's nothing short of a revolution

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Following the recent announcement that the National Human Rights Commission will now coordinate governmental and non-governmental measures to help the widows of Vrindavan and the rest of the country, this article discusses the situation and problems of widows in India, past and present

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