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Delhi's skewed sex ratio: "24,000 girls go missing every year"

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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The rot in Orissa's reproductive health services

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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Women panchayat members: Catapulted into the public domain

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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'Treating infanticide as homicide is inhuman'

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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Female foeticide: The collusion of the medical establishment

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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SANGRAM: A war for all women

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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Voices of women in prostitution

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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The sinister targets of Indian health camps

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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Dowry spreads its tentacles across India

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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Maa Bambaleshwari! Chhattisgarh's women have taken charge

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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Short Stay Homes: A reality check

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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No more discussion on the Women's Reservation Bill, say activists

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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India's school for 'ideal' wives

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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Cash can't end discrimination

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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Mum's the word

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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Legislating for change: Articulating women's rights

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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The benefits of advocacy on women's rights

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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Women workers demand visibility and a voice

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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Sex selection: Getting down to business

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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Adverse sex ratio results in no brides in Rohtak

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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