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Abandoned and divorced: The NRI pattern

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?


Medieval practices in a modern state

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


Singur's women: From warriors to worriers

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


Women at work: The betel nut crackers

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


All aboard the ladies special

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


'Criminalising the client will cause prostitution to drop by 80%': Catharine MacKinnon

By Rashme Sehgal

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


New vistas for working women in India's IT industry

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


Why is the women's movement silent on abortion?

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?


Maharashtra's age-of-marriage competition

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


The song, dance and sorrows of sex workers' lives

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


Murdered for Love

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


Trafficking women for domestic work

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


Mistress of indigenous flavours

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


The land is ours!

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


Brick by brick

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


Delays do not bode well for Domestic Violence Bill

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


Supporting the ban: Bar girls are often trafficked

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


Penalising clients of sex workers: Pros and cons

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?


Sting operation to find 'missing' girl-child

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


Dancers in the dark

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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