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Listening now

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


The importance of women’s agency

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


Not on our bodies anymore

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


Impact of the Vishaka Judgment

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


Women map their lives

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


Tendu leaf binding centres: No place for pregnant women

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


MMS porn clips: The dark side of technology

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?


'Men also need to be liberated from patriarchy'

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


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



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