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Wed12132017

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Falling child sex ratio: Death before birth

As pressure under PCPNDT builds up on diagnostic clinics and doctors, is there a danger of a return to female infanticide, asks Usha Rai, at the end of a year-long campaign in 23 states on the falling child sex ratio

falling sex ratio

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The sex-selection killing fields

By Havovi Wadia

The sex ratio of children aged 0 and 6 in India has fallen further in the last decade to 914 girls per 1,000 boys. Why are government and civil society campaigns making so little difference?

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No honour in murder

Youngsters in certain parts of India today cannot choose their partners. If they still do and the choice violates arbitrary, extra-legal norms set down by caste panchayats, the consequence can be death. Isn't it time we built a popular movement against the medieval practice of honour killings, asks Ammu Joseph

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Warped media coverage portrays Goa as a rape capital

Sensational reporting of incidents of rape and murder of foreign tourists in Goa overshadows the fact that Goa has a much better track record when it comes to giving women their social and economic due than many other states. It also gives the false impression that this is the single biggest problem the state faces, says Frederick Noronha

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Our women, their women: Sexual violence in Goa

By Albertina Almeida

Concerns about the large number of rapes of tourists in the tourist haven of Goa are prompted by fears that these will drive away tourists and give Goa a bad name. But the bigger issues -- of rape itself, whoever is the victim, of changing attitudes that excuse rape in some situations, of making sexual assault unacceptable -- have not been addressed

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Whatever happened to our freedom?

By Sumi Krishna

In a gender-equitable democratic polity, matters of dress, behaviour, mobility and personal life choices are no less important than people’s rights to livelihood, dignity and empowered citizenship. The attack on women in a Mangalore pub must be seen as an attack on the hard-won freedom and autonomy of Indian women

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Izzat ka mamla hai: The doomed love story of Rizwanur-Priyanka

By Rajashri Dasgupta

The indictment of the police by the CBI in the Rizwanur Rehman case in Kolkata reveals the complicity of State and society in maintaining and perpetuating regressive socio-cultural prejudices in the name of family honour and religious belief

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Sixty years of women's struggles for freedom?

It's probably the best time to be Indian in the last few hundred years. But, says Mari Marcel Thekaekara on International Women's Day, the many forms of gender violence make it seem as if things are worse for women today than they used to be

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Violence against women on the rise in literate Kerala

By Aleyamma Vijayan

Why does a state that boasts India's highest literacy levels and excellent social development indicators see a 300% increase in violence against women? Possibly because literacy and education do not change mindsets. In a deeply patriarchal society, education teaches women only to be good wives and mothers. A special report from Kerala as the fortnight-long Campaign Against Violence Against Women begins on November 25

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The trade-off between protection and freedom

By Oishik Sircar

Following the recent debate over banning women from working nightshifts, women's groups need to ask why it is that women can only be protected by curbing their freedom. If women want to step out of the 'private' sphere into the 'public' sphere, must they give up all expectation of protection from sexual violence by the State?

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Model law

By Rakesh Shukla

Laws drafted in dusty government offices are often vague and full of loopholes. The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 is a clear and concise piece of legislation that demonstrates the value of involving stakeholders in the drafting of a law

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A bargain-basement knowledge 'mandi'

By Rahul Goswami

The new US-India Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture will re-examine and overhaul existing curricula in agricultural education institutions in India. It will also leave Indian agriculture open to the interests of the world's largest food and agri-business corporations, says Rahul Goswami

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Challenges in implementing the ban on sex selection

By Sandhya Srinivasan

On March 28, the very first doctor in India was sentenced to two years in prison for violating the Preconception and Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques Act. In the 11 years since the Act was enacted, why have lawbreakers got away?

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International Women's Day: Cutting through the crap

By Ammu Joseph

International Women's Day began as an occasion to demand women's suffrage, the right to work and the right to strike for bread and peace. Today it's been commercialised and reduced to just another occasion to offer discounts on clothes and cosmetic surgery

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The significance of the Lancet study on skewed sex ratios

By Sandhya Srinivasan

While Census 2001 showed sex ratio distortions that could be correlated with the availability of sex selection technology, the Lancet study reporting 1 crore "missing" girls in India over the last generation actually analyses the reasons behind this phenomenon and quantifies the impact

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The violence against women campaign: Where have we failed?

For 25 years women's rights advocates have been campaigning against violence against women. They have succeeded in changing the law, changing the stand of the judiciary. But have they succeeded in changing social attitudes, asks Flavia Agnes, lawyer and noted activist

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Succession, gender equality and customary tribal laws

By Rakesh Shukla

The recent Hindu Succession Amendment Bill, making the daughter a member of the coparcenary, will make no difference to tribal women, since customary tribal laws continue to discriminate against women in the matter of succession

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A brief history of the battle against sexual harassment at the workplace

By Vibhuti Patel

Sexual harassment at the workplace has been one of the central concerns of the women's movement in India since the '80s. Presently, women's groups are lobbying to get the bill on sexual harassment at the workplace, 2005, passed by Parliament

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Equality among unequals: A critical look at Hindu succession

By Rakesh Shukla

The recent amendment to the Hindu Succession Act has made the daughter a member of the coparcenary. It also gives daughters an equal share in agricultural property. These are significant advancements towards gender equality

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SC upholds constitutionality of Section 498-A

By Rakesh Shukla

The Supreme Court in a recent judgment has upheld the controversial Section 498-A, related to violence against women. The mere possibility of abuse of a provision of law does not invalidate the law, the SC said

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Talking about sex

By Meena Seshu

Sexuality is often considered a frivolous diversion from the more critical problems of poverty, war, drought or violence against women. But it is precisely in destructive times like these that people become dangerously closed about sexuality. Meena Seshu, human rights activist and founder of Sangram, points out why we need to discuss issues of sex, sexuality, obscenity and morality more openly, and what we can learn from sex-workers

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Dance bar ahead: Keep out : Part 1: Fundamentalisms and sexuality

By Maya Indira Ganesh

The state government has embarked on a campaign to rid Mumbai of obscenity. The dance bars which employ 75,000 women, are amongst the targets. But is this just about dance bars or about the increasingly strident notions of purity and pollution, and about fundamentalism using the bodies of women as their locus of control?

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Dance bar ahead: Keep out: Part 2: The right to sexuality

By Maya Indira Ganesh

The ban on dance bars in Mumbai is ostensibly to protect youth from the sexualised environment of the bars. Instead of keeping the shadows and silences around sexuality intact, we need a rights-based approach to young people's sexuality, giving them the right to information that has a direct bearing on their health and well-being

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What constitutes a woman's identity?

By Rashme Sehgal

The recent ruling by the Supreme Court that even an illegitimate child must take the caste of its father has led women's activists to protest the continuing inequalities in property, custody and guardianship law in India, all of which continue to be determined through male descent

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"Poverty and patriarchy -- not religion -- determine the status of women"

By Rashme Sehgal

To get away from the Muslim stereotype, and the common belief that the status of Muslim women is determined by their religion and personal law, Ritu Menon and Zoya Hasan embarked on a path-breaking survey of 10,000 women. Their study, Unequal Citizens: A Study of Muslim Women in India, looks at Muslim women within the framework of poverty, gender and social disability

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Baina beach demolitions: What about the sex worker's right to shelter?

By Rakesh Shukla

Acting on orders by the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court, around 250 huts belonging to sex workers, on Goa's Baina beach, were bulldozed in an effort to 'clean up' Goa. 'Operation Monsoon Demolition' appears to have been based on the assumption that sex workers have no right to shelter

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'Whatever violates the integrity of a woman's body should be considered rape'

By Rashme Sehgal

Women's activist Brinda Karat discusses the importance of expanding the definition of rape to include violation of the body by unconventional means, especially in a country where two-thirds of rape cases involve children. A recent Supreme Court judgment refused to accept this stand

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Flaw in the law: Custodial rape, inadequate evidence and acquittal

By Rakesh Shukla

The lack of convictions in cases of custodial rape raises serious questions about the workings of the law

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Sati glorification: Crime, society and the wheels of injustice

By Rakesh Shukla

Despite protests both within Rajasthan and across the country, no appeal has been filed against the recent acquittal of those accused of glorifying sati, following the death of Roop Kanwar on her husband's funeral pyre back in 1987

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Undoing sexism: Involving men in the battle against domestic violence

By Malini Sen

In India, the response to domestic violence until now has been to reassert women's responsibility for policing men's violence. Few efforts have taken up the challenge of primary prevention: interventions intended to stop men and boys from using aggression

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Films and femininity

By Lalitha Sridhar

The conventional view that Indian cinema does nothing but reproduce patriarchal ideology is in itself a stereotype, says filmmaker and film researcher Venkatesh Chakravarty. In fact, our films are replete with female characters who bring the mightiest powers to their knees

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The medicalisation of sex

By Maya Indira Ganesh

Science, sex and the market form a cosy mAcnage-a-trois today. Biomedical knowledge, practices and techniques have taken sexuality from the most private hidden spaces to the centrestage of international conferences. The medicalisation of sex makes a cure that comes in a foil strip far more seductive than an overhaul of a lifestyle, personality, family system or state policy

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HIV, sexuality and identity in India

There has been a legitimate emergence of sexual minorities in India over the last decade. But even as transsexuals or sex workers exult in the opportunity to be heard and seen in mainstream society, we must realise that this is just one small evolutionary step towards raising the self-esteem of marginalised groups

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