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The resilience of patriarchy

By Pamela Philipose

Despite an active women’s movement and social and political recognition of the problem, discrimination continues to mark every stage in a woman’s life, and patriarchy is becoming further entrenched. The sex ratio at the start of the 20th century was far more equal than it is today, violence against women is manifesting itself in newer forms, and the oppression of socially excluded women is taking on brutal contours


Voices and silences in history

By Tanika Sarkar and Sumit Sarkar

Though the social reformers of the 18th and 19th centuries looked at women through the conservative lens of family, chastity and purity, they did make gender and the condition of women a dominant public issue, and set into motion the process of change


Barriers to the classroom, barriers in the classroom

By Anita Rampal

Yes, the odds are stacked against the girl who wants to stay in school -- because she is more malnourished and hungry, because she also does the housework and looks after siblings. But insufficient attention is paid to one important factor that pushes her out of school -- the quality of education. Parents who find their daughters are not learning much in school think she would be better-off grazing cattle


Good girls are submissive and subsidiary

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

School textbooks continue to portray a predominantly male and patriarchal world. Women are depicted as demure, stay-at-home accessories for the male. They seem to exist only to preserve the status quo


Renaming Nakusa

By Freny Manecksha

What's in a name? Plenty, if you happen to be one of 222 girls in five blocks of Satara district, Maharashtra, called Nakusa, which means 'unwanted'. These are also blocks which have registered a sharp decline in sex ratio over the last decade


Sex-selective abortion and India’s declining female sex ratio

By T K Sundari Ravindran

The decline in child sex ratios in India cannot be addressed only by preventing misuse of preconception and prenatal diagnostic techniques. Factors other than sex-selective abortion -- including higher under-5 mortality for females in every state -- are also responsible. It is important to address the root causes of sex determination -- gender discrimination manifested through son-preference and daughter-neglect


Why do boys get all the milk?

By Anumeha Yadav

As in so many families, the Kumhars who live in a Jaipur slum take their two daughters to the construction site where they work every day. But their son goes to a private school, and is assured a glass of milk a day. The disparities and biases that creep into the distribution of food within the family have long-term impacts on the health and wellbeing of women and girls. But the Food Security Act does not address them


How many women in science labs?

By Vineeta Bal

About half of our qualified women scientists are dropping out of the system. This is a loss not just in terms of gender representation but in terms of the investment that has gone into training them. Scientific establishments are beginning to wonder why this happens, and why women scientists appear to be at a disadvantage


Silences in academia

By Mary E John

We have seen 150 women’s studies centres set up since 1974. But the idea was not so much to introduce women’s studies as an add-on discipline as to bring the gender dimension into all higher education, introducing a perspective that would change existing ways of creating knowledge and work as a catalyst to make change happen


Marriage as oppression

By Ravinder Kaur

The weight of a female-unfriendly political economy and society ensures that even for women empowered by education, marriage remains an oppressive and unequal institution. Marriage is still seen as an exchange of women and goods, a form of social mobility for the family, which will exercise patriarchal control through honour killings of inter-caste and inter-gotra unions



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