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Books & Reports

A landscape of unbelongers

By Sharmila Joshi

Why Loiter: Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets is about the myriad ways in which women continue to be relegated to the spatial margins of a ‘globalising’ city, and the growing list of other powerless groups – migrants, dalits, North Indians, Muslims, gays, etc -- who inhabit this landscape of unbelongers


The 'two-finger' test

By Sharmila Joshi

Though the Supreme Court has ruled that the results of a ‘finger test’ cannot be used against a woman, and that a rape survivor’s ‘habituation to sexual intercourse’ is immaterial, this ‘unscientific, inhuman and degrading’ test is still widely used in India, says a new Human Rights Watch report


A limited liberation

By Madhumita Bose

Activist and social critic Vinodinee Neelkanth, like most other women writers of the early-20th century, favoured the empowerment of women, as long as they left undisturbed their roles as wife and mother. It was left to the male writers of the ’20s and ’30s to create vibrant, non-conformist female characters


Women's work: Never done and poorly paid

By Nirmala Banerji

Jayati Ghosh’s new book on women’s work in globalising India reveals the Indian state’s patriarchal attitude towards women’s work


Savitribai Phule: Forgotten liberator

By Melanie P Kumar

Savitribai Phule's name is not in the history books alongside the Rani of Jhansi and others. But it deserves to be. She, along with her husband Jotiba Phule, was a pioneer in the struggle against oppression of women, dalits, adivasis and religious minorities. A new book sketches her life and work


Lives sacrificed: Women and health in South Asia

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

A new World Bank report looks at the state of reproductive health of poor women in five countries -- Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka -- and makes a case for decentralised planning, delivery and expansion of health services, with a clear focus on enhancing inclusion


Apple toss to alu mutter: At home in the world

By Sanjay Srivastava

Small-town India's new middle class is negotiating globalisation and modernity in much more meaningful ways than the metropolitan middle class, says Sanjay Srivastava's new book


'Enter victims' reality' to combat violence against women: UNFPA

By Lisa Batiwalla

Reports that chronicle the extent and forms of violence against women are commonplace. However, a unique new report offers 10 case studies from across the globe that show how interventions that adapt to local contexts can actually reduce gender-based violence


Suman's story

By Arshia Sattar

Premchand has always used his women characters as the lens through which society is critiqued. A reading his 'Sevasadan' in English translation almost 90 years after it was written brings home the fact that little has changed: women are still striving to control their own destinies


Missing mothers and grandmothers

By Arshia Sattar

A lush book of photographs of Indian women in the colonial period focuses on the women we all know -- the freedom fighters, the social reformers, the artists. But where are the ordinary women -- our mothers and grandmothers?


Indian women in the Age of Globalisation

By N P Chekkutty

'Impact of WTO on Women in Agriculture', released in January 2005, studies the plight of rural Indian women through public hearings in Punjab, West Bengal, Karnataka and Bundelkhand. This is the first such assessment of the gender impact of the WTO and the globalisation of agriculture


The unheard scream: Reproductive health and women's lives

By Laxmi Murthy

A review of a new book on the neglect, deprivation and non-existent reproductive healthcare in India


Mother goddesses and warriors: RSS women as ideologues

By Rakesh Shukla

Paola Baccheta's new book explores the minds and ideological constructs of women who are part of the nationalist Hindu movement


Behind closed doors: Women on primetime TV

By Rashme Sehgal

A new three-nation study of primetime television soaps finds that over 70% of the serials are set in affluent homes, with women spending 80% of their time within their four walls. If television is to hold up any kind of mirror to society or represent a popular history of the times, it must become pluralist and representative


Gender is at the heart of all discrimination

By Arshia Sattar

A review of Translating Caste and Translating Desire


Women who own property are less likely to face marital violence: study

While there is no simple answer as to why men abuse their wives, the findings of a recent study suggest that women who own property are less likely to encounter spousal violence


How India's budget for 2003-04 will impact women

By Vibhuti Patel

Budgetary allocations for women-specific schemes have increased only in the area of family planning


Women work the land, but do not inherit it

By Lalitha Sridhar

Human Development in South Asia 2002, released in Chennai in May 2003, stresses the importance of agriculture as a development priority. It also points out that the ever-increasing contribution of women in the agricultural sector continues to go unacknowledged


Dowry murder as a legacy of British policies

By Rashme Arora

Historian Veena Talwar Oldenburg's new book maintains that the British revenue system, which put land exclusively in the hands of males, weakened the social and economic position of Indian women and encouraged practices such as dowry and female infanticide. An interview


Muslim Women's Survey

A summary of the ORG-Marg Muslim Women's Survey carried out in 2000-2001