Feminism India

Unpaid Care Work -Who Cares For The Care Worker?

Rukmini is 38. Since the age of 19 when she was married, her day begins before dawn helping her aged mother-in-law to the outdoor toilet. Every day seems the same to her. Earlier she had to send her children to school now she sends them to college. Though she works from dawn to dusk, taking care of the household, her aged in-laws and children, she is often belittled by her husband and sisters-in-law for being ‘just a housewife’. Like Rukmini many unpaid care workers remain unacknowledged. Their invaluable contribution to the community remains unrecognised and undervalued. Unpaid care work includes those services and production of goods... read more »

Politicizing Clothing

Clothing is complicated and women are often blamed for taking their own sweet time when it comes to choosing, assembling and dressing ourselves. But the world worries when a woman chooses something that it deems revolutionary and hence for the sake of internal peace and serenity we may take a little longer to make the appropriate choice regarding our attire. Probably this is why the term ‘wearing’ is synonymous with mental or physical tiredness. Speaker Paul Ryan (like the few other things that he is extremely passionate about) is a firm proponent of ‘appropriate business attire in the House’. The recent debate around the 'appropriateness of... read more »

An Ode to Modern Families

If like me, you went to a primary school in India, there comes a point when you learn about families. It happens in the Environmental Sciences class, in second grade. I remember these classes quite vividly (because I like to think I was a precocious child) because unfortunately, I did not fit in. My teacher taught us that families consisted of parents and children. There is always a father, a mother, and siblings. We were also made to stick pictures of families which consisted of a father, a mother and a brother and a sister. And just to clarify the 'me not fitting in' part -... read more »

If only the skirt was longer - Where do we, as a country, go wrong?

A few days ago, I was at a security awareness training meant solely for women. It focused on the threats faced by women. The whole training was very informative and exciting but what was not very exciting was seeing my country, India, lead most lists, in different aspects, as one of the most unsafe places for women. A survey conducted by ActionAid UK indicated that 4 out of 5 women in India experience some form of sexual harassment in their lives. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) reports an increase in the rate of violent crimes against women since 2009. According to an often quoted statistics... read more »

The Indian Colour Complex

I have something called synesthesia. It is a phenomenon where your sensory and cognitive pathways intertwine resulting in involuntary sensory-cognitive experiences. In my case, I see days and months in colours set in a specific space. There is a pattern and colour to the way days and months are set in my imagination. And for a very long time, I figured it was the same for everyone else. While, we may not share a synesthetic mind, seeing colours in other human beings is a common and often involuntary phenomenon in our day to day lives. The tendency to associate colour to race based on ingrained stereotypes... read more »