Women of Ilami attend night school as a first step towards overall development. (Photo by Chhandosree)
After facing scathing criticism for promoting a "women's empowerment" panel consisting only of men, SJ Magazine announced it was pulling the plug on the event. The South Jersey-based publication promo...
Kurdish wedding dress, Van, Turkey.
They study at a night school in Ilami Panchayat.
Gülmay Gümüşhan is fighting to end child marriage in Turkey, one business at a time.
She’s also helping to uplift other women in her village.
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The more we are controlled and restricted, the more we shall rebel…
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I hope you do not think of me as that woman who can never leave her family of origin behind while she starts one of her own. I would like to think of it as our families joining, melding and expanding to make more room in our hearts and our last names. This is my dearest wish, Aunty. My other wish is to have such a warm relationship with you that calling you "mom" comes naturally and from the heart for me.
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The Indian State has always lacked the gumption to challenge Muslim patriarchy within the country. The subordination of the Muslim female is further reinforced by secularists, Marxists and their politics. Along with the Congress party, they are equally complicit in this with their own double standards and vote bank politics. Occasionally, such subaltern women will speak up and offer resistance despite the odds against them. One such woman is Afreen Rehman.
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As I booked an intercity bus from Bangalore to Hyderabad with "XYZ Travels" (no libel today!) for later tonight, I immediately got a phone call from the company. The man on the other end of the phone sounded rather perturbed. He shouted, "You have booked a seat next to gents, Madam!" The reason for his distress was that in spite of one "ladies' seat" being available I chose to book seat number 1, in the very front, which was in all probability going to be next to a man!
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In a society that constantly affirms outdated and unjust gender roles, what makes a man believe in the inherent equality of the sexes? Insights from seven successful Indian men reveal several patterns.
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The government should give a clear secular 'talaq' to the Muslim Personal Law Board and all other laws and statutes that impose particular interpretations of religion on its citizens. Without this, it cannot claim to be completely secular.
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While I feel the need to break the stereotype and do my job in office well, it is blasphemous for me to skip the household chores or neglect family--or at least I feel so. While I need to be an equal to men at work, I cannot be an equal at home and sit with my feet up when I reach home tired.
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According to a McKinsey estimate, India could boost its GDP by $0.7 trillion in 2025 or 16% by increasing the female labour force by 10% to 41% by 2025. The message is clear: India has the most to gain of any country by empowering its working women. But does it have the will to do so?
Regardless of the historical factors that might have been responsible for the rise of a heavily patriarchal society, there is now a need to free womanhood from these shackles. It will take considerable effort across institutions and individuals to make that happen, and that too only when the State also plays its part and creates the right conditions for social reform to take root.
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This certainly isn't the best play I have ever watched; actually it won't even make it into the top five. But by golly, did it make me think long and hard! I'd go as far as comparing it with popular A...
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Companies with women in leadership positions consistently do better. Nasscom pointed to an Economic Times study several years ago that Indian firms headed by women had a compounded annual growth rate of 35% compared with 21% registered by the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)-30. Their profits grew by 56% over five years compared to the BSE-30 firms' 27%. Despite the evidence, India lags behind the rest of the world when it comes to corporate leadership roles held by women.
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I noticed a shift as I approached my early 20s. People began giving advice about jobs that were "better for women than men." Men could continue to cultivate ambition, independence, and empowerment, while women had to stifle these qualities if they interfered with domesticity. The same girls who were pushed to work hard in school were now being asked when they'd finally settle down and get married.
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Supporters of this unconventional initiative to bring women into the workforce believe these cities represent a huge step forward for Saudi women. However, such cities only reinforce oppressive gender norms because they offer limited career paths and perpetuate segregation. Furthermore, the progress being made on these cities is sparsely and ambiguously documented, suggesting development is slow. Nevertheless, recent reforms in Saudi government and new changes in the private sector suggest Saudi Arabia is indeed experiencing social change, albeit slow and tedious.
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Have we, as a society, come a pass where we need exclusive hotels and taxis for women to feel safe? Are we trying to say that because we cannot control harassment on the roads, let's safeguard women in these enclosures? Are we reiterating that women are not safe in general coaches, hotels and taxis driven by men?
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Fairy tales are intended to teach certain lessons to children. Many of the classics tell the story of a powerful, gallant and handsome man swooping in to rescue a damsel in distress. Once in the protective embrace of her prince charming, the defenceless princess would live happily ever after. Fortunately, modern retellings of these old tales have started diverging significantly from the formula. We need to take a cue from this in our real lives too.
Maya at Three by Rita Banerji
I respect women. I actively participate in candlelight marches for rape victims. I write Facebook posts supporting women's empowerment and liberation. I project myself as a man of the changing world and try to embody its evolved approach towards women. I am a man who fears everything. Yet, when I introspect and look into the depths of my heart, I realise I don't believe enough in my own beliefs.
"Maya", as a concept in Hinduism and Buddhism, means attachment to the tangible aspects of life and relationships. It is a sentiment which the scriptures sternly warn you off of, as they say it is spiritually unhealthy. They say this is all transient -- an illusion. That it is not the truth. And yet, as my friend chose the name "Maya" for her adoptive daughter, I was struck by the intense attachment she felt for the child.
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Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (amended) states that a man is said to have committed rape, if he does any of the intrusive sexual acts as enlisted in Section 375, with a girl below 18 years of age, with or without her consent. However, Exception 2 of the same Section provides that sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape!
Like a woman possessed, she then started to slap the bejesus out of him, and kneed his crotch. He almost fell over with his trousers down. He then tried to hit her and run away, he just couldn't.
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In India, the perceived "honour" or "dignity" of a woman (that's oddly contingent on what others say or do to her) becomes more important than her safety. And women often jump to defend that "honour" even if it means self-endangerment. What we really need to talk about more in India is that threats or use of physical force to confront street harassment is unsafe, unwise and at times also illegal. In dealing with harassment in any place, safety should be a woman's number one concern. Here are some dos and don'ts.
My friend wanted to ride a Yezdi or an Enfield simply because she wanted to prove that she could do what the other gender could. This attitude went beyond her bike aspirations. It reflected in every decision she made during our high school years together. I would try to reason with her but it did little to help. There was a sense of competition with boys and a point to be proven.
Like Hilary Clinton's said: "women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights", so let's make sure we recruit more people to strive for equality and appreciate those who already are. In this world where inequality is so prevalent, we should aim to all be feminists together.
What really has people all riled up is the ad's emphasis on freedom concerning sexual choices, and what is being seen as a blatant, morally corrupt promotion of adultery and promiscuity. Let's get to the biggest objection first. The brouhaha is over whether Deepika Padukone thinks it is all right for women to cheat on their husbands.
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However, every day I wonder: why do none of these women have a job? Why have they been engaged or married at fifteen? Why did they leave school so young? Why is more time and money spent on their weddings than on their education? Why don't they have an easier access to latrines? Why do they cover their face and stop laughing and talking when a man comes into the room? Is it forbidden to look happy if there is a man around?
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It's unlikely that India will achieve Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's stated aim to push growth into double digits without expanding economic opportunities for women. The allocations to security funds and colleges in Budget 2015 will not be enough.
Nothing really comes out of the movements that pick up in the immediate aftermath of incidents of rape and the subsequent justification and victim-blaming, because the internalised misogyny that unfolds within homes, in everyday contexts goes unaddressed. Here are some humble suggestions for what such social change must include.
Ancient tantrik texts mention that a yogini's power stems from her body, her femininity. She feels her power, or Shakti as it's called in tantrism, through her menstrual cycle, her fertility, her sexuality, her experience of childbirth and breastfeeding - experiences and paths to power that are completely shut to the male world. Unlike her, the only option her male counterpart has is to use kriya yoga (or physical poses) to awaken his chakras.