Women's Empowerment

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Dear Future Mother-In-Law, Let Me Call You ‘Aunty' For Now

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 Afreen Rehman Talaq And The Opportunity For A Uniform Civil Code

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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My Feminist Fight For A Front Seat On An Intercity Bus

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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Why Breaking The Glass Ceiling Makes Business Sense

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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The Paradox Of Being An Educated Indian Girl

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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Saudi Arabia's All-Women Cities: Fake Liberation Or A Step In The Right Direction?

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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Goodbye Prince Charming

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.
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Confessions Of A Cowardly Man

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 at Three by Rita Banerji

The Importance Of ‘Maya'

"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.
Pankhuri Vaidya

Child Marriage, Rape And The Loopholes Of The Law

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!
ASSOCIATED PRESS

One Tight Slap: Safe And Unsafe Responses To Street Harassment

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.
UN Women

Let's All Be Feminists Together--#HeForShe

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.
Sambhali Trust

What Dalit Women Of Rajasthan Have Taught Me About Resilience

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?
Ashwani Sharma

Reviving the Yogini: Shakti in Bleeding, Birthing, Breastfeeding

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.