ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Prabha KotiswaranSubscribe to Prabha Kotiswaran

An Ode to Altruism

Feminists have demonstrated how the invisibility and lack of recognition of unpaid domestic and care work result in gender inequality and women’s disempowerment. Discussions of the role of law in reinforcing this invisibility is limited and focused on family law. This paper shall look at tort law, namely a review of compensation awarded to the dependents of homemakers, between 1968 and 2019, under the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. The growing recognition of women’s UDCW by Indian appellate courts, culminating in an influential Supreme Court decision in 2010, is traced. This “wages for housework” jurisprudence is then marshalled to probe the redistributive function of tort law.

Regulating Reproductive Technologies

The Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Bill, 2020 was tabled in the Lok Sabha in September 2020. It was referred to the department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health and Family Welfare, which submitted its 129th report on the ART Bill, 2020 on 17 March 2021. This article critically engages with the recommendations of this report.

Has the Dial Moved on the Indian Sex Work Debate?

The politics of sex work has exercised civil society, feminists, governments and, of course, sex workers and the latter’s organisations. This trajectory is examined in the context of the last two decades in India and taking into consideration the relevant laws.

Author’s Response to Letter 'On Governance Feminism'

Contrary to Ratna Appnender’s claims, there is no confusion of fact or law in my article. Here is the passage she challenges: Although feminists ultimately lost out on crucial issues including marital rape, rape by the armed forces and the age of consent, their successes are not insubstantial and...

A Bittersweet Moment

Based on a mapping of Indian feminist interventions on the law of rape over the past three decades, culminating in the wide-ranging law reforms following the rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey in December 2012, it is argued that Indian feminism displays key characteristics of governance feminism. In particular, Indian governance feminism is deeply committed to a highly gendered understanding of sexual violence. Further, Indian feminism has increasingly resorted to the use of the criminal law to address sexual violence even as its historical suspicion of postcolonial state power has reduced considerably and is now mostly evident in its opposition to the death penalty for rapists. A robust culture of state feminism has ensured that feminist ideas find a foothold in state institutions and indeed state laws. It is hoped that by demystifying feminists’ roles in law reform processes, we can begin to assess the intended and unintended consequences of such influence and resultant legislative successes.

A Battle Half-Won

The new legal strengthening of anti-trafficking provisions should be followed up by better implementation.
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