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

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Addressing Domestic Violence within Healthcare Settings

Women experiencing violence most often decide to seek legal action only after the violence has escalated and that too without having any documentary evidence. The Dilaasa crisis centres at two public hospitals in Mumbai since 2001 have been established out of the recognition that the public health system is an important site for the implementation of anti-domestic violence intervention programmes. The crisis centres therefore straddle both discourses of public health and gender. The paper offers critical insights into the model and its impact in terms of its ability to reach out to women who are undergoing abuse and offer them multiple services in one setting.

Sex Trafficking and Sex Work: Definitions, Debates and Dynamics - A Review of Literature

An examination of the present state of knowledge, discussion and responses to sex trafficking, especially in India, reveals two polarised stands: that of neo-abolitionists for whom prostitution equals trafficking and should be eliminated; and that of neo-regulationists and other groups for whom trafficking is forced prostitution, while sex work is a legitimate and willing form of labour that should be decriminalised or legalised. Without taking sides, this review of the literature describes the various arguments that will help contribute to a better understanding of the issue and inform the possibility of action.

Women in Psychological Distress

Issues related to women's mental health in our country have not received much attention either from academia or from the women's movement. Viewing mental illness from the biomedical perspective, mainstream academic approaches have, by and large, ignored the impact of sociocultural factors. In an area such as women's mental health, it is necessary to consider the socio-cultural context of their health since it is being increasingly recognised that the stresses that differentially affect women because of their unequal social status have led to pervasive mental health problems. The present paper focuses on the gender-specific distribution of psychological disorders and construction of a socio-demographic profile of women affected by mental illness. Data from hospital case records of patients in two major psychiatric facilities in the city of Visakhapatnam formed the empirical basis for the study.

Of Idealist Questions and Marxist Answers

Of Idealist Questions and Marxist Answers U Vindhya THE following comments do not aim to directly respond either to Balagopal's (BG) Democracy and the Fight against Communalism' (EPW, January 7, 1995) or to Arun Patnaik's (AP) rejoinder to BG's piece, 'Burden of Marx and Morals' (EPW, May 20, 1995). Rather, my purpose is to raise some questions in the light of BG's article and, more important, in the context of the furore the slightly different Telugu version of BG's article published in the September 1993 issue of Aruna Tara, the official organ of the Revolutionary Writers' Association, has created in the political and literary circles of Andhra Pradesh. AP makes an oblique reference to this stormy controversy when he speculates on the possible motive of BG's recent, what he thinks is anti-materialist, anti-Marxist volte- face: "the intemperate language of liberation" and the intolerance of one another shown by the various people's organisations in Andhra, be it peasant, women, or dalit which has pushed people like BG to retreat to the safer and quieter haven of 'pacifism'. While 1 do not wish to comment on this clue to BG's turn-around', I do want to mention a related aspect: the thrust of most of the rejoinders to BG's Telugu article that have appeared in Aruna Tara to date has been on BG, the man, whose Sneaking liberalism' and traits of "cowardice and weak will" in the face of severe state repression which had been ostensibly lying dormant till now have surfaced and propelled BG to denounce the official Marxism and stray into the foggy world of psychic, fraught as it is with "metaphysical pitfalls, abstract ahistoricism 'and perplexing paradox". Be that as it may, what is of concern here is that, given the political and cultural climate in Andhra, serious questions like the one raised by BG often tend to get hopelessly bogged down in the welter of calumny and personal slander, undermining the status and quality of the debate. Perhaps I would venture to say that the sharply critical and often virulent responses to BG's article stem from the wish to have one, complete, right statement of social reality, an overarching and compelling theory. The point, however, is whether all these responses enhance or sharpen our understanding of society and practice of democratic organisations.
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