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

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The Great Indian Kitchen

The Great Indian Kitchen makes a subtle but important connection between housework, domestic violence, and the denial of women’s autonomy.

Sex Work, Sex Trafficking, and Myopia of the State

Why does the state fail to notice that a girl/woman entering prostitution, either through coercion or choice, is the same one who got married early, never went to school, or struggled in informal labour markets from an early age? From being consistently invisible in the pre-sex work phase of her life, what makes a sex worker so visible in the eyes of the state? What does this reveal of the state rather than the sex worker? The answers to these questions could help us think of sex workers’ lives beyond the narrow debates of trafficking versus sex work, making them part of more mainstream development concerns.

Gender Budgeting for Sustainable Development in India

The fifth Sustainable Development Goal mandates that India close its gender gap by 2030. An evaluation of gender budgeting as a whole and a diverse range of gender-sensitive interventions under the same (2005–06 to 2020–21) reveals severe shortcomings. First, a low and declining trend has been found in the shares of gender budgeting to total government expenditure, and women-specific schemes to total funds for gender budgeting. Second, the allocation of total funds for various schemes is either stagnating or declining, with some having received no funds over the last two consecutive years. Problems of design too persist, all contributing to a significant gender gap for Indian women vis-à-vis their male counterparts.

Thinking with/against Joji

Malayalam film Joji can be read as working through a central dialectic between society and family.

Is Contraceptive Prevalence Declining in India?

This study investigates the quality of the National Family Health Survey-4 data on contraceptive use by estimating investigator-induced bias. An outlier-bound approach was used to detect investigator bias, and contraceptive use was re-estimated adjusting for the bias in six study states. The findings suggest investigator bias at two levels: over-reporting of women as “never users” of contraception and a tendency to report sterilised women as current non-users and as cases of hysterectomy. Re-estimation of contraceptive use confirmed a declining trend in contraceptive prevalence in four study states. While the effect of the bias was moderate at the state level, it can potentially distort district-level estimates to a great extent.

Selvie Das (1932–2021)

The peculiar qualities and work of the first woman vice chancellor of University of Mysore as she waded through the limitations posed by her gender and caste are narrated.

Remembering Wajida Tabassum’s Radical Short Fiction

Wajida Tabassum’s stories—relatively unknown now, but popular and controversial in her time—explore gender and class through sexuality, desire, and resistance.

COVID-19 Lockdown and Human Development

Maharashtra has emerged as the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the trade-off between lockdowns to flatten the infection curve and saving an already slow economy, there is a significant human cost, thus exposing and deepening the existing structural inequalities. The article maps and analyses the impact of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown based on the three dimensions of human development—health and nutrition, education, and livelihood. Given the acute shortage of food supplies for certain groups during the period, the article examines the government response by analysing the implementation of food programmes.

Constructing Hijras as Colonial Subjects

Governing Gender and Sexuality in Colonial India: The Hijra, c 1850–1900 by Jessica Hinchy, Cambridge, New York, Port Melbourne, New Delhi and Singapore: Cambridge University Press, 2019; pp xviii + 305, price not indicated.

Family, State, and Ideal Populations

Reproductive Politics and the Making of Modern India by Mytheli Sreenivas, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2021; pp 274, ` 2,250 .

Status of Women’s Reproductive Health in Bihar

Based on the National Family Health Survey data for 2015–16 and 2019–20, the article shows the precarious sexual and reproductive health of women in Bihar. While there are some improvements in this period, multiple indicators emerging from social and institutional determinants continue to show poor SRH of women in the state.

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