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

WomenSubscribe to Women

Revaluing Unpaid Work

The 2021 state assembly elections offered a unique and unexpected opportunity for the recognition of women’s unpaid domestic and care work through the promises of unconditional cash transfers. These cash transfers present feminists with a valuable opportunity to theorise the welfare state. This article uses primary data and in-depth interviews to evaluate one such scheme, namely the Orunodoi scheme in Assam.

Women-only!

While the repertoire of erotic performance of lavani has developed largely for male consumption, the recent emergence of women-only spectators of lavani is unusual and puzzling. How has lavani missed the moral outrage over the articulations of female sexual desire that pervades the public domain? This paper discusses how the possibilities for transgression of heteronormative desire in this phenomenon are complicated by caste and class divisions, the work–leisure binary, and the politics of the folk. It seeks to uncover the contested process of stigmatisation of lavani as vulgar and its simultaneous celebration as the folk which is embedded in the formation of lavani audiences.

Conservative Framing of the Hijab Issue and the Muslim Women’s Movement

Conservative and reactionary forces among Hindus and Muslims appear to be the major beneficiaries of the controversy over wearing hijab to schools. Such issues being the traps or detours laid by these forces, marginalised communities must choose their battlegrounds wisely. Instead of diverting the energy to the sectarian agenda of enforcing a dress code and perpetuating marginalisation, Muslim women’s movement should uphold the “Shaheen Bagh Spirit” of upholding constitutional values and unitedly fighting for rights and equality.

 

Entrepreneurship at the Grassroots

Taking the view that the official practice of clubbing medium, small, and microenterprises in one category is not sound, this study points out that these categories are substantially different from each other in terms of size, structure, resources, and business perspectives. Microenterprises, in particular, represent a different ecosystem whose nuances must be understood carefully so as to provide suitable inputs for an effective policy on them.

 

Don’t

Geared up with valour,

With strong determination,

A will as turbulent as her intention,

She is interrupted with a Don’t,

For each time she tries,

Women’s Work Participation in Rural Karnataka and Tamil Nadu

India ranks among a handful of countries in West Asia, North Africa, and South Asia to have the lowest female labour force participation rates in the world. The LFPR has further been declining for women in India in the last two decades. The article focuses on the south Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to understand the proximate causes for these shifts. We combine temporal trends from the Employment and Unemployment surveys of the National Sample Survey Office with the literature on agrarian studies in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to explain the changes in rural women’s labour force participation and summarise the challenges in studying temporal trends in women’s work.

 

Women Who Persisted Nevertheless

Fleeting Agencies: A Social History of Indian Coolie Women in British Malaya by Arunima Datta, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Global South Asians), pp 240, 1,099.

Aligarh Self Reliance Alliance

This article puts forth the holistic training model of the Aligarh Self Reliance Alliance—successful in empowering destitute Muslim women—as a specimen before the policymakers to adopt initiatives for the empowerment of women of all the marginalised communities in India.

Maternity Entitlements

Maternity benefits of at least `6,000 per child are a legal right of all Indian women under the National Food Security Act, 2013. In practice, a large majority are still deprived of maternity benefits. A recent survey, conducted in six states of North India, reveals that pregnant women’s basic needs for nutritious food, proper rest, and healthcare are rarely satisfied. Among the women who had recently delivered a child, about half had eaten less than the usual during pregnancy and nearly 40% complained of a lack of rest at that time. The average weight gain during pregnancy was just 7 kg. There is, thus, an urgent need for better recognition of the special needs of pregnancy, provision of maternity benefits in accordance with the law, and better support for pregnant women, including quality healthcare.

Intersecting Journeys

Gail Omvedt widened the horizons of scholarship on caste, class, and gender by probing into hitherto unexplored areas and inspired fellow scholars and activists to pursue new inquiries. A fellow traveller on the path of transformative theory and praxis looks back on these intertwined journeys.

 

Literacy and Response to COVID-19

Demand for vaccination, as well as access to it, is uneven and sluggish across various parts of India. This article delves into the explanations for this variation from a demand perspective. We find a positive correlation between literacy and the first dose of vaccination. A similar trend is discernible for the demand for vaccines. Also, we find that higher literacy is associated with greater vaccine coverage among women. This nexus between literacy and health preparedness is further substantiated by our findings at the micro-level from an adult literacy evaluation study conducted in early 2021. About 80% of the literate women we surveyed were aware of the COVID-19 symptoms, compared to only 19% surveyed illiterate women. We found that literate women are more likely to wear masks properly and follow COVID-19 protocols and keep abreast with the news and information about COVID-19.

​Why Should Boys Have All the Fun?

The very idea that women can have the same interests in sport as men is unfathomable to many.

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