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

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Women in the Puranas

Women and the Puranic Tradition in India by Monika Saxena, Oxon and New York: Routledge, 2019; pp xvii + 288, ₹1,495.

Gamechanger or a Trojan Horse?

The Maternity Benefit Act, 1961, a key legislation in India that enables women to transcend the public–private dichotomy and stake their claim for productive participation in the labour force, saw major amendments in 2017. Four aspects of the amendments—increased maternity leave, maternity leave for adoption and surrogacy, provision of crèche, and paternity leave—are juxtaposed with feminist and constitutional principles as well as ground-level realities and practices. An increase in maternity benefits in law with a neglect of paternity leave and benefits is a lopsided approach that further reinforces gendered division of labour and care work as the domain of women. The social responsibility of employers is emphasised, and a deeper engagement of the state with the policy of parental benefits is advocated.

Women’s Education and Fertility in the Hindi Heartland

Using evidences from the Sample Registration System and the third and fourth rounds of the National Family Health Survey, this article shows that the fertility rate continues to be high in the Hindi heartland of the country, and that too among educated women. It also proposes some plausible hypotheses in this regard, which would require validation through further research.

Interpretations and Implications of Increasing Obesity in India

The National Family Health Survey-3 and 4 data show that in the past 10 years, overweight/obesity among women in terms of Body Mass Index has increased quite sharply. In the Indian context, undernutrition and obesity are not separate problems. A large proportion of overweight/obese women are undernourished, with small stature, food transition towards more fats and increasingly sedentary lifestyles making them vulnerable towards being overweight/obese. More diversified diet reduces the risk of overweight/obesity. It is suggested that adequate and good quality diversified diets need to be ensured for comprehensive energy and nutrient adequacy. This requires an overhaul of India’s food programmes.

Despite Unionisation, Why Are Tea Workers Exploited?

Profits made by large tea corporations continue to increase at the expense of tea workers who are paid unfairly, and whose access to quality education, water, and other basic services is severely curtailed.

Do Self-Help Groups Transform the Lives of Poor Women? A Reading List

While self-help groups are seen as vital to successful anti-poverty policies , they have failed to develop the collective bargaining power of women and comprehensively incorporate the demands made by beneficiaries.

Seven Kinds of Deprivation That Women Face Everyday

Patriarchal structures have ensured that women’s access to resources, health, education, and political representation among other things, have remained heavily unequal.

What Survivors of Domestic Violence Need from Their New Government

This article discusses the problems with the current domestic violence act and discusses what a new government can do to alleviate the sufferings of a large section of women who are struggling to enforce court orders.

Delivering Essential Nutrition

In India, despite provisions for tribal development, 32% of tribal women are chronically undernourished, as opposed to 23% among those not belonging to tribal households.Large-scale surveys and routine monitoring are currently deficient in measuring the nutrition status of women, especially tribal women. This study was undertaken to analyse the reach of various health-related schemes for tribal women in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Odisha. In the light of its findings, it is recommended that all national schemes should be reviewed through a tribal lens, as tribes remain outside the ambit of most nutrition safety nets. Proven measures like strengthening tribal development nodal agencies, motivational incentives to fieldworkers and organised community involvement, need to be scaled up.

Adivasi Claims Over Sabarimala Highlight the Importance of Counter-narratives of Tradition

In the context of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the entry of women in Sabarimala, the article examines the claim raised by the Mala Araya Adivasi community in Kerala over the Sabarimala temple and its rituals. The verdict provided momentum to the tribal community's articulation of their rights in the public sphere, especially about their tarnished history, stolen gods and the socio-economic alienation inflicted upon them by the state and its agencies in collusion with caste forces.

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