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

WomenSubscribe to Women

The She in Science

Who and where are the women doing science in India? Two science writers set out on a journey to collect stories that counter the popular narrative of science being the domain of old bearded men.

Stories We Tell

One of the central methodological insights of feminist science studies has been refuting the binary worlds of nature and culture. Over the last three decades, feminist science studies has developed a vibrant epistemological, and methodological apparatus for studying the natural world as a naturecultural world. Bringing together (inter)disciplinary methodologies, philosophies, practices, assumptions, methods and languages of women's studies and the natural sciences, we see the emergence of new modes of knowledge production. This paper explores the epistemological challenges of studying gender in the natural and physical sciences and the methodological tools the field has developed to study the human and non-human, life and non-life.

Demographic and Health Trends in India (2005-06--2015-16)

A brief exposition of the trends in health, fertility, status of women, nutrition and child mortality between 2005-06 and 2015-16 as have emerged from the National Family Health Survey in 17 states.

Right to Contest

All progressive forces need to come together to roll back the recent moves by the Bharatiya Janata Party Governments of Rajasthan and Haryana to curtail the right to contest elections through arbitrary and restrictive criteria. Parliament has just passed an amendment to the President's address reiterating the fundamental right to contest elections. This is a battle for India's democracy.

Menstrual Management and Low-cost Sanitary Napkins

The provision of low-cost sanitary napkins to women in rural areas is not an answer to the myriad problems they face in menstrual management. Apart from the need for a mechanism for ensuring the quality of the products and reducing the environmental cost of non-reusable products, the need is for a change in the attitude towards menstruation. It is because this is a taboo topic ruled by religio-cultural conventions that rural women face not only discomfort but also problems linked to reproductive health.

Maternal and Child Health

The data from the Rapid Survey on Children conducted in 2013-14, released after an inexplicable delay and still in a summary fashion, show some but patchy progress between 2005-06 and 2013-14 in maternal and child health indicators. A preliminary analysis indicates that in those areas where special efforts were made, such as in increasing institutional delivery and expanding immunisation coverage, some results are seen. This calls for greater investments in health and nutrition within a more comprehensive approach.

Understanding Issues Involved in Toilet Access for Women

While insufficient sanitation facilities often get represented in statistics and are reported in the literature on urban infrastructure planning and contested urban spaces, what is often left out is the everyday practice and experience of going to dysfunctional toilets, particularly by women. By analysing the practices and problems associated with toilet use from a phenomenological perspective, this article aims to situate the issue in the everyday lives of women.

Safe Abortion as a Women's Right

A study conducted among law enforcement officials in seven countries across Asia by the Asia Safe Abortion Partnership to measure the level of knowledge, attitude and awareness of women’s rights as well as safe and legal abortion shows lack of understanding about the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and the subsequent amendments. Many lawyers believe that even if it did become a regular component of the law curriculum, there would be few takers, given the low potential for such cases in the practice. In the current environment, where the issue of implementation of the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act tends to wrongly overshadow discussions on safe abortion and the MTP Act, these views are important as they affect the way safe abortion is perceived as a women’s right and have an impact on restriction or liberalisation of women’s access to safe abortion services.

Women at Risk in the Unregulated Surrogacy 'Industry'

In recent times India has become a haven for commercial surrogacy, a controversial assisted reproductive technology. Acute poverty means that there are always women ready to rent their wombs. But lack of laws and regulations means there is no transparency in the business of surrogacy and the surrogate mothers are prone to exploitation. The Assisted Reproductive Technology Bill 2013 aims to mend matters. This exploratory study conducted in Kolkata brings to light challenges that any legislation dealing with surrogacy must address. It shows how poor women who rent their wombs for money--ignoring social stigma, health hazards, fear and mental stress--are vulnerable to exploitation.

Studying Women Seeking Abortions

Abortion in Asia: Local Dilemmas, Global Politics edited by Andrea Whittaker, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2013; pp xii + 253, Rs 895.

Contrived Confusions

Ethical dilemmas surrounding abortion, particularly the conflict between human and legal rights of a childbearing woman and the so-called rights of an unborn child, are quite legitimate. However, the pro-life activists should desist from treating a woman as mere receptacle for the unborn child, taking away her inalienable right to control her own body.

Nutrition: What Needs To Be Done?

About 805 million people - one in nine people worldwide - remain chronically hungry. Ending hunger and malnutrition requires strong political commitment at the highest level, effective coordination among various ministries and partners, and broad-based social participation. Three policy priorities are crucial to ending malnutrition - expansion of social protection; making smallholder agriculture more nutrition sensitive; and focusing on under-fi ve child and maternal nutrition defi ciencies. An integrated approach is needed to ensure that food consumed is nutritious, wholesome, acceptable, safe and affordable, especially to the poorest and most vulnerable.

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