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Radio #Discussion on #India’s Female #Gendercide on Jan 12/13

January 8, 2014

On January 13, 7am (Melbourne time) Lalitha Chelliah of 3CR Community Radio in Australia will interview The 50 Million Missing Campaign founder, Rita Banerji.   They will be discussing the cultural and social issues surrounding female gendercide and violence on women in India.

Hear it live on this website: http://www.3cr.org.au/girtbysea

Check  your dates and time zone below for the live broadcast :

Melbourne time: 7 a.m. / Jan 13

New Delhi : 1.30 a.m./ Jan 13

London: 8 p.m. / Jan 12

New York (U.S. East Coast): 3 pm/ Jan 12

If you miss it,   it will be posted at the above website 1/2 hour later) to listen to as well

And it will also be podcast within a week.

Is this the Journey or Is the Destination for #India’s #Women?

January 8, 2014

for ladies only busby Manzar Samii

Standing at the Chembur platform my two flat mates and I gravitate towards where all the other women are standing and assume that they know where the female car of the railway halts. Waiting for the train, we’re carefree, not anxious, not worried, but relaxed. This is partially because we are so excited to finally be in Mumbai, but primarily because we know that no men are pressing up against us in preparation for getting on the train and none await us with prying eyes and wandering hands in the packed train. Yes, we are relaxed and even as we are pushed and shoved into the slowly moving train, we’re still calm. Once we are in the women’s car our only concern is people watching and gazing out the open doors into the madness of Mumbai’s inner city.

After a few stops a transgender individual enters the car wearing a bright yellow sari and smiles to expose a set of missing front teeth. She proceeds to do a short dance and then touch us all on the head, perhaps to bless our woman-ness or supposed femininity but mainly to extract money from those amongst us who are superstitious of non-conformity. Cheerfully she makes her way through the car and eventually disappears into the male dominated general section of the train. She is the first person to call into the question the space we inhabit, this ‘female only’ car that relieves us and makes us Read more…

When India’s High Court Rules that Premarital #Sex for #Women is Immoral

January 4, 2014

virginitytestA 2013 survey by the India Today group and MDRA on the sexual habits and attitudes of men and women in India makes a surprising revelation.  It shows that despite the increasing prevalence of premarital sex among men and women, 77% of men say that they will not marry a woman who is not a virgin! In mass weddings organized by the state governments for poor families, the brides are forced to undergo virginity tests to qualify! In Jan 2014, the High Court in Delhi in a judgment ruled that when an adult woman has premarital sex, “she does so at her own peril…[and]She must understand that she is engaging in an act which not only is immoral but also against the tenets of every religion.”

In an article titled “Bride and Prejudice”  in the India Today magazine,  Rita Banerji examines the reasons why Indian men remain so fundamentally conservative, even among the educated sections.  She also argues why this fixation on women’s “virginities”  in its basic perception of women’s sexuality also is the cause of other forms of sexual constrictions and violence inflicted on women in India.
Read the article here : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/india-today-group-mdra-2013-sex-survey-virginity-sexuality-marriage/1/328135.html

ABOUT THE WRITER

Rita Banerji is an author and gender activist, and the founder ofThe 50 Million Missing Campaign to end India’s female genocide.  Her book ‘Sex and Power: Defining History Shaping Societies, is a historical and social look at how the relationship between gender and power in India has led to the ongoing female gendercide.  Her website iswww.ritabanerji.com She blogs at Revolutions in my Space and tweets at@Rita_Banerji

Demand the Release of Taslima Nasreen’s TV Shows On Women’s Rights in India

December 31, 2013

Why would a television series on the various issues that oppress women in India, including dowry, be considered insulting to religious sentiments and be banned?

taslima_nasreenFeminist author Taslima Nasreen’s scripted television series (in Bengali) titled ‘Dusahobas’ meaning ” Unbearable Cohabitation,” although ready for telecast has been “indefinitely postponed” for airing, because of pressure from Islamic clerics in the state of West Bengal.

Abdul Aziz of the religious group Milli Ittehad Parishad said their group had written to the producers of the show and told them to withdraw Taslima’s name and reference from the serial, even though Taslima has scripted the show! Aziz said, “We have been told that there are some scenes in the serial that might hurt our sentiments,” even though he does not specify as to what exactly in the show is hurtful to Muslim sentiments in India.

In fact this show is not about Islam but about issues that are effecting women of all religious and cultural communities in India, issues like dowry, dowry violence, sexual violence, and prevention of education. Issues that Indian society needs to contend with through mass media like television. According to Taslima Nasreen, the story line Read more…

Hrithik, Don’t Fret, Your Divorce Won’t Destroy India’s Marriage Institution

December 23, 2013

Originally posted on REVOLUTIONS IN MY SPACE: A BLOG BY RITA BANERJI:

Hrithik Roshan & Suzanne wedding Pictures 2Dear Hrithik Roshan,

I have received your tear-soaked letter about your impending divorce. It was duly delivered at 6 a.m. on December 14, at my doorstep in both my weekend newspapers.  In fact it was in the headlines, on the front page of both newspapers! At first I was irritated. I thought these idiots are copying off each other and just fooling me into paying for two different subscriptions.  But then I thought — what if this is a matter of utmost national importance? And so I read your letter slowly and carefully, registering all the critical information it gave, in both newspapers. 

I am proud to say that I’m now enlightened. You say

View original 655 more words

When #Divorce Means Freedom and Not Shame for an #Indian #Woman

December 9, 2013

arth poster

by Mallika Sharma

“Arth” means “meaning”, and the movie “Arth” which revolves around the life of a married couple,  Inder and Pooja, tries to examine meaning of their relationship in context of their marriage and their individual needs and personalities.  This 1982 film by director Mahesh Bhatt is probably one of very few Indian films that takes such an introspective view of marriage and the individuals in it, and I think it is one of Bhatt’s best works.

Inder is a struggling filmmaker, who is having an extra-marital affair with an established actress, Kavita. Inder’s wife Pooja is a housewife, and all she wants is for them to own their own house, and keeps prodding Inder to find ways to shift out from their rented apartment. Kavita who is suffering from schizophrenia,  is capricious and insecure, and is extremely possessive about Inder. With Kavita’s help, Inder manages to buy a house for Pooja and promises her, that in return, he would soon take a divorce from his wife! Pooja however is made to believe that Inder has bagged a big budget film, and has bought the house with the advance payment. She is ecstatic and thrilled and gets busy doing up her new home! With her dream finally coming true after 7 long years, she finally feels that she has arrived and that good times are here to stay! However, her joy is short-lived, as she soon finds out Read more…

Farooq Abdullah: #India’s #Feminist Revolution Begins! You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet!

December 6, 2013

Farooq Abdullah extreme R at the inauguration of an all-women bank!

India’s Union minister Farooq Abdullah  while entering the Parliament, said “I am afraid of talking to women. In fact I don’t even want to keep a woman secretary, God forbid, if there’s a complaint against me and I end up in jail. Such is the state of affairs today. I agree that incidents of rape have increased…but this has to stop somewhere.”

He was responding to two cases recently where a woman journalist working for the magazine Tehelka, and a law intern working for a Supreme Court Judge filed complaints about sexual harassment and sexual assault by their bosses in their work place, which raised a huge public and media outcry. Tehelka founder Tarun Tejpal has now been jailed on rape charges.  And a Supreme Court Committee decided that the Judge in question, Justice Ganguly was responsible for “unwelcome verbal/non-verbal conduct of sexual nature” in a hotel room in December last year. There is increasing public demand for criminal action against him.

Though the sexual harassment law [The Vishakha Law] in India is 15 years old most institutions including the Supreme Court did not have the mandatory mechanisms / guidelines to deal with sexual harassment complaints in place.

These two cases of women coming forward are rare in India! Yet they seem to unsettle men in top positions.  Already there is talk of magazines not wanting to hire women journalists and law offices whispering that they’ll avoid women interns!

The message that these men seem to be sending out is:  Sexual predation on women is a perk of the workplace for men! Either women submit, or we cut you out of the workplace altogether! 

The women of India must band together and push forward.  These two women have shown the way! And more women must come forward.

revolution movementWe must settle for nothing less than equality of work opportunities and equality of human dignity and human rights in our work places and in our homes.  

LET’S TAKE THIS REVOLUTION FORWARD!

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