Why Indian Women Pray for Long Lives for their Husbands Even as Millions are Killed for Dowry


Last week millions of Hindu women proudly celebrated a festival whose fundamental tenet is misogynistic. This is the festival of Karva Chauth. Women deprive themselves of food and water all day, and after sunset break their fast after they’ve viewed the moon through a kitchen sieve. They’ve been told that if they do this, the gods will ensure long lives for their husbands. In a country where every year, more than a 100,000 married women are murdered for dowry — burnt, hung, stabbed, poisoned, drowned, or driven to suicide — by their husbands and in-laws, and not a day goes by without media reports of such deaths, this womanly fixation on ensuring a long life for the husband seems sort of bizarre. But there is a cultural explanation for Indian women’s fixation on their husbands’ long lives….

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE http://www.huffingtonpost.in/rita-banerji-/karva-chauth-a-womanly-ce_b_8429386.html

#Menstrual #Leave May Make More Trouble for Work-Place #Gender #Equity

Vibhuti [at the twitter handle @victorvibhu ] tweeted me a question about the ongoing discussion on paid menstrual leave for women. Did I support it? And I said no, because it would further increase the gender pay gap. Vibhuti thought I needed to explain that a bit more, so here is what I mean.

father with childThe difference in pay between employed men and women is a major cause of gender inequity in almost all countries. The Norwegian government found that even when women were equally or more qualified, performed as well, and got equal pay, there still was a gender pay gap. They found this was because women took maternity leave and men did not.

Then the Norwegian government pushed for legislation on paternity leave, and campaigned vigorously for men to participate equally in the raising of their children. This was Norway’s pappapermisjon. Now when a couple has a child in Norway, the parents divide up the 46-week fully paid parental leave. 90% of fathers take at least 12 of those weeks taking care of their newborns, and this is because this is the time quota of the joint paternal leave earmarked only for fathers.

As a result, today Norway has the least gender pay gap and is followed by Denmark and Sweden – the other countries that also have shared parental leave.

I feel if women start pushing for menstrual leave, it will further increase the gender pay gap. While some countries have been able to undo the negative impact of maternity leave on pay gap by pushing for paternity leave, there would be no male equivalent for menstrual leave. (more…)

What Tata Starbuck’s Female CEO Thinks About #Women in the #Workplace!

starbucks-IndiaInk-blog480Here’s yet another brilliant example of how misogyny is internalized even among the educated, savvy, career-oriented women occupying powerful positions in India!

The CEO of Tata Starbucks Avani Davda, the first female CEO of the company, when asked in an interview about why women form only 15% of Starbucks retail outlet workforce said, “Women need to appreciate that meritocracy cannot be given up for diversity.”

In other words, the reason Tata Starbucks has such few women working in their stores is because the company finds women overwhelmingly incompetent.  Indeed too incompetent to even make coffee in an automatic coffee maker, and pour it into a cup for a customer at one of their stores, or sell them one of their over-priced coffee mugs or coffee packets over the counter.

Then Davda is asked about women’s careers and jobs outside of home and family.  And to that she says (more…)

Why #Indian #Women Must Vote #NOTA in the 2014 #Election

As long as political parties house criminals, Indian women can never have a government that will be committed to stopping systemic violence against women.



vote none of the above

NOTA is a voting option provided to Indian citizens for the first time in the April 07- May 12, 2014 elections.  NOTA stands for “None of The Above.”When a voter presses the NOTA button they will indicate that they are rejecting all the political parties and their candidates standing for this election.


why are rapists sitting in parliamentOver the last two decades there has been serious concern about the escalating presence of criminals in Indian government and political parties.  With each election the inclusion of these criminals increases.  In the 2004 election, 24% of Members of Parliament (MPs) had pending criminal charges against them. In the 2009 election their numbers had risen to 30% with a majority of these cases carrying serious charges of rape, murder, extortion and other forms of violence against women, such as molestations, stalking, and dowry…

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Why Are Indian #Films Confused About #Sex, #Rape and #Prostitution?

Gregor Kern once said, “There’s nothing worse than bad films for a good cause.” I’m constantly astonished by how films made with the intention of addressing sexual and other forms of violence on women in India, are often so deeply misogynistic!


jism poster While pornographic packaging of female sexuality is blatantly used to hard sell Indian films, a woman’s libido and her consensual sex with partners of her own choosing continue to be “controversial” topics in Indian cinema.   Forced marriages are not portrayed as rape.   The marriage of rape victims to their rapists is often seen as a form of justice.  And parents who prostitute their daughters are not viewed as pimps.  In an article where she takes a critical look at how Bollywood films treat the subject of rape, consensual sex and prostitution,  Rita Banerji argues that the reason Indian films fail to address these issues in a meaningful way is because the film makers, like the rest of Indian society,  have failed to affirm a woman’s right and choice over her own body and sexuality.  

Below is are two excerpts from this article.  To read the full…

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