Tag: Feminism

Women @ Work

Women @ Work

By: Saipriya V The social status of women has undergone a considerable change worldwide. Though women these days are far more educated, financially independent and more aware of their legal rights, but still empowering and supporting women worldwide continues to be an uphill battle. This […]

Period Problems

Period Problems

A few weeks ago, you may have heard about Kiran Gandhi and the period fiasco. Gandhi ran a marathon while she had her period and chose not to wear feminine hygiene products and she let the blood flow- literally. The decision was made to highlight […]

The Stigma of Single Motherhood

The Stigma of Single Motherhood

By: Saipriya V

In our society being a single mother either a widow or divorced has to live with a huge stigma. “Single Mother”, just a thought about it raises a lot of questions in our society. A sudden death of the spouse or a broken relationship gives a deep rooted pain in the survivor. Our society does not give enough time for the woman to pick her up and to establish herself in order to raise her kids, instead it often batters woman psychologically by blaming her.Widowed women have been blamed for her horoscopes for the sudden death of her husband and a woman who are “ single mother’s” due to broken relationship will be criticized for her decisions. A woman who is divorced were often “judged”, they are often blamed for not being tolerant of an abusive relationship.

Stigma and discrimination of a “single mother “ often begins within her own family and relatives. She will be often ignored in the family meetings, weddings and rituals. A single mother who is widowed/divorced are often looked as a burden to the family, but on the other hand men who is a widower/divorced often looked up as a new “groom”.
In India, life of a woman becomes tougher after the demise of her husband or after divorce, because of the low recruitment of the woman employers and low paid jobs. The government policies also advocate divorced woman to remove her husband’s name from her government documents such as passport, Adhar card (identification card) and bank documents, which makes her life even harder. Similarly, in Canada the lack of workplace policies such as caregiver leave and lack of affordable childcare, often limits women’s career choices which severely limits her earning power. Childcare and domestic responsibilities make it harder for women to return to school or attend training sessions in order to advance their career. All these issues leaves women in poverty.
There is also an another stereotype that children raised in the “single mother ” household do not fare well. But it is often forgotten that not in all two parent family, the father takes enough attention on the kids. A recent study suggests that kids raised in a two parent family found to have more substance abuse problems than children raised by single mothers. Similarly, kids from ‘single mother’ household perform well at school than the kids live in a family with a high level of argument within parents.

Empowering “single mothers” is vital in order to break these kind of stereotypes. Flexibility in government policies, education, financial stability and support groups for ‘single mothers’ will enable them to establish themselves and to raise happy and successful kids.

 

 

References:
Marissa Hicks (September 2012) .The Single Mother Battle on Stereotypes. Battered women support services.
Bella Depaullo. PhD (Jan 2009). Children of Single Mothers: How Do They Really Fare?.Psychology Today.
Blog : What is it like to be a single mom’s child in India? Quora
Canadian women’s foundation.The Facts About Women and Poverty.
Swati Despande (Apr 2013). Single mom braves an unfriendly system. Times of India.

 

நிறம்

நிறம்

By: Saipriya V ஒரு பெண் ஏவ்வளவு படித்திருந்தாலும் எத்தனை பெரிய பதவியில் இருந்தாலும், திருமணம் என்று வரும் பொழுது அவளுடைய நிறமே முதன்மை படுத்தபடுகிறது. இது யாரோ ஒருவருக்கு எங்கோ நடக்கும் நிகழ்வு அல்ல. இது சராசரியாக எல்லா பெண்களும் நம் நாட்டில் எதிர்கொள்வது. ஒரு பெண்ணின் அழகு அவளின் நிறத்தை பொருத்தே மதிப்பிடபடுகிறது. சிகப்பான பெண் அழகாகவும், கருப்பான பெண் […]

I Have A Relationship With The Food I Eat

I Have A Relationship With The Food I Eat

By: Reya D I have a relationship with the food I eat. I mean to say, there are days when I see chocolate and all I can do is will myself not to eat the entire bar, but then the next thing I know it’s […]

She Has No Choice?!

She Has No Choice?!

By: Saipriya V

Sterilization  is a common procedure used to terminate fertility . The two most common procedures include tubectomy in women and vasectomy in men.  Though the male sterilization procedure is medically less complicated, globally  2.5 to 4 times women are sterilized than men (1).

In India, since late 1990’s health care system targets women  for the family planning programs (2). For women, especially those who suffer the burden of India’s patriarchal society, and women who live in poverty  the sterilization procedure is the only way to avoid having several children.  The financial incentives given by the government   indirectly forces women  to undergo the sterilization procedures , so that their husbands can get the money.

The health care workers deliberately target women, especially in the rural areas for the mass sterilization camps run by Indian government . Every year these mass sterilization camps take the lives of at least 5 to 10  women (2–4).  This is because most of the camps take place in a school or at the camp site, where there is minimal access to water and sterilized environment. In 2013, 100 women were sterilized in few hours and were ‘abandoned’ unconsciously in the field , because they could not accommodate their numbers. Similarly 2014, 83 women were sterilized by a doctor  in   less than 3 hours  in Chhattisgarh,   where 68 women were treated for septic shock and 11 women died  following the surgery (2–4).

It is shocking to see our women were treated like ‘cattle’ in these sterilization camps. Unequal treatment of women in these societies leaves them vulnerable to violence, mistreatment, physical and emotional harm.

Health care workers were forced to reach sterilization target every year, so they hesitate to educate women, about other birth control options.  Instead, they  encourage them through incentives, often targeting poor and marginalized women. In our society being women and being poor clearly leaves  women  to have no choices over their bodies.

The family planning programs should  be refashioned by focusing more on educating  women about the other birth control options and empower her rights  over her body.

 

Reference:

1.        Cullins V. Sterilization: Long-Term Issues. Glob Libr Women’s Med [Internet]. 2008; Available from: http://www.glowm.com/section_view/heading/sterilization:long-termissues/item/404

2.        Bode L De. Why Indian women are victims of sterilization “cattle camps” [Internet]. ALJAZEERA AMERICA. 2014. Available from: http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/11/14/women-india-sterilization.html

3.        Chaurasia M. India mass sterilisation: women were “forced” into camps, say relatives. theguardian.

4.        Neha Wadekar. INDIAN WOMEN ARE BEING STERILIZED [Internet]. NewsWorthy. Available from: http://www.nehawadekar.com/the-reality-of-sterilization-in-india-part-i/

 

Appreciate Yourself

Appreciate Yourself

By: Saipriya V In recent years the definition of ‘beauty’ and an ‘ideal body’ has changed among women. Looking thinner is considered to be beautiful. This is due to the harsh critiques of our society which consider women being ‘thin’  as beautiful, hard working and […]

Meet The Brownkiss Peers

Meet The Brownkiss Peers

We’ve been incredibly fortunate to be a platform for the diverse voices for women in South Asian communities to talk about race, gender, sex and sexuality. Here are few of those fantastic women who make Brownkiss possible:     Saipriya  is a physiotherapist, writer and a blogger.  She […]

Are We Safe?

Are We Safe?

By: Saipriya V

Violence against women  is a serious problem in our society. This is not only due to the  patriarchal culture, but also due to the fact that  women are marginalized by our culture and by our society in many number of ways. Violence against women is not limited to domestic violence, but also include rape, acid attack, dowry deaths, honor killing, abduction and sex trafficking. In recent years rape and acid attacks have become a very common crime against women.

Among all the gender based violences, rape has now become the leading crime in South Asia, however incidence of rapes is the most under reported, this is due to the stigma  attached with it . In these cases the victim, often a woman is blamed to be careless or a moral less person, and often the victim bears the burden  for providing evidence against the accused. Victims of rape is often portrayed as  a shame and a burden to the family. In India, a 14 year old survivor of gang rape said that the girl’s father abandoned the family because he could not handle the shame, similarly a mother of 6 year old rape victim reported that her family experienced such a stigma in her community that their older daughter was dropped from school. Women were also blamed  that their clothing or conduct have invited  for their own rape. It is heartbreaking to see rape victims age range from  4 years old to 71 years old women.

The New-Delhi gang rape has sparked  anger across the country.  Supports against ‘rape culture’ poured from all over the world,  in Toronto protesters rallied outside the Indian consulate to show their support to call better treatment for women. Hundreds of thousands of women’s rights protesters  and student organization based in Delhi poured near ‘India gate’ and demonstrated their anger across the country’s culture of violence against women. Though the protest ended up as a war between protesters and policemen, still a number of protesters continued to show their support against ‘rape culture’. But on the other hand, politicians argued that women should not be ‘adventurous’, by walking in the streets late night and others claimed that women should not dress provocatively. Some argued that being a ‘woman’ it makes her vulnerable, so women should stay at home cooking and washing dishes. This clearly demonstrates the patriarchal culture soaked in our society. It’s time to join our hands and raise our voices against this gender –based violence. While we unite asking for justice, we should think about how are we going to change this social attitude and protect ourselves?

There is active resistance happening in our communities to challenge this patriarchal system.  Apne Aap Women Worldwide is a registered charitable trust in India, helps marginalized women to resist and end sex trafficking. They are working to empower women, by distributing a  comic book  “Priya’s Shakti” which was created as to empower the ‘victims of rape’ across country and it is used as a tool to reach communities and schools to raise  awareness about sexual assault. Educating women about their rights and creating, appropriate and accessible support/care groups  could help women protect themselves.

 

A Little R&R for the New Me: Realistic Resolutions

A Little R&R for the New Me: Realistic Resolutions

By: Reya D We’re about four months in 2015, so now is a pretty good time to check in with that New Year’s Resolution. I always set a similar resolution for myself every year, I say to myself in the mirror: “This year you will loose […]