Tag: Women

Why Do We Need Feminism?

Why Do We Need Feminism?

By: Reenita V Patriarchy. It’s a word that is often thrown around in many cultures and quite often criticized. When people discuss current events or culture norms within the South Asian community and culture, patriarchy is a topic often discussed. So in order to determine […]

Painful Beauty: Ugh

Painful Beauty: Ugh

By: Reya D I often wonder why I have so much more facial and body hair than my white, non-Asian peers. I remember growing up as a young girl and seeing my mom go to the South Asian beauty parlours to get her eyebrows and […]

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 is due to the gender based discrimination, where women are discriminated on the basis of their gender and are not given equal opportunity in education, work, political and economic advancements. Gender-based discrimination is found throughout the world and women who perform the same tasks as men are often paid less and receive fewer benefits from their work. Even in developed countries like Canada, women earn less than men (3). Recent statistics shows that, for every $1 earned by a male worker, a female worker earns only 74 cents (5).
In South Asian culture, gender norms are highly prevalent and women often take responsibility for most home care and child rearing duties. Due to this attitude working women face more challenges than men. Though increasingly more and more women are contributing financially to their families, still household responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes and childcare responsibilities are often on the women, this leaves woman to live under severe stress. A recent study shows that working women sleep less when compared to men, because of the added responsibilities and stress of running a household.
Similarly, at work environment women experience discrimination and harassment. Most often women were employed in lower income jobs experience sexual harassment (1,4). On the other hand women in a senior positions were often criticized and attributed to sexual favors, these psychological pressures influences and impedes women to progress in her work environment.
Due to the stigma attached to this treatment, most of the harassment and sexual abuse at work goes underreported. In order to ensure a safe working environment for women, we need effective participation of women in all political, social and work environment. Firm policies around gender equality and protection around harassment is essential to ensure safety of women at work. All the above our society needs a change in its mindset to ensure women to work with dignity and peace.

 

References:
1. Problems faced by Working Women. Siliconindia blogs
2. Tinker, I. (1990). Persistent inequalities: women and world development. Oxford University Press.
3. Gender discrimination in Canada. National Association of Japanese Canadians.
4. Dr. Dashora B,K (2013) . Problems faced by working women in India. International Journal of Advanced Research in Management and Social Sciences.
5. Gender Wage Gap.Pay Equity Commision (2012).
http://www.payequity.gov.on.ca/en/about/pubs/genderwage/wagegap.php

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 […]

Depression

Depression

By: Saipriya V

Depression is one of the serious mental illness, which is under recognized and under treated globally. Depression can severely affect the physical well being of a person, resulting in chronic fatigue, changes in appetite and sleep problems.  A person with depression can also experience mood swings, irritability,sadness, loss of temper, emptiness, hopelessness, poor concentration, difficulty in decision making and social withdrawal.

Depression  has been reported primarily among women, it may be due to the fact that, women experience several  biological changes such as onset of mensuration, pregnancy, postpartum and menopause, but  social roles of women , her work roles and her position at home and society could play major role in depression rather than the biological factors.

Though strides towards women empowerment and women’s literacy are in high in South Asian countries, but one of the serious mental health problems among women such as depression is not adequately addressed.  It may due to the fact that  depression symptoms in a woman are often ignored because in our society women who are sad, crying or feeling tired are considered as a typical characteristics of being a woman.

One of the major causes of depression among South Asian women is the patriarchal norms of our society, where violence against women have gained social acceptance . Violence is often considered by men as a way of  venting their anger or punishing a woman with an aim of maintaining male authority in the household, but on the other hand silence, obedience and subordination are often expected from the women.

Though women are becoming economically independent and finding their own identity in the society,  their role expectation in their family such as house chores, child care remains the same. This gender role expectation further increases the incidence of depression among women. Similarly, the patriarchal norms in our society  allow men  to take decisions and dictate whether a woman can work, can have friends or even having a separate bank account. These oppressions  in our society against women  are the major source of depression among women.

If  a little attention is given to women’s mental health , many women in our society can be protected from this dreadful disease

 

Reference:

Grover, S., Dutt, A., & Avasthi, A. (2010). An overview of Indian research in depression. Indian journal of psychiatry52(Suppl1), S178.

Jambunathan, J. (1992). Sociocultural factors in depression in Asian Indian women. Health care for women international13(3), 261-270.

Hello, Vulva!

Hello, Vulva!

By: Reenita V Grab your handheld mirrors, sisters! It’s time we take some time to really get to know ourselves and more specifically, our vulvas. What is a vulva and why is it important we know about them? The vulva is the outer area which […]

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 all done and I’m onto the next craving.

Since I can remember, I have always been told that my body is a temple that I must worship and take care of it; in turn I have also been told to eat in moderation. I think most people, and women especially believe in this idea, and understand taking care of their bodies as living a healthy lifestyle (i.e. eating right and being active). Being active is easily understood as leading a healthy lifestyle, but who determines what the eating right is?  More importantly, which foods are good for you and not. I ask these questions because when I go to eat something, there’s a part of me that always questions myself  “do you really need to eat that?” However it is the process of asking myself whether I should eat certain unhealthy foods that I find destructive to my self-esteem.

I believe there is a moment in women’s lives where we learn that certain eating behaviours are frowned upon by society. Food becomes filled with moral judgements. Whenever I eat a chocolate bar, or a more cultural delicacy like a pine-tart, I begin to feel bad that I ate it, and I start believing that I could have eaten something better.  The negativity I feel about eating junk foods is related to the playful teasing and destructive criticism I have received from eating unhealthy, mainly because others think I will become “overweight” if I eat the wrong foods. At this point in my life, as a 25 year old Indo-Caribbean woman, I know that my metabolism is beginning to slow down and I will have to workout harder to tone my body if I want to. This is what I believe is the key to women’s relationship with food. It is the recognition by women that they have the choice in what they want to eat.

Society might have an opinion about how a woman’s body should look, but it is a woman’s choice to shape her own body.The negativity around women eating is linked to the hateful and disturbing social norms set by popular culture (i.e. magazines, television shows, movies, etc.) in relation to the body shape of “attractive women”. I think women need to be constantly reminded that the bodies we see in magazines, movies, and tv shows, are unrealistic to the actual lifestyles of most women. If I want to eat a gulab jamun or piece of cake, I should be able to eat that food without having to think about calories, its impact on my body and what I will have to do to burn the fat off. Eating should be enjoyable, not an internal battle with every bite.

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 […]