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No ‘happy’ birthday to you, girl!

By Roki Kumar Birth of a newborn is a very important and happy event in all communities. Every society celebrates the birth of a newborn baby in their own unique way. In Haryana, the birth of a newborn baby is celebrated with folk songs, folk dance and other customs.  It is a big celebration for every family irrespective of their caste and class. ...

How can gender-biased sex selection be tackled?

Most conversations around gender-biased sex selection place the onus on the mothers, who rarely have a say in the matter. Since the entire community plays a coercive role in pressuring women to have sons, it is essential to target communications at the level of both the family and the community. Gender-biased sex selection is the social responsibil ...

What is gender-biased #sexselection?

What is Gender-Biased Sex Selection? Gender-biased sex selection (GBSS) is the misuse of medical technologies to determine the sex of a foetus in order to ensure a male child, a practice that is illegal in India according to PCPNDT Act. It includes practices such as selecting embryos after IVF and separating sperm to conceive a son or misusing ultr ...

Home is Where the Hurt is – Part 3

“Get the f*** out of this house”. And she prepares to do just that. Because, salvaging her pride means showing him (and herself) that it is not as if she has nowhere else to go, she is not a charity case, she is not dependent on him, etc, etc. Right? Isn’t that how most of us educated, ‘empowered’ women would react? Rather, th ...

[16 Days of Activism] The Horse Cart Driver – Part 2

In part one, Mahnaz, who was nine years old at the time, was riding in the front seat of a horse-cart—with her mother and sister seated in the back—when the driver grabbed her hand and would not let it go. —- The horse cart driver didn’t ...

[16 Days of Activism] The Horse Cart Driver – Part 1

Before I learned from anyone, my intuition taught me to understand gender violence and react against it. I was nine years old when we were living in Herat province, in western Afghanistan. We lived away from the city center and my grandparents lived ...

[16 Days of Activism] Stop Violence Against Women

You enjoy your full rights… Now I want to enjoy mine I am a human You must help me. Stop violence against me. Do not tell me you are weak. You are strong enough to beat me, to blame me for being a woman You try to buy me with your money, Or exchang ...

Home is Where the Hurt is – Part 2

Stage 1: Dissonance. Denial. Disbelief. Stage 2: Distress. Desperation. Despair. Stage 3: Rinse. Repeat. It creeps in slowly. First, there are the ‘accidents’. His leg just happened to be in the way, so you tripped. The door just banged on your h ...

[16 Days of Activism] Legitimizing Inequality

I write this poem for women who are victims of wrong cultural and religious beliefs. —Mahnaz We were cooked. They made us raw, burned us and buried us. Those men and women who carry the stick in their hands, gaze of blame in their eyes, sting of in ...

[16 DOA] Home is Where the Hurt is – Part 1

“It can never happen to me. I love him too much. He’s educated. I am educated. He doesn’t want to become his father. I will NEVER become his mother. He chose me, right? I chose him, didn’t I? Can’t happen, can it? Wouldn’t happen again, w ...
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