Gender: Selected columns

Selected columns:

2004: The twilight gender (The Kolkata Telegraph)

“Because the state doesn’t recognise the existence of a third gender—there is no box marked ‘other’ next to the ones marked ‘male’ and ‘female’—to be a eunuch is to be less than human. Members of the third sex cannot vote, cannot legally marry, cannot adopt children and cannot inherit certain kinds of family property. It’s a high price to pay for choosing to be neither masculine nor feminine; as a hijra I know says bitterly, they are the living punchlines of the old joke about Sanskrit acknowledging the existence of three sexes: streeling, puling and mind-boggling.”

Read the rest of the column at The Kolkata Telegraph.

2005: The woman’s room (The Kolkata Telegraph)

“The increasing demand for the right to information has not been seen as a gender issue. But if women had a genuine, unassailable right to information, and were able to access information comfortably, so much would change. If most women knew that they had an equal right to property, that they had a right to be paid the same wage as a man doing the same job, that they had a right to expect some recompense for looking after the family and bringing up children, and most important, that they had an absolute right to dignity, our society would be very different.”

Read the rest of the column at The Kolkata Telegraph.

2012: The Female Factor (a monthly column for the International Herald Tribune)

On the battle for equal rights in marriage, fought by Muslim women in India:

“It was 1,400 years ago that the Koran gave women equal rights,” Ms. Soman said wryly.

“We have waited a very long time for justice in this country.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/world/asia/25iht-letter25.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

2011: The Female Factor (a monthly column for the International Herald Tribune)

On bathrooms for women:

For thousands of women across India, the existence of a toilet near their workplace is no small thing. It affects women’s ability to work, their safety (many rapes in slums and rural India happen in areas where women have to walk a long way to reach the toilet) and their mobility.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/16/world/asia/16iht-letter16.html

The complete list of IHT columns

2012: Homosexuality in India: A Literary History (for India Ink)

“Gender was fluid, for yakshas and humans alike, in ancient and medieval Indian culture.”

Read more: http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/homosexuality-in-india-a-literary-history/

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