16th December 2017 : Sway of Patriarchy over Judiciary must be Fought

Five years down from 16th December 2012 and the subsequent struggle highlighting the grip of patriarchy over all wings of the State and over society, little has changed. One aspect under the scanner then was the Judiciary. This year there is sufficient reason to use this day to focus on how the courts of India are keeping alive patriarchal chains on women while even robbing women of hard won rights. On December 16th this year, we should highlight the role of judiciary in defending and perpetuating the patriarchy in the society.

There are examples galore of the way judges at different courts at different levels pass remarks justifying dowry, explaining away beating up of wives by husbands as “correction”, commenting on “misuse of laws” by women to terrorize the in laws and husbands. Women activists in every state can find examples galore of such experiences in the various lower courts in their states and at the level of the High courts. But it is important to see the example set by the highest Court in this regard, because it is followed by the lower judiciary.

Over the past three years, there has been focus on the Supreme Court’s restraint on immediate arrests under Section 498A.… Read More


Women and Socialism


India 2017. Rampant gender discrimination and gender exploitation prevails. This is despite upsurges of struggles against violence on girls and children in recent years and even earlier sustained struggles of 1970s and ‘80s forcing changes in rape, dowry and custodial laws pertaining to women. This is over and above and in fact often a form of expression of class exploitation, rendering lives more miserable for peasant and working class women and poor women in general. In addition, women of the minorities especially Muslims, also face gender violence by the state, by lumpens of ruling parties and even the state forces as part of violence against minorities. And perhaps the oldest and most sustained is the gender violence and discrimination faced by Dalit women from the so called upper castes. The challenges before the women’s movement are severe indeed, not only for fighting the immediate issues, not only running the battle against patriarchal attitudes and state sponsored and defended gender violence (rapes in AFSPA areas) but also some thought to an alternative society. The challenges are all the more urgent in the current political milieu, where the rise of Hindutva forces to power in the Central Govt. and in many state Govts.… Read More


8th March 2017 : Fight Gender Discrimination! Fight for Equality!

Gender discrimination is faced by women in India in all walks of life. In the workplace, it begins with unequal and lesser wages for the same work and also refusal to employ in permanent posts. The other important manifestation is to restrict women’s access to higher managerial posts. The markedly lower number of women in the higher positions of the judiciary despite there being a large number of women lawyers, the lesser number of women heads of Universities, are all pointers to the restricted access for women to the higher posts. At the other end of the spectrum, women workers are more likely to be piece rate and informal workers in the textile industry; one hardly finds skilled or even semi skilled workers in the construction industry.
And so it remains in other walks of life. The female foetus is sought to be discarded through sex determination and selective abortions. The birth of the girl child is met with sorrow and she is discriminated against in food and education in comparison to brothers. Where there is want, the girl child is discriminated against in diet. The women are the last to eat in the home and if there is not enough they will feed the family even if they have to sleep on empty stomachs.… Read More


Four Years Later- Status of Women and Sexual Violence on December 16th 2016

Four years after the horrific gang rape in Delhi on 16th December 2012, the massive agitation and the Justice Verma headed Commission’s Report, where does the situation on sexual violence against women stand? This is a time to reflect, to savour what gains there are and to assess the challenges.

The one thing that that the agitation in Delhi achieved has been to give women in Delhi and probably women in the rest of urban India as well the courage to speak up and identify themselves as the ones violated rather than as the guilty. This has found its inevitable reflection in a dramatic rise in the number of crimes that are getting registered, the number of FIRs on the issue getting lodged despite the callous justice system, the pressures of the powerful guilty and the anti woman stance of the police throughout the country. The additional gain seems to be that in more and more cases the immediate natal family is supportive of the women and willing to aid the registration of the offence. Apart from the immediate agitation which tore at the issue of ‘shame’, the stance of the parents of the victim of 16th December 2012, who have chosen to remain active and outspoken on the right of their daughter to justice and have been brave and forthright in publicizing her name, has contributed. … Read More


Hindutva and Women

(This booklet was a joint publication of POW (Andhra Pradesh), POW (Telengana), PMS (Delhi) and Istree Jagriti Manch (Punjab). Considering its importance we are publishing it.)

Why This Booklet
Since the last two years, an RSS BJP Govt. is in power in the Central Govt. The period preceding the general elections 2014 was marked by anti Muslim violence in Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. This violence was organized and orchestrated by Hindutva forces. This single example is being used here because it helps to bring out several important aspects of the BJP RSS regarding women. Western Uttar Pradesh was already in the spotlight of women’s organizations for its Khap Panchayat dictated so called ‘honour killings’ by the dominant landed peasantry in cases involving predominantly inter caste marriages by women from the dominant castes. Alleging eve teasing of a Hindu girl, the RSS BJP poured communal venom into this area and continually harped on ‘Bahu Bet Izzat’ in this campaign which they sought to extend to the rest of the state and also to the rest of India. The stated part of their campaign was the so called threat to Hindu girls from Muslim boys who wanted to marry them after converting them.… Read More


Sixth Conference of POW (Telengana) Successfully Held in Khammam

The sixth Conference of Progressive Organization of Women (POW) was held in Khammam, Telengana (It was the first conference of POW Telengana) on 4th and 5th January 2015. This was preceded by a rally and mass meeting by POW on 3rd January.
More than 10,000 women mostly holding red flags of POW, marched through Khammam town in a blaze of red from S.R. & B.G.N.R. College grounds to Pavilion grounds in a two and a half kilometer trek on 3rd afternoon. Preceded by Arunodaya activists who sang and danced folk dances (similar to dandiya) through the streets, they attracted the town’s population to come out of offices and homes to watch the procession. The rally was headed by flag and banner bearing executive committee members of POW Telengana along with guests from sister organizations of AP, Punjab and Delhi along with other guests.
The mass meeting at Pavilion grounds was packed with scintillating and colourful performances by Arunodaya teams of the various districts. Com Jhansi (President POW Telengana) conducted the proceedings. Chief Guest Shanta Sinha (erstwhile chairperson of National Childs Rights Committee, currently with Central University Hyderabad and also a founder member of POW) was the first speaker. She emphasized on the need to involve men in the defence of women’s rights, and placed the need for more schools equipped with basic services to cater to education needs.… Read More