After the December 2012 protests, the Indian media has given more airtime to the issue of gender – a welcome change. News about sexual harassment cases regarding Supreme Court judges makes it very clear that women face challenges even within institutions meant to uphold justice 1. Unfortunately these are not work-related challenges but those that women face simply because of their sex.
The energy around women's issues in India is heartening and it makes me very happy. Of the many things that I adore about feminism, one of my favorite, is its ability to allow many feminisms to co-exist. That it does recognize that there is no one universal woman and that this world is large enough to accommodate our different needs.
The message cannot be clearer. Ireland, the country that ranks first in the world for having the lowest Maternal Mortality Ratio, is now in the news for the death of an Indian woman. Savita Halappanavar lost her life on 28th October 2012, because her doctors in the Galaway Hospital refused her request for an abortion, stating that the fetus had a heartbeat.
Planned Parenthood , a non-profit organization and the largest provider of reproductive health services in the United States, was at the centre of a storm when a leading breast-cancer charity, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation announced that they had decided to stop their partnership with Planned Parenthood .
I have been restraining from writing another post regarding the highly patriarchal and hypocritical society in Kerala. My intention is not to blame without reason as well. But the innumerable number of incidents and popular opinion on those incidents is too horrendous that one cannot restrain from responding to those issues.
So, you believe in gender equality. Your blood boils when you hear about atrocities against women? You took a vow not to take dowry? Did you tell your wife, that you are flexible regarding her decision to work or not? Did you promise her that whether she works or not, you will keep a cook to reduce the drudgery in her life?
Having done the above, do you feel happy that you are a loving, egalitarian, considerate partner?
Of course, many of the above questions are addressed to men.