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The Editorial: Women

An illustration of the symbol that denotes 'female' arranged in a pattern

As soon as March arrives, or even before it actually does, all the hullaballoo about Women’s Day begins. Since the turn of the 19th century, Women’s Day Observances had been held on different dates in different parts of the world. It was only in 1977 that the United Nations declared March 8 as International Women’s Day. The official UN theme for Women’s Day this year is Equality for Women is Progress for All. But what does it really mean for the women’s movement? Who are these women?

Vani Subramanian, a women’s rights activist, shares with us her understanding of this in the women’s movement in the I column and manages to leave us both shaken and stirred. You will understand the precise usage of this phrase once you read her piece.

Shweta Krishnan, a writer and a gender rights activist focuses on the changing definition of a ‘woman’ in Indian society and about the complex system of sanctions on reproductive health services in a hetero-normative society in the Issue in Focus section.

This month’s Interview section features TARSHI’s Jasmine George’s interview with Maya Krishna Rao, an actor, dancer and a teacher. As a performing artist, Maya speaks about her involvement with women’s issues using various art forms.

The Review section features film maker and activist Bishakha Datta’s review of the film, ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ (2013). It also includes Rupsa Mallik’s reflections on the One Billion Rising for Justice campaign that explores why a franchise-model for protest might not work when it comes to demanding for justice.

Surbhi Dewan, an independent documentary filmmaker and researcher, writes about her conversation with Sabiha Sumar, a Pakistani filmmaker about her new film ‘Good Morning Karachi’, her latest short documentary film ‘Saving Face’, the status of women in Pakistan and her personal experience of having lived in Pakistan, United States, and India in the Voices section. This section, also features feminist, queer rights activist and Physics lecturer Chayanika Shah’s interview by Vivek Vellanki of the Regional Resource Centre for Elementary Education where she talks about her experiences of being a woman in the largely male dominated field of pure sciences.

The Hindi section has a piece by our very own Dipika Srivastava; a tribute to women who have contributed to improving lives of women as well as worked for women’s rights in the region. Women pioneers Akka Mahadevi, Bhawari Devi, Bhikhaiji Rustom Cama, Ismat Chughtai, Jhamak Ghimire, Mary Roy, Savitribai Phule, Sampatpal Devi and Thockchom Ramani are celebrated in this month’s Hindi section.

In Brushstrokesthe Visual Corner, we have Medusa – a charcoal piece by artist James Scott Edwards, along with a poem by Anisha Dutt (TARSHI) depicting the power of beauty.

We have a short film in the Video section – ‘Smile’ by Kalki Subramanium, Founder/Director of the Sahodari Foundation based in Chennai, India about some happy moments in the lives of transsexual women in Chennai.

Look out for to the blog roll section in the middle of the month to read about articles posted on other blogs. We look forward to your feedback on the blog as well as your contribution for future editions.

Enjoy Women’s Day and remember that women’s issues are everyone’s issues for every day, not just for March 8.

Read on…

Pic Source: Saheli website