If you live in an urban metropolitan city, you must have seen women dressed up in company uniform, carrying a heavy bag on their shoulders, their attire shouting a brand name with logos all over her. Their bodies become an advertising ground for a company’s marketing. Sometimes, the bag is a portable salon that they carry to their client’s (home), who book the beauty service using a mobile application. These ‘workers’ enroll themselves on the platform company that operates as an intermediary, to get bookings on-demand.
The new proposal to ban commercial surrogacy is essentially a rehash of a bill that was proposed three years ago — the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill, 2016 — which lapsed when Parliament adjourned without taking the measure for a vote. The Indian minister for health has called the 2019 bill a “need of the hour,” citing a rough estimate that between 2,000 and 3,000 unregulated clinics currently operate in the country.
Pro-life arguments have invoked faith and religion to decry a person’s right to seek an abortion, and the right to decide what to do with one’s body. But, as Everyday Feminism’s comic, The Hypocrisy of Pro-Life Rhetoric, breaks it down for us, it is not with religion or faith where the problem lies.
हमें इस तरह से ढाला गया है कि तथाकथित 'विकल्प' जो हमारे संबंधों को परिभाषित करते हैं, वे भी हमारे लिए हुए विकल्प नहीं बल्कि समाज द्वारा सृजित हैं। हालाँकि, जैसा कि हमने देखा है, इन सभी चुनौतियों के बावजूद, महिलाएँ, जब वे खुद को व्यक्तियों के रूप में महत्वपूर्ण मानने लगती हैं, तो वे अपने परिवेश और परिवार के सदस्यों के साथ बातचीत करने की रणनीति तैयार करती हैं।
Choices are also influenced by our milieu, by socio-cultural norms, by the laws and strictures that operate to regulate what we may and may not do. Lest this makes it seem that we are mere puppets triggered by internal whimsy and simultaneously constrained by external forces, our contributors show that this is not so.
While we moved one step forward towards sexual rights by striking down Article 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and decriminalising homosexuality, we still have a long way to go in changing and challenging the popular psyche and the political and legal narratives around homosexuality and queer families.
For this March issue, we decided to interview many people, not just one, and over 350 people responded! Here are the results of a ‘public interview’ that took the form of a survey, and two polls with two questions each, on Facebook and Instagram.
My mother and I have both made certain choices, sometimes inconvenient for me, sometimes difficult for her, but those choices have revealed to me the strength of our relationship and alternative possibilities that she and I can imagine together.
Choices in the sexual area should remain personal while maintaining the dignity and the rights of all people who must be able to make fully informed choices in this area. It is the duty of the state to provide the education and information to its people in this area but not intrude into their personal choices.