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Navya Battula

Srihitha Putta


The view people hold about feminism is complicated given that the circumstances have
changed drastically over various periods of time. The verse of feminism had a different tone
in the eighteenth and nineteenth century owing to the circumstances then. The world around
has evolved drastically opening room for various opportunities, technologies, mindsets,
situations etc which fairly influenced the role of feminism. Although the word feminism is an
appropriate word used for protecting the rights of women by establishing gender equality,
abolishing physical violence and ensuring active participation from “both genders” in every
aspect to achieve a wider goal, it is often mistaken as female supremacy over male population
in recent times. This erroneous notion of mistaking feminism for female supremacy can stem
from various reasons including personal, socio-political and cultural aspects.

The concept of feminism emerged in 19th century in an effort to express the voices of women
and their feelings in the prevailing patriarchal society. Most feminist authors penned their
thoughts in the form of stories, novels, poems and songs to express their desires, sufferings
and needs. Most feminist authors clearly portrayed feminism as a movement to achieve
equality of both genders but not for achieving dominance over men. The very intention with
which institutions like gender equality, equal rights and feminism began was pristine that
carried on for years. It is noteworthy to mention how certain feminists, feminist organisations
and philanthropists helped many women in need and empowered them. Still the roots of
feminism are losing grip due to false issues, fake publicities, malignancies, unwarranted
extrapolations and various other reasons. The need for repairing the roots is crucial. Young
boys and girls must form must be educated about a need for “gender equality” and about they
must work together to achieve it.

The message that must be conveyed to the younger generations must be open and influential.
Since feminism is often mistaken these days by most of the youth, it is recommended that it
be termed as equality for all genders including men, women, transgender and bisexual. The
gender equality must be accounted to all the genders and it should not be mistaken for the
“feminine” gender dominance. Therefore we bring forward our idea of humanitarianism in
which we explain what gender equality aims for that encompasses and speaks for every
gender. In this way we think younger generation could gain awareness on gender equality and

work towards it. While intending to explain gender equality under other name, we do not
attack the feminism at the core. In fact we try to draw information on how feminism evolved
and how its journey turned with time. By proposing humanitarianism, we aim at presenting a
goal of equality for humanity as whole. We hope that this approach would motivate a wider
spectrum of audience that would actually make the movement fruitful.

The thought of humanitarianism and a collective effort driven by every single human being
irrespective of gender, race, ethnicity etc is the ideology that motivated us in writing this
book. This book provides our insightful thoughts on gender equality and how we can
provocate younger minds towards this mission. We are eager to share our thoughts, ideas and
experiences with wider range of people and instigate the minds of people.

We hope that the message intended in conveyed to a wider population for a better tomorrow.
We have put together various historical evidences, how feminism evolved in various periods
of time, what roles does feminism play in the modern world, what are various factors that
influence feminism, contemporary issues, why is there a need to adopt humanitarianism for
gender equality and what is humanitarianism. By proposing humanitarianism, we intend to
explain various consequences that could result from it. We hope this book could be truly
enlightening and intriguing. Happy reading!

- Navya, Srihitha


1. Roles of women in various periods of history: Rise of the concept of Feminism.

2. Post colonial feminism: Post modern revolution that changed the course of Feminism.

Learn, Understand and Question: Various Forms of Slavery.

3. Civil Rights and Women Rights: A fight for equality and change.
4. Homosexual relationships: Equality for every gender and abolishing stigma.

Learn, Understand and Question: Some inspirational transgender personalities.

5. Pornography and Anti-pornography movement: Moving towards a friendly sex
education initiative.
6. Biological issues, related laws and women safety: A movement towards strengthening
women physically and mentally.

Learn, Understand and Question: The Nirbhaya Incident and what we should learn
from it.
7. Women in various spheres of life, policies, incentives and weightage that support
participation of women.
8. Antifeminism and internal conflicts: Influence of antifeminism on gender equality

Learn, Understand and Question: How certain countries are battling gender
discrimination and fighting for equality.
9. Humanitarianism: An Introduction
10. How Humanitarianism can bring people together in putting an end to the rape culture
and pornography addiction.
11. How Humanitarianism can burn down the stigma and dismantle barriers associated
with sexual orientation and gender preferences.
12. How humanitarianism busts the stereotypes, myths and taboos and creates a better
place for girl child to shine
13. How humanitarianism speaks for the vulnerable and voices their sufferings and their
14. How far can we go with humanitarianism and how far is so far?

Appendix A: Read and Analyze: Article on Rapes in India.
Appendix B: Read and realize: Article on Male Victims of different crimes, abuse,
assault and violence.

1. Roles of women in various periods of history: Rise of the concept of Feminism.

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls,
you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful but not
too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am
expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices keeping in
mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be source of joy and
love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire marriage and we
don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for
jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention
of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, We Should All Be Feminists

The evolution of feminism is quite a story to mention and to begin with when detailing
the gender equality mission. The historical evidences of feminist movements and its
connections with contemporary gender equality campaigns give us certain patterns on
how gender equality fights can be modelled to reach wider audience. Although most of
the ideology we want to stress on deals with all genders and their equality, the major
reason for starting with feminism and female issues is to highlight how the gender
equality movement changed its course and adapted for time. Therefore we have
included various chapters on social, economical and biological conditions of various
women. However we have also taken time to illustrate various challenges every gender
is facing in the contemporary world and how the single movement for gender equality
can benefit them.
Women occupied various positions since the medieval period in various sectors and the
lives of women revolved around only few things like marriage, children, supporting her
husband and so on. In the medieval period mainly, irrespective of the social status of
the family, women are educated about the importance of marriage and how a woman
should support her husband in everything. Women are often suggested to follow the
orders of the primary male member in the family. In rich households in most of the
cases, women attain financial freedom only after the death of her husband. The paupers
and peasants were under the control of wealthy landlords and any decision concerning a
girl’s matrimony and so on would ultimately rest in the hands of these landlords. The

position women used to occupy historically is really crucial to explain. Many women
possessed an unwelcoming ambivalence and a revolting mindset owing to their burning
emotions. Women are not accepted as equals in most of the works which often bothered
them emotionally. The positions women occupied in clergy were limited to nuns only.
Similar situations were prevalent in every place around the world. From the Mohenjo-
Daro civilization to the present day, Indian women faced inequality in many aspects of
everyday life. Even the Puranas, Vedas and Satras dictate the behaviour of women and
their attitude towards husbands. Black women also faced so many struggles maintaining
their families and working along with their husbands in fields besides looking after
children and household work.
It has been historically fed into women that they should be fragile, sensitive and
submissive to the circumstances. In most traditions women do not hold the equal rights
to worship god as men do. These oppressions and restrictions created a revolt within
many women that forced them to pen down their feelings on gender equality. While in
initial days women never came up to question the patriarchal authority, in the later
stages they realised the importance for gender equality. With marriage being the only
way to find eternity and restrictions been put on emotions, feelings and longings of a
woman, it is no wonder that they started expressing their opinions and visions on
gender equality. The primeval considerations of gender equality stemmed from various
religious teachings, societal views and other sources that shape the behaviour of
women, in the view of modifying these commonly held beliefs and practices.

Various roles women played in medieval and post medieval periods

During the medieval periods, the activities and rights of women are limited. The
medieval period saw many crucial modifications in lives of women in the United
Kingdom and the United States. Peasant women had many domestic responsibilities
such as child bearing, household work, babysitting the children, rearing cattle and
helping their husbands in fields. Most women also had to work part time in times of
financial instability in cottage industries like brewing, baking, textiles etc. Women in
urban households also helped their fathers and husbands in crafts, leather, and metal
work trades. Noble women are often instructed to follow a code of conduct. Most
women in nobility gain authority over property, position and trade of their husband only
in their absence or demise.

The feudal system dictated that the land belonged to the lord and the serfs were bound
to that land. The landlords controlled every aspect of the serf’s family including the
daughter’s marriage etc. The rights over the girl’s husband after marriage rested in the
hands of landlords. The involvement of women in clergy is only limited to nunnery.
In Hindu households, positions held by women depended on the Varna they belonged
to. The women born into royal households were taught about the importance of
marriage and about their duties as a queen or a royal bahu (daughter in law). Women
though coming from royal background are not permitted to rule the empire and all the
power of ruling the kingdom should lie in the hands of the man who marries her. Many
women were denied the power to rule or killed brutally in an attempt to establish male
dominance. Certain examples include queens like Rani Rudramma Devi, who disguised
herself as a man to rule the kingdom in a triumphant manner, is only on finger tips. This
explains how the patriarchal society prevalent historically sought to establish women as
submissive to men. The Brahmin women although born in a learning class Varna were
not allowed to study Vedas. The Vyshya or trader women supported their husbands in
trade but never stood as a major head in trade activities even after the death of their
husbands. There are certain practices even persuading women to commit suicide after
the death of their husbands like Sati. The women in lower Varnas suffered the most.
While the men of these Varna engaged in lower and odd jobs like mending shoes,
cleaning toilets etc, women are required to accompany their husbands and are often
offered lower wages comparatively. Peasants and farmers also had tougher time paying
royal taxes and enjoying minimal benefits. While whatever positions women occupied
based on their Varna, it is mandatory for them to get married and bear children to
achieve womanhood. In most other religions like Islam also women are expected to
occupy similar positions with more restrictions imposed.
Women writers have played a crucial role in voicing their opinions on these taboos,
myths and clichés. From authors like Charlotte Bronte to authors like Lorraine
Hansberry, authors played a crucial role in developing feminist ideology and the
spectrum of feminist viewpoints. While authors like Charlotte Bronte and Margaret
Laurence expressed their views on daily lives of women and influence of marriage on
them through fictional characters like Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre 1847) and Hagar Curie
Shipley (The Stone Angel 1964), authors like Lorraine Hansberry challenged the racial
discriminations in United States through her play A Raisin in the Sun (1959). The

contributions of women writers are a key factor for the raise of feminist ideologies and

Influence of religious teachings on women

According to the Bible, Adam, and Eve were the first human beings god created. Eve
was made out of the ribs of Adam and was responsible for man’s expulsion from
paradise. It is quoted that women are more tempted to sin and are morally weaker than
men. Through the middle age, the Christian women were often dictated by the Biblical
texts. These teachings emphasised men’s authority over women. Until the Virgin Mary
contrasted this view and established a positive perception over women as the mother of
Christ, women were held in the sinister view. Throughout the middle ages, Saint Mary
gained more adoration as a model of chastity and motherhood.
In Hindu mythology, there were many restrictions on women. In terms of worship,
women who are menstruating cannot be part of rituals or any forms of worship.
Although Hinduism strongly advocates female power as Adhisakthi (the supreme
power in the universe), it also teaches them to be soft, sensitive and adjusting to the
situations. Marriage is the ultimate goal by which a girl attains her very sanctity and
women are expected to respect their husbands as a dharma of her womanhood. It is a
sin in Hinduism for a woman to express her sexual desires or participate in pre marital
sex. Women of various Varnas held various positions in the society however. While the
women of upper Varnas like Brahmins and Kshatriyas had a comparatively fruitful life,
the women in lower Varnas like Kshudras and Dalits often had to work hard and face
severe criticism for the Varnas they belong to. Religious teachings surrounding women
and portrayal of women as the soul creators of universe stem from the fact that women
are responsible for the birth of civilization. However the female gods are also portrayed
as women who are sensitive, pristine, submit to their husbands’ cause and would never
cross the word of their husbands for they shall suffer an ill fate. The portrayal of Sati
(Lord Shiva’s wife in her past life) as stubborn and independent woman suffering an ill
fate at the end after denying the words of her husband and father can show the
significance of women and their conduct within Hindu community. Later when she is
born again as goddess Parvathi, who is more complaisant, respectful, and calm,
composed and brings out Lord Shiva out of his long meditation. The basic difference
between the two lives possessed by Lord Shiva’s wife is that in the prior life his wife
was independent and self driven whereas in the later she is complaisant and peacemaker

who establishes peace in the house and looks after her husband by bringing peace into
his life and stabilizes him. Since every woman was looking after the household, it is
often expected from them to be the Parvathi of the house.
Religious teachings had humongous impact on people that influenced their behaviours,
actions and motivations largely. The myths, taboos and clichés are prevalent today even
in the society that is racing towards singularity. The religious teachings and accounts
not only influenced a woman’s behavior and roles she occupied but also her ideologies.
The views of women mostly circled around marriage, child bearing, behaviour etc and
are not expanded until certain reforms came along.

Slave trade and apartheid

Historically women had been in a very ruthful environment even within their families or in
work space. The famous Atlantic Slave Trade made several women move from Africa to the
Caribbean where they were forced to work for the cash crops which in turn brought the
reason for making more slaves. During the Slave Trade African people are forced to walk up
to the seashores since the western trades were afraid of catching the disease. Almost 4 billion
slaves died during the migration and even some of them committed suicides. Women slaves
due to their monthly menstrual cycle suffered more than men. Lot of women died due to
dysentery in the trading ships which used to migrate them to the west. Even in the workspace
women slaves were paid less compared to the males and they are subjected to brutal rape and
abuse. Women slaves were expected to reproduce to bring more slaves into their family. The
suffering went on from 15th century to 19th century in which they described themselves as
Agooji Warriors and trained themselves severely for their self-defence. Only the bravest and
toughest admitted in the fold and the rest were sold as slaves.

After the abolishment of slave trade most of the women slaves were sold to Portugal. But the
suffering did not end there, the slave traders discriminated them based on their racial grounds
which led to the Apartheid system. During the mid-90’s almost 3/4th of the world is under
bondage. Even today the modern slavery still prevails among the countries Africa and
Philippines. Due to their poor income the men were unemployed in those countries and
women were expected to raise their families. They were offered jobs through maid agencies
for a yearly contract where they were subjected to severe abuse and harassment. They were
deceived of their jobs, made to work for restless long hours, and made to satisfy the sexual
pleasures of their male owners since their passports were taken over by the owners.

Rise of Feminism and the three waves of feminism

The movement of gender equality started this way enabling a wider scope for accommodating
gender equality and equal opportunities. The history of feminism is categorised into three
waves. The first wave can be mentioned in the period between nineteenth century and early
twentieth century. But there was a prior mention of gender equality in the work of Christine
de Pizan in her work Epitre au Dieu dAmour, as cited by Simone de Beauvoir.

First Wave of Feminism

The first wave of feminism is marked by the extended period of feminist activity during
nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the United Kingdom and the United States.
The basic aim of the first wave of feminism was to promote equal property and contractual
rights and opposition of ownership of married woman by her husband. However by the end of
nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, the activism focused more on
gaining power and women’s suffrage. Feminists such as Voltairine de Cleyre and Margaret
Sanger protested for women’s sexual, reproductive and economical rights. The Britain
Suffragettes were partially successful in achieving right to vote when in 1918 a law was
passed enabling women who are over 30 years old and owned houses. The law was extended
to all women over the age of 21 in 1928.

Second Wave of Feminism

The second wave of feminism lasted briefly between early 1960’s to late 1980’s. The second
wave of feminism discreetly aimed at equality and end of bias along with enfranchisement.
The second wave majorly experienced political and cultural inequalities which encouraged
women to understand various aspects of their life that are often politicized. Authors like
Simon de Beauvoir penned down various novels, monographs, essays etc for motivating
women against oppression and anarchy. She introduced a detailed analysis of women’s
oppression and a foundational tract of feminism with her book “The Second Sex” in 1949.
Betty Friedan attacked the idea concerning that the fulfilments attained by women were only
achieved through marriage and childrearing. She explained the following through her book
“The Feminine Mystique” igniting the contemporary women’s movement in 1963. The
resultant of her initiative permanently transformed the social fabric of the United States and
other countries. The book “The Feminine Mystique” was widely regarded as one of the
influential nonfiction books of the 20th century. Women’s Liberation Movement of the United
States is the key movement in the second wave of feminism. One of the most vocal critics of
the time was an African American Feminist Gloria Jean Watkins argued that failed to address
the issues that divided women and quoted the lack of minority voices in the movement in her
book “Feminist Theory from Margin to centre”.

Third Wave of Feminism

The third wave of feminism has been the crucial part of the evolution of feminism. The third
wave of feminism introduced many new issues and solutions. The third wave of feminism
began in early 1990’s fighting the racial, ethnic and cultural barriers that arouse in the second
wave. The third wave feminism seriously attacked the ideologies of the second wave of
feminism which over-emphasized the experiences of upper middle class white women. The
foundation for third wave feminism was based on the motive of groups and individuals
working towards gender, racial, economic and social justice as quoted by Rebecca Walker,
daughter of Alice walker a novelist and second waver. The movement sought to attack the
attack the social barriers by inverting sexist, racist and classist believes and fighting
patriarchy with irony, stories of survival, radical democracy etc. The influence of post
modern movement enabled many women to question, reclaim and redefine ideas, institutions
and medias that propagated ideas on womanhood, gender, beauty, sexuality, femininity,
masculinity and some other cliché ideologies. The movement was marked with continued
protests and questioning over the older institutions that established inherent inequality. The
third wave being the crucial transformation of feminism into a unified equality movement has
many key elements in it. These are expressed clearly in the upcoming parts.


1. Roles occupied by medieval periods: sources Wikipedia (Women in Middle Ages),

Ancient History Encyclopaedia (Women in Middle Ages).
2. Studies in Women Writers in English edited by Rama Kundu and Mohit K Ray.
3. History and Theory of Feminism, GWAnet Central Asia.
4. The Third Wave of Feminism, Britannica.

2. Post colonial feminism: Post modern revolution that changed the course of
“Ideally, what should be said to every child, repeatedly, throughout his or her
school life is something like this: 'You are in the process of being indoctrinated.
We have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of
indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being
taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular
culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be.
You are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to
a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating
system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be
encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own
judgements. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they
are being moulded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of
this particular society.”
― Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
The post colonial feminism which is a part of the third wave of feminism and a crucial
part of the feminist evolution is one of the milestones of the feminist movement. Post
colonial feminism holds a special position in the feminist evolution as it is the first ever
mention of equal justice for women of all colours and all races. The second wave of
feminism mainly focused on the struggles of white, wealthy and middle class western
culture women. The colonial period marked as the toughest period for slaves, black
women and women of colour became a catalyst for a wider protest demanding equality
be provided to everyone irrespective of race, colour, ethnicity etc. Post colonial
feminism originated in 1980s with the main aim of exposing the non-western world
living which was often misrepresented in feminist ideologies drafted during second
wave of feminism. The post colonial feminists argued that the third world countries and
the second world countries have very distinct cultural, sociological and ideological
opinions from the first world opinions and it is not possible to generalise the lives of
non-western country women with that of the western women.
The differences however vivid enough doesn’t diverge from the main aim of providing
gender equality. The basic causes for the raise of post colonial feminism are western
feminism and colonial and post colonial conditions of women of different races and
colours. The second wave of feminism sought of establishing equality by providing

enfranchisement for women. However the movement did not expand properly leading
to backfire towards the movement. The second wave did not promote racial justice and
emphasize the equality principle for coloured people. This created uproar from various
activists and feminists of the post colonial era against the second wave and the western
feminists. As a result, the second wave along with the western feminists who promoted
it is also one of the reasons for the rise of post colonial feminism.
The colonialism and war has left the world with catastrophic circumstances. The years
following the World War 2 and “The Great Depression” had been really tough
especially for women. The years of depression, shrinking markets, financial insolvency
and poverty rises directly affected women. Most women were restricted to domestic and
farm duties while the industrial jobs were occupied by men. The collapsing economy
and restriction of women from those limited amount of jobs agitated the financial
insecurity among most families causing most women to move out of the house to attend
many menial jobs like cleaning, farm labour and other blue collar jobs along side of
managing the household. The pay gaps, position assignments and other professional
benefits are still a challenge in the present day. Most women started taking up lower
payment jobs in industries for menial works like those in textile industries, food
processing industries, etc. But there was no significant improvement in their life even
after so many industrial revolutions that occurred post war. The lives of poorer classes
who had to labour enough for getting their bread could be explainable but not with the
working class women included in it. And these provided fuel for the post colonial
feminist movement starting a new era in feminism movement history.
Women in the colonial era
The colonial era marked by the invasion of European powers over the world colonising
most of the nations started around mid 14th century when the Ottoman Empire
conquered the South Eastern Europe, Middle East and Eastern Africa. The first wave of
colonisation also included Spain and Portugal spreading their colonial rule over
territories including America. The second wave of colonialism is marked by the
colonisation of Asia by the British East India Company. In the second wave the British
gained ultimate by colonising most of the countries and exporting valuable goods,
spices, riches, man force etc. The third wave constituted Scramble for Africa under
which the African regions were divided effectively into colonies of British, France,
Germany, Portugal, Italy, Belgium and Spain.

The influence on colonial rule on the living standards of people is observable. As the
circumstances in the colonies grew tenser, the pressure on women rose. Women were
expected to be submissive to their husbands and support him in any cause. While the
occupants had control over men in colonies, the men possessed control over their
women. While the restrictions were prevalent in all colonies, the types of restrictions
imposed were different. In certain areas women were not allowed to do anything not
even the farm work and are only restricted to kitchens and household duties while in the
others they were imposed with work along with home duties. Women were often
portrayed as having more inclination to sinister and that the control must be imposed on
them whatsoever which gave birth the patriarchal family tradition. Marriage brought
certain rules which women must obey. They cannot divorce, cannot make contracts,
cannot sue or be sued, lost most control over their property in marriage, given no right
to vote etc. House wives managed hectic tasks like sewing, animal husbandry, kitchen
farming, knitting along with daily domestic duties like cooking, child rearing,
household work, feeding etc. The money that was earned by these activities solely
belonged to the husband.
The colonial period in India however was quite different. While women from wealthy
households had quite a life, the condition of lower class and economically backward
women was not fine. The rules that women had to abide by were harsh and brutal. Most
women had no access to education and were married at very younger ages. Child
marriages were more prevalent in the colonial and early post colonial times that even
my grandmothers also got married at a very younger age. While child marriages were
one side of the coin, the other side included practices like Sati, female infanticide,
Devdasi system etc. These bizarre practices even non-existent at the present time were
worth discussing to form a basis on how gender equality played a major role in
changing lives.

Sati is a traditional practice according to the Hindu mythology that propagates the idea
of “Pure and Virtuous Women” according to which a woman should devote her life to
be the best partner for her husband even in her death. This practice was adopted widely
during the monarchic period when the enemy rulers conquered the kingdom following
the king’s death. Most women after discovering the death of their husbands follow them
inorder to protect their virtue and identity. This practice was passed down and followed
even during the colonial period. Social reformers like Raja Ram Mohan Roy fought the
social evil Sati by educating people that the religion had provided no grant on Sati. He
educated the Hindu clan by convincing them that Sati was only meant to protect the
virtue of the widowed wives whose husbands died in the battle, from the enemy rulers
who possess custody over them. As a result Regulation XVII of the colonial
Government declared Sati as an illegal practice on 4th December 1820. Even after the
Sati Abolishment Act 1820, widows had no better life. Widows were often treated as
sinister with a potential for ruining homes and hence widows always had miserable life
in the colonial times. The Widow Remarriage act of 1856 established that widow
remarriage is legal and by all forms should be accepted by society. Social Reformer
Ishwar Chandra Vidya Sagar cited references from puranas supporting the widow
remarriage and is the key part of this movement. Educating women was also quite a
controversial topic in colonial world. The religious myths about educated women
bringing disgrace to the family are prevalent at that time. And due to these unwarranted
explanations and myths, educating women is often considered a sinister activity. The
Christian missionary reforms sought of improving the situations by setting up
orphanages, schools, volunteer centres for refugee girls who are willing to join
Christianity. Jyotiba Phule and his wife Savitribai Phule are social reformers and
educationists who revolutionized the girl education initiative by setting up various
schools at Pune. As a part of this they faced a lot of criticism from various social groups
and are condemned everywhere. The couple however never gave up on the hope of
seeing the equality in access to education irrespective of gender and status. Female
infanticide is another major social evil prevalent at the colonial period. Parents often
filled the foetus after acknowledging that it is a girl. The basic reason behind higher
rates of female infanticide could be economic conditions, viewing lack of economical
potential of daughters as a liability, costs of dowry, etc. Parents were forced to do the
mentioned pertaining to many conditions that couldn’t be helped. During the British
colonisation, the Bengal regulation XXI of 1775 and III of 1804 declared female

infanticide illegal and an offensive practice. Similar laws enforced during the colonial
period include the Native Marriage Act II of 1872 which abolishes marrying underage
women and legalized the marital age for both men and women along with banning
practices like polygamy. The right of married women on the property was enacted by
the Married women property act III of 1874. The abolition of Devdasi system that
supported prostitution was achieved by the law enacted in 1928. Although there were
many amendments that uprooted the social evils against women, the colonial period and
the war that followed was not so welcoming for most women.
The impacts of colonial rule were more adverse on the slaves who were forcefully
migrated from their respective colonies in Africa to work in plantations. For working
purposes and physical labour especially young men were always in demand. Women
occupied certain roles like working along with the male slaves in the fields. The major
function of women slaves however was to procreate and increase the slave populations.
Fertile women were always in demand by the slave masters as they would multiply the
number of slaves working under them. The initial age of child bearing, frequency of
child bearing, etc were decided by the masters. Most of the times the slave masters
would brutally involve these women into sexual activities in the name of increasing the
slave population. The daughters of the slave women also suffered a similar fate. Slave
women must look after their progeny along with working in the fields. Most women
were forced into work shortly after giving birth to their younger ones leaving their
children being raised by some others most of the time. Black women were often
characterized as lustful beings unlike the white women who were pure and idealistic.
The white masters often used this myth to have forced sexual relationships with black
women. While some slaves participated willingly in these relationships in the hope that
their children could be liberated by their masters, others were unwillingly forced into
these relationships. The marriages of slaves were also decided by masters and in any
case even after marriage the master holds more authority over the slave than her
husband. Unfortunately even if the master is trying to rape a slave’s wife, he had no say
in this matter.

Impacts of World War on women

In many ways, the war had a dramatic effect on the lives of women. As well as increased
financial independence, women also enjoyed a greater social freedom. When men returned
from the front, many women had to give up their wartime jobs, and there was an increased
emphasis on the virtues and duties of motherhood.

Traditional attitudes before the Great War, a woman’s role was considered to be within the
home. Public life, including politics was widely seen as for men only. It was believed that
women involved in politics would neglect their responsibilities at home. There had been
progress towards a change in this attitude to women. A number of laws were passed to
improve their standing. Women had increased rights over property and children within
marriage, and divorce. They were also receiving more education and could be involved in
local politics. All of these laws paved the way for further reform in favour of women’s
position in society. Women had become more involved in ‘white-collar’ (professional) jobs
by the turn of the century.

Involvement of women in war efforts:

During the war the biggest increase in female employment was in factories, particularly in
munitions. Previously, fewer than 4,000 women worked in heavy industry in Scotland. By
1917 over 30,000 women were employed making munitions in Scotland. Nationally, by late
1918, 90 per cent of the workers in the munitions industry were female. Women also worked
as conductors on trams and buses, and as typists and secretaries in offices and factories.
Thousands worked on farms in the ‘land army’. Others filled more traditional jobs such as
nursing, becoming important role models for women eager to feel they were ‘doing their bit’
for the war effort. During World War One, the National Union of Women's Suffrage
Societies (NUWSS) stopped its political campaign and offered its full cooperation to the

government. Meanwhile, the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) became a patriotic
movement during the war. It promoted male enlistment and encouraged women to become
involved in what was traditionally seen as male employment.

At first, men working in factories were worried about their loss of status and the threat to
their wages. The problem was called ‘dilution’. It was seen as an issue because unskilled
workers were being employed in skilled jobs. Eventually an agreement was reached - women
could only be trained to a semi-skilled level and had to work under supervision. This meant
that the men would not feel that their status as skilled workers was undermined.

The Great War is often seen as a major turning point in the role of women in British society.
However, when the war ended the majority did not keep their wartime jobs The Restoration
of Pre-War Practices Act meant that returning soldiers were given their old jobs back Closure
of most munitions factories meant women workers were no longer needed. Within a few
years of the end of the war, over 25 per cent of all working women were back in domestic

War related changes in gender, religion and the idea of citizenship:

The idea that World War was a watershed in gender relations has pervaded both
contemporary narratives and historiography. In contrast to earlier studies, research now tends
to give a more nuanced and differentiated view on war-related change that distinguished war
and post war state policies as well as public discourse from individual subjectivities and self-
representations. Focusing specifically on the issue of women’s enfranchisement during or
shortly after the war, this article emphasizes a notion of war as a potential catalyst of change,
albeit with differing impacts in different countries that did not result in an immediate
achievement of full citizenship for women.

When World War I broke out all belligerent nations looked back on a longer history of
women’s demands for political, civil, and economic rights, such as equality for married
women, the right to own property and full legal capacity, higher education, employment and
equal pay, and equal guardianship. Some demands had begun to be realized before 1914,
many were still being fought for after the war. Parts of the women’s movements had
perceived the vote to be the necessary foundation to achieve all other rights and focused their
activities on enfranchisement. Especially Britain and the United States, which founded their
first societies for women’s suffrage in the 1860s, already had several decades of suffrage

campaigns behind them. Other countries had formed suffrage societies more recently, often in
response to developments in the international women’s movement, especially the
International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA), founded in 1904. In some countries, such as
Germany or the Austrian half of the Habsburg Empire, working women organized in Social
Democratic or Socialist Parties had been decisive in keeping women’s political rights on the
agenda. The Socialist International had proclaimed equal political rights for adult women and
men as one of its main goals in 1891. Women’s movements had already been successful in
some countries before the war: New Zealand was the first nation to enfranchise women in
1893, followed by some of the Australian colonies and then the Commonwealth of Australia
in 1902, Finland in 1906 and Norway in 1913. Specific political settings connected to modern
nation building formed the impetus for electoral reform.

Suffragists had, on the one hand, based their claims to suffrage on the idea of the vote as a
natural right and employed the famous battle-cry of the disenfranchised, “No taxation without
representation!”. On the other hand, they applied the dominant essentialist ideology of
distinct but complementary qualities of women and men for their own purposes to counter
opponents’ insistence on sustaining separate gendered spheres which assigned women to the
home. Drawing upon a concept of “social motherhood” they emphasized that women’s
feminine qualities would benefit both women and society once they had been admitted to
political life. In their view, female values such as morality, dedication, and above all
motherliness not only made women fit for politics; they helped to achieve a peaceful and
united state and a better, more just society.

Patriotism and Motherhood

Patriotism was generally manifest in the women’s movements’ support for war welfare and
became an important element in suffragists’ wartime discourse on women’s citizenship.
Using the war as a means to emphasize women’s right to political equality was not an entirely
new argument. British women had connected war and citizenship already during the South
African War of 1899-1902. While opponents of the war had underlined the principle that
government rested on the consent of the people and that women therefore had a right to voice
their opinion on entering the war, supporters of the war, notably the president of the National
Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) Millicent G. Fawcett (1847-1929),
emphasized the necessary inclusion of women in the “imperial mission”. As Laura Nym
Mayhall has pointed out, “the war represented an opportunity for British women to

demonstrate their fitness for citizenship by their willingness to perform services for the nation
and empire in its hour of need”.

Vote for women realized:

In most European countries and both Canada and the United States women’s political rights
became an issue during or shortly after the war. As the following brief outline shows,
women’s suffrage was usually realized in some form when political upheaval ushered in
democracy or electoral reform for men was discussed.

We can generally conclude that the war served as a catalyst for women’s political
emancipation by putting electoral reform on the political agenda. In other contexts the war,
especially imminent defeat, served as a catalyst to fundamentally restructure states and
societies regarding freedom, inner peace, and political participation, including political rights
for women. Nevertheless, the war did not necessarily function as a catalyst in all cases. While
several states did concede equal political rights in 1918-20, others did so only in a restricted
manner or not at all. Also, objections to women’s full citizenship prevailed in states with
equal voting rights.

Post Colonial Scenario

The main idea that united people against the battle of independence was the concept of
nationalism. Most of the third world countries in Asia and Africa got their independence from
the imperial rule after 1940’s. The narrative of freedom struggle has been presented in
patriarchal terms and in terms of motherhood and the contribution of women to the
decolonization or to the freedom struggle has not been sufficiently acknowledged.

Post colonialism and feminism

Both post colonialism and feminism are concerned with the question of marginality. Both
feminism and post colonialism are oppositional discourses: they have an enemy, they display
a tone of anger and an acute sense of historical wrong; and they demand a new
historiography. When feminism first made its appearance in humanities and social sciences,
the relationship between them exposed many blind spots in both perspectives. To criticism,
feminism perceived through the post colonial lens appeared divided and vulnerable, while on
the other hand it pointed to many gaps in the post colonial theory.

The well know post colonial critic ‘LEELA GANDHI’ identifies “three areas of controversy
which fracture the potential unity between feminism and post colonialism:

1. The figure of a third world woman

2. Feminist as imperialist
3. Colonialist deployment of feminist criteria to bolster the appeal of civilizing mission

John Mc leod offers another perspective as he summarizes the ‘feminist critique of

nationalism’ offered by Floya Anthias and Nira yuval-davi in their book ‘woman nation-

According to them women appear in five major ways in nationalist discourses:

1. As reproducers of boundaries of ethnic or national groups

2. As biological reproducers of members of ethnic collectivities
3. As participating centrally in the ideological reproducers of the collectivity and as
transmitters of its culture
4. As signifiers of ethnic or national differences
5. As participants of national, economic, political and military struggles

The category of ‘third world woman’ has been attacked for:

1. Its ethnocentric bias

2. For hiding racial prejudices
3. For stabilizing an old hierarchy in new orientalist terms

Since post colonial studies generated a lot of academic interest in the concept of marginality,
the figure of third world woman appeared to epitomize the very concept of marginality for
western feminists. However the ‘third world woman’ becomes an object which serves the
intellectual and discursive interests of western feminism. She becomes a monolithic
category, a subject of study and a site for creating knowledge. She becomes an interesting
figure because she possesses an otherness which western feminism demands

Post colonial slavery of women

From an early age, women learn to resign themselves to the fact that violence against them is
part and parcel of their natural environment, as related practices has been woven into the

fabric of society to such an extent that even battering, sex slavery and female genital
mutilation are seen as legitimate (Larson, 2010) Over the years, gender apartheid is sustained
and justified via traditional cultural beliefs reinforced by patriarchal-religious institutions. A
woman is therefore a ‘nobody’ and not a ‘somebody’ in society. As a result, women are held
back from being equal members of society (Millet, 1990)

Patriarchy is fabricated through the process of socialization which begins in society thus
restricting women’s freedom in such a way that they have no control over their mind, will
and intellect. Apart from conducting a close-reading of the selected memoir, we are also
employing Lewis and Mills (2003) Feminist-Postcolonial concept concerning the Harem and
the Veil to reveal that the erroneous conclusions by the Western world regarding
“uncontrolled male sexuality, repression of Eastern women through segregation and
polygamous culture” is indeed true to the extent of restricting women from enjoying freedom
which proves that freedom for women is nothing but an illusion of the mind, whereas power
is nothing but an act of negotiation in which women learn to achieve a certain degree of
autonomy whilst in confinement

Reina Lewis and Sarah Mills (2003) in their book Feminist Postcolonial Theory: A Reader
discussed the “marginalisation and exclusion of a separate trajectory of feminist thought
about race, power, culture and empire in relation to mainstream postcolonial theory” (p.2).
Lewis and Mills made attempts to change the “oppressive power relations encoded in society
in the name of race, nation, empire as well as those of gender, class and sexuality”

Postcolonial feminism is a form of feminism that developed as a response to feminism

focusing solely on the experiences of women in Western cultures and former colonies.
Postcolonial feminism seeks to account for the way that racism and the long-lasting political,
economic, and cultural effects of colonialism affect non-white, non-Western women in the
postcolonial world. Postcolonial feminism originated in the 1980s as a critique of feminist
theorists in developed countries pointing out the universalizing tendencies of mainstream
feminist ideas and argues that women living in non-Western countries are misrepresented.

Postcolonial feminism argues that by using the term "woman" as a universal group, women
are then only defined by their gender and not by social class, race, ethnicity, or sexual
preference. Postcolonial feminists also work to incorporate the ideas of indigenous and other
Third World feminist movements into mainstream Western feminism. Third World feminism

stems from the idea that feminism in Third World countries is not imported from the First
World, but originates from internal ideologies and socio-cultural factors.

Postcolonial feminism is sometimes criticized by mainstream feminism, which argues that

postcolonial feminism weakens the wider feminist movement by dividing it. It is also often
criticized for its Western bias which will be discussed further below.

Postcolonial feminism has strong ties with indigenous movements and wider postcolonial
theory. It is also closely affiliated with black feminism because both black feminists and
postcolonial feminists argue that mainstream Western feminism fails to adequately account
for racial differences. Racism has a major role to play in the discussion of postcolonial
feminism. Postcolonial feminists seek to tackle the ethnic conflict and racism that still exist
and aims to bring these issues into feminist discourse. In the past, mainstream Western
feminism has largely avoided the issue of race, relegating it to a secondary issue behind
patriarchy and somewhat separate from feminism.

"Age, Race, Class and Sex: Women Redefining Difference", Lorde succinctly explained that,
"as white women ignore their built-in privilege and define woman in terms of their own
experiences alone, then women of Color become 'other'..." which prevents the literary work
produced by women of color from being represented in mainstream feminism.

Double colonization

Double colonization is a term referring to the status of women in the postcolonial world.
Postcolonial and feminist theorists state that women are oppressed by both, patriarchy and the
colonial power and that this is an ongoing process in many countries even after they achieved
independence. Thus women are colonized in a twofold way by imperialism and male

Postcolonial feminists are still concerned with identifying and revealing the specific effects
double colonization has on female writers and how double colonization is represented and
referred to in literature. However, there is an ongoing discussion among theorists about
whether the patriarchal or the colonial aspects are more pressing and which topic should be
addressed more intensively.


As postcolonial feminism is itself a critique of Western feminism, criticism of postcolonial
feminism is often understood as a push back from Western feminism in defence of its aims.
One way in which the Western feminist movement criticizes postcolonial feminism is on the
grounds that breaking down women into smaller groups to address the unique qualities and
diversity of each individual causes the entire movement of feminism to lose purpose and
power. This criticism claims that postcolonial feminism is divisive, arguing that the overall
feminist movement will be stronger if women can present a united front.


1. Position of Women in colonial era by Samual Stanely and Santosh Kumari,

International Journal of Educational Research and Technology, Vol 1 [2] December
2010, ISSN 0976-4089.

Learn, Understand and Question: Various Forms of Modern Slavery

Selling people via an app is the shocking face of the modern-day slave trade, as Jess
Kelly, director of the BBC’s Silicon Valley’s Online Slave Market discovered. Jess tells
how her team broke all the usual rules of film-making when they discovered a petrified
girl working as a ‘maid slave’, and ask what’s being done to control these apps

-Jess Kelly

Evidences of modern slavery were found in the Silicon Valley online slave market where
there is an export of slaves illegally to the Arab countries. It is estimated that around 21
million to 45 million people were trapped in form of slavery today sometimes called
MODERN-DAY SLAVERY or HUMAN TRAFFICKING at all times it is slavery at its core.
Considering women it takes on many forms today like:

Domestic Servitude

Employees working in private homes are forced or coerced into serving and/or fraudulently
convinced that they have no option to leave. This unofficial form of slavery is practiced
widely in many parts of the world. The domestic servitude victims involve nannies, bonded
labourers, refugees who are working as domestic labour in various homes.

Sex Trafficking

Women, men or children that are forced into the commercial sex industry and held against
their will by force, fraud or coercion. Sex trafficking is one of the most challenging problem
in modern world. Women, Men and children from different parts of the world especially from
third world, under developed countries and developing countries are trafficked illegally to
different areas and sold out to various trafficking homes, pornography industries, etc.

Forced Labour

Human beings are forced to work under the threat of violence and for no pay. These slaves
are treated as property and exploited to create a product for commercial sale. These practices
are seen even in today’s world where people are forcibly put up for buying in many online
applications. These practices are seen in United States where immigrants are forced to work
in lower positions by certain organisations or individuals.

Bonded Labour

Individuals that are compelled to work in order to repay a debt and unable to leave until the
debt is repaid. It is the most common form of enslavement in the world and can be seen
almost in every part of the world. Most loan sharks, lending companies tax the customers
with higher or unpayable interests and force them into bonded labour. While most
humanitarianists find this practice as an offensive practice, the lenders argue that it is just the
repayment of the borrowed funds.

Child Labour

Any enslavement — whether forced labour, domestic servitude, bonded labour or sex
trafficking — of a child. Child labour is also one of the most common forms of slavery in the
world. Abandoned and orphaned children are often baits of certain individuals or
organizations to force them into labour. Some organizations often tend to involve them in
hazardous positions and pay them the lowest. Child labour is illegal in most of the countries
and promoting child labour is offensive.

Forced Marriage

Women and children who are forced to marry another without their consent or against their
will. Forced marriage although not prevalent in most of the countries is a major issue in
certain countries like India, African countries etc. This issue is however debatable on the
grounds that whether or not to condemn marriage decisions made by parents/guardians.
Forced marriages also include issues like under age marriages, marriages due to poverty etc.


Apps like Facebook and Instagram were the key centres for the online slave markets
especially in countries like Kuwait where they have at least one maid for each family. This
issue acquired lime light when some apps promoting slave market were exposed. Giant
companies like Google and Apple reported that they are taking the best possible measures to
halt the illegal slave trade online. Most workers migrate to gulf countries to earn good money
for supporting their families. But in reality these labourers were exploited to do hectic work
for meagre salaries. The apps that sold slaves online also reportedly promoted racism in the
advertising slavery. Most of the reviewers’ comments and advertising phrases highlighted

racial discrimination. The slave markets and online slave trade being operated even today
should be an example of deep rooted social evil that can be eliminated by educating the next
generations about equality, brotherhood and amicability irrespective of religion, gender,
ethnicity, caste, creed etc. By introducing the real time problems in our book we are trying to
spread the position of millions of people that are getting bound, tortured and made vulnerable
even in this highly developed and established 21st century. As younger generations we have
every right to question these practices and be an active part in eradicating them.


1. Slavery today - endslaverynow.org

2. Online Slave Markets – bbcnews.com

3. Civil Rights and Women Rights: A fight for equality and change

“Equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity.
Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women, and the
misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out
of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and
woman who's confronted with it. We need equality. Kinda now.”
― Joss Whedon

Women’s role in civil rights movements and fight for rights was in most cases overshadowed
by the male supremacy. Most of the protests, rallies and political debates highlighted men
portraying them as the key figures in attaining civil rights. The experiences women are faced
with during these movements were not so welcoming. While most of civil rights like equality,
liberty, etc were issued as a consequence of these movements, most women in certain areas
still suffered lack of right to vote. Most economies moved to providing people with a
democratic rule giving more power to all groups and individuals irrespective of racial and
ethnic differences. The world moved towards democracy by slowly eradicating dictatorial,
plutocratic and other forms of governments. Granted that the position of people was
improving gradually with the major changes that occurred post war, the margins for living
standards of people also rose drastically. Even in these situations women strived their way to
get out from the ancient myths and taboos about female independence, education, equality
and choice to make her own decisions. When laws were enforced permitting every individual
to possess certain rights as the citizen of a particular country, these laws were also meant for
women who equally share citizenship with men. Still most women had to struggle and fight
to access these rights equally along with men. In countries like India, educating women is a
taboo that still continued for a certain time even after laws were enforced on educating
women. Most women even today were forced to stop their education for reasons like getting
married, financial problems, family issues etc. Getting educated is one of human right which
is being violated here. Likewise there are so many examples about how women are facing
certain situations even when the laws strictly demand equality in every sphere.

Introduction to civil rights

Civil rights, guarantees of equal social opportunities and equal protection under the law,
regardless of race, religion, or other personal characteristics. Examples of civil rights include

the right to vote .Examples of civil rights include the right to vote, the right to a fair trail, the
right to government services, the right to a public education, and the right to use public
facilities. Civil rights are an essential component of democracy; when individuals are being
denied opportunities to participate in political society, they are being denied their civil rights.
In contrast to civil liberties, which are freedoms that are secured by placing restraints on
government, civil rights are secured by positive government action, often in the form of
legislation. Civil rights laws attempt to guarantee full and equal citizenship for people who
have traditionally been discriminated against on the basis of some group characteristic. When
the enforcement of civil rights is found by many to be inadequate, a civil rights. Examples of
civil rights include the right to vote, the right to a fair trial, the right to government services,
the right to a public education, and the right to use public facilities. Civil rights are an
essential component of democracy; when individuals are being denied opportunities to
participate in political society, they are being denied their civil rights. In contrast to civil
liberties, which are freedoms that are secured by placing restraints on government, civil rights
are secured by positive government action, often in the form of legislation.

Unlike other rights concepts, such as human rights or natural rights, in which people acquire
rights inherently, perhaps from God or nature, civil rights must be given and guaranteed by
the power of the state. Therefore, they vary greatly over time, culture, and form of
government and tend to follow societal trends that condone or abhor particular types of
discrimination. For example, the civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and
queer (LGBTQ) community have only recently come to the forefront of political debate in
some Western democracies demanding equal citizenship for people who have traditionally
been discriminated against on the basis of some group characteristic. When the enforcement
of civil rights is found by many to be inadequate, a civil rights movement may emerge in
order to call for equal application of the laws without discrimination. Unlike other rights
concepts, such as human rights or natural rights, in which people acquire rights inherently,
perhaps from God or nature, civil rights must be given and guaranteed by the power of the
state. Therefore, they vary greatly over time, culture, and form of government and tend to
follow societal trends that condone or abhor particular types of discrimination. For example,
the civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community
have only recently come to the forefront of political debate in some Western democracies.
Movement may emerge in order to call for equal application of the laws without

The right to a fair trial, the right to government services, the right to a public education, and
the right to use public facilities. Civil rights are an essential component of democracy; when
individuals are being denied opportunities to participate in political society, they are being
denied their civil rights. In contrast to civil liberties, which are freedoms that are secured by
placing restraints on government, civil rights are secured by positive government action,
often in the form of legislation. Civil rights laws attempt to guarantee full and equal
citizenship for people who have traditionally been discriminated against on the basis of some
group characteristic. When the enforcement of civil rights is found by many to be inadequate,
a civil rights movement may emerge in order to call for equal application of the laws without

The American Civil Rights Movement

Civil rights politics in the United States has its roots in the movement to end discrimination
against African Americans. Though slavery was abolished and former slaves were officially
granted political rights after the Civil war, in most Southern states African Americans
continued to be systematically disenfranchised and excluded from public life, leading them to
become perpetual second-class citizens. By the 1950s the marginalization of African
Americans, often taking an extremely violent form, had spurred a social movement of epic
proportions. The American Civil Rights movement, based mainly in African American
churches and colleges of the South, involved marches, boycotts, and extensive efforts of civil
disobedience, such as sit-ins, as well as voter education and voting drives. Most of these
efforts were local in scope, but the impact was felt at the national level—a model of civil
rights organizing that has since spread all over the globe.

Civil Rights movement across the globe

In the 1960s the Roman Catholic-led civil rights movement in Northern Ireland was inspired
by events in the United States. Its initial focus was fighting discriminatory gerrymandering
that had been securing elections for Protestant unionists. Later, internment of Catholic
activists by the British government sparked both a civil disobedience campaign and the more
radical strategies of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), resulting in the violent sectarian
conflict that became known as the Troubles (1968–98).

A high-profile civil rights movement led to the end of the South African system of racial
segregation known as apartheid. The resistance movement began in the 1940s and intensified
in the 1950s and ’60s, when civil rights as a concept was sweeping the globe, but it was
forced underground as most of its leaders were imprisoned, and it did not regain strength until
the 1980s. International pressure combined with internal upheaval led to the eventual lifting
of the ban on the African National Congress, the major Black party in South Africa, and the
release from prison of Nelson Mandela in 1990. Mandela later became the first Black
president of South Africa, in 1994.

In addition to these international movements, many groups in the United States have been
inspired by the successes of the American civil rights movement to fight for government
protections, with varying degrees of success. Most notably, women, having gained the right
to vote in 1920 via constitutional amendment, also have made many gains in the area of
employment rights. The women’s rights movement has thus far been stopped short of passage
of the equal rights amendment, which would have codified equal rights for women in the U.S.
Constitution. Since its failure to be ratified in 1982, women have seen many gains in court
decisions that ruled against sex discrimination and have seen the passing of legislation such
as the Civil Rights Act of 1991, which established a commission designed to investigate the
persistence of the “glass ceiling” that has prevented women from advancing to top
management positions in the workplace.

A number of other groups were the focus of civil rights movements since the 1960s. In 1968
the U.S. Congress passed the Indian civil rights act. Latinos and Asian Americans fought for
increased civil rights based on a history of discrimination over race, religion, language, and
immigrant status. There were some successes in the form of provisions for bilingual
education and affirmative action programs.

More recently, Arab Americans and the LGBTQ community took centre stage in the struggle
to achieve equal protection and equal opportunity in American society. After the terrorist
attack of September 11, 2001, Arab Americans suffered from heightened levels of
discrimination and hate crimes and had to conform to government policies that restricted their
liberties, as codified in the controversial USA PATRIOT act of 2001.

The gay rights movement made some major gains in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Some
states allowed same-sex marriage, and others granted benefits to same-sex civil partnerships,

but at the beginning of the 21st century the majority of the U.S. population opposed same-sex
marriage. Moreover, some social conservatives in the U.S. demanded a constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriage. By 2010, however, about half of the U.S. population
supported legalization of same-sex marriage, and, in June 2015 in its decision on the
Obergefell v. Hodges case, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage and
on recognizing same-sex marriages duly performed in other jurisdictions were
unconstitutional under the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth
Amendment, thereby legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

Almost all countries actively deny civil rights to some minority groups. Because civil rights
are enforced by countries, it is difficult to establish an international standard for civil rights
protection, despite the efforts of international governance bodies such as the United nations .
The universal declaration of human rights which was adopted by the General Assembly of the
United Nations in 1948, includes civil rights language but is not binding on member states.

Gender equality is at the very heart of United Nations values. Equality between men and
women has been among the most fundamental guarantees of human rights and a fundamental
principle of the United Nations Charter adopted by world leaders in 1945 is “equal rights of
men and women“, and protecting and promoting women’s human rights is the responsibility
of all States.. It proclaimed the equal entitlements of women and men to the rights contained
in it, “without distinction of any kind, such as … sex, ….” This prohibition of discrimination
based on sex is repeated in its Articles 13 (mandate of the General Assembly) and 55
(promotion of universal human rights).

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights guarantees, among other rights, the
right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, the right to liberty and security of
the person, rights relating to due process in criminal and legal proceedings, equality before
the law, freedom of movement, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of
association, rights relating to family life and children, rights relating to citizenship and
political participation, and minority groups’ rights to their culture, religion and language. The
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights guarantees, for instance, the
right to work, the right to form trade unions, rights relating to marriage, maternity and child
protection, the right to an adequate standard of living, the right to health, the right to
education, and rights relating to culture and science.

Yet millions of women around the world continue to experience discrimination:

 Laws and policies prohibit women from equal access to land, property and housing.
 Economic and social discrimination results in fewer and poorer life choices for
women, rendering them vulnerable to trafficking
 Gender-Based Violence affects at least 30% of women globally
 Women are denied their sexual and reproductive health rights
 Women human rights defenders are ostracized by their communities and seen as a
threat to religion, honour or culture
 Women’s crucial role in peace and security is often overlooked, as are the particular
risks they face in conflict situations

Moreover, some groups of women face compounded forms of discrimination — due to

factors such as their age, ethnicity, disability, or socio-economic status — in addition to their

Effectively ensuring women’s human rights requires, firstly, a comprehensive understanding

of the social structures and power relations that frame not only laws and politics but also the
economy, social dynamics and family and community life.

Harmful gender stereotypes must be dismantled, so that women are no longer viewed in the
light of what women “should” do and are instead seen for who they are: unique individuals,
with their own needs and desires.

Which international documents and institutions are important?

United Nations

The founding United Nations charter (1945) included a provision for equality between men
and women (chapter III, article 8). Subsequently, from 1945 various female officials within
the United Nations and leaders of women’s movements on the global stage attempted to turn
these principles into action.

The Covention on the Political Rights of Women adopted in 1953 by UN General Assembly
is a first international legislation regarding political rights of women and it aims to codify a
basic international standard for women’s political rights. It has 122 state parties.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

(CEDAW) is an international treaty adopted by UN General Assembly in 1979. The
Convention defines discrimination in its article 1 as “… any distinction, exclusion or
restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying
the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a
basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the
political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.”

The Convention articulates the nature and meaning of sex-based discrimination and lays out
State obligations to eliminate discrimination and achieve substantive equality. As with all
human rights treaties, only States incur obligations through ratification. However, the
Convention articulates State obligations to address not only discriminatory laws, but also
practices and customs, and discrimination against women by private actors.

Both civil and political rights (rights to vote, to participate in public life, to acquire, change or
retain one’s nationality, equality before the law and freedom of movement) and economic,
social and cultural rights (rights to education, work, health and financial credit) are covered
by The Convention. CEDAW and its Optional Protocol from 1999 are referred to as the
international bill of rights for women. Structured around the concepts of equality and non-
discrimination, the Convention asserts: “…the equality of women and men and the right of
women to be treated equally in every sphere of life. Focusing on civil and political as well as
economic and social rights, the Convention urge[s] States to take positive measures in the
field of public administration, education, health, employment and the family to ensure that
women enjoy full equality with men.”

CEDAW encompasses a variety of possible discriminatory actions (any distinction, exclusion

or restriction) having either the express purpose or the actual effect of discriminating against
women. The Convention goes further than other human rights treaties in also describing in
detail the State obligations and actions to be taken to achieve gender equality in practice. It
not only requires equality between women and men, but also prohibits practices that can
perpetuate women’s inequality. Substantive gender equality and formal gender equality, as

well as de facto discrimination and de jure discrimination, are central concepts in the
Convention’s equality framework. Among the countries that have ratified CEDAW few have
a legal bar to the eligibility of women, yet women remain seriously underrepresented at all
levels of government.

Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women (DEVAW) was adopted by UN

General Assembly in 1993.

Article 1

For the purposes of this Declaration, the term “violence against women” means any act of
gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or
psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or
arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

DEVAW became the first international instrument explicitly addressing violence against
women, providing a framework for national and international action. It defines violence
against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in,
physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts,
coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.

Fourth World Conference on Women convened by the United Nations in 1995 had a key
outcome in Beijing Declaration. This document, alongside its Platform for Action set up a
visionary agenda for the empowerment of women. It still remains today the most
comprehensive global policy framework and blueprint for action and is a current source of
guidance and inspiration to realize gender equality and the human rights of women and girls,
everywhere. The Beijing Declaration is an agenda for women’s empowerment. It aims at
removing all the obstacles to women’s active participation in all spheres of public and private
life through a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and political decision-making.
It emphasizes that equality between women and men is a matter of human rights and a
condition for social justice and is also a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for equality,
development and peace.

In 2012 UN General Assembly adopted a resolution called A Future We Want which calls for
enhancing gender equality and women’s rights. Resolution supports prioritizing measures to
promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in all spheres of societies, including the

removal of barriers to their full and equal participation in decision-making and management
at all levels, and emphasizes the impact of setting specific targets and implementing
temporary measures, as appropriate, for substantially increasing the number of women in
leadership positions, with the aim of achieving gender parity.

The Special Rapporteur on violence against women is a part of what is known as the Special
Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of
independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s
independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country
situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world.

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights in resolution 1994/45, adopted on 4

March 1994, decided to appoint a Special Rapporteur on violence against women.

According to his/her mandate the Special Rapporteur is requested among others to:

 recommend measures, ways and means at the local, national, regional and
international levels to eliminate all forms of violence against women and its causes,
and to remedy its consequences
 work closely with all special procedures and other human rights mechanisms of the
Human Rights Council and with the treaty bodies, taking into account the request of
the Council that they regularly and systematically integrate the human rights of
women and a gender perspective into their work, and cooperate closely with the
Commission on the Status of Women in the discharge of its functions.

One of the latest urges that Special Rapporteur on violence against women, pointed was
regarding the topic of violence against women in politics called “Stop violence against
women in politics”. She pointed that violence against politically active women is, when it
results in a tragic outcome in particular, a form of highly visible violence against women that
aims to discourage their political participation. It constitutes a major barrier to women’s
political participation and thus denies them their civil and political rights. It also hinders the
participation of half of the world’s population, thus undermining the democratic exercise and
good governance and as such is creating a democratic deficit.

Council of Europe

In 2011 the Council of Europe adopted the Convention on preventing and combating violence
against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).

By ratifying The Istanbul Convention, states are obliged to implement in their legislation a
document whose main task, as the name implies, is protection of women from all forms of
violence and consequently eliminating violence against women and domestic violence.

This is the first legal-binding international instrument which criminalizes acts such as
physical, mental and sexual violence, sexual harassment, forced marriage, female genital
mutilation and forced abortion. It practically means that states that ratify it for the first time
are obliged to introduce these serious criminal offenses into their criminal procedures.

This Convention for the first time includes enabling financial aid to victims as well as the
obligation of the state to annually finance an adequate number of shelters for women.

GREVIO is a body that oversees the implementation of the Convention. It consists of 10 to

15 persons who ought to be distinguished in the field of human rights protection, protecting
women from violence and must not be members of political parties. GREVIO can collect
information about the implementation of the Convention from NGOs and civil society, as
well as from national institutions for the protection of human rights.

States are obliged to undertake measures for promoting programs and activities for
empowerment of women and prevention of violence through various campaigns for
informing the public. Campaigns such as these will also be undertaken to eliminate gender

Responsibility for ensuring a certain form of legal aid to the victims is also provided in order
for victims to gain information and access to regional and international mechanisms of
complaints as well as to free phone lines for help.

All 28 EU member states have individually signed the convention, but only 18 of them have
ratified it.

In 2003 Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe brought up Recommendation Rec

(2003) on balanced participation of women and men in political and public decision making.
This document sets out the standard which has since been followed by other organisations

and countries: balanced participation of women and men is defined as a minimum 40%
representation of each sex in any decision-making body in political and public life. A set of
legislative, administrative and supportive measures is recommended to member states in
order to achieve balanced participation and equal sharing of decision making power between
women and men. Its implementation by member states has been monitored to provide
member states with information on progress and existing gaps.

There are vast disparities between European countries in terms of the representation of
women in national parliaments. The average representation of women in January 2005 stood
at 21.2 percent for the Lower Houses in EU member states, accession countries and the

Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years,
women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labour
and sex slavery. They are refused access to education and political participation, and some
are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Around the world,
deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, and women are prevented
from making deeply personal choices in their private lives. Human Rights Watch is working
toward the realization of women’s empowerment and gender equality—protecting the rights
and improving the lives of women and girls on the ground.

Need to fight for equality and change

Women all over the world have also been in solidarity with men – a few men. But let us say
now that we see an increasing number of men who are willing to come forward and even say
“I am a feminist”. We would never have thought that, even five years ago. So, we are getting

We have a movement at UN Women called HeForShe, a movement of men who stand for
gender equality and who are not afraid to stand up. But we need more men to come up front.
Because when good men do not take a step forward, do not act, that is conspiracy against
women. We therefore are urging men to do their part and to come forward.

We want to highlight the fact that harassment at the workplace is the responsibility of
regulators, of ministers of employment, of shareholders, of HR, of customers, and of

investors. If there is a fire hazard at a workplace, you do not leave that to the workers to sort
out. It is the responsibility of everybody who benefits from the work being done in that place.
So, perpetrators must not only be the problem of those who are being offended by the
perpetrators. It is a social responsibility. And Times Up says that, from now onwards, we all
take responsibility, we all make a change. It must never be like this again. The next
generation must not experience this.

I agree with my sisters that gender inequality is complex. Unequal pay is a violation that is
experienced by women all over the word, demonstrating how women’s work is not valued.
Women are disproportionally represented in low-paying jobs with no minimum wage in the
“sticky floors”, with little possibility to rise up through the ranks. It’s hard work for those
who rise up, climb the ladder and try to smash the glass ceiling – and sometimes it’s even a
steel ceiling. And those who manage to break the glass ceiling find that there are other
women right at the floor who have to sweep up the glass. There are men who should just
remove those ceilings so there is no shattering of anything. The door should just be open.

We are calling therefore for the brotherhood of sisterhood. Everyone benefits in a gender
equal society. The fact that in 2018 there is not a single country that we as the United Nations
can say is a country that has attained gender equality frustrates me very much.

Some critical barriers to gender equality exist in all countries. Violence is one. Unequal pay
and the limited participation of women in the economy where it matters most, therefore
making poverty disproportionally a problem for women, is another. There is not a country in
the world where women are significantly represented in decision-making roles where there is
power and money at stake. The exploitation of girls through trafficking, sex slavery and
harmful practices including child marriage and female genital mutilation is a problem that we
see around the world, as well as the over-representation of women in unpaid care work,
where they look after children, old people, disabled people and people in communities and
families without pay. There are some of the key barriers that keep women down in our
society. The changes that we are talking about must remove all of these, all at the same time,
for all women, in every corner of the world so that the 21 st century will be different.

In the 19th century, people fought and defeated slavery. The slaves did not fight just by
themselves, there was solidarity. In the 20th century, it was a fight against racism and
colonialism. It was not only the people who were affected by colonialism who fought, it was

the whole of society. The 21st century has got to be where we fight and win against sexism,
against gender-based violence, against all forms of oppression against women. This is why
we are here.

4. Homosexual relationships: Equality for every gender and abolishing stigma.

“People changed lots of other personal things all the time. They dyed their hair and
dieted themselves to near death. They took steroids to build muscles and got breast
implants and nose jobs so they'd resemble their favourite movie stars. They changed
names and majors and jobs and husbands and wives. They changed religions and
political parties. They moved across the country or the world — even changed
nationalities. Why was gender the one sacred thing we weren’t supposed to change?
Who made that rule?”
― Ellen Wittlinger, Parrotfish

Even though world started adopting a notion of brotherhood and sisterhood by ending
violence and struggling to establish peace, there are some people out there – our brothers
and sisters who are facing stigma just because of their sexual orientation. Even though
most people give astounding speeches and show some concern towards the community,
they still don’t want their children to have this condition. Yet there are many inspirational
heroes who faced this toxicity, criticism, harsh behaviour, discrimination, etc and yet
stood in front of us as the new faces of the Trans community – A true inspiration indeed
for billions of people. When talking of gender equality, it is important to mention the
Trans community which is a motivating factor for achieving it. Infact it is also important
to address their struggles, motivations and motto for the purpose of educating the
upcoming generations on the need for ending stigma and spreading brotherhood and

Getting familiar with categories of genders

Although raising a topic about one’s gender could be sexist, identifying one’s gender and
making them comfortable is always a preferable gesture. When categorising genders, it is
important to note that we are introducing these categories just to spread a basic
understanding on gender division and with no sexist intentions. The primary gender
categories are cisgender and transgender which represent binary gender category and non-
binary or whose gender doesn’t correspond with their birth gender respectively. The
cisgender consists of the binary gender divisions like male and female who maintain the
same gender from the time of their birth and possess heterosexual relationships only. The
transgender on the other hand can be of non-binary gender division or may have
undergone transformation into opposite gender. There are various reasons that influence

the gender tendencies. Biological reasons such as hormone changes, birth related issues,
chromosome problems etc influence the behaviour, sexual orientation and interests of
certain individuals. These tendencies may develop at various periods of time depending
on the individual. In most cases, the individuals experiencing such behaviours are not
aware of the conditions that influence them and often tend to bend in to avoid revealing
their identity. Most researchers and medical professionals argue that hormonal changes
are common in individuals owing to birth related problems and other problems and it has
nothing to do with their personalities, intellect, capabilities, etc. While this is the case, the
transgender people still face criticism, denial, backlash, etc which proves that the
transgender people are being exploited just for their sexual orientation.

The transgender category comprises of various genders like gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc.
The birth gender, orientation, and conversion determine the category of transgender
revelation. It can be a girl at birth converting herself to a man, a boy at birth converting
himself to a woman or the other category where irrespective of their birth gender; certain
people tend to have sexual orientation for any gender. This feelings or orientation
associated with same gender or every gender are purely resulting from biological reasons
and has nothing to do with their characterisations or personalities. While it is true that
some of the religious teachings determine such kind of orientations as sinister, there is no
proof that these teachings are reasonable. I mean how can one be sinister because of their
hormonal problems? Due to social reasons, religious myths and out spread public hatred
towards a group of people just for their condition is not at all healthy and needs
contemplation from this society.

Recent surveys say that transgender people face more discrimination compared to the
cisgenders in work places and public. The position of transgender people unfortunately is
distinct in developed and under-developed/developing countries. The disparities
associated with gender categorisation and the stigma that is prevalent is purely hate
towards transgender community for no good cause. The world today is evolving towards
power tech like Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing, the system is highly
organized with civilization and culture development in every corner of the world, most of
the remote and uncivilized villages are shaping out to be better. Still illogical stigma and
hate are prevalent in every community which is becoming challenging to eradicate.

Homosexual Relationships and social ethic

In most of the societies homosexual relationships are often seen as an aberration or a queer
social association in terms of social and behavioural fabric. The idea of same sex
relationships, bisexual orientations and oddities often make people uncomfortable which is
why they consider the very act of homosexual relationships and such behaviours oddly
anomalous in the social fabric that encompasses the cisgenders. Homophobia, stigma
(negative and usually unfair beliefs), and discrimination (unfairly treating a person or group
of people) against gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men still exist in the every
part of the world and can negatively affect the health and well-being of this community. The
very idea is so wrong in terms of social convention and logical sense. Any person would
know that everything part of nature is not so perfect and infact that is what makes it unique
and beautiful. Ostracizing a particular group of people not only for their gender orientation,
caste, ethnicity and so on but also what they stand for is possibly one of the cruellest act of
mankind. Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination can be especially hard for young men who
are gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. These negative attitudes increase
their chance of experiencing violence, especially compared with other students in their
schools. Violence can include behaviours such as bullying, teasing, harassment, physical
assault, and suicide-related behaviours.

Gay and bisexual youth and other sexual minorities are more likely to be rejected by their
families. This increases the possibility of them becoming homeless. Around 40% of homeless
youth are LGBT. A study published in 2009 compared gay, lesbian, and bisexual young
adults who experienced strong rejection from their families with their peers who had more
supportive families. The researchers found that those who experienced stronger rejection
were about:

 8 times more likely to have tried to commit suicide

 6 times more likely to report high levels of depression
 3 times more likely to use illegal drugs
 3 times more likely to have risky sex

Variation, separation and segregation however hardwired they may be in our DNAs, the
common sense and the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood makes us what we are and what
we stand for. The social boundaries and barriers that were established years ago and passed
on to generations on maintaining stigma surprises me on how hate can be prominently passed
on but love cannot. Imagine a situation where a child is born with different sexual orientation
in a highly orthodox family. The fear of reaching out on his or her situation or worse the
consequences of being exposed are highly imaginable. Most parents even abandon their
children or treat them real bad after identifying their situation. The real question though is
what crime did they commit? Most people take it for granted that having homosexual
tendencies is sinister and outrageous and doesn’t even give a thought about why they should
actually show stigma. I am not familiar with every religion and every ethnicity but to my
knowledge no community welcomes the possibility of homosexual relationships and
condemns them publicly.

Given these situations it is only a daunting task to be openly gay and still cope with
everything. With that fear in mind, most of the people having homosexual tendencies fail to
come out and express their mind out clearly which is clearly a big problem. And people who
come out and express their orientation often face criticism for the condition that is beyond
their control. The stigma against transgender people in my opinion is one of the rankest social
segregation that practically has no reason except for hate.

So how can we eliminate this public hatred that has no better intention? Simple act against it.
Stigma in any form is more dangerous and sinister actually and people are failing to see this.
Our ultimate aim and motivation in writing this book is to achieve attention from youth
towards these points and think about it. Once they give a thought on these crucial points, I
think they can start acting towards combating stigma. When the need for establishing
brotherhood and sisterhood with every other human being is realised then the dream of many
gender advocates, activists, protesters, etc will surely come true. The best of all is that the
world will become a better place for every person of any gender.

The LGBQT rights

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), United Nations and the human rights
treaties outright state that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”
According to these charters and treaties, it is offensive and punishable to discriminate people
based on their sexual orientation, race, caste, ethnicity, etc. On the grounds of human equality
and human well being any person who violates the treaties and uses offensive language or
insinuations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people are prone to penalty.

The United Nations Human Rights council has conducted a survey on various forms of abuse
on transgender people and listed them. The following were the reasons listed in their

1. Violent attacks that include verbal abuse, bullying, physical threats, torturing,
kidnapping, forced killings, etc.
2. Discriminative criminal laws that enforce the same sex relations as criminal offense
and order punishments when proven guilty.
3. Restricting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals from their basic
rights like freedom of speech, freedom of expression, identity etc.
4. Discriminatory treatment of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people in work
places, religious gatherings, neighbourhoods and other publicly accessible places and
making derisive comments on their sexual orientation and maligning their reputation

The following given above are the various kinds of abuses that Trans, bisexual, gay and
lesbian people encounter in most of the places. It is only shame to see that a group of
particular people are biased, discriminated, ostracized and publicly shamed for their
biological condition.

The history of homosexual relationships in India is quite unique. According to the Hinduism,
homosexual relationships and sexual orientation different from natural behaviour is never
considered a sin. Infact the Sanskrit scriptures, ancient sculptures depicted the homosexual
alliance of men and explained how it is natural to have such feelings. The Kama sutra, a
Sanskrit scripture explaining various sexual behaviours explains the homosexual behaviours
among men as tritiya-prakriti and that between women as svairini. Most of the mythical
characters are also depicted as possessing homosexual behaviour. In the reign of the Mughal
Empire however, the homosexual relationships were considered punishable and are
forbidden. The colonial rule of British perceived the homosexual relationships and sexual
relationships against the order of nature as criminal offence. They introduced the section 377
(1861) of the Indian Penal Code according to which the homosexual relationships are
offensive and the guilty are subject to punishment. The section 377 continued for decades
even in the post colonial India and the rule considered homosexual relationships as immoral
and unjust. There were many instances when there was a calling for repealing the section in
parliament but it was not until August 2017 there was a positive reaction towards annulling

the law. After repeated revisions finally on 6th September 2018, the Supreme Court issued a
legal statement calling the section 377 as unconstitutional. There were still no laws legalizing
gay marriage in India. However there are certain countries where gay marriages were made
legal including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa
Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta,
Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa ,Sweden,
Taiwan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. However there are certain
laws issued by the constitution in support of transgender people.

1. The law states that discrimination and criticism in any form against people on basis of
gender, sexual orientation, caste, religion, place of birth, etc is a punishable offence.
2. No citizen shall be subject to restriction, disability, liability to access the public
services, resources and respect.

The transgender people are however banned from serving in military in not only India, but
also in countries like United States. There are still some nations where homosexuality is seen
as an offensive crime. Several countries in Asian and African continents prohibit the
homosexual relationships and the Islamic law states that homosexuality is against the
religious policies. Countries that abide by Islamic law prohibit homosexual tendencies as
offensive. Even if the transgender people are open to reveal their identity in countries like
India, they still do not enjoy complete freedom in aspects like gay marriage, joint adoption of
a child, etc. The bills are still in progress and the legal system is slowly evolving to emerge
into a gender friendly system and therefore is high time that we start burning stigma and
protecting our brothers and sisters.

What can parents, teachers, friends and society can do?

Parents play a greater role in ending stigma and making the transgender child comfortable.
There are many situations where gay children are abandoned by their parents for their
condition and the disgrace that accompanies this condition. But if only the parents start
thinking that this condition has nothing to do with public disgrace and start educating
children on the importance of accepting every individual as equal, then the situation would be
way different for better. The responsibility of ending stigma obviously starts with parents and
the ultimate support for homosexual and bisexual people is obviously their own parents.
Showing them empathy and being compassionate could make them feel better and positive.
Accepting the situation is not ok for every parent but what would be wrong in accepting them

as they are. There are way many things that can make anyone feel weird about their children
but this ain’t one. Most parents acknowledge their children to be gay and start behaving way
weirder but not when they find out that their son is rapist. If one is ready to defend a rapist
son say, then why can’t one defend a gay son/daughter. Parents of a gay or bisexual teen can
have an important impact on their child’s current and future mental and physical well-being.
Parents should talk openly with their teen about any problems or concerns and watch for
behaviours that might show their child is being bullied or is experiencing violence. If
bullying, violence, or depression is suspected, parents should take immediate action working
with school staff and other adults in the community.

Schools are one of the major places where discrimination is observed in highest frequency.
Most Trans women and men are bullied, beaten up and tormented during their school years
once their identity is exposed. One of the basic reasons for many teens not revealing their
sexual orientation is due to this threats they may face at schools and universities. There are
also situations when teachers showed some bias for the transgender identity of an individual.
With these situations yearly many transgender students all over the world refrain themselves
from opening up on their identity, quit studying, commit suicides, practice drug intake and so
on. Therefore schools should operate on few rules to make a comfortable place for
transgender people.

Schools can also help reduce stigma and discrimination for young gay, bisexual, and other
men who have sex with men. A positive school environment is associated with less
depression, fewer suicidal feelings, lower substance use, and fewer unexcused school
absences among LGBT students. Schools can help create safer and more supportive
environments by preventing bullying and harassment, promoting school connectedness, and
promoting parent engagement. This can be done through the following policies and practices:

 Encourage respect for all students and not allow bullying, harassment, or violence
against any students.
 Identify safe spaces, such as counsellor’s offices, designated classrooms, or student
organizations, where gay and bisexual youth can get support from administrator,
teacher, or other school staff.
 Encourage student-led and student-organized school clubs that promote a safe,
welcoming, and accepting school environment (such as gay-straight alliances, which
are school clubs open to youth of all sexual orientations).

 Make sure that health classes or educational materials include HIV and STD
information that is relevant to gay and bisexual youth too, making sure that the
information uses inclusive words or terms.
 Encourage school district and school staff to create and publicize trainings on how to
create safe and supportive school environments for all students, regardless of sexual
orientation or gender identity and encourage staff to attend these trainings.
 Make it easier for students to have access to community-based providers who have
experience providing health services, including HIV/STD testing and counselling, and
social and psychological services to gay and bisexual youth.

When it comes to the societal responsibilities, every individual must feel the need to
accommodate every individual in the community and make them feel comfortable. Biases,
public shaming, criticism, strong verbal attacks, strangling, denial of public participation,
abandonment, etc must be seen as offensive and we as the citizens and part of community
must initiate action to strictly penalise these actions. Everyone is entitled to have similar
treatment and each one of us must be obliged to make sure that the following is being done.
As socially responsible citizens we all must group together in abolishing stigma!

Learn, Understand and Question: Some Inspirational Transgender Personalities

“I dare to dream of a world where people can dress, speak, and behave how they want,
free from mockery, derision, judgment, harassment, and danger. This is what I want.
Who’s with me?” – Juno Dawson

There are many influential people who are transgender. The main purpose of listing them is
to reflect on how they faced a lot of stigma and still coped up with it. While it feels difficult
to handle few disparaging words from our boss, imagine how hard it would be for them if
people tormented them for their biological condition. We never knew what other person is
actually going through and it is really important for us to end stigma and start understanding.
Instead of asking why are you gay? or casting obscenities, just stay by their side and inform
them that this is just a condition and there is nothing wrong at all. Try making any of your
transgender friends more comfortable knowing that they are your equals and they can do
wonders exactly like you can do or I can do.

1. Christine Jorgensen

Christine Jorgensen was the first person to undergo a successful sex change that involved
both surgery and hormone therapy, in the early 1950s. A former army officer, she endured
high levels of press scrutiny in her home country, the USA, over the change. Her very public
change from a man to a woman prompted new levels of public dialogue in the US about
gender identity and gender dysphoria.

2. Renee Richards

A star tennis player, Renee Richards made history by fighting the US Tennis Association’s
decision to deny her entry into the Women’s Category of the 1976 US Open and to use
genetic testing as a condition of entry. In a landmark ruling for transsexual rights, the New
York Supreme Court confirmed she was a woman so should be allowed to play in the
women’s tournament. The court also said the use of genetic testing violated her human rights
and was “grossly unfair, discriminatory and inequitable”.

3. Angela Morley

Angela Morley was an English composer and conductor: she wrote scores for BBC radio
shows, Hollywood films and TV shows, such as Dallas and Dynasty. Even though many
people think it was Laverne Cox, Morley was actually the first openly transgender person to
win an Emmy Award (for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction), first in 1988, and
again in 1990, and to be nominated for an Academy Award.

4. Mianne Bagger

Danish-born, Australian-raised Mianne Bagger is a pioneer in one of the world’s most
infamously conservative sports: golf. After undergoing sex reassignment surgery in 1995, she
returned to the game she’d loved when the world still saw her as a boy. She quickly rose to
the top of the amateur circuit in Australia, but so long as pro golf associations insisted that
only women who were born women could compete the “female at birth” rule she couldn’t
take her talent any further. In response, Bagger spent the next few years advocating
powerfully for the rights of post-transition athletes who, as she pointed out to many an ill-
informed critic, were not shown to have any clear physical advantage over their female-at-
birth opponents. Her arguments were convincing and association after association amended
their rules (though it would be a while before the LPGA amended theirs). In 2004, Bagger
became the first openly transgender woman to play in the Women’s Australian Open and the
year after, on the Ladies’ European Tour.

5. Georgina Beyer

Georgina Beyer the former actor, cabaret singer and sex worker was elected mayor of the
little town of Carterton in 1995, she became the first openly transgender person to hold an
equivalent office in New Zealand, or anywhere in the world. When she was elected to
parliament for the Labour Party four years later, she became the world’s first Trans MP. The
same electorate of rural, traditionally conservative voters would go on to re-elect her twice
more. Beyer resigned from parliament in 2007. Last year she returned to politics as a
candidate for the Mana Party in New Zealand’s general election. She didn’t win a seat, but
remains a prominent commentator, especially on LGBT rights.

6. Padmini Prakash

Disowned by her family as a teenager and saved from suicide, Prakash first found work as a
dancer, then as an actress. She went on to compete in the Trans beauty pageants reserved for
the braver members of India’s estimated two-million-strong population of hijira, or
transgender people. Last year, after the Indian Supreme Court recognized “the right of every

human being to choose their gender” and ordered the government to provide equal protection
and opportunity for hijira, Lotus TV hired Prakash. After two months of training, Prakash
presented her first show on Indian Independence Day. “Padmini now anchors better than
many others,” a spokesperson for the station said. “We get very good feedback from

7. Joyita Mondal

Born in a traditional Hindu household in West Bengal, Joyita Mondal suffered a lot of
discrimination owing to her being a Trans person. She had to drop out of school, sleep at a
bus stand, and beg on the streets. It no longer bothers her though, because all of it has
contributed to who she is today — India's first transgender judge.

8. Shabnam Mausi

Four years after the hijra community was allowed to cast their vote, Shabnam Bano, also
known as Shabnam Mausi (Aunty), was elected member of the Madhya Pradesh State
Legislative Assembly from the Sohagpur constituency and held the office from 1998 to 2003.
Inspired by the Shabnam Mausi, the hijras in Madhya Pradesh went on to launch their very
own political party called Jeeti Jitayi Politics. In 2005, Yogesh Bharadwaj directed a feature
film depicting Shabnam's life starring Ashutosh Rana as the lead.

9. Kalki Subramaniam

A journalist, writer, actor and activist, Kalki holds two master degrees in Journalism and
Mass Communication and International Relations. Now, she is India's first transgender
entrepreneur. Growing up, Kalki had a tough time convincing her family to accept her as she
is, living like a gypsy for 15 years and never giving up. She wanted to be an example for the
whole transgender community, inspiring them to live independently and with dignity.

10. Laverne Cox

Laverne Cox has continued Angela Morley’s legacy of transgender women wowing
Hollywood. She is the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime
Emmy Award in the acting category, for her portrayal of Sophia Burset on the Netflix
television series Orange is the New Black. She has become a prominent advocate of LGBT
rights, recently speaking out against the proposed law in North Carolina that forces
transgender people to use public toilets according to the gender on their birth certificates.

There are still so many inspirational and influential people who changed the view point of
world towards Trans community. It is our turn to end stigma and light up friendship with
every person irrespective of their condition. In fact it is our responsibility is to completely
eliminate any awkwardness surrounding any abnormalities that our friends face. Raise the
flag and end stigma!

5. Pornography and Anti-pornography movement: Moving towards a friendly sex
education initiative.
The California pornography industry is a destructive, drug infested, abusive and
sexually diseased industry which causes severe negative secondary effects on
female and male adult industry workers as well as the general public.

-Shelley Lubben, ex porn star, Founder of ‘The Pink Cross Foundation’

Pornographic addiction is one of most troubling problem in today’s world. From the children
of age 6 to elders as old as 60, everyone are indulging in the practice of watching porn. Many
researchers argue that porn has the most damaging influence on children and porn misleads
them in understanding the real sex education. Most psychiatrists, experts and scientists agree
that porn is one of the major reasons for rape culture and most people watching porn form
different opinions over their female friends than those who don’t watch. Whether it is
harassments, physical torture, rapes or women trafficking the basic initiative behind these
brutal acts is same. The need for abolition of pornography may originate from various
reasons including religious, social, feminist, conservative and other views that try to educate
people on the negative effects watching porn can cause. Even the former adult industry stars
quote the pornographic film industry as dark and abusive. There are many studies that
outright state the negative effects of porn which we are going to introduce in this book.

Why pornography is becoming a sex education alternative?

Porn is watched by most of the people from different parts of the world. Even in the countries
that officially ban sexual content from being available in movies, web, series, media, etc,
pornographic videos are still available and youth are just binge watching these videos. What
is the exact reason for this wild addiction of porn in youngsters? Simple inappropriate sex
education and insufficient parental supervision. When children as small as 6 years old can
also have access to internet, the real question would be how prepared they are in using
internet. Movies, YouTube videos, websites that host adult content are the major sources for
getting access to pornographic videos and sexual content. Men and women reach a certain
age when they will be prepared to understand certain things about the sexuality and their
bodies. Such kind of education is the healthy sex education. But porn mostly consists of
violent sexual activity too erotic for naming it the sex education. Most porn videos may be a
long range love making video or a short but violent sexual video. Based on the data collected
from various pornographic sites, it is observed that the youth these days prefer more violent

pornographic videos that are too intense. Most activity in such videos include severe physical
abuse on the female porn star along with chocking, beating, double penetrations etc. Another
type of content that is getting more attention from the younger viewers are the threesome and
multi some videos portraying multiple sexual partners against one partner. Studies suggest
that these kinds of preferences indicate an outrageously negative impact of porn on its
viewers. Many psychologists say that based on their patients experiences, the partners who
are watching intense porn are demanding similar kind of experience from their partners. Such
an abusive sexual relation between couples is unhealthy both physically and mentally. There
are many negative consequences of porn that are ruining the personal, moral and social duties
of individuals.

If porn is really bad then why is it becoming an alternative for sex education in some places?
The basic reason for this is the amount of responsibility parents, schools and society take in
getting proper sex education to the children. In a country like India, although sex education is
embedded in the curriculum, how efficient it is in reaching to children? There is no particular
subject for sex education in any school for reaching out to children or atleast not in the
schools that every person has access to. And the only lessons which impart some knowledge
on sex education are not given much emphasis on. At the age of 16 - 22 every student is
forced into career building and at age of 23 – 25 everyone expects that they already possess
knowledge on sex education. My real intention in bringing out this point is to highlight the
significance of sex education during this period. Due to the improper guidance on this mater,
most of the students of all genders, races and castes ultimately end up at porn sites. Whether
intentionally or not, this age attracts stuff like this and can sometimes ruin the lives of
individuals. Porn addiction is just a weakness that adds up with time as a price for negligence.
Teaching children on how to build careers, buy cars, and make profits is necessary but giving
the child some knowledge on sex education is mandatory in every case. The reliance of youth
on these toxic pornographic sites for an understanding on sex is never a better thing.
Irrespective of how much money one has or how much honour one has, the relationship
between two partners must not influenced by porn. It must be influenced by a healthy and a
more understanding sex education initiative. Parents, teachers and society must certainly
consider this and enforce sex education initiatives accordingly.

Negative effects of porn on mental, social and biological lives

Pornography comes with a wide range of negative effects on its users and they range from
personal to social depiction of an individual. Generally the idea of healthier relationships,
avoidance of teen pregnancies, non abusive sexual relations are declining these days with
porn inspired sexual relations on spike. The real effects however are not just limited to the
family life and relations but have a wider influence on society as a whole. Our research on the
rape cases that caught public attention starting from the Nirbhaya to the Hatras incident, we
found that most of the culprits are uneducated, daily wagers and lower poverty line people.
The importance of education in this context the sex education and social ethic must be a basic
right at the same time responsibility of every citizen. Lack of awareness on the social ethic
and moral responsibilities coupled with passionate porn addictions are the basic causes for
these brutal rape cases. The porn video depending on its length carries various kinds of
responses in the body and brain. People who watch porn excessively reportedly are
maladjusted, aggressive and have troubles in handling their relations with parents, partners,
colleagues etc. And looking at social media and their lustful comments on posts by models,
actresses and even normal women made me realise to what extent the porn has impacted
them. When people are posting condolences for rape victims through social media, there is lot
of negativity and worst of all there are certain people who are celebrating the rapists for their
chance with the victim. To this level porn is slowly consuming the youth. To this level porn
is burning away the social ethic and worse creating rapists!

I wouldn’t blame every porn viewer as such but there are certainly some negative impacts of
porn on individuals who watch them. Here are certain effects I came through studying on the
negative impacts of porn.

1. Pornography alters the viewpoints of most men who watch porn on daily basis. Men
who habitually look at pornography have a higher tolerance for abnormal sexual
behaviours, sexual aggression, promiscuity, and even rape. In addition, men begin to
view women and even children as “sex objects,” commodities or instruments for their
pleasure, not as persons with their own inherent dignity.
2. Pornography addiction cause increase in dopamine level which inhibits their interest
in their work, relations, etc. Worst of all is that this increasing dopamine levels
persuade the individual seeking more pleasure and can also engage the individual in
promiscuity or rape.
3. Heavy exposure to pornography leads men to judge their mates as sexually less
attractive, resulting in less satisfaction with their affection, physical appearance, and

sexual behavior. The need for more intense sexual stimulation brought on by
pornography can lead to boredom in normal relationships and a greater likelihood of
seeking sexual pleasure outside of marriage.
4. The pornography content presents the viewers with a distorted perception of reality.
Most adult industry workers and porn stars are sexually active and take breaks during
filming. The aggressive activity depicted may not be shot in a single shot and may not
involve that degree of physical abuse. But the viewers expect that kind of pleasure
watching those videos. Most viewers do not even realize what they are putting their
partners through by trying to imitate pornography practices.
5. Uncontrolled pornography consumption and its addiction can also extreme
consequences which can turn into sexual addiction and persuades promiscuity in most
cases. Sexually transmitted diseases like HIV are mostly transmitted in these kinds of
sexual interactions. Teen pregnancies out of wed locks, prostitution forced under age
marriages are some consequences that can occur with sexual addictions and
unprotected sexual relations.
6. The pornographic content especially the one with aggressive, abusive and rape
oriented contents are the most viewed contents on the porn sites. Certain people with
psychotic personalities are more prone to adopt more violent practices and act out of
impulses. Most of the rape survivor victims reports that there was violence in their
encounter and some of them even reported that the rapists were watching porn before
attempting rape on them.

The influence of porn is not just on the individual, the victim, the family, the city, the state or
the country itself. It is huge and it is slowing tearing the society apart. It is time to realize and
act and diminish the impact. The essence of human relations, social responsibility and respect
for other gender are diminishing and we must set standards, teach lessons and bring back the
lost beauty of healthy sex education, responsible marriages and happy families.

Healthy sex education initiative

What does a healthy sex education initiative look like? In my opinion the major gap in an
effective sex education initiative is lack of communication. Lack of communication between
the parents and the child, lack of communication between the teacher and the student or lack
of communication between a responsible adult and a vague teenager. If there is proper
communication between two individuals an adult and a teenager, that could be really helpful

for the teenager to get out the strange feelings he/she possesses with the onset of puberty. If
there is communication on what is to be done, about how a healthy, safer sexual relationship
should be, I think youngsters don’t need to rely on porn. If adults can help the teenagers in
dopamine detox and getting them out of porn, I think there are hardly any of these negative
influences on youth.

In today’s world unfortunately the interaction between parents, relatives and people in
general is reducing. Most people especially youth and middle-agers are becoming addicts to
alcohol, drugs, pornography and other nasty things mostly to escape loneliness or lack of
care. With both parents working, change in the living style and changing habits youth are
mostly walking into wrong paths and porn is just one path. Most of the youth look on and
imitate the celebrities, actors, actresses and unfortunately their habits, addictions and tuning
is not healthy. Movies, entertainment resources must portray things more responsibly keeping
in mind that everything matters and make difference.

Schools could also utilize the curriculum time to create that interaction with the students and
actually have the talk with them. It is understandable that the world around is busy but atleast
schools could take part in educating students and bridging the gap. If there is someone who is
responsible and who can take the initiative to say the children that porn is bad imagine what
influence it can make. Most of us are aware that most of the bad habits are either learnt in
school or in the internet. If parents could monitor their child’s internet usage and if schools
take up the initiative in having a healthy talk with students about sensitive issues like drugs,
sex and relationships I think most of the youth problems are solved forever. However it is as
difficult to accomplish as it is easy to say.

Okay but does that end the motives of healthy sex education initiative? My answer is no.
Because in my opinion there are millions of people who are watching porn on daily basis and
it is still not mission accomplished without getting these people out of their addictions. I
understand that how important it is on banning porn for our future generations and teaching
them healthy and friendly sex education but think of it this way, a world where everyone is
aware of the importance of healthy sex education initiative and shove aside the fictional stuff
involved in porn. That is what we are expecting from the healthy sex education initiative. If
that makes any sense to any of you it is high time already and with no further delay start
spreading the message. Start doing it from your homes to the locality and to the state and to
the country. Bridge the gap between the adult and the confused teen or the six year child may

be confused with the content in the internet. Let them out of this by letting them know that it
is toxic and it is going to consume them. Show them what they can see in a sexual relation
and what they cannot and this responsibility lies not just on parents but everyone. Stop acting
so prude and start educating things to the younger, the craving and the confused. After all
everything about life must be taught including the sex education. There is absolutely no
shame about it!

6. Biological issues, related laws and women safety: A movement towards
strengthening women physically and mentally.
“Violators cannot live with the truth: survivors cannot live without it. There are
those who still, once again, are poised to invalidate and deny us. If we don't
assert our truth, it may again be relegated to fantasy. But the truth won't go
away. It will keep surfacing until it is recognized. Truth will outlast any
campaigns mounted against it, no matter how mighty, clever, or long. It is
invincible. It's only a matter of which generation is willing to face it and, in so
doing, protect future generations from ritual abuse.”
― Chrystine Oksana, Safe Passage to Healing: A Guide for Survivors of Ritual
The most interesting thing about women is that they are strong in most of the aspects
and have to handle so many things. When comparing men and women in terms of
their physical, mental and psychological anatomies, both are same at every level and
can be equally capable in achieving anything. There are some myths on women not
being able to handle muscle based jobs, high intellectual jobs or something like that.
To be clear the myths originate from a sexist view similar to a racist view claiming
that black people are not beautiful which actually makes no sense at all. Of course it is
true that women have some biological issues but that doesn’t validate that women are
not capable of working in strenuous tasks or cannot have an upper hand in male
dominated jobs. Through this chapter we intend to bring some biological issues
women face and how women need to prepare themselves in facing the challenges and
coping up with their daily duties.
Menstruation, period poverty and stigma
Every woman must pass through that one phase in life when she must be ready to deal
with the monster every single month. Yes the answer is menarche. It is a sweet story
to stay until you complete your safe trail and you have to deal with cramps and mood
swings. Periods are one of the greatest problems young girls face atleast the one who
had to skip classes for it. It is estimated that yearly many girls miss atleast 20 classes
each owing to their period problems, poor menstrual hygiene, health issues related to
periods or orthodox family history. Periods are natural part of the human development
and looking after period health and well being is necessary. I agree with the fact that
period cramps, mood swings and bloating during those 5-7 days can sometimes be
impossible to cope up with, but with world leaving no excuses for period problems so

should we. When talking more deeply about various problems I can quote that cramps
are more basic compared to the problems like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS),
polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), endometriosis, cervical cancers and hygiene
related problems. Based on some surveys it is observed that there were more PCOS
and PCOD cases reported during the last 25 years than the previous years. The
doctors explain that the basic reason behind the increase in the PCOS and PCOD
cases is due to the lack of proper diet plan, lack of exercise, increased fat and Trans
fat in the foods, lack of proper sleep and improper living habits. While a balance diet
is mandatory for teen girls and middle aged women, how many of us are actually
taking a balanced diet. No need of course to mention about the sharp increase in the
breast cancer cases each year. All the problems mentioned are associated with
imbalance in hormones or deficiency in certain nutrients which can be patched up
with proper food intake. Doctors and health experts quote a healthy period as minimal
or no cramps with one or no clots along with a consistent and fixed interval separated
cycle. But how many of us actually have these healthy periods? The problems
associated with periods and the complexities with pregnancies are increasing as the
time is progressing due to their unhealthy practices and carelessness towards their
period health.
What to do then? I agree that in this busy world with so much to do we really don’t
care for our health, our food intake or our habits. But if it makes any sense every
person in particular every woman must spend some time in exercise, meditation to
combat the severe period pains and mood swings. A perfect balanced diet for the
period cycle is prescribed where we take care of our food intake keeping in mind that
we get every nutrient essential at the proper time like for instance taking flax seed
during the period for efficient oestrogen build up, taking fresh leafy vegetables and
beetroots after periods to build up enough iron in the body and so on. Food intake and
efficient monitoring of the food we take can drastically change the period experience
and is therefore a necessary step in preparing ourselves for a period. The PMS is one
hard period that is an indication of the impending trouble “periods”. Inorder to deal
with the bloating and dullness during PMS most women munch on chocolate which is
advisory, although dark chocolate is more preferable. Inorder to avoid extreme
boredom and lethargy during PMS it is also advisory to have dopamine detox and to
do something creative during the PMS time. Picking up a new hobby, painting a new
picture or whatever activity that can provide you a quick dopamine detox pick it up

and make sure that you are occupied with something new (in case you are free) to
make you feel better during the PMS hard times. People who have problems like
PCOS, PCOD, endometriosis, cervical cancer, etc must also follow this along with
their respective medications and prescribed activities.
Although these issue can be resolved to a scale there are a portion of women who do
not have proper access to period hygiene supplies and proper balanced diet. Period
supplies are taxable supplies in many countries and most countries do not even have
access to period hygiene supplies to a wider population. What does that even mean? It
means that there are many women who don’t know that they need to use pads,
tampons or menstrual cups during their periods. It means that there are women and
girls who stay at home without attending schools or workplaces just because they
have period supplies. It means that period poverty is prevalent and many women are
still struggling to have access to period hygiene supplies. While most election
campaigns promise on free health care, subsidised food requirement supplies, etc they
miss out on subsidised period hygiene supplies. I felt so happy on learning that the
tribal welfare and social welfare schools in our state are providing free period hygiene
supplies to young girls studying there. It would be more happier if this was extended
to every girl and woman in need for period hygiene products. Period poverty is one of
the most common poverty in India. And period poverty not only comes in the lack of
supplies but also in lack of knowledge on menstrual hygiene. Most women and girls
are not aware of the facts on menstrual hygiene and it is possible that most of us
including me have to learn in explicitly. The reason behind this is that most of the
working class women are comfortable with using the same pad or tampon for a longer
time for their work time convenience. And most girls are not aware of the fact that
using pads for more than the prescribed time can cause issue like toxic shock
syndrome. Period education is therefore as necessary as period supplies and
unfortunately there are hardly any organisations that are voluntarily providing
information on period hygiene. Because menstrual cycle has so many complications
that have to be taken care of, it is necessary to have menstrual educators in schools,
colleges and villages. Government should take initiatives to avoid period poverty and
increase awareness on period hygiene to avoid any further complications in the young
women of this generation.
Another major issue I want to discuss about menstruation is the stigma that comes
around it. While one can say that this is the 21st century and it would be foolish to talk

about taboos and stigma surrounding periods, it is true that these still exist in our
society. The stigma that comes with periods can be due to religious reasons, socio-
economic reasons or cultural reasons. Whatever may be the reason for stigma and
taboos, the practice itself carries no meaning in abandoning or prohibiting the
accessibility of space to those who are having periods. In simpler terms, periods are
natural and no one is entitled to be treated that way for their natural conditions. The
taboos and stigma associated with periods is a serious thing to talk about. Fortunately
with changing world around, the percentage of period stereotypes and taboos are
reducing in the society. But we need to wait a longer time for this whole thing to
Pregnancies, female infanticide and abortions
Motherhood is one beautiful thing every woman will go through in her life. But
bringing a life into the world is no easier process. In the earlier days there were many
failed pregnancies and miscarriages that often lead to the death of the woman. As the
technology improved and medical practices evolved, the birth rates increased
resulting in the decline of mortality rates both in the mother and the child. But even
today there were many cases of miscarriages and abnormal termination of
pregnancies. As it goes the food is always a determining factor of what we are and
how good our health condition is. These days most women are working and initially
during first few months of pregnancy they are opting to work inorder to save some
leaves for the maternity leave. The development of the baby is primarily influenced
by the food intake, health condition of the mother, environment in which mother is
living and attitude of the mother towards her pregnancy. Most psychologists also say
that the pre-mature brain development mostly happens in the womb itself where they
develop basic perceptions of various things, personalities, behaviours, odours etc.
What should working women do then? Well it would be difficult to manage things
related to work along with the care required during pregnancy. Therefore there are
some basic things which can be done to balance the self care and profession.
Maintaining a healthy diet, especially the diet that comprises all the macro and micro
nutrients for the development of the baby is essential. A yoga course with asana
designed to facilitate blood circulation for pregnant mothers is a pair with the healthy
diet for the mothers to be. Inorder to keep oneself composed it is advised to do
meditation atleast half an hour owing to the availability of time. Although doctors
prescribe these things along with some medications and checkups, most women

would not follow these due to their busier schedules or ignorance. One crucial point to
remember is that our body at any phase of our life needs care and attention. Following
good diet habits along with proper exercise and meditation is a must for woman in
every phase of her life. It is even more important when she is bringing life into the
world. Women with most stressful jobs would have to create some time to relief their
stress. Although I suggest a self care of oneself during pregnancy, I do not prescribe
quitting work. Because pregnancy is one thing to be happy about but women cannot
miss out on their work for becoming pregnant. It is fine if women are working for
limited hours or with potential. But as far as women are working, they need to self
care themselves too.
While this whole deal is fine, what actually is the right age to have children? Well that
depends on individual and career plans once they reach the required age of having a
child. The reason for highlighting this issue is to bring up the teen pregnancies and
pregnancies out of the wedlock. Teen pregnancies are not as common in India as they
are in other countries. However it is worth discussing teen pregnancies along side
with pregnancies out of the wedlock. It is quite open when it comes to the reason
behind pregnancies out of wedlock. The gullibility of women and their susceptibility
towards the wrong person is always consequential. Most women who become
pregnant out of their wedlock and are abandoned from their partners claim themselves
as responsible for their departure and often tend to slip into depression. They still
cannot move away from the impression they had on their partners and often deny the
truth that they got cheated. Speaking about cheating it is also important to mention the
situations in which even men are susceptible to cheating from their partners. Mostly
cheating involves care free women who are not bothered by the feelings of their
partner or a womanizer who is just lustful and had no real feelings. Whatever might
be the case, it is clear that both men and women must need a proper mental stability
and must be strong internally too. It is mandatory that children were given proper
counselling on things like falling in love, keeping things open with them, choosing
right time to get married and to have kids. It may be simpler to improve physical
health in comparison to the mental stability and maturity. But change must come in
every young boy and girl so that they stop being so gullible to their needy partners.
Although this is a purely psychological and personal issue, my major intention in
bringing up this topic is to highlight its influence on the gender equality movement.
Feminism as it evolved has presented many ways for women to come out and express

their feelings to the society. But consequentially there are many things that were
going out of line due to the wrong use of feminism and its very existence. It has come
to my view that there are cases where women are involving in wrong practices like
cheating on their partners, etc and using feminism as a weapon to defame and destroy
men. I completely support men in this aspect as their views on feminism are getting
constantly narrowed down due to these malignancies, fake publicities and improper
use of feminism for their cause. We will discuss these issues deeper in the 8th chapter.
Abortions are the issues that are coupled with pregnancies. In most cases, failed
pregnancies proceed to abortions in the intention of saving the mother atleast. But
with the cases of abortions to terminate the girl child, abortions were enforced with
some regulations in most of the nations. Female infanticide is one major problem that
is prevalent even today. Statistics clearly state that almost all the female infanticide
cases happen in the lower income families or remote rural areas. The problem of
female infanticide rises from its root problems like dowry. Low income households
often feel raising a girl as a burdensome process. As women are imagined to be
destined to be married and have children, the mindsets of orthodox people got fixated
on the fact that a girl child is no gift. Moreover the cost of raising her, money for her
marriage, dowry and other gifts they must provide to their in laws, it seems a real
nerve wrecking job to low income households. But these are just stereotypes people
got to hold on women. As time progressed, position of women changed and so shall
the mindsets of people. There were laws and bills that are supporting women come
out of dowry, domestic violence and abuse by in laws. Women are trying to come out
of the shell and are striving to achieve equal to men. They are getting Nobel prizes,
starting companies, going to space and doing everything a man can do. So women are
no lesser than a man and every parent must realise this. Of course even though women
are achieving things and making things possible still there are families who are not
happy with a girl child in the family. It is high time that people start burning out these
stereotypes and welcome shining smiles of a girl child into the family. We need to set
right the mindsets of the parents to be normal about having a girl child and encourage
them to go for bigger things as they motivate their sons. Because that is where the real
gender equality begins!
Speaking about abortions, restrictions on abortions exist in certain countries. Under
reproductive laws and abortion laws, there are various countries that provide various
degrees of freedom on implementing abortions. The right to safe and legal abortion is

a fundamental human right protected under numerous international and regional
human rights treaties and national-level constitutions around the world. These
instruments ground safe abortion in a constellation of rights, including the rights to
life; liberty; privacy; equality and non-discrimination and freedom from cruel,
inhuman and degrading treatment. Human rights bodies have repeatedly condemned
restrictive abortion laws as being incompatible with human rights norms. 970 million
women, representing 59% of women of reproductive age, live in countries that
broadly allow abortion. While a majority of women live in countries where they can
exercise their right to abortion, 41 percent of women live under restrictive laws. The
inability of to access safe and legal abortion care impacts 700 million women of
reproductive age. According to the World Health Organization, 23,000 women die of
unsafe abortion each year and tens of thousands more experience significant health
complications. Legal restrictions on abortion do not result in fewer abortions; instead
they compel women to risk their lives and health by seeking out unsafe abortion care.
The complications of pregnancy and the other health related risks make it mandatory
for relaxing the strict restrictions of abortions. However the abortion laws could be
modified to support the restriction of abortions aimed at terminating girl child before
Rapes, sexual harassment and me too movement
Rapes are one common topic in India that we see a rape case that becomes a media
sensation atleast once a year. According to the annual crime report of 2019 by the
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), rape is the fourth most committed crime in
India. Out of the total 32,033 reported rape cases in the year, 11 per cent were from
the Dalits community, as per NCRB’s annual report titled "Crimes in India -2019".
That is 88 rapes on an average per day. The rape vulnerability of a girl or woman has
increased up to 44 per cent in the last 10 years, the National Crime Records Bureau
(NCRB) data shows. According to the NCRB data, during the period 2010-2019, a
total of 313289 cases were reported across India. How worse can this even be? Ok I
will highlight a headline that I came across to make a picture of how worse rape
culture is.
“In one particularly shocking case, police in the capital, Delhi, have arrested a man in
his 30s for the rape and assault of an 86-year-old grandmother.” - BBC news India

This headline itself is enough to justify the filth of rape culture in our society. It is not
even the teen girl, not even the married middle age woman and at last it is not even a
school girl. It is a grandma who has seen so many things in life yet could not estimate
the lust of a rapist. Doesn’t matter what the age is, what the situation is or what the
relation is, a rapist obviously is too blind to see it. Like they say a drug addict never
really realizes that he can lift a car when he is high, a rapist never realizes that he is
defiling his own sister, cousin and mother even when he is high with lust. Rapes as I
have already brought forward, are a main consequence of passionate porn addiction. It
is clear that most uneducated and low income people are culpable in brutal rape
attacks on women. The reason is that it is clear that these are coming out. But the
difference lies in the fact that the rapes committed by educated and the influenced are
never coming out. The justice towards most rapes is also dependent on factors like the
sensation it creates in the media and the amount of pressure that surmounts on taking
action which is of course self explanatory. Rape culture had begun flourishing rapidly
in the last twenty to thirty years before which the magnitudes of rapes happening
everyday was quite minimal. If dressing sense, sexuality and other factors are
responsible for rapes, then why rapes keep happening targeting grandmas and babies?
Simple, it is not the dress, the sexuality, the patch of skin that is visible from the
dress. It is the rapist and simply the rapist alone. If anyone commits a murder by
mistake, there is exemption from penalty. Then why is there is a difference in
convicting a rapist? Well as young boys and girls we all must know that. Rapes are no
smaller issues to embed in a small portion within a chapter. Therefore we want to
expand our perspective on certain sensitive topics in our upcoming chapters.
The sexual harassment at the workplace is not a new topic. Statistics say that the
sexual harassment at work place has increased gradually in the past few years and
most women faced sexual harassment and failed to express it in most situations. The
idea itself seems so explanatory. Rapes, dowry, sexual harassment, sex trafficking and
brutal killings are leaving nightmares for parents who have girl children. These are the
primary reasons why parents do not prefer to have a girl child. Women are safe
nowhere and this situation is an alarm to indicate the necessity of responding. The
worst part of today’s society is that they are very good spectators of things that
happen around them. There are many situations when most of the crowd members
choose to be mere spectators in case of any person sexually harassing a woman.
Social responsibilities and chivalry are fading into thin air with an assumption that

they are not “cool”. Seriously! Not taking action of someone who is bothering a
woman is cool? And when it comes to the work place sexual harassment especially
when it is initiated by a person is bigger chair, no one even dares to speak up. But I
saw some hope in the “me too” movement when women started opening about their
stories on sexual harassment and work place atrocities until it was ruined again by
someone with personal intentions. My intention in bringing out this point is to
highlight the fact that there is also a need for critiquing feminism in terms of actions
and powers exercised. We are going express this clear in chapter 8.
Domestic violence and abusive marriages
Domestic violence and abusive marriages are quite common in most families. The
element of matrimony and child bearing responsibilities are the responsibilities both
the partners are accounted for. But one interesting fact on marriage and psychology is
that the understanding and coordination don’t last longer in marriages. Work life,
stressed living, financial issues, ego problems, dowry or whatever it is, most
marriages loose the element of lasting love in long run. Whether working or not, the
female partners have experienced more domestic violence or abusive relation with
their partners. And if it is worth mentioning, alcohol is one major cause for domestic
violence in the low income and rural households. When doing a project for an
organization we did a survey in the rural and remote areas around Visakhapatnam
where we collected data on their financial situations and their financial independence.
In our survey we discovered that most of them had abusive relations with their
partners who are alcohol addicts with wild temperament when not sober. The women
in those areas also did small jobs in assisting the financial conditions of their homes
where they eventually had to work extra hours doing jobs and managing household.
When interviewed, one woman told us about her marriage and how things had been
difficult for her. She was married at the age of 15 and had her first child at the age of
18. Now she is the mother of three children and works as a maid in 5 houses to get an
earning to send them to school. Her father was a construction worker back then who
did complementary jobs to feed the family. They could not afford to pay more
dowries and happens that her husband’s family expected more dowry. Her husband
was an illiterate who is also a construction worker. He is an alcohol addict who
tortured her and abused her demanding more dowry. And she would claim that she
could not get more money, she had no choice but grant an allowance for his alcohol
from her meagre earnings. The reason for mentioning her story was to highlight the

fact that how domestic violence surrounding the dowry and alcohol addiction effected
the low income households. Domestic violence is one of the most unfair thing a
woman could into with marriage but not limited to it. It is also important to mention
how domestic violence and abusive marriages are also victimising men. There are
quite many cases where women already in marriage are engaging in illegal affairs
with other partners and messing with the lives of their children and husband. There
are also cases where men were brutally murdered by their wives for the same reason.
Whatever might be the reason or situation, it is clear that the loyalty of the partners
towards their partners and marriage is diminishing. However prepared their bodies are
for marriage, their mindsets are not prepared for getting into marriage and forming a
Making women mentally and physically strong
All these issues were discussed inorder to highlight the necessity of making women
strong in standing against them. There are many women who are going out, making
things possible while managing their families. Both educated and uneducated women
are making moves to make things possible. What do they have? Well a strong mind
and a good physical health. A woman should have her mind prepared for anything
that is coming and must have the strength to fight away her obstacles. It is really
important for every woman to learn self defence to prepare herself for obstacles in
life. Although it is easier to say than to make things possible, I would say that making
oneself mentally and physically stronger is necessary these days. I know the
architecture of female minds and the emotional turmoil and mood swings that we
have. But the key is possessing emotional quotient along with intelligence quotient.
Women should also motivate themselves that they can face any situation equally
along with their male peers and can handle things that some sexist commentators say
are impossible. Make an impression that women are no less than men and everyone is
capable of doing anything and start doing things. You will never say that anything is

Learn, Understand and Question: The Nirbhaya Incident and what we should
learn from it.
“Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth and it happens every few
minutes. The problem with groups who deal with rape is that they try to educate
women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching
men not to rape. Go to the source and start there. ”

- Kurt Cobain

Nirbhaya incident that took place on 16th December 2012 that involved 6 men who
brutally raped a 23 year old medical student in a moving bus in South Delhi has
probably shook the world with sorrow and disgust. Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old female
physiotherapy intern was beaten, gang-raped, and tortured on December 16, 2012, in
Munirka, a neighbourhood in South Delhi. Here is the description of the incident
according to the Times of India magazine.
“The woman and her friend Pandey were returning home after watching the movie
"Life of Pi" on the night of December 16, 2012. They boarded an off-duty charter bus
at Munirka bus stand in which there were six other men including the bus driver. The
bus started moving in an off-route direction and the men shut the doors of the vehicle.
Suspecting something wrong, when Pandey raised an objection, he was shouted down
and a scuffle broke out as the men who were drunk started molesting her. Her friend
was knocked down with a rod and the men dragged her to the back of the bus and
repeatedly gang-raped for over an hour. As she fought back, one of the juvenile
attackers inserted an iron rod into her private parts, pulling and ripping her intestines
apart. The bus driver drove all over Delhi while this was happening. After the attack,
both of them were thrown out of the bus to die at the side of the road. The two were
found half-dead by a passerby who informed the Delhi Police. She was taken to the
Safdarjung Hospital where doctors found she had only five per cent intestines left
inside her body. She succumbed to her injuries on December 29, 2012. In her
statement to Police, she said she wanted justice against the six attackers. The incident
led to widespread demonstrations and protests across the country. It also started
changes in the laws about violence against women.”

Just imagine the pain and suffering she was put through. Those six men not only
abusively molested and defiled her but also ripped her intestines apart. She only had
5% intestines in her body. What about the rest? Only the iron rod that passed through
her private parts must know. If you could imagine, this kind of sexual motivation
doesn’t come from ordinary lives. Imagine how many porn videos these drivers must
have binge watched to attempt such a violent act on a woman. As I have already
mentioned in chapter 5, the intentions and the perceptions of pornography viewers
and addicts are turning out to be outrageously violent and horrendous. How can
someone like bus drivers watch porn on daily basis and develop such an extreme
personality in fulfilling sexual desires? Simple answer to that would be – porn is
easily accessible and most people irrespective of their profession, financial situation,
culture and background are having access to porn. Porn has become an amenity that
everyone can have access to and that everyone can afford. Why the most crucial and
necessary elements like education, sanitation and menstrual supplies are not easily
accessible? Well I will answer the question later but I want you to take a moment to
comprehend this carefully. The Nirbhaya incidents teaches us that even before the
subsidised availability of internet connections, there were cases when pornography
addictions were in full cover in every part of India. Imagine the situation right now
where even the daily wage labourers possess smart phones with 4G internet
connection. Pornography addiction is going that deep into the society and nobody is
taking the time in realising it.
Here is another segment of the article by the Times of India:
“All the six men in the Nirbhaya rape case, including the juvenile, were convicted by
the court. All the accused were identified as Ram Singh, Mukesh Singh, Vinay Gupta,
Pawan Gupta, Akshay Thakur and a juvenile. Ram Singh, the bus driver, committed
suicide on March 11, 2013, in Tihar Jail during the trial. The minor was tried

separately in a juvenile court and given the maximum sentence of three years'
imprisonment in a reform facility. In September 2013, the trial court had awarded
capital punishment to Mukesh, Akshay, Pawan and Vinay. Subsequently, the three
convicts besides Akshay had sought review of the judgment but it was dismissed. The
order on the review petition filed by Akshay was dismissed by the Supreme Court on
December 18, 2019.”
It is clear from the above statements that the justice served to the rape victims is
extremely slow and requires a tiresome process. Despite the public attention from
both national and international media, protests, social media trends, raised voices
from various feminist organisations, publications, slogans and so on the justice was
enormously slow. Imagine a case where some girl is brutally murdered and it has not
gained such attention from media, politicians, organizations and other prestigious
institutions. Do you believe that the justice is served properly? Of course the courts
can’t be blamed for this because the volume of cases appearing every day and the
necessity for collecting and establishing strong evidences is obviously time
consuming. But there are some situations in which there was delay or sometimes
penalty relaxed and you know the reasons.
My point is justice, politics and courts are bigger institutions that are answerable to
people and it is our duty to make sure that incidents like Nirbhaya never happen. The
laws, jurisdictions and civil responsibilities may take time in serving justice and
enforcing actions. But in long run what every one of us can do is what matters. When
we can come forward to unite in combating rape culture and pornography addictions
that is when the real justice is served for all the rape victims.
There is another thing I would like to highlight about the rapes that took place in the
past few years. Here is a segment from an article from news18 that explained the
determination of the defendant lawyer Mr. A.P. Singh who fought relentlessly in
protecting the convicted:

“Asha Devi’s frustration with the legal system struck a chord with all those present there. But
it also brought into sharp focus the fight-back mounted by the defence, particularly by AP
Singh, the lawyer for three of the four convicts.
Singh, who has a doctorate in criminology, has been accused of exploiting loopholes in the
system to save his clients from execution. Strictures have been passed against him by the
Delhi High Court, while the Bar Council has issued notices over his conduct on more than

one occasion. In the courtroom, frustrated onlookers are often heard muttering, "isi ko tang
dena chahiye (Even he should be hanged).

But, undeterred, Singh continues to defend the Nirbhaya convicts — Pawan Gupta, Akshay
Kumar Singh and Vinay Sharma. The fourth convict, Mukesh Kumar, has a different legal
team lead by Vrinda Grover, once an amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the case.

Ajay Prakash Singh, a 46-year-old law graduate from Lucknow University, has been
practising in the Supreme Court since 1997. But he shot to fame, or rather infamy, in 2012
when the Nirbhaya rape and murder case went to trial in the Saket court.”

There were supporters even for these convicts who brutally murdered a woman. Not only
Nirbhaya but this kind of support is perceived in almost every rape case where there are
supporters for the rapists. There are even posts in social media supporting the rape convicts
and brutally assaulting the rape victims and her family. Some even are passing vulgar and
indecent comments on the rape victims and sharing kudos for defiling her. Seriously! Is that
what we are heading for? I am not even disappointed for the late justice but I am for the sick
comments people online are passing on her not even paying respect for the dead. Not only
her, I have also seen people pass vulgar comments on other rape victims who are no more
like Disha, Asifa from the Kathua incident, the Hatras victim and so on. The people in social
media, the hard core porn addicts are so sick that they even sexualized the 8 year old girl and
the baby who were brutally raped. This is the reason why the youth shall change. Because if
they are not, I don’t think we can see any women freely moving in the future. Change shall
begin in everyone’s mind that shall be planted within deep. Passing comments, watching
pornography hasn’t changed anyone’s life positive and it is only important to say that even if
the rapist is not hanged to death, the image he had in society was already hanged. Before
tying to comment, say something, think what impact it is going to have on the society and
think if it is ethically and emotionally valid. Everyone should teach every other person about
how to look at women and how to respect them. That may sound impossible, crazy or may be
juvenile but trust me it works. It is how it starts!

7. Women in various spheres of life, policies, incentives and weightage that support
participation of women.
Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their
failure should be a challenge to others.
- Amelia Earhart

Women in various spheres of life:

Definition of Empowerment

There have been many definitions of the term “empowerment” for the last few decades,
corresponding to the many advocacies concerning gender and development and women’s
empowerment. Empower means to give authority, to give moral or physical power, faculties
or abilities to do something. The United Nations Population Information Network is more

“Women’s empowerment has five components: women’s sense of self-worth; their rights to
have and to determine choices; their right to have access to opportunities and resources; their
right to have the power to control their own lives; both within and outside the home; and their
ability to influence the direction of change to create a more just social and economic order,
nationally and internationally.”

This elaboration, addressing different spheres of life in which women can be empowered,
suggests how empowerment can help achieve gender equality. From a theological point of
view, empowerment is God-centred process. God calls people and empowers them despite
their gender differences. In this view, no one can be empowered apart from the power of
God, the creator.

Women’s Sphere and the Emergence of the Women’s Rights Movement

We often view the nineteenth century as fundamentally defined by its traditional notion of
gender roles, especially as embodied in the cult of domesticity. While the identification of the
women’s sphere within the home had deep roots in Western culture, and such identification
was central to dominant thinking about gender for centuries, domestic ideology was a
particular historical development that emerged in the early decades of the nineteenth century,
and over time it had ambivalent implications for women. Domestic ideology, or the cult of

domesticity, can be defined as a series of related ideas that characterized the family home as
the particular domain of the woman, that idealized the woman in the home (the angel in
house) as the centre of spiritual and moral goodness for the nuclear family, and that based
these ideas in the belief that women were innately weaker—both physically and
intellectually—and less capable of taking care of themselves in the rough and tumble public
sphere. Thus, women needed constant protection. Domestic ideology raised women up as
naturally more religious and moral, giving them a special place within society, even as it
demeaned them by tying that superiority to their incapacity within the public world and to
their restrained sexuality.

As promulgated by a wide array of advice literature, sermons, novels, periodicals, and

scientific writing, the ideas at the core of domestic ideology strictly defined the public and
private spheres in terms of gender. Women properly remained in the private, domestic sphere,
because they were physically frailer and morally less resilient to the amoral, if not immoral,
struggles that defined the public realm of the economy and politics. This identification of
women with the domestic sphere as a moral redoubt against the ethically questionable
entanglements and temptations of the public world reinforced a sexual double standard.
Where women’s sexual purity—defined in terms of their virginity—had been a long-standing
social concern, domestic ideology emphasized the importance of a woman’s resistance to
sexual desires as essential to her primary role as moral defender of the nuclear family. This
emphasis on women remaining above sexual desires led to the pathologizing of the women’s
libido even as it excused, to some extent, men’s inability to control their own sexual urges.
For a woman to have sexual desires was unnatural, and women expressing sexual urges were
deemed to be sick. It was the woman’s role to help constrain men’s sexuality and to provide a
safe outlet for it, limited to the marriage bed.

In this way, domestic ideology envisioned the home as a bulwark against those immoral
forces in the larger world, imagining the family—centred around the wife/mother—as
providing the moral centre and spiritual fuel that would allow the husband/father to pursue
economic ventures in the wider world and that would prepare children for that world. As
such, the nuclear family rather than extended networks of kin began to be seen as the primary
site of individual identification and socialization. As such, the woman in the home—and the
idea of a private self-connected to that home—became an essential component of changing
ideas that would accept the role of a selfish, hyper-competitive, market-oriented public world.
As much as the gendered distinction between the home and the public has roots stretching far

back in Western history, domestic ideology needs to be seen in relation to the development of
a market economy and the changing place and nature of work. Prior to the nineteenth
century—and throughout much of that century—economic production was centred in the
home through the home being contiguous with the farm, where much economic production
still took place, or through artisanal workshops, small shops, or the small-scale production of
items for sale (textiles, foodstuffs, etc.) that were located in the home. With increased
urbanization, the development of the factory system and a shift away from artisanal
production, and the emergence of a middle-class with leisure time, the home came to be
defined economically not in terms of production but in terms of consumption.

While domestic ideology implied that all women should live more retired, reserved lives,
devoted to the apparently light labour of taking care of the home for the men who entered
into the economic world, the reality for most women—especially lower-class women and
women of colour—was far different. Many women began to or continued to work outside of
the home as domestic workers as well as factory operatives, especially in the textile industry.
For these women, domestic ideology’s ideal of the household angel being protected from
labouring outside the home remained merely a dream. Yet in the rising middle class and the
upper classes, the women’s sphere became linked more to leisure or consumption. Middle-
class American families increasingly relied on goods produced outside of the home for their
daily lives, and American men increasingly worked away from their homes. Thus, in general
women began to be seen more in terms of their leisure activity or in terms of their work in
making the home a hospitable, relaxing refuge apart from the public sphere. One mark of this
turn to leisure was the burgeoning market in periodicals, novels, and domestic manuals for
women readers. These texts, in turn, helped to reinforce the strict distinctions in gendered
spheres associated with domestic ideology and thus helped to foster these developments.
Through mid-nineteenth-century women would similarly emphasize women’s rational and
intellectual potential in arguing for social change, one of the immediate grounds for the
emergence of a more developed movement for women’s rights was domestic ideology’s
emphasis on women as embodying and protecting society’s moral needs. The mid-nineteenth-
century women’s rights movement grew directly out of other reform movements, most
notably the temperance movement, abolitionism, and campaigns against prostitution. Based
on domestic ideology’s emphasis on women’s moral and spiritual capacity, if not superiority,
many women came to feel empowered to speak about social ills that they felt directly
impacted the moral condition of the home. Alcohol abuse and alcoholism were incredibly

widespread, as the drinking of alcohol was fully integrated into the everyday lives of most
Americans, beginning at a fairly early age. As work became more disciplined in the late-
eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, more Americans began to view alcohol as the
leading cause of many social ills, from prostitution to spousal abuse to financial ruin. Women
and children often bore the brunt of these problems, and women took a leading role in the
growth of the temperance movement.

Suffrage would become the key issue in the women’s rights movement for the next seventy
years and would become a central point of contention in the post–Civil War years as the link
between feminism and abolitionism began to disintegrate over disagreements of whether
freed slaves or white women deserved the vote more. over the course of the nineteenth

Policies that empower women

Persistent norms

Social scientists and programme implementers know that persisting norms in intimate spheres
pertaining to the family have been difficult to change, as obvious from the fact that despite a
longstanding law.

Child marriage showed an impressive decline only recently. Marriage decisions in India are
often guided by factors such as dowry considerations (a younger bride would mean a lower
dowry), a fear of loss of family honour (the stigma of an unmarried woman losing her
virginity) and fear of “what will people say” if the woman remains unmarried. All these
considerations are strong deterrents to conforming to the current child marriage law.

Maternal mortality benefits unlikely

India’s maternal mortality rate is now 122 per 100,000 live births, undoubtedly disturbing. A
key motivation for the proposal to rise the minimum legal age of marriage for women to 21 is
a concern for maternal mortality. But the global evidence—recent age-specific maternal
mortality data are not available in India—would not support such an assertion.

“Raising the minimum legal age of marriage for women to 21 years would deny many
young women from experiencing pregnancy at these safest ages.”

This body of evidence, including seminal work by demographer Ann Blanc and others, of
maternal mortality ratio in 38 countries, confirms that those giving birth at ages 15 years to
19 years (typically those marrying at ages below 18 years) experience high levels of maternal

But the mortality experienced by the cohort aged 20 years to 24 years (roughly those
marrying at ages 18 years and higher) is by far the lowest of all age groups, and maternal
mortality ratios rise among women in their 30s and beyond. Raising the minimum legal age
of marriage for women to 21 years would deny many young women from experiencing
pregnancy at these safest ages.

Promising strategies

Over this decade, India has witnessed steep declines in both fertility and child marriage.
These changes have taken place not because of any legislation or incentives, but likely
because of more accessible schooling, skilling, health and other entitlements, that have, on
their own, led to a radical shift in norms and aspirations for girls, and a willingness to invest
in them and delay their marriages.

A mother of a 17-year old girl in Rajasthan put it like this, “I have just this one thought, that
one should not marry a girl till she is standing on her own two feet, say at 25 years or even 26
years. She must approve of the boy and his family. After all, she has to spend her whole life
with him.”

Yet vast inequities persist in our social system, and many remain untouched by opportunities
in education, health and poverty alleviation.

The irony is that the Prime Minister’s Independence Day call came when COVID-19
pandemic-related poverty has led families to marry off daughters even below the age of 16.
Individual stories of “one less mouth to feed” and lower dowry demands motivating child
marriage reported in media articles, are hugely disturbing. What is needed, rather than
amending the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, is to seek ways of enabling adherence to the
current law.

Strategies that are inclusive and bring the unreached and disadvantaged out of poverty are
much needed. Such policies and programmes are far more respectful of human rights than

legislation, and will undoubtedly help achieve the desired delays in marriage underlined in
high-level pronouncements.

Incentives that support participation of women:

The government has begun work on a comprehensive policy to increase the participation of
women in the workforce over the next five years to at least 30%, in line with the Bhartiya
Janata Party’s poll promise.

Under consideration are tax incentives for companies that employ women above a threshold,
implementation of existing legislation in the informal sector and liberal policies to enable
women to return to work, among others.

Constitutional provisions

Women as an independent group constitute 48% of the country’s total population as per the
2001 Census. The importance of women as a important human resource was recognised by
the Constitution of India which not only accorded equality to women but also empowered the
State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in their favour. A number of Articles of the
Constitution specially reiterated the commitment of the constitution towards the socio
economic development of women and upholding their political right and participation in
decision making.

Girl Child XI Five Year Plan

The Planning Commission has constituted a Working Group on “Development of Children”

for the Eleventh Five Year Plan under the Chairpersonship of Secretary, Ministry of Women
and Child Development with the basic objective to carry out a review of the existing
approach and strategies along with the programmes for protection, welfare and development
of children and make suggestions/ recommendations for the Eleventh Five Year Plan.

Woman Empowerment

The extent of empowerment of women in the national hierarchy is determined largely by the
three factors – her economic, social and political identity and their weightage. These factors
are deeply intertwined and interlinked with many cross cutting linkages which imply that if
efforts in even one dimension remain absent or weak, outcomes and momentum generated by

the other components cannot be sustained as they will not be able to weather any changes or

Ministry of Women and Child Development

The Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India, came into
existence as a separate Ministry with effect from 30th January, 2006, earlier since 1985 it was
a Department under the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

Effective policies backed by action to accord them their due rights and equal opportunities
will be critical to bolstering the overall work on preventing sexual violence
against women and other citizens in conflict.

8. Antifeminism and internal conflicts: Influence of antifeminism on gender
equality movement.
“Anti-feminism is not sexism. It does not defend the various types of physical,
sexual and moral violence against women in the family and society. It does not
claim to violate the natural rights of women, which is expressed in the
constitution and the legal system as a whole. Instead, anti-feminism supports the
innate biological differences among men and women, and as a final result it is
directed against gender-blindness -- a unisex trend that artificially increases due
to feminism in modern global civilization. To protect the natural rights of
women, you don't need to be a feminist, you have to be a humanist who has
devoted himself or herself to protecting all humans.”
― Elmar Hussein

Antifeminism, also spelled anti-feminism, is opposition to some or all forms of feminism.

Earlier groups of antifeminists have opposed particular policy proposals for women's rights,
such as women’s suffrage in the late 19th century and early 20th century. The meaning of
antifeminism has varied across time and cultures, and antifeminism attracts both men and
women. Some women, like those in the Women’s National Anti-Suffrage League,
campaigned against women's suffrage.

Men's studies scholar Michael Kimmel defines antifeminism as "the opposition to women's
equality". He says that antifeminists oppose "women's entry into the public sphere, the re-
organization of the private sphere, women's control of their bodies, and women's rights
generally." Kimmel further writes that antifeminist argumentation relies on "religious and
cultural norms" while proponents of antifeminism advance their cause as a means of "'saving'
masculinity from pollution and invasion". He argues that antifeminists consider the
"traditional gender division of labour as natural and inevitable, perhaps also divinely


Antifeminist ideology rejects at least one of the following general principles of feminism:

1. That social arrangements among men and women are neither natural nor divinely

2. That social arrangements among men and women favour men.

3. That there are collective actions that can and should be taken to transform these
arrangements into more just and equitable arrangements

Some antifeminists argue that feminism, despite claiming to advocate for equality, ignores
rights issues unique to men. They believe that the feminist movement has achieved its aims
and now seeks higher status for women than for men via special rights and exemptions, such
as female-only scholarships, affirmative action, and gender quotas.

Antifeminism might be motivated by the belief that feminist theories of patriarchy and
disadvantages suffered by women in society are incorrect or exaggerated; that feminism as a
movement encourages misandry and results in harm or oppression of men; or driven by
general opposition towards women’s rights.

Furthermore, antifeminists view feminism as a denial of innate psychological sex

differences , and an attempt to reprogram people against their biological tendencies. They
have argued that feminism has resulted in changes to society's previous norms relating to
sexuality, which they see as detrimental to traditional values or conservative religious
beliefs. For example, the ubiquity of casual sex and the decline of marriage are mentioned as
negative consequences of feminism.

Moreover, other antifeminists oppose women's entry into the workforce, political office, or
the voting process, as well as the lessening of male authority in families. They argue that a
change of women's roles is a destructive force that endangers the family, or is contrary to
religious morals. For example, Paul Gottfried maintains that the change of women's roles
"has been a social disaster that continues to take its toll on the family" and contributed to a
"descent by increasingly disconnected individuals into social chaos"

."Most modern groups of antifeminists are connected to far-right extremism.


Symbol used for signs and buttons by ERA opponents

Founded in the U.S. by Phyllis Schlafy in 1972, Stop ERA, now known as "Eagle Forum",
lobbied successfully to block the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. It was
also Schlafly who forged links between Stop ERA and other conservative organizations, as
well as single-issue groups against abortion, pornography, gun control, and unions. By
integrating Stop ERA with the thus-dubbed "new right", she was able to leverage a wider

range of technological, organizational and political resources, successfully targeting pro-
feminist candidates for defeat.

In India, the Save Indian Family Foundation is an antifeminist organization opposed to a

number of laws that they claim to have been used against men.

The Concerned Women of America are also an antifeminist organization. Like other
conservative women's groups, they oppose abortion and same sex marriage and make
appeals for maternalism and biological differences between women and men.

The Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) is another antifeminist, conservative, women-

oriented group. It's younger and less established than the CWA, though the two organizations
are often discussed in relation to each other. It was founded to take on the "old feminist
establishment”. Both of these organizations pride themselves on rallying women who do not
identify with feminist rhetoric together. These organizations frame themselves as being by
women, for women, in order to fight the idea that feminism is the only women-oriented
ideology. These organizations chastise feminists for presuming to universally speak for all
women. The IWF claims to be "the voice of reasonable women with important ideas who
embrace common sense over divisive ideology".

Many who affiliate with the alt-right movement are antifeminist, with antifeminism and
resentment of women being a common recruitment gateway into the movement.

Connections to far-right extremism

Antifeminism has been identified as an underlying motivation in far-right extremism. For

example, the perpetrators of the Christchurch massacre and the El Paso shooting were
motivated by the idea that white people are being replaced by non-whites as a direct result of
feminist stances in Western societies. The far-right ideology thus considers it vital to control
female reproduction and sexuality: "Misogyny is used predominantly as the first outreach
mechanism", where "You were owed something, or your life should have been X, but
because of the ridiculous things feminists are doing, you can’t access them." Similar strands
of thought are found in the incel subculture, which centres around misogynist fantasies about
punishing women for not having sex with them

Women against feminism:

Women Against Feminism is an informal movement sharing equal ideals with
antifeminists in rejecting feminism. Using #WomenAgainstFeminism, the hashtag is
normally accompanied by a "selfie" style photo, holding up handwritten posters stating
reasons why they disapprove of modern feminism. Most of the posts begin with the
statement, "I don't need feminism because", followed by their reason(s).

The supporters of this movement primarily use social media platforms such as Twitter and
Tumblr, while campaigning on sites such as Facebook and Youtube to advocate their views.

The Women Against Feminism campaign began on Tumblr in July 2013, presumably in
response to the "Who needs feminism" campaign. According to the BBC, the movement is an
online community that use social media to brand 'Feminism' as a 'toxic' movement. Following
on the original creator of the Women Against Feminism Tumblr page is an American woman
who has chosen to remain anonymous because of online harassment and backlash she has
faced for her ideas. Furthermore according to The Daily dot, the campaign gathered steam in
July and August 2014, when several prominent columnists and bloggers brought media
attention to it.

A September 12, 2017 post to the Women Against Feminism blog titled "What is
Feminism?" maps out the arguments of the blog's supporters. Community member and writer
Jinnah states "If Women Against Feminism were asked if they believe men and women
should have equal human rights and equality before the law, the answer would be a
resounding 'Yes'". The blog raises issue with the modern practice of feminism rather than the
fundamental definition of feminism for the reason given that "3rd wave feminism is not
feminism". It argues that as long as men and women are equal before the law, feminism is
unnecessary, fosters misandry, and distracts from men’s rights issues.

Feminist Identity and Gender Discrimination

The embattled state of both the historical and contemporary term across the world
notwithstanding, feminist attitudes are generally defined as beliefs in the goal of gender
equality in the social system (Williams and Wittig 1997; Zucker 2004). Feminist identity, on
the other hand, is typically defined as a collective or social identity (Burn et al. 2000;
Henderson-King and Stewart 1994, 1997) and self-identification as a member of a group of
feminists (Ashmore et al. 2004; Eisele and Stake 2008). Feminist identification among
women reflects identity of a woman and a feminist. Indeed, feminist self-identification is not

only a predictor of feminist attitudes but has also been shown to be a predictor of collective
action on behalf of women in the U.S. (Berninger and Kelly 1994; Cowan et al. 1992; Nelson
et al. 2008; Williams and Wittig 1997). For example, Zucker (2004) found that U.S. women
who self-identify as feminists show higher scores of feminist consciousness and feminist
activism than do liberal egalitarians, defined as those who support the equality of women and
men but simultaneously reject feminist identity.

Based on this evidence, feminist identity can be viewed as a politicized collective identity—a
form of collective identity that underlies group members’ motivation to engage in power
struggle between groups (shown for instance in the U.S. and Germany; Simon et al. 1998;
Simon and Klingerman’s 2001), or opinion-based identity—a predictor of political
behavioural intentions (as demonstrated in Romania and Australia by Bliuc et al. 2007).
Feminist identity, then, constitutes a special case of female identity organized around
endorsement of equal rights for women (e.g. Duncan 1999). Thus, in principle feminists
should support striving for equality on behalf of all women regardless of these women’s
views, convictions or background (Gillis et al. 2004).

At the same time, feminist identity has classically been defined in opposition to some specific
worldviews, such as conservative ideology (see Liss et al. 2001 in the U.S. and Frąckowiak-
Sochańska 2011 in Poland). Because of their self-definition against traditionalism and
political conservatism, feminists might be likely to engage in differentiation (Jetten et
al. 2004) between women who hold traditional or conservative views versus feminist or
liberal views. Thus, feminists may see conservative women as out-group members. Taking
this observation a step further, feminists’ reactions to gender-based discrimination might
depend on sharing social identity with discrimination victims (Tajfel and Turner 1986; Turner
et al. 1987)

Threats to Feminist Identity

Similar to other movements that represent disadvantaged groups, feminism is a frequent

target of backlash criticism in the U.S. (Burn et al. 2000; Haddock and Zanna 1994; Twenge
and Zucker 1999). Typical accusations revolve around feminists being “anti-family” or “man-
hating” and “frustrated radicals” (Kamen 1991). Anti-feminist backlash seems to be present
even in countries without a long tradition of gender equality efforts, such as post-Communist
Poland (Frąckowiak-Sochańska 2011; Graff 2003, 2007 Marsh 2009) and the Czech Republic
(Heitlinger 1996). This is reflected in negative stereotypes about feminists that are similar in

content to those prevalent in the U.S. (Frąckowiak-Sochańska 2011; Heitlinger 1996). The
contentious position of the term is one reason that some women, despite favouring feminist
goals, might be hesitant to call themselves feminists (a phenomenon noted e.g. in the U.S.:
Ramsey et al. 2007; Williams and Wittig 1997; Zucker 200, and Poland, Frąckowiak-
Sochańska 2011). Backlash criticism reflects a threat to the value of feminist group
membership (see Branscombe et al. 1999a and Riek et al. 2006 for a discussion on how it
differs from other types of identity threats such as categorization, distinctiveness, or
acceptance threats). In this paper we examine the consequences of such value threat to
feminist identity for reactions of feminists to gender discrimination against women who do or
do not share feminist views.

Prior research conducted in the U.S. and Canada suggests that threat in general leads to
stronger conviction in and defence of one’s beliefs (McGregor et al. 2007; McGregor and
Jordan 2007 ). Moreover, value threats to group identity may cause group members
(especially the high identifiers) to stress group homogeneity, cohesiveness, and loyalty (as
shown in the Netherlands, Doosje et al. 1995; Ellemers et al. 1997 and the U.S., Branscombe
et al. 1999; see also Branscombe et al. 1999; Turner et al. 1984). It is possible that threat to
feminist identity has the potential to strengthen the organizing value of the group: gender
equality. In cases of gender discrimination, therefore, the experience of a threat to feminist
identity may cause feminists to become even more sensitive to situations of gender
discrimination and more supportive to its victims.

However, an alternative perspective is that threat to group value may lead to an increase in
intergroup differentiation and in-group enhancement (demonstrated in the U.S., Branscombe
and Wann 1994, and the Netherlands, Jetten et al. 2001; Spears et al. 1999; see also Ellemers
et al. 2002; Tajfel and Turner1986 ). Hence, threats to feminist identity may increase the
salience of feminist identity over the female identity and, thus, strengthen the distinction
between feminist in-group and conservative out-group. Therefore, when feminist identity is
threatened, feminists might be motivated to emphasize the differences between those who do
and do not share their worldview. If this is the case, especially under conditions of threat,
reactions to gender-based discrimination may depend on the perceived social identity of the
victim. If the victim shares a feminist worldview (i.e. is a member of the feminist in-group),
identity threat may lead to an interpretation of the discriminatory situation as more unfair and
to greater expressed compassion for the victim. However, if the victim holds conservative

beliefs on gender roles and relations, identity threat may lead feminists to interpret the gender
discrimination situation as less unfair and, thus, express less compassion for the victim.


Inevitably, some people will argue that we should table conversations about gender equality
until we get through this emergency. But the disease and its effects are not gender neutral.
Our response cannot be either.

Gender inequality isn’t a problem we can ignore, even in a pandemic—or rather, especially in
a pandemic.

Consider the fallout so far: Government-ordered lockdowns have shown rapid increases in
domestic violence. Disruptions to the global supply chain have limited the supply of
contraceptives in low-income countries. Schools are closed and girls’ education lags. And
women are nearly twice as likely to lose their jobs than men in the pandemic economy. When
COVID-19 cut clothing demand in New York, seamstresses in Ethiopia face hunger.

With thoughtful attention and deliberate action, we can change this. We can build a more
resilient future.

We can’t wait for gender equality to magically happen. In the 21st century, there’s still no
place on earth that treats women and men equally. There’s opportunity—right now—to
rebuild a stronger, more resilient, more prosperous world, one that side-lines systemic
inequality. Because equal is greater.

Learn, Understand and Question: How certain countries are battling gender
discrimination and fighting for equality.


On education alone, Iran isn't the worst. According to the WEF's 2015 report, Iran ranks
106th in this category, with women having a literacy rate of 83% compared with 91% for
men. Enrolment in primary school is nearly equal for girls and boys in Iran; 96% of girls are
enrolled compared with 98% of boys. Yet overall, women across Iran "face significant
discrimination in law and in practice, as well as restrictions on exercising their rights." In its
2015 report, the WEF zeroed in on significant disparities in political power and economic
opportunity, specifically, finding that the country had closed less than 4% and 36% of those
respective gender gaps.


This Central African country is the lowest-ranked nation for gender equality in sub-Saharan
Africa. And when it comes to its gender gap in education, Chad is the lowest-ranked nation in
the world. A girl walks next to a herd of cows close to the village of Guite in Chad's lake
region, north of the capital NDjamena in 2015.

There's a 16% gap between men and women's literacy rates in the country, and a 21% gap in
primary school enrolment of girls and boys.


For the past five years, the war in Syria has made the nation an increasingly difficult place to
live regardless of gender. Syrian girls react following a reported Syrian regime air strike in a
rebel-controlled area in the northern city of Aleppo in February.

That reality is reflected in the masses of people who've fled the violence and desolation for
other borders, causing an ongoing migration crisis.

In terms of gender equality, Syria has fallen four places on the WEF's ranking since 2014 to
be the third worst performing country in the world. The disparity between men and women in
Syria is especially stark when it comes to economic opportunity; just 14% of women in Syria
participate in the workforce compared with 76% of men.


The push for girls' education in Pakistan rose to a global effort in 2012, when a then 14-year-
old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban. Since then, Malala has
gone on to make an incredible recovery, becoming a voice for girls' education in Pakistan and
around the world. Malala Yousafzai in Birmingham, England, in 2013 before returning to
school for the first time since she was shot in the head by the Taliban.

But in its 2015 report, the WEF noted that Pakistan still has a long way to go. Overall, the
country is the second worst in the world for gender equality, with a literacy rate for women
that is 46% compared with 70% for men, and 26% of women actively engaged in the job
market compared with 86% of men.


As with Syria, Yemen has been besieged by a war that has wrecked havoc for everyone, and
certainly hasn't helped the quality of life for women in the country. Yemen has been ranked
as the worst country in the world for gender equality since 2006, and it's the lowest-
performing nation in the region for economic opportunity.

When it comes to closing the gender gap in education, Yemen is the fourth lowest-
performing country, with a literacy rate of 55% for women compared with 85% for men.
While 51% of boys are enrolled in secondary school, that applies to just 31% of Yemen's
young women, according to the WEF.

Gender Discrimination and inequality across regions

Attitudes, beliefs and practices that serve to exclude women are often deeply entrenched, and
in many instances closely associated with cultural, social and religious norms. Surveys,
opinion polls and case studies provide a good indication of the prevalence of gender
discrimination in many countries. A Gallup Poll conducted in five Latin American countries
(Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador and Mexico) found that half of the respondents
believed society favours men over women. In Brazil, only 20 per cent of respondents, both
men and women, believe that society treats both sexes equally, while more than half of
respondents in that country, and in neighbouring Argentina, consider that women and men do
not enjoy equal job opportunities. Although these results are drawn from a small sample, they
may well be indicative of a broader recognition of gender discrimination in society.
Examining social attitudes on specific issues, such as access to education and income-
generating opportunities for women, reveals even more clearly the extent of gender

discrimination and how it compares across countries. The World Values Survey reveals that
an alarmingly large number of men – who, as this report will show, often hold power in the
household allocation of resources for vital services such as education and health care –
believe that university education is more important for a boy than for a girl (see Figure 1.2,
page 6 ). Around two thirds of male respondents in Bangladesh indicate that university
education for boys should be prioritized over that of girls – an opinion echoed by around one
third or more of male respondents from the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mexico and Uganda,
among others. In some countries, men’s opinions on this particular issue were less
discriminatory, with only 1 out of every 10 male respondents in China and less than 1 out of
every 13 male respondents in the United States holding the same view. These views on
education are largely mirrored in attitudes to women’s work and participation in politics.
More than 80 per cent of men in seven countries surveyed in the Middle East and North
Africa believe that when jobs are scarce, men have more right to work than women, and that
they make better political leaders than women. In other regions, the proportion of men
holding these views is lower, but still significant. The survey revealed that women’s views
can also be equally discriminatory towards their own sex, if not quite as extreme. A
surprisingly large number of women respondents from the survey agreed or strongly agreed
with the statement that men make better political leaders than women – including over half of
women respondents from Bangladesh, China, Islamic Republic of Iran and Uganda, over one
third from Albania and Mexico, and one out of every five from the United States. This
underlines the fact that discriminatory attitudes towards women and girls are not simply held
by men, but also reflect norms and perceptions that may be shared by the entire society.
Research has shown that when women set aside these norms and the pressure to conform is
relaxed, their choices and values are very different. While such opinion polls and surveys
offer a window into the views of societies, they cannot show the true extent of gender
discrimination. Quantifiable indicators are needed in order to gain a clearer picture of the
inequalities and inequities produced by gender discrimination against women and girls. But
as many national and international surveys and censuses are often not disaggregated by sex,
such indicators are relatively scarce. Nonetheless, the data available point to a clear
conclusion: gender inequalities remain stubbornly entrenched in all regions of the world. An
attempt to capture gender discrimination in a single indicator is the United Nations
Development Programme Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM), which assesses gender
equality in key areas of economic and political participation in decision making. The measure
includes estimated earned income (a crucial determinant of a family member’s influence on

household decisions), the percentage of women working in senior positions and the
percentage of women in parliament. Gender empowerment as measured by GEM is lowest in
countries in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia, and highest in industrialized
countries, although there is wide variation across regions. While poorer countries tend to
have lower levels of gender empowerment, there is no clear evidence that gender inequalities
automatically diminish at higher levels of income. Accordingly, low income need not be a
barrier to higher levels of gender empowerment.

9. Humanitarianism: An Introduction

“The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees
prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join
together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never
meet….Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand,
without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places….We
do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves
already: we have the power to imagine better.”

– J.K. Rowling, author, philanthropist, and founder of the children’s charity, Lumos
Why did we think of this initiative called humanitarianism? What made us get a thought of
unifying all the people into one mission? May be because of our belief in the strength of
togetherness. May be because we had a vision of tomorrow that could impact our next
generations. May be our viewpoints got changed with the case studies and projects we
worked on. Whatever might be the reason, we believe in a collective effort and a collective
vision for a better tomorrow.
Humanitarianism doesn’t necessarily function to achieve the gender equality alone. It can be
extended to kill all the existing barriers in the society that can include racial barriers, ethnic
barriers, and socio-economic barriers. Humanitarianism is an idea as simple as it sounds. It is
a human being standing for the other human beings to provide support, love, care and
acceptance they need. Our idea of uniting it with gender equality is to enhance the essentiality
of one gender standing for the other. I have heard one speech where the speaker addressed the
essentiality of everything in the world. He explained saying “Most people think women need
men for going out, making money and to provide support in home duties. Similarly they think
that men need women for stability, to make the home, to look after their next generation and
take care of them. In reality both are important and both together can make wonderful things
possible. Male wisdom is wild, full of passion and boiling vigour. Female wisdom is
clairvoyant. They sense things, maintain consistency and explore the roots. And together they
make one excellent team in whatever they try to accomplish together.” These words probably
carry more meaning. Together is more powerful that on my own. And while trying to
accomplish gender equality, it is crucial that we are working as a team. That is what
humanitarianism is all about.

Our view on Humanitarianism

Why we believe in this collective aim of humanitarianism? Why did we get motivated with
such ideology? Because collective efforts never failed. Remember how our ancestors got
united during the independence movement irrespective of our differences. They were filled
with the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and they are only focused on one mission – to
free our fellow Indians, our brothers and our sisters. That was the proudest thing we all can
recall and recreate with our contemporaries. Why can’t we be the same way even after
independence? Ok you can think over it. My intention is stressing this point is to highlight
how adverse situations and crisis can bring over bonds that are hard to imagine. And right
now is the crisis in protecting the vulnerable, the abused and the assaulted irrespective of the
gender and we must act. No one need to constantly remind us about the things that are
happening around us. Like our ancestors went forward to protect their brothers and sisters, it
is our time. And we need to motivate others also to join us. To stop the wrongdoings in the
society. To burn down the barriers, stereotypes, taboos and myths. To break down and burn
the stigma and hatred. To abolish and condemn homophobia, misogyny and misandry. Our
view on humanitarianism is simple and straightforward. We want every one of you to start it
from today. Start showing compassion for the other gender. Start enlightening the weaker by
motivating them. Learn respecting the other gender. Lend a helping hand with their issues
and difficulties. Face of the bullies and commentators who got no job. Stand for every gender
and abolish fake gender related publicities. Understand the very meaning of gender equality
and teach it to your peers, friends and relatives. That’s it. That’s what we want. By the end of
this book or may be by the time you end reading this book at whatever page, we only want
one thing from you. Be the start, initiate and let the world follow you in this process. We
would be really happy seeing that our efforts are working.

Letter from us

To anyone who is reading

Well by now you have understood us. It is ok if you may not be pleased by our writing. But
our message for tomorrow is clear. We want all of you to understand that hate is of no benefit
to anyone. Stigma is of no good understanding between anyone. Superiority is of no good
position for anyone and myths are not facts in any sense. In an era where machines are
becoming intelligent and powerful, we are seeing human beings turning illogical and cold
towards each other. What good does it carry? If one person is having a problem with
transgender for no reason, what is he gaining from that? If a group of people are imposing

rules on a woman’s life what good is coming out of it except a failed marriage in most cases?
Imagine the other way where the person who had homophobia actually didn’t have it and he
is moving casually with every person. Look how simple his life is. Imagine a girl given choice
to pursue her career with no pressure to get married from her elders. She would strive hard
to achieve something. Perhaps make a break through, travel through the world, get a Nobel
Prize, start a company or whatever. Stereotypes, gender related phobia, myths never brought
anything great. Just for once try abolishing them and see how things are changing. Right
from our childhood, we never saw the world in the best way it should be. Yet we never gave
up hope in it understanding that anything could be possible. All it takes is just a motivation.
No one knows that putting hand in fire burns. But once they learn, they get clear and become
fully aware. No one accidentally put their hand in fire atleast for longer time. Because they
are aware that it burns away the skin. Then why are they not aware that stigma, stereotypes,
rapes, illegal relations, myths and taboos also slowly burn lives? As I said, it is just a little
motivation. We have taken up this responsibility of giving that motivation. Now go on. Take
the hand away from fire. Avoid the lives getting burned. For tomorrow, act today!

Yours Lovingly

Navya, Srihitha

Our Agenda

In the coming chapters, we plan to expand our view on how humanitarianism could salvage
the crucial issues in the society that were discussed in the previous chapter. We aimed at
providing our perspective on how to resolve various problems inherent in the society
surrounding the gender based issues. Our ideology on addressing this problem may not be to
the scale. We appreciate the feedback. We welcome critics on our approaches and without
hesitation we try to address them and try to add these suggestions in our next collection if
any. We want to expand this to reach the wider audience and if possible, collect opinions
from them. We will be excited to see any extensions of our work in this subject.

10. How Humanitarianism can bring people together in putting an end to the rape
culture and pornography addiction.
“Women don’t get raped because they are gentle, drunk or not properly dressed,
they get raped because someone somewhere is a rapist, and a beast.”
― Bamigboye Olurotimi
As we have already discussed in chapters 5 and 6 about pornography and the
consequences of its violent addictions, rapes and the frequencies of rapes being
committed each year, the amount of violence involved in these rapes and so on. Now
in this chapter we want to go an extra mile in answering things like how to combat
rapes by preparing our future generations. It is not that difficult for us to come up with
a sentence saying that rapes are to be combated and parents should educate their
children in a right direction. But this saying is definitely not doing anything. So we
decided to explain this with some case studies that could help you understand and act
accordingly. In any case we want these case studies to spark some thought in you and
we welcome you with any extensions you could come up with in spreading our
initiative of humanitarianism. Although our case studies that we present to create an
understanding on humanitarianism and how it can spark the gender equality
movement could be rough and unorganised, we just aim that they reach the their full
potential in the form of your voice, your expression and your action. With that in
mind let’s get started!
Case study 1:
In our first case study we want to highlight on how women in rural and remote areas
are getting affected with lack of safety in travel places, work places, schools, colleges
and universities. Our case study involves a group of teenage and middle aged girls
living in an ashram in a semi-rural area. The area has been noted as the most
notorious area for girls to roam outside past 7’O clock. The challenges involved in
this case study involve raising pressure from ashram and child care authorities and the
hyper competitive attitude of schools and offices in which the ashram girls and
women are enrolled.
It is 18th of august. Neha is about to attend to her CAT examination and she is
determined to crack it up well to secure a spot in IIM Ahmadabad. She is one of the
brilliant students in her class and her coaching institute always rewarded her for her
extra ordinary capabilities. She is a resident in Rupa Ashram and the outing timings
are restricted 8AM to 6PM. Her coaching institute started insisting her that some extra

hours of practice under her mentors could help her go through the tough problems in
CAT papers and model questions. Neetu is an employee at a tech company in the city.
She has to travel 2 hours daily to move from ashram to the office. At times she could
be late due to her shifts and work dues at her office. Despite her fights with Mrs. Rupa
the warden alone, she could not win her point. Mrs. Rupa is a lovely person most of
the times except in her timing restrictions. Neetu had to work overtime for clearing
her education loans and the related interests. Sona was a psychiatrist who was a
previous resident of ashram but recently went missing recently in a mysterious way.
Mrs. Rupa was worried from that incident and she imposed harsh restriction on outing
timings. Neetu and Neha must do something to salvage their situations as they both
are at the peak of their careers. Put the bookmark for a while and think of way that
could help Neetu and Neha in this scenario.
It is obvious that Neetu moved out of the ashram and rented a cheap apartment in the
city. The area surrounding the Rupa ashram is the only problem Neetu had and she
moved out of it. But the case is different in case of Neha. The only financial support
Neha received is the ashram itself. She cannot relocate or atleast leave the ashram.
Many women around the world are trying to come out of the shell. To feel free, roam
freely and do things that every man wants to do. I don’t say that restrictions are bad.
My only point is at what cost these restrictions can be applied. Many women are
struggling to achieve something equal to their male peers just because of the fear of
getting abducted, raped and murdered. Most parents are not ready to send their
daughters farther places or alone in the fear of losing them. According to me this is
one of the worst consequences of rape culture. Women are being restricted on many
grounds and this is one addition to it. When you clearly understand that students like
Neha stand a chance to get anything they want, you will realize that we need to make
world a safer place for students like her. Here is our version of solution for this
problem. Arnav is a student in the same coaching institute as Neha and he know the
potential of Neha. He came up with a plan of accompanying her in the way to the
institute by convincing Mrs. Rupa about the caliber of Neha. When Neha finally gave
her CAT examination, Arnav assisted her in joining a physical defence course nearby
that could prepare her for the future. When asked about his generous act towards
Neha he just replied saying that Neha is a student who is capable of achieving greater
things for the good of our nation. I just did my duty as any classmate, brother or a
friend. That is humanitarianism! What Arnav saw in Neha and helped her reach her

goal despite all the problems, stereotypes and bad mouthing he got from others. That
is humanitarianism! When one can stand for the other person irrespective of any
barriers and help them realize their dreams, there will be no hate, no frustration and
no monopoly. This is the main purpose in mentioning this case study.
Case study 2
In our second case study we want to highlight the cases of work place harassment and
sexual misconducts women face. Depending on the field, many women are being
subject to sexual harassment and verbal abuse in their work places and many women
are receiving threats of loosing job from their bosses failing to satisfy them sexually.
Maya is an independent woman who is a model, actress and a business woman.
Mahitha is an employee at a design firm in the same area. Maya and Mahitha are
childhood friends and they meet to discuss about their lives and their memories.
Maya: Hi Mahitha. It’s been a long time. Glad you could stop by.
Mahitha: Hello Maya. I missed you and our school so much.
Maya: Well you certainly will. You are a smart kid and loved going to school. I just
went there for passing the subjects.
Mahitha: You are still successful aren’t you? You are a designer, model and an
actress. You make good earning while loving what you do.
Maya: Well yeah but it isn’t an easy path. My director forced me to sleep with him to
offer me the role despite my performance in audition. My producer always made
sexual moves on me on set. My makeup man took advantage of my body shape. I got
along with all the perverts to get to this place. How much I didn’t want to do it, still I
had no chance. I gave in. And they made me a star. That is how life works.
Mahitha: Well you don’t say. Irrespective of the profession, it is there everywhere. I
am no stranger to work place sexual assault.
Maya: You are a manager in a design firm. Don’t tell me that you are facing the same
Mahitha: Unfortunately I can’t. My boss is 52 year old who had a daughter of almost
my age. Yet every morning he cracks jokes on my bra colour, touches me in
uncomfortable places and speak in double meaning. I tried applying to other design
firms but they could not give me a decent pay for the job I do.
Maya: Your brother is working. He can look after your parents. Just quit the job and
find a job that can keep you afloat financially.

Mahitha: Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Her treatment costs can be
covered if we both could work. I cannot afford to lose my pay in this situation. Else I
would have left my job long ago.
Take a moment to think what Mahitha could do to protect her earnings and ditch her
boss from doing anything further. Well here’s a sample solution from our side.
Maya: Ohh you poor thing! What are your duties in the the design firm?
Mahitha: Mainly interior designing and may be garden works, party planning for
major events.
Maya: There are many firms out of the town that can offer you good opportunities. I
will take the responsibility in preparing your catalogue and referring you to my
contacts. Just move out of the town and deposit money for aunt’s treatment in the
bank. I am staying here and I will take care of her. And may be if ever I plan to set up
a design firm I will definitely call you to be my chief operating manager.
Mahitha: I couldn’t thank you enough. How could I repay you?
Maya: Just a few things. Firstly report your case to police and tag him in social media
with me too hash tag. Second whether your friend or not, try to help another girl who
in need and motivate her to stay positive and make a move in reporting the sexual
harassment at work place. That’s it.
Mahitha: I definitely will. Thanks Maya.
Maya: Always there to help Mahitha!
What Maya did there was humanitarianism. She wished that it continued to every girl
out there irrespective of her background. Sexual harassment is one dark thing most
working women and students face and worst thing about it is that they can’t share this
thing with their family or friends. Because society just labels them for being sexually
harassed and doesn’t care about the one who harassed. This needs to change and
women must come out and help each other in such situations. Women must lend a
supporting hand to other women in times like this and must motivate them to stay
strong in this. We are in this together and we shall fight this together! And it is not
limited to women alone. Anyone could come forward in pacifying the victims of
sexual harassment and lend them support. Crush the barriers and help the other person
so that we can see that women start coming out of their shells and start doing greater
things. When we start raising voice against the assault at any place and start acting
then we can create a better tomorrow for our sisters and mothers.

Case study 3
In case study 3 we want to highlight the scenario where a lack of effort from parents
can also lead to extreme circumstances. Parents must monitor the actions of their
children irrespective of their genders. Our intention in highlighting this point is to
bring out the fact that most crimes committed by teenagers and early adults is mainly
due to the lack of supervision of parents in their child’s actions. Here is our case
Mayank is a 20 year old boy studying engineering in XYZ College. He comes from a
poor background with his both parents working as labourers, struggling to pay fee for
their son’s education. They hard earned money to buy a smart phone for their son.
Mayank had trouble revealing his parent’s identity in front of their friends and
eventually became a money maniac. Shilpa is also a student in the same college. Her
father earned a good fortune in his business and Shilpa had a better living throughout
her life. Mayank used to gamble with friends to get himself the things he always
wished to have and got accustomed to luxuries with the money he got. He became a
drug addict and craved to buy any drugs with the money he had. After losing
continuously in the gambling games, he couldn’t take it and became hell bent in
getting a load of cash to buy drugs. Shilpa on the other hand is a carefree girl who
refused to live under the influence of her father. She never shared anything with her
father. Mayank used this to his advantage. He created wrong photos and videos of
Shilpa and blackmailed her to give him money. Shilpa is traumatized by this and
made a deal with Mayank. She insisted him to end this and asked him what his final
prize is. Mayank replied by asking her 5 Lakh rupees and he would delete the photos
and videos. Although it is difficult for her to arrange the money, she never spoke to
her father about this. She managed to get the money and visited Mayank to get the
photos and videos deleted. Mayank on the other hand was not satisfied with the
amount of money Shilpa was about to offer and demanded her more money. Shilpa
argued that she could not arrange that much cash. Mayank kidnapped her and
demanded money from her father. Shilpa’s father reacted quickly and arranged the
money. Meanwhile high on drugs, Mayank brutally raped Shilpa and murdered her.
His friends also participated in this. When Shilpa’s father went there Shilpa was
drenched in blood alongside Mayank and his friends who were sleeping after their
impulsive murder attempt. Everything happened in a speck and Mayank was
penalised to be hanged to death. Both Mayank’s parents and Shilpa’s parents were

shattered by the incident. Mayank’s father died due to a heart attack after realising
that his only son for whom he worked and hard earned money, was a murdered and a
rapist. He is a drug addict who made nude photos of many women. His father’s heart
couldn’t digest that fact. His last words are “May be I should have spoken to him and
known him better…. My life was wasted in making money for my family and my son
became a criminal and faced death”. Shilpa’s father was also upset about why she
didn’t even tell him when this whole thing was happening. Whatever might be the
situation, parents should always spend some time with their children to analyze on
what they are doing, what they are going through and what is happening in their lives.
If atleast anyone of them spoke to their parents and got things clear, this barbaric
incident would have not happened. It is always important for parents to have healthy
communication with their kids and understand what they are doing in life. Every
crime starts from a house. Everyone should note this point.
Case study 4
Our final case study is on the pornography addiction. Pornography addicts exhibit
certain qualities that make them potential criminal in brutal rape attempts. However
pornography addiction can be brought down by taking some steps. Here is our
analysis on pornography addiction.
Dev and Gopal are students. They watch porn on daily basis and enjoy erotic and
violent porn scenes. Gopal always felt regretful about his porn addiction. He always
tried to improve his mindset and come out of this addiction. Right from childhood
Gopal had a dream of becoming a pilot. Yet Gopal struggled with coming out of his
addiction. On the other hand, Dev is a dedicated porn viewer and never regretted his
habit. He is violent right from his school and no one liked him. He never imagined
coming out of the addiction and start making his mind peaceful. At the age of 15 his
father stopped talking to him after realising that Dev misbehaved with the maid. Dev
never gave up his pornography interest. Gopal started giving breaks from porn by
watching porn rarely or never. He applied for his pilot job and was shortlisted. He
wanted to start his life fresh and erase the porn strains in his mind. 10 years later
Gopal had a great family with a good job, a wonder wife and children. Gopal is a
respected personality everywhere even in the other countries. On the other hand Dev
is in hearing and between court appearances for rape attempt on a lady. He absconded
to abroad to escape his cases. Even after a critical criminal history, his pornography
addiction motivated him to rape a woman. Following his brutal rape attempt on a

woman, he is given death penalty for which he was shot in public. He was buried
alive when life is slowly ebbing away from him. He is nothing but a scar to India.
Pornography addictions can motivate people to do anything. Just like Dev many meet
ill fate due to their bad addictions. Pornography is a serious problem and we all must
fight to reduce it. Seeing how harmful it can be, it is high time we start taking action.
These are our case studies on abolishing rape culture. By reading them you may have
gained an idea on what humanitarianism could do. Yes. It is you. You are going to
plant the seeds and others are going to water them. You are going to be change and
the others are going to embrace the change. You are going to be the missile and the
others are going to the explosion. Start over and stop not! Together we are stopping
this rape culture by standing for others and by trying to improve them.

11. How Humanitarianism can burn down the stigma and dismantle barriers
associated with sexual orientation and gender preferences.
“To those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender-let me say- you are not
alone. You're struggle, for the end to violence and discrimination is a shared
struggle. Today, I stand with you. And I call upon all countries and people, to
stand with you too.

A historic shift is underway. We must tackle the violence, decriminalize

consensual same sex relationships and end discrimination. We must educate the
public. I call on this council and people of conscience to make this happen.

The time has come.”

― Ban Ki-Moon

Homophobia is existent in every part of the world and the worst part is most people
who possess it don’t even know why they possess it. There are many hand me down
traditions, customs and principles that people follow blindly without grain scepticism.
Of course there are some great traditions that keep us closer to nature and originality.
But certain principles like homophobia make no sense. In chapter 4 we highlighted
about how homosexual relations and transgender people are stigmatised by others and
what are the consequences. In this chapter we create a situation that involves you. By
analyzing the situation you get familiar on what you can do to stop this collective
hatred and illogical stigma towards transgender. Everyone must closely look into the
scenario and understand that social segregation of any person on the basis of their
sexual orientation is barbaric and must be banned. Let’s get started!
Situation 1
Consider that you have a brother or a sister who recently identified himself/herself
transgender. Your parents are orthodox who wouldn’t entertain the identity revealed
by your brother/sister. Your relatives are acerbic that they can start launching
sarcasms on your family and try to defame you. Your brother/sister has got no option
but to hide their feelings and conceal the fact about their sexual orientation forever. At
some random time they inform you that they are gay and seek your help in this aspect.
What will you do?

Well you can think for a while. I am very sure that these kind of situations are natural
everywhere. As a sibling it is also natural that they look forward to you for your
support in this aspect. Therefore if it is happening in your family, remember only one
thing – the hate and stigma are manmade but the condition your sibling is going
through is not manmade. You can change manmade things by bringing some
awareness. But you can’t change the condition of your sibling. So keeping this in your
mind and think of a solution for given situation. If you think that is better than our
solution you can always reach us. We will always credit and encourage such
responses from you.
Ok here is our approach. After realising the gender orientation of your sibling try to
talk to them and make them feel comfortable. Ask them about their preferences i.e. if
they want to reveal their identity or not. Let them know that it is completely ok to
reveal their identity. Ask them to work on their dreams and show people that their
gender orientation cannot influence their potential, capabilities and ambitions. Ask
them to join communities and start campaigning for people like them. Let them know
that just because their gender orientation is different they are not going to crumble to
themselves and feel like an end of the world. Make them understand that world is
dirty with hate, criticism and loathing and prepare them to clean up this environment.
Let them know that you will stand by them in anything no matter what it is. If you can
do this, I think despite some criticism and negativity from family your sibling can still
shine and make your family proud. There are many influential transgender
personalities who make our country or may be our entire world proud. Make your
sibling one of them. Humanitarianism starts as a small act that multiplies itself on a
wider scale to sanitize out unclean world.
Situation 2
Imagine that you are a transgender individual. You never realized it until one day you
got a test report showing your hormonal imbalances. Before identifying yourself as a
transgender person, you are a well accomplished professional in your job and you are
one of the top professionals in your company. After revealing yourself as transgender,
your treatment within the company changed. Fed up with the environment in your
work place, you decided to move out. While searching for a job, you faced a tough
time getting one despite of your accomplishments, your experience as a celebrated
employee in a prestigious company and so on. Your identity is denying you
opportunities you want to get. What would you do?

Take some time to answer the question. But before you say “why not hide your
identity and continue as you are previously?” just remember that hiding your identity
is completely your personal issue. But one cannot hide his/her identity for long and
truth comes out any ways. Therefore the real question here is how to battle these
situations surrounding homophobia?
Here is our approach to this situation. These days there are many multinational
companies that are providing employment to everyone irrespective of their race,
gender and ethnicity. It would be a crime to deny any person an opportunity based on
their gender orientation. Therefore one can report the company in the local police
station regarding the discrimination. Remember the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (UDHR), United Nations and the human rights treaties discussed in the chapter
4. The rights reserved for transgender communities protect them from any verbal
abuse, discrimination, physical violence and other offensive practices. One can report
the concerned issue under respective sections and move to a company that values the
diversity. Work place criticism can also be reported officially where action will be
initiated. Whatever might be the atrocity, the proceedings need to be submitted along
with proofs in courts for further actions. Therefore one can always reveal their
identity and live freely in this society. All you need is a little courage to fight
Situation 3
Consider a situation where you are attending a ceremony for a deity you worship. It is
the festival time and all the devotees offer the deity with something to get their wishes
granted. You left your city and travelled long to attend the auspicious ceremony.
While giving the offerings to deity you observed someone being humiliated by the
whole crowd and after enquiring you understood that it is only due to the gender
orientation the person is being humiliated. You here many people around casting
obscenities, making abusive comments and you notice that there are relatives of the
person also involved in this humiliation game. When you tried to interfere, they shut
you down saying that it is their family matter and continued their process of roasting
the person for making an offering for the deity. What would you do?
Take a moment to think over the situation. Think of a solution you would come up
with when faced with this situation. Now if you feel that your solution is better than
ours, connect with us and share your opinions. Here is our approach for dealing with
this situation. First of all it is advisable to listen to the argument for a considerable

time until you gather points on what grounds you want to defend the person. Secondly
make them understand that there is no wrong with a transgender person making an
offering to the deity based on the grounds of your argument. Explain them that
everyone here came from a long place and there is no room for any person being
discriminated on their backgrounds. And still if they don’t understand, lodge a
complaint on everyone who is casting obscenities on a person for their gender
orientation. Try organizing counselling for people in such areas to ensure that their
mindsets change. Try to convince the family members and relatives to accept the
identity of a transgender person and try to inculcate open mindedness in even remote
Every individual irrespective of any background possess access to public places like
temples, parks, malls, cinema theatres and holy places. Denial of entry into any public
places would be an offence that is punishable. The society need to unmask its love to
every individual and must extend a helping hand to every individual. Even the
smallest act that could make the other person comfortable would be enough. That is
what we are seeking from our message. Humanitarianism is all about care for the
other person. Care for their problems, their challenges and their oddities.
Situation 4
Consider a situation in which you are with a transgender friend in a hotel. He/she
underwent a medical procedure to change their gender. Now you want to go
washroom and you friend is having a trouble going to a washroom. Most public
places do not offer a separate washroom for transgender people. It is a sort of
discrimination that transgender people often face when they are out in public places.
Now given the situation, how would you react?
Take a moment to think of an answer. Feel free to share your answer with us. We
always appreciate feedback from others. Here is our approach. There are no strict
laws in most places to protect the public privileges of transgender people. One can
gently inquire about any alternative washrooms his friend can use. There will be some
wash rooms atleast the person could use according to their comfort. If there are no
such rooms, then help your friend or seek help from other person in making them
comfortable while going to washroom. Not only the washroom, whether it may be the
dressing rooms, shower rooms or anything, one can make them feel comfortable by
doing the following. Transgender people should also be given privileges to attend
public places irrespective of existing laws and enforcements.

Some acts that can be done by all of us to boost the confidence of our
transgender friends and fellows
A small act of kindness can bring a huge change. A small drop of water can build an
ocean. Similarly a small act or effort from your side to make your transgender friend
or fellow or even a stranger happy can make a huge impact in transforming the view
of people on homosexuals. Here are some things you can do to cheer up your
transgender buddies and transgender people.
1. Take them to Lunch and show them that you care about them
Or dinner, coffee or afternoon tea. Where and when you go doesn’t matter, but
connecting with another person does. Networking strengthens our activism and
reminds us why we are doing this work, plus you might make a new friend. So,
maybe think of that person in your support group, the cross dresser who doesn’t
always talk but is such a great listener—why not get to know her better? What
about the transman who volunteered at that event you went to—what about saying
thanks to him? How about that college student from the gender queer
organization—seems like an interesting person? Or a person from a group that’s
very different than your own—how about finding out what makes them tick? You
get the idea. Think of folks you don’t yet know well and drop them an e-mail or
give them a call. Let’s start our year of activism with that all important human
contact. In future weeks, we’ll include resources on how to put the ideas into
action, but we’re sure you’ve got this one covered. So, make plans this week to
take a Trans person to lunch.
2. Encourage libraries to include books with positive impression on transgender
communities and personalities
Libraries are an important source of information. Access to public libraries is free
and open to everyone around the world. According to the American Library
Association, there are more than 117,000 libraries in this country, including
16,220 public libraries, and 62% of Americans have a library card. Therefore, it is
important to have accurate and Trans affirming books available when people seek
them out. Think of the students writing research papers, the people wondering if
they might be trans, and the doctors and therapists who want to learn a little more
about their trans patients, just to name a few. All kinds of people go to libraries.
3. Create an online blog and write inspiring stories about transgender

The internet has created so many new ways for people, including transgender
people, to connect. The world of blogs provides an avenue for new voices to be
heard and opinions to be shared with others. You can create a blog easily through
many different portals available on the internet. You can set up a blog for just you
or create a space for others in the community to share their perspectives. You can
also create bulletin boards on a website for people to dialogue about their ideas or
set up an e-mail list serve that covers a topic you’d like to talk about. With all of
these, you’ll need to keep up with them to be sure that content stays current and
that folks a topic to talk about in order to keep your presence vibrant.

4. Make donations and contribute to the transgender community

The money you donate to organizations is critical to their ability to provide
services for our community. Because you give, organizations are able to make a
tangible difference in trans people’s lives—drafting new legislation to protect our
rights, reaching out to youth, providing answers to legal questions, doing HIV
prevention, creating social events where we can come together and celebrate who
we are, dressed as we want to dress, and much, much more. The donations you
make to Trans organizations can help our community thrive, be healthy and grow.
You may never have received a request from an organization asking for your
support for other groups, but we believe that we are all in this together. Whatever
we do to support our community strengthens us all. Plus, giving money makes us
feel good, recognizing ourselves as generous people, supporting a cause that is
important to us. A little or a lot any amount can help the community.
5. Try to tag with them in any events, functions, fests and competitions
Boost their confidence by teaming up with them and letting them understand that
they are important and worthy. Most transgender people suffer with identity crisis
with all the negativity they taste or out the fear of coming out. Make them feel
more comfortable by taking their side and contribute to their progress. Try to help
them in things and make them understand that you stand by them at any time.
6. Confront bullies and commentators to provide them confidence in
confronting their problems themselves
It is always important to stand by them in times when they face criticism. By
doing so, they gain confidence to confront those people and their criticisms on
their own. Try to protect them from all the negativity they receive in the name of

culture, practices and homophobia. Do not spare anyone casting obscenities or ill-
treating them for their gender orientation. Provide them the wisdom that there are
laws that protect their rights and values.

As I said earlier, it is important to stand by and stand together in this process of burning the
stigma and ending discrimination. Discrimination of any individual on any grounds is an
offensive crime. People should understand it and come out of the shell to help the transgender
in having their privileges as everyone is entitled to. That is the main aim of humanitarianism!
I hope everyone takes the oath in doing so.

12. How humanitarianism busts the stereotypes, myths and taboos and creates a
better place for girl child to shine
“I hope more people support and help in imparting 'Girl Child Education' in
their village, city, town and country. If each one of us does a little bit then we all
can make a change for the better.”
― Avijeet Das

Previously during the medieval ages, colonial period and post colonial period, educating
girls had been a pretty daunting task. Especially in India, it was considered sinister for a
woman to be educated and do a job leaving her household. From those ages to this day, it
was quite a transition with stories of many brave women. Yet even today, there were
restrictions on women in their choice of careers, child marriages, pressure to get married
in an unwanted time, taboos surrounding girls’ freedoms and unwarranted explanation on
the necessity to get married at the cost of losing a career. Well even after such growth and
development of women in work sectors, there are still some places where women
experience discrimination from accomplishing things equal to men. It could be around
you. It could your cousin, your neighbour, your sister or even your daughter. Just think
over it. Education is one important tool for making a living. Everyone must be entitled to
access education because everyone must live in this society and at some point of time
must be able to take up a job to run the family. I had a great experience identifying some
stories and the dynamics of their living, lifestyle and employment as part of my research
project. I want all of you to experience the same experience by identifying these three
subjects. The three subjects that I am providing you are my actual experiences with the
people I have interacted with. You can feel free to choose your people to interact with and
may be take it to an extra mile by helping them in their problems if any.

Subject 1

My first subject was an anonymous person whom I interviewed for my project while I am
15 years old. For privacy issues, let us consider her name as XYZ. When I first met XYZ
to know about her financial dynamics, financial independence and affordability, I got so
many facts. Initially I have identified that she is a flower seller who buys fresh flowers
from a local vendor. She had to spend 9 hours in the markets, roads and bus shelters to
make her day earnings. If there was any hard bargain, she could lose that few bucks that
she could get selling those flowers. On an average she made 5,000 or around based on the

customers, festival seasons, important events etc. XYZ was married at the age of 16. She
passes her 10th standard in first class but couldn’t afford to study any higher. Her father
was a carpenter who made a meagre earning. When asked about her interests in studying,
she told that she would go back to college again if there was a chance. But she referred
that it is highly impossible as she is an active source of income to her family and she had
three children to feed and a sick mother-in-law. Her husband was an alcoholic who hardly
earned anything. He abused her several times demanding even the minimum amount of
money she earned. Life was always a struggle for her as she had to bear everything. When
asked why she wouldn’t get a divorce, she replied that it is not easy for her to get along
without a husband with three children in hand and a sick mother-in-law in this society.

When asked about what kind of determination she would show if offered a better job, she
replied saying that if that would job would change her life, she would put her soul in it.
After interviewing her, I was inspired a lot that I got a thought in my mind. The Idea for
Change competition would fund students with come money to implement their ideas. I
have designed a self employment idea in which we provide gradual investments for
equipment and training in skills like embroidery, textile designing, food processing, etc.
In this case we chose textile design and embroidery to start with. Our idea was one among
the top 500 ideas that made it to the final interview round. We were however rejected in
the final interview round for our age. But if it is possible, we always want to invest in this
kind of idea. Upon my interview with my first subject I realised that education is
important in every household not just as passion but as a necessity. Because women also
possess equal responsibility in raising the kids and must be ready to take jobs if

Subject 2

My subject 2 was a person I knew. Let us consider her name to be ABC. ABC is a
graduate who passed all subjects with distinction. She was also offered a job at a
prestigious company. She was so happy until she realized that she is not going for that job
because she is getting married. Her in-laws were orthodox and they had a belief that their
daughter-in-law must only dedicate her life in serving the family and must not get any
ideas like joining a job. ABC had no other choice but to accept this marriage. After
marriage, ABC’s mother-in-law was not welcoming with her. She would pin point
everything and shout out her taboos on everything ABC did. ABC slowly started losing

faith in her marriage. She gave up her dream of doing a job, her financial independence
and all she does is hectic house wife job with a lot of criticism from her mother-in-law.
One day ABC’s husband died in a tragic car accident and the only source of income was
lost. When ABC suggested that she would do a job to look after the family, the in-laws
stated attacking her with obscenities saying that her want to do a job, behave shamelessly
killed their son. They saw her as sinister and an evil witch. ABC who lost her patience
stormed out of that house along with her son and went home. Her parents were no
welcoming to her as she is a widow and fought her in-laws. Without even knowing the
situation, ABC’s parents started bad mouthing her. Unable to bear the pain from her
families she left for good along with her son in search of a job. Now she is a celebrated
employee in her company and a strong single mother who raised her child single handed.

I did not directly interview ABC but I was able to give an ear when she was expressing
her struggles. ABC is an inspiration to all of us. But think of it this way: ABC would have
done better if her parents and in-laws were not narcissists who only cared taboos and
myths which are unwarranted over the girl’s life. Taboos and myths are slowly killing the
careers of so many girls out there and we are not new to this. We live in a society where
even the educated people look at the divorced women with a slight disgust. You never
knew why she divorced. How can you judge her without knowing about her? The way
people follow these myths, look at other women and expect from girls shall change. There
are so many women like ABC who are suffering this ill fate originated in the mindsets of
some people. Change this and be the start! If ever you see any kind of taboos and myths
that people dump on girls, take a step in educating them and stopping them from making
any bad decisions that could affect a woman’s life. That could make a big difference in
her life.

Subject 3

My subject 3 is a highly educated woman who went on quest to become a millionaire but
failed due to some circumstances. I have not interviewed her but I heard a lot about her
from the people I knew. Let us consider that her name is PQR. PQR is an ambitious
woman who sought of becoming an entrepreneur right from her childhood. Her family
always thought that her ambitions are overrated and she would better avoid it. After her
education she refused to take up a job and started working on her start-up. It was a small
start up focusing on jewellery and female articles sold in internet. Her business got no

positive net revenue and it was a failed project. Her family members reminded her that it
is an unnecessary effort for a girl to dream and start a company. They suggested that she
could simply marry a business man and stand by him in his journey. PQR was devastated
by her failures and her sudden marriage announcement. She married a businessman
unwillingly and was never satisfied with her marriage. PQR almost declared herself a
failure for life and hardly spoke after marriage. Her husband never understood why she
was always pale and empty. When he forced PQR, she opened up about her anxieties, her
insecurities and her grief on becoming a loser. Her husband comforted her and invested in
her. She is now a designer and an entrepreneur. My intention in bringing up the story of
subject 3 is to highlight the fact that most parents demotivate their daughters when they
are aiming to achieve something higher. It may be starting a company, winning a Nobel,
becoming a politician or whatever it is they simply don’t have faith in their daughter as
they have in their sons. Let’s get a couple of things straight. Women are achieving so
many things today and it would only be stupid to thwart them from accomplishing
anything. My only advice is to have faith in everyone whether it is a boy or a girl and
encourage them to do greater things. It is also often observed that parents do not motivate
girls to accomplish greater things as do to their sons. Well this needs to change. Women
and young girls should be motivated that they could achieve anything if they could work
hard and try.

These 3 subjects give us an intuition on how education and its concerned priorities
influence women, their decisions, their lives and their families. Taboos, myths,
underestimations, financial conditions, priorities and what not there are thousands of
reasons why most women are unable to shine. This needs to change.

Of the 781 million illiterate adults in the world in 2015, two-thirds of them were women.
It’s a sad fact that although literacy is massively improving every year, specifically
targeting literacy for women lags behind in that trend. The UN Sustainable Development
Goals (SDGs) aim to end illiteracy for all by 2030. That’s just over 10 years! We have
some serious work to do if we want to reach that ambitious goal. What can we do?

Educate Yourself

When trying to make change, the first and most important step is to be informed. That can
mean looking up statistics of literacy rates and finding out exactly where efforts are
needed. It can mean stepping out to a library or researching to find out why illiteracy is

common, or what factors play into higher versus lower rate regions. Take your pick, but
before trying to solve any large crisis – you need the facts.

Donate Books and Volunteer

Perhaps the first place you think of when considering illiteracy is someplace like Niger or
Cameroon, but illiteracy exists everywhere. It could very well be in your
own neighbourhood or town. The easiest way to step forward and go to your local book
donation centre or library. Ask if help is needed and how you can donate books, financial
support or time towards fighting illiteracy in your local community.

If there’s not a local initiative, make your own! Don’t let yourself be dissuaded by the
simple fact that there’s not yet a framework for you to step into. Create your own book
donation drive and reach out to at-risk communities to find out the most effective way
you can help. Most of the time, these people know the best ways for you to help.


If you were taught the ability to read and write from a young age as I was, it can be
almost impossible to imagine what living without those abilities would be like. Think
about how what reading means to you, and continue to use that gift by educating yourself

On a personal note, reading is such an incredibly important part of my life and as I start to
research more into how literacy is spread across the globe – I am struck with one fact.
Although illiteracy rates are higher in poorer countries, rich countries struggle with this
problem too. Exciting initiatives exist all over the world, and what works in one country
may work in another. It’s worth experimenting.

Illiteracy in women isn’t an issue that will easily go away. It will take time to reach out to
communities and explain why it’s so important to be literate. It will take time to
encourage governments to fund literacy efforts. These kinds of changes don’t happen
overnight. But little by little through asking for change and putting in the time, you can
create a difference even if universal literacy in 13 years seems daunting.

Few things you can do to encourage women around you in accomplishing things

A world of gender parity can only be achieved with the active participation of all genders. In
a patriarchal setup such as ours, men are not encouraged enough to think about women’s
rights. However, with an evolving society and progressive mindset, an increasing number of
men are working towards advancing gender equality. Here is something you can do

1. Share the workload at home: Research says that women still do most of the domestic
chores despite going out to work in increasing numbers. Though men have doubled their
share of housework since the 1960s, there’s still a long way to go. Ensure both partners get
involved in the housework and teach children to assist in the little ways they can. Sharing
domestic responsibilities ensures the work burden doesn’t fall only on one person and instils
the value of gender equality and essential life skills in children.

2. If you have children, be an equal parent: Be willing to take paternity leave and stay at
home to care for your kids when they need you. Divide childcare responsibilities with your
partner and also ensure that both of you get to spend an equal amount of “play” time with the

3. Encourage your kid to play with toys of his/her choice: While buying toys for the little
ones, people generally ask for gender-specific toys, like toy guns or race cars for boys and
princess dolls and vanity sets for girls. What messages are we sending to our children when
we give them these gender-specified toys? So, next time you go to a toy store, let your kids
buy toys of their choice rather than forcing them to pick one based on their gender.

4. Walk the talk about income inequality: You must have often heard that men get paid
more than women over their lifetimes. Raise your voice against this injustice and support
equal pay for equal work.
5. Find female mentors/leaders: Ensure that some of your role models or mentors are
women. There’s a lot you can learn from women in positions of authority. If you want to
volunteer for an organisation, go for a women’s organisation and do your bit to bring about a
change to create a more equal world.
6. Encourage women to come forward and speak their mind: At the workplace, encourage
your female colleagues to come forward and share their thoughts without any inhibitions.
Most often they come up with exceptional ideas that blow everyone away.
7. Have an open-minded work atmosphere: Work towards creating a more inclusive work
culture. Stand up to issues like harassment and gender bias at the workplace.

8. Be aware of gender stereotypes: Gender stereotypes affect men and women in every
sphere of life and are huge obstacles to gender equality. Recognize such stereotypes and
avoid them.

9. Promote and share the cause on Social Media: Utilize your social networking profiles to
promote, share, post and acknowledge the cause of gender equality. Create or join a group on
Facebook or Twitter and raise awareness of any event or petition on the cause.
10. Stand up against harassment and eve teasing: Sexual harassment is a violation of
women’s human right. So, whenever you see or become aware of such instances, whether in
the workplace, streets, home or the online space raise your voice against it.

Pay gap and battles to combat pay gap

Pay gap is one of the basic problems most women face at work space. On an average, women
are paid less in more than 50% of the cases compared to their male peers. Recently, pay
equity has been thrust under a glaring media spotlight. The #Me Too movement of 2018,
which began as an outing of sexual harassment and sexual assault, cascaded into analysis
of gender inequality at work place in 2019, encompassing not only pay inequity but also
barriers to advancement and representation of women in leadership. In addition, several high-
profile class action lawsuits have made pay equity a hot topic in executive boardrooms across
the country. For every dollar a man earns, on average a woman is paid 54 cents. Based on
today’s rate of progress, it will take 202 years for this gap to close, according to the World
Economic Forum.

Around the world, occupations like teachers pay less than occupations like engineers. So
gender differences in occupational choice affect gender differences in earnings. Why do
women and men make different occupational choices? Are there not enough role models for
women in higher paying occupations? Are there barriers to female advancement in those
occupations? The answer to both questions is yes. Moreover, even within high-paying
occupations, women tend to be employed at lower levels of the occupational hierarchy: there
is a persistent gender gap at higher ranks of management and leadership within occupations
and this in turn contributes to the gender pay gap within them.

There are related gender differences in earnings by industry or sector of economic activity.
Around the world, men are more likely to hold jobs at any skill level in manufacturing, a
sector that pays relatively high earnings, while women are more likely to hold jobs in

educational services, a sector that pays considerably less than manufacturing. Gender
differences in employment by occupation and industry are important determinants of gender
differences in earnings around the world. So to understand and reduce the gender gap in
earnings it is necessary to understand and reduce the gender differences in employment by
occupation and sector.

And part-time work, even for the same kind of job in the same occupation and sector, has a
lower hourly wage with fewer social protections and benefits than comparable full-time
work. According to the ILO, women account for about 57% of global part-time work, and the
earnings gap between comparable full-time and part-time work is in the order of 10%. There
is also evidence that motherhood and associated gender differences in household care
responsibilities are significant factors behind the gender pay gap.

When you compare men and women with comparable educations at the beginning of their
careers, working full-time in the same occupation and sector, the gender gap in earnings has
largely disappeared in many advanced industrial economies. Same education, same work,
same wage. Five to ten years later, often after the arrival of children, the gender gap in
earnings appears. A non-existent wage gap becomes a significant and growing wage gap.
Women often choose to move to part-time employment or to step out of a career promotion
pathway in order to have more time for motherhood and childcare when their children are
young. If they return to work full-time, they are often forced to accept a lower wage
compared to the wage they would have earned had they stayed in their original job.

An important step to closing the gender pay gap is the more equitable sharing of parental
responsibilities between men and women. Paid parental leave policies that provide both
maternity and paternity leave help achieve this goal, increasing the participation of fathers in
child care and reducing gender stereotyping in childcare and related household
responsibilities. When paternity care is non-transferable, men are more likely to take
advantage of it, reducing the gender differences in labour force participation rates associated
with children. Paternity leave is frequently cited as a very important policy to reduce or
eliminate the pay differential resulting from the motherhood penalty and the fatherhood

Finally, and this is significant: even taking out the education effect, the occupation effect, the
sector effect, the part-time work effect, and the motherhood and fatherhood effects, a gender

gap in earnings remains. This gap is evidence of persistent discrimination, stereotyping and
implicit biases in earnings and promotion opportunities for women. Government policies,
legal protections, and changes in business practices, such as regular pay assessments of
earnings by gender and pay transparency, are necessary to combat these sources of the gender
gap in pay.

By reducing pay gaps, educating girl child, motivating them to accomplish things and sharing
the parental duties we can make the girl child of tomorrow shine. Women are put through so
many things and maybe it is time we realize that everyone has responsibilities and everyone
can live a same life having goals, ambitions, caring for children by parenting, getting paid for
their effort and so on. Once everyone understands this, there will only be sounds of girl
children chuckling happily about tomorrow’s world.

13. How humanitarianism speaks for the vulnerable and voices their sufferings and
their struggles.
“There is no beauty in sadness. No honor in suffering. No growth in fear. No
relief in hate. It’s just a waste of perfectly good happiness.”
― Katerina Stoykova Klemer

Do you know that violence in any form is so persistent in our society? Let us get some
stats on table. Global estimates published by WHO indicate that about 1 in 3 (35%) of
women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner
violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. Most of this violence is
intimate partner violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have
been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or
sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime. Globally, as many as 38%
of murders of women are committed by a male intimate partner. Men are more likely
to perpetrate violence if they have low education, a history of child maltreatment,
exposure to domestic violence against their mothers, harmful use of alcohol, unequal
gender norms including attitudes accepting of violence, and a sense of entitlement
over women. Women are more likely to experience intimate partner violence if they
have low education, exposure to mothers being abused by a partner, abuse during
childhood, and attitudes accepting violence, male privilege, and women’s subordinate
status. All these stats were presented clearly in the World health organization violence
against women portal.

According to the reports from UN women, it is estimated that of the 87,000 women
who were intentionally killed in 2017 globally, more than half (50,000- 58 per cent)
were killed by intimate partners or family members, meaning that 137 women across
the world are killed by a member of their own family every day. More than a third
(30,000) of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by their current or
former intimate partner. Adult women account for nearly half (49 per cent) of all
human trafficking victims detected globally. Women and girls together account for 72
per cent, with girls representing more than three out of every four child trafficking
victims. More than four out of every five trafficked women and nearly three out of
every four trafficked girls are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. It is
estimated that there are 650 million women and girls in the world today who were

married before age 18. During the past decade, the global rate of child marriage has
declined. South Asia had the largest decline during this time, from 49 per cent to 30
per cent. Still, 12 million girls under 18 are married each year and in sub-Saharan
Africa—where this harmful practice is most common—almost four out of 10 young
women were married before their 18th birthday. Child marriage often results in early
pregnancy and social isolation, interrupts schooling, limits the girl’s opportunities and
increases her risk of experiencing domestic violence. At least 200 million women and
girls aged 15-49 have undergone female genital mutilation in the 30 countries with
representative data on prevalence. In most of these countries, the majority of girls
were cut before age five. More than 20 million women and girls in just seven
countries (Egypt, Sudan, Guinea, Djibouti, Kenya, Yemen and Nigeria) have
undergone female genital mutilation by a health care provider. With population
movement, female genital mutilation is becoming a practice with global dimensions,
in particular among migrant and refugee women and girls. Approximately 15 million
adolescent girls (aged 15 to 19) worldwide have experienced forced sex (forced
sexual intercourse or other sexual acts) at some point in their life. In the vast majority
of countries, adolescent girls are most at risk of forced sex by a current/former
husband, partner or boyfriend. Based on data from 30 countries, only one per cent
ever sought professional help. Twenty-three per cent of female undergraduate
university students reported having experienced sexual assault or sexual misconduct
in a survey across 27 universities in the United States in 2015. Rates of reporting to
campus officials, law enforcement or others ranged from five to 28 per cent,
depending on the specific type of behavior. Eighty-two per cent of women
parliamentarians who participated in a study conducted by the Inter-parliamentary
Union in 39 countries across five regions reported having experienced some form of
psychological violence (remarks, gestures and images of a sexist or humiliating sexual
nature made against them or threats and/or mobbing) while serving their terms. They
cited social media as the main channel through which such psychological violence is
perpetrated; nearly half of those surveyed (44 per cent) reported having received
death, rape, assault or abduction threats towards them or their families. Sixty-five per
cent had been subjected to sexist remarks, primarily by male colleagues in parliament
and from opposing parties as well as their own. These stats were strictly borrowed
from United Nations women violence against women portal. These stats clearly
indicate the severity of violence against women in some or the other form. Violence

against women is a long battled issue that need answers from the future generations.
Any kind of threats, restrictions, physical abuse, verbal abuse, psychological
rounding, etc can be considered violence and must be addressed.

Now let us consider an alternative situation. About two in five of all victims of domestic
violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women
who are left battered and bruised. Data from Home Office statistical bulletins and the British
Crime Survey show that men made up about 40% of domestic violence victims each year
between 2004-05 and 2008-09, the last year for which figures are available. In 2006-07 men
made up 43.4% of all those who had suffered partner abuse in the previous year, which rose
to 45.5% in 2007-08 but fell to 37.7% in 2008-09. Similar or slightly larger numbers of men
were subjected to severe force in an incident with their partner, according to the same
documents. The figure stood at 48.6% in 2006-07, 48.3% the next year and 37.5% in 2008-
09, Home Office statistics show. Campaigners claim that men are often treated as "second-
class victims" and that many police forces and councils do not take them seriously. "Male
victims are almost invisible to the authorities such as the police, who rarely can be prevailed
upon to take the man's side," said John Mays of Parity. "Their plight is largely overlooked by
the media, in official reports and in government policy, for example in the provision of refuge
places – 7,500 for females in England and Wales but only 60 for men." The following stats
were issued in an article in “The Guardian” showing the male victim statistics in United
Kingdom. If we take a look at those statistics we can understand that most of the times men
are considered second class victims with no primary attention to their cause.

In the same way there also cases reporting violence on transgender people where there were
ignored or not justified equally. In 2018, advocates tracked at least 26 deaths of at least
transgender or gender non-conforming people in the U.S. due to fatal violence, the
majority of whom were Black transgender women. These victims were killed by
acquaintances, partners and strangers, some of whom have been arrested and charged,
while others have yet to be identified. Some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender
bias. In others, the victim’s transgender status may have put them at risk in other ways,
such as forcing them into unemployment, poverty, homelessness and/or survival sex
work. While the details of these cases differ, it is clear that fatal violence
disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of
racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and unchecked access to guns

conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare and other necessities,
barriers that make them vulnerable. This is not a new problem. In the seven years that
the Human Rights Campaign has tracked anti-transgender violence, an average of at least
22 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been victims of fatal violence
per year. Although advocates, bloggers and media groups have elevated the epidemic of
violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people in the past several years,
data collection is often incomplete or unreliable when it comes to violent and fatal
crimes against transgender and gender non-conforming people. Some victims’ deaths
may go unreported, while others may not be identified as transgender or gender non-
conforming in the media, often because authorities, journalists and/or family members
refuse to acknowledge their gender correctly. In most cases it is clear that violence on
transgender people is often not highlighted with solid data proofs. Most of data on
transgender communities is often suppressed and ignored by most advocates and focus to
details if often missing.

What can we understand from these stats?

Well reading through these stats we can understand that violence in any form is not
restricted to a particular gender. There were cases of fatal crime and associated violence,
culture oriented practices, partner abuse and abuse from family members, violence
associated with violent gender phobia, sexual abuse and trafficking. Of all these kinds of
violence and assaults one very common thing is the abuser. Every time we are talking
about violence, abuse and assaults, it is not about the place, the gender or the safety
laws. It is mainly about the abusers and their mindsets. As per the stats discussed above,
most of the perpetuators of violence came from family backgrounds involving family
disputes and physical violence among their parents. The psychology of perpetuators is
adapted to the violence based environments. One of the reasons why many psychologists
say that basic impressions people form as children are permanent.

The major aim of introducing these statistics is to allow you to form an intuition on some
questions. What are the major influences for the violence acts by perpetuators? Does
gender has anything to do with violence? What are the odds that most of the violence
related assaults are influenced by actions of certain people? And when you understand
the dynamics of these stats, you can analyze on how these assaults are influencing
marriages, relations, public responsibilities and crime rates. If I could just say in a
simple statement that most of the violence is not restricted to a particular gender, it is a
psychological motivation and it has many causes originating from the understanding and
inculcated values from family, society and so on. But if I barely explain it, it is not
comprehendible. That’s the reason why we employed stats to explain our cause. By using
these stats we have established various forms of violence, their causes and concerned
data to explain the basic dynamics of violence around the world. We use this address
how humanitarianism can help the vulnerable of these assaults and violence.

What humanitarianism can do?

How humanitarianism can combat violence towards women?

Violence against women is endemic, and it affects women of every class, age, sexuality, race,
ability/disability, religion or other background. The main driver of violence against women is
gender inequality, which operates on many levels from social and cultural norms to economic
and structural injustices. Whether you are female or male, young or senior, a parent or a
person who has friends with kids, simply a colleague or a boss, if you work professionally in
the area of ending violence against women or are just a concerned individual ready to act, we
all can take steps that will help to eliminate violence against women.

1. Get help from police or concerned authority

If you hear or see a violent or abusive situation happening, don’t turn your back. If it is
safe you could try to defuse the situation by intervening. But if you feel that may be
dangerous or if you think a person is being hurt or about to be hurt, you should ring the

2. Stay informed and educate yourself

Educate yourself about the causes, drivers and consequences of violence against
women. Learn more about domestic and family violence and sexual violence and help
spread that knowledge. It is important to understand violence against women in terms
of power dynamics and social structures, rather than just as purely individual
experiences. Violence against women and children occurs within a patriarchal society
where male dominance and privilege are normalised. Violence is used as a means of
coercion and control over a woman or a partner and has nothing to do with one’s

personal traits. Sexual violence is an abuse of power too. Men rape women because
they believe women are possessions, not equals, and that they have a right to women’s
bodies. Myths like this place responsibility on women and encourage more victim-
blaming. Violence is more common in families and relationships in which men
control decision making, and less so in those relationships where women have a
greater degree of independence.

3. Play safe in social media and internet

In our technology-saturated world, women are subjected to violence through their

phone and online too. This includes stalking, control, threats, bullying and image-
based abuse both in the context of domestic and family violence and more generally.
It is important to know how to use technology carefully to help find safety for
yourself and other people who may be subjected to technology-facilitated abuse.

4. Give quick response when you spot any violence

If you need to support someone who has disclosed to you the violence inflicted on
them, or who has asked you for help, language matters immensely. Whoever it may
be, your friend, colleague or family member, respond appropriately and make sure
that she feels supported and encouraged to talk to you and seek help. Listen and
believe. Never dismiss family violence as a just “a domestic” or suggest that sexual
violence might have been a “misunderstanding”. Provide support. Sometimes
practical assistance such as assisting with shopping or picking children up from
school (with proper authorisation) can be of great help. Never judge or blame a
woman about the violence, regardless of the circumstances or her background.
5. Stand by the victims/survivors
No matter what you do, you should always treat a woman who has experienced
violence in a dignified, respectful and ethical way. In practice this means accepting an
experience without judgement and treating a woman as an individual and not through
the prism of your stereotypes about her cultural, religious, economic or social
background or affiliations. This encompasses both the language you are using and the
kinds of support you are offering. Be aware that if you make inappropriate comments
about a woman’s social position, this may reinforce the power dynamics that
contribute to the violence and result in victim-blaming.

6. Raise your voice against any form of violence
Violence is never okay. Challenge practices that condone violence against women and
encourage others to speak up. Sexist jokes are never okay no matter the circumstances
they are told in or the position of a teller.
As a ‘bystander’, someone who observes an act of violence, discrimination or other
unacceptable or offensive behaviour, you can play a powerful role in preventing and
responding to violence against women. Speak out about or seek to engage others in
responding to specific incidents of sexism, discrimination or violence against women.
It’s okay to criticise a friend if he continually makes sexist jokes. After all, part of
being a friend is being able to tell you the truth if you behave inappropriately. If you
can, confront colleagues whose comments are sexist, blame the victim or minimise
issues of violence.
If you are a manager, make sure that everyone in the office is treated fairly and has
the chance to reach their potential. Don’t let your perception of their gender distort
your decisions. Check out Equal footing, a toolkit for workplaces to promote gender
equality and respectful relationships.
If you are a graphic designer or working in advertising, avoid using women’s bodies
to advertise unrelated products. Women’s bodies of all shapes and colours are
beautiful, but women are people first, not decorations.
If you are involved in sport as a player, coach or official, challenge others who use
sexist sledging on the sports field, and work to increase women’s access to sports.
Sport is about playing according to the rules, and this should be one of them. If you
are coach of boys, get coaching boys into men toolkit, which is focused on building
respect, integrity and non-violence.
7. Raise them equal
Promote and normalise gender equality in public and private life. If you are a
parent, bring your kids up with the idea that they are limitless in their potential. Their
gender should not determine their future. If you have friends with kids, buy them
books that challenge rigid, imposed gender roles and stereotypes. Speak about equal
and respectful relations between and among women and men, girls and boys, women
and women, men and men, whatever the consenting combinations are. Be the role
model yourself. Promote women’s independence and decision-making in public life
and relationships.
8. Donate for a cause

As an individual, donate money to organisations working with victims / survivors of family,
domestic or sexual violence. Consider also supporting organisations working to advance
gender equality, economic and political participation of women or providing free legal advice
or health-related services and representation to women. If you are a business owner, donate
your money and/or your services or provide other in-kind support to organisations working to
eliminate violence against women. You can also attend public awareness events in your
Community or organise one. Get your friends and colleagues to do the same. Just make sure
that if you are organising an event, you are speaking appropriately and proving the support
that is needed. Check with your local organisations about what kind of support they really

How humanitarianism can combat violence towards Transgender?

As mentioned previously, transgender people face many challenges and violence, sexual
abuse and assaults are among the list. The brutal violence against transgender community is
often unreported and under-represented. Homophobia, transphobia and illogical hatred are
taking a toll on many transgender people who are wishing to live a normal life. In most cases
their cause is always unanswered. But there are some ways through which you can show
them that stand by them in their tougher times. Here are some other ways you can advocate
for a safer society for transgender people, especially transgender women of color:

1. Support policies that penalize discrimination related to education, housing, workplace,

the military, physical healthcare, mental healthcare, family planning, public facilities,
and any places of public accommodation.
2. Call your political representatives and be sure to vote for transgender-inclusive
policies and candidates.
3. Advocate for better data collection and reporting of violence and hate crimes against
transgender people.
4. Advocate for educating and holding the media accountable for accurate and sensitive
representation of transgender people.
5. Share stories and statistics that highlight the prejudice, discrimination, and violence
that transgender people face, but also share positive stories about transgender lives
and experiences.

6. Advocate for better training of law enforcement related to their interactions with
transgender people, including the importance of treating all people with respect, using
appropriate names and pronouns, and not misgendering victims or witnesses.
7. Familiarize yourself with transgender-friendly resources in your community and serve
as a referral source
8. Volunteer for local, state-wide, and/or national organizations that support transgender
9. Educate friends, family, co-workers, classmates, etc. on the importance of using the
correct name and pronouns for transgender people. Don’t leave the physical and
emotional burden of educating to transgender people.
10. Reach out to the transgender people in your life. Let them know that they matter to

you and that you support them.

11. Call out and educate people who engage in behavior or practices that are

discriminatory toward transgender people. You never know when a transgender

person might be around and the simple act of speaking of up can create a sense of
safety, even if only momentarily.
12. Continue to educate yourself on transgender issues, identities, and resources. Realize

that you don’t have to understand a transgender person’s identity or experience to be

supportive and empathetic.
13. Safety is paramount. Don’t ever out a transgender person without their explicit


How humanitarianism can combat violence towards men?

1. Awareness on issues highlighting violence towards men

Often violence towards men is under-rated that most people fail to gather attention
towards it. Most other men also start digging them for reporting violence and
harassment. One thing to notice is that violence in any form towards any person is
offensive and men are no exception for this. There were many cases where men were
murdered, tortured and harassed but not justified enough equal to other genders.
Society characterizes and frames men to be strong and brave. They never accept men
to be emotional and sensitive. That needs to change. Everyone is born unique and no
one can be judged for having human emotional complex.

2. Society should accept the fact that not all men are perpetuators of violence

Just because there were many cases involving men accountable for domestic violence
and other forms of violence, it doesn’t guarantee that all men are perpetuators. Men
can also be victims and sufferers of emotional, psychological and physical assaults.
The misandry or the understanding the men are always perpetuators of hate, jeopardy
and violence must end. Men should also be given privileges in case of any report of
violence towards them. The very understanding of equality begins with an pact that
irrespective of any gender, religion, race or ethnicity, we stand for the other person in
their need, problems, happiness and support.

3. Men should stand for men

Often in many cases men themselves are the biggest critics of other men. Most of the
times men expect other men to be more masculine and dominating. They find these
traits cool in other men. When qualities like chivalry and emotionally sensitiveness
are found in other men, they would often comment them and harass them. These kinds
of treatment towards other men are also considered to be assault against other men.
The issues surrounding men can turn important when men start standing other men.
Men should burn the stereotype that crying men are weak and men who are emotional
cannot achieve things. Men should start coming out in favour of other men and
support them in every situation.


1. Violence against women – World Health organization

2. Facts and figures: Violence against women – United Nations women
3. Fatal anti transgender violence in United States by Human Rights Campaign

14. How far can we go with humanitarianism and how far is so far?

“Go out in the woods, go out. If you don't go out in the woods nothing will ever
happen and your life will never begin.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and
Stories of Wild Woman Archetype
I think by now, you would have understood what we trying to convey. We started
with the very history of feminism and worked our way into contemporary gender
based issues. We highlighted on various social evils and practices and what must be
done to combat them. We used our theory called humanitarianism through which we
spread the idea of one person standing for the other whenever the situation calls for.
Through humanitarianism we think that we have expressed mature solutions for many
unsolved or persistent problems that can be solved by me, you or anyone. Our
ideologies and philosophies however concise they are cannot be expressed plainly
without sparking interest in the readers. Although most chapters go dry with facts and
solutions we made sure that humanitarianism and its surrounding topics atleast are
catchy. We took extra effort in organizing and highlighting various case studies,
situational studies, research subjects and stats. By using these tools we were able to
convey our message more interactively. By reading and understanding these various
studies, research subjects and stats, I think you can form a picture on the current
scenario and gain an intuition on what can be done.
We worked on this persistently by reading, analyzing and organizing facts and most
of the data collected by us as pre-requisite for this work is from genuine sources. Our
intuition on various contemporary problems was raised mainly from extensive reading
material we covered. That included novels, non-fiction books, news articles, blogs
and web pages. After a constant research and understanding we were able to
comprehend some crucial problems surrounding the gender and come up with
scenarios and solutions that explain them.
What do we want from you then?
Well to anyone who is reading this book, we have only one expectation from you. Just
start doing. We did our reading, we collected some facts and we made a book that
brought you till this page. Our part is over. Now is your time. We want you to start
applying humanitarianism everywhere. If you are seeing something wrong happening
around you like someone abusing some people act immediately. Spare no violence, no

stigma, no jeopardy, no hate, no drama, no unwarranted restriction, no rapes, no
trafficking and whatever it can be. Just be for the person who needs you. That’s it! It’s
not even asking for more. Try to look at everyone as your brother or sister. If we have
the potential to make this world a happy place, then why do we fight?
You can change it. All you need to do is plant the seeds of compassion and kindness
in the people you meet and talk to. Speak for someone, speak with someone and speak
into someone to abolish hate and spread love. It’s is the most basic thing we can ask
from you. But this most basic thing could change tomorrow and the people of
As people sum up the differences between a doer and a dreamer, I want to weigh in
into something. If you read this book throw it away like its nothing. Fine no problem.
You just gave up on the mission to change tomorrow. But if you are going to do
atleast one thing you learned from this book, you have started this journey into a
better tomorrow. And if you started realizing that you are going to start over taking
this as your mission, I want to thank you for your efforts. Go for it! All power is with
you. You can never say that you can’t do it without giving it a try. And that’s why to
anyone who is reading this book, I want to say just one thing. Start it and then say
something. Maybe a better solution, maybe a drawback, or maybe a major error in my
hypothesis. Just write me. I will answer you or reach you to my best. But just start it.
Start being the humans that every other human deserves.
How far is so far?
Well you all are about to begin your journey to humanitarianism. It is just a few steps
you have taken may be or not yet started. But you know where to go with this. Every
journey has a destination and every destination gives you another destiny. So keep
going. The primary mile stone is achieving gender equality and the next mile stones
you decide. But keep track of where you are going and share your journey with others
for them to get inspired. Tag us with #humanitarianism in social media and share your
stories with us. Celebrate your journey and spread the joy of togetherness with others.
Write blogs, poems and books on your experiences and take this to next level. Make
happy faces in people who are suffering. And by now you would have taken this
journey so far that you lost track of what humanitarianism is doing around the world.
Be the start! Be the change!

Appendix A: Read and Analyze: Article on Rapes in India.

Rape culture is more common in India and there were some dashing articles and web content
that illustrated the rape culture in India. Here are few segments from the articles that highlight
the extent of filth in rapes and the mindsets of rapists.

India is a dangerous place to be a woman. Men here have raped eight-month-old babies as
well as a 100-year-old woman. It is a rape culture, in which girls are told how to dress to
avoid ‘inviting trouble’ and ‘slutshamed’, normalising male predatory behaviour. To change
this, Indians must deflect the discourse from women to the real problem: men. In the interim,
GoI must swiftly set up a separate law enforcement unit for crime against women. According
to government data, nearly four women are raped every hour in this country. Realistically
speaking, that means only about 90 women each day find the courage to report that they have
been sexually violated. The real number — probably way higher — never gets captured as
many rapes go unreported, buried under shame, confusion and fear. Public data also shows
that the majority of rapes are often perpetrated by persons known to the victim, including
family and neighbours. Reporting this often risks inviting stigma on the victim rather than on
the accused because, in our rancid rape culture, some of us also question victim’s behaviour
that brought on predators.

Most recently, a young 23-year-old woman from Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, succumbed to
injuries after five men, including the rape accused, chased her down and burned her alive as
she was on her way to meet her lawyers in the morning. This wasn’t the first attempt to gag
her. In Telangana, a 27-year-old veterinarian was set on fire after being gang-raped. The
suspects were caught and later were killed in an alleged police ‘encounter’. Cheered by the
public, this ‘justice as revenge’ has been condemned by the Supreme Court chief justice.

To even begin an attempt to alter this, we need a robust conversation around men, which has
to begin in schools, public fora and highest offices. Boys have to be taught that it’s wrong to
talk disparagingly about women, feel up girls surreptitiously, make lewd remarks and leer at
them. This cannot be left to parents alone. It should be a part of the school curriculum from
primary school onwards, where attitudes are shaped. For older students, gender sensitisation
classes and tests should be mandatory. Violence against women is so deeply rooted in India,
that this sensitisation should be prioritised as much as basic reading and writing skills. Girls
must be encouraged to be strong, vocal and intolerant of transgressions, however small.

Workplaces must crack down on men who make sexualised jokes, even of the ‘water cooler’
kind. We should stop taking sexually offensive banter lightly, because it leads to a
desensitisation, which starts casually and eventually normalises sexual violence. Most
importantly, public office bearers and role models need to stop blaming women for their
choice of dress or work hours, because that does nothing to make India safer for women.
Instead, it emboldens male vulturine behaviour and robs women of their potential, by forcing
them to cut short their work or leisure activities. In the meantime, the most immediate
solution is to set up a special law enforcement arm that deals with sexual offences. India’s
police force, heavily overworked, mostly desensitised and routinely pulled in different
directions, can no longer be counted on to devote the time and dedication needed to deal with
this deep and wide social issue.

The government must set up a special unit that recruits and trains officers specifically to deal
with sexual offences, and create easy access to doctors, forensic experts, rape survivors and
psychologists. This will help victims feel confident in coming forward to seek justice. All
registered offences must be dealt with by this unit within a month using fast-track courts.
Predators must know that justice is swift and favourable to victims. India’s approach to
curbing sexual aggression must steer clear of diminishing women, and root out reckless
patriarchal attitudes instead.
According to the NCRB data, 4, 15,786 rape cases were reported across India between 2001
and 2017. On average, 67 women were raped every day across the country during these 17
years, or, in other words, about three women had been raped every hour.
While 16,075 cases of rape were reported in 2001 across India, this number rose drastically to
32,559 in 2017 - an increase of nearly 103 per cent.
Goa witnessed the largest percentage increase in rape cases in comparison to other states. The
figure rose 533 per cent with 12 incidents in 2001 to 76 in 2017. It is followed by
Uttarakhand, with 405 per cent increase in the same period.
After the brutal gang-rape of Nirbhaya in 2012, the government had taken many important
steps. "The 2012 protests tried to set reality right-side-up, and for the first time ever, won
significant visibility and support for women's assertion of unconditional autonomy and
protests against victim-blaming," Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive
Women's Association, said to India Today.

After the Nirbhaya case, the government amended the existing law and made it more
stringent, including doubling the prison term for rapists to 20 years. The expansion of the
Criminal Amendment Act, 2013 has also had an impact on rape reporting cases.
However, experts have raised the question on the NCRB's data quality. As a government
crime-related data repository, NCRB collects these data from police stations.
Women rights activist allege that rape cases are not reported appropriately. "Police,
politicians, judges, and campus administrators in India tend to understand sexual violence as
a loss of "honour" rather than as the violation of consent. This allows consensual inter-caste
or inter-faith relationships to be conflated with 'rape', and as a result, 'honour' crimes and
patriarchal restrictions hide in plain sight, disguised as 'protecting women from rape,"
Krishnan added.
In almost 94 per cent of the cases, the offenders were known to the victims - family members,
friends, live-in partners, employers or others, the data showed.
As many as 33,356 incidents of rape were reported during 2018 involving 33,977 victims, an
average 89 rapes daily. In 2017, 32,559 rape cases were registered, while in 2016 the number
stood at 38,947, the data stated. Overall, 72.2 per cent of rape victims were above 18 years
and 27.8 per cent below 18, the data stated. In 2018, 51.9 per cent rape victims (17,636) were
aged between 18 and 30 years, 18 per cent (6,108) above 30 and below 45 years, 2.1 per cent
(727) above 45 and below 60 years and 0.2 per cent (73) above 60 years, it showed.
According to the NCRB, 14.1 per cent rape victims (4,779) were aged above 16 years and
below 18 years, followed by 10.6 per cent (3,616) who were between 12 and 16 years, 2.2 per
cent (757) who were between 6 years and 12 years and 0.8 per cent (281) were below 6 years.
In 15,972 of the total 33,356 rape cases, the offenders were either family friends or neighbour
or employer or other known person, while in 12,568 cases, the offenders were friends or
online friends or live-in partner on pretext of marriage or separated husband, the data stated.
n 2,780 cases, the victims were violated by their own family members, while only in 2,036
cases the offenders were unknown to them, according to the statistics.
The NCRB, under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, is responsible for collecting and
analysing crime data as defined by the Indian Penal Code and special and local laws in the
1. Various articles from Economic Times
2. Various articles from India Today

Appendix B: Read and realize: Article on Male Victims of different crimes, abuse,
assault and violence.

"She would attack me in the middle of the night when I was sleeping - punching me in
the head, punching me in the face."
John is one of a growing number of male victims of domestic abuse who have turned to a
Welsh charity for help.
Calan said it had seen a significant increase in people coming forward.
It wants funding secured to continue what it believes is the first UK scheme of its type - to
tailor support specifically to men.
John's story
John eventually turned to Calan when he felt he was "better off dead". He broke down when
he first explained his situation to a counsellor.
"She was always jealous of other women being attracted to me," he said of his partner.
"She would be nasty to me for days. Then it went to the stage where she was nasty to me all
the time, there was no let up at all.
"I couldn't do anything other than try and hold her off. It was very difficult, you are judged by
people like the police as if you were the one who was causing everything.
"They don't understand men are getting abused, though I think they're starting to.
"I said 'I feel terrible talking about my partner, I feel like I'm betraying her'. She's left me
broke and she's broken me as well.
"All I had at Christmas was £10 to live on, but I've been learning to live on soup and bread."
Calan, based in Llandarcy, has worked with academics at the University of South Wales
(USW) to develop the Compass programme, which supports men to see themselves as
victims, challenging gender stereotypes.
Michael Dix-Williams, project manager, said: "There's very much a belief that domestic
abuse only happens to women, and that prevents men coming forward.
"It feeds into this fear they're not going to be believed."
The most recent Crime Survey for England and Wales estimated that 1.3 million women and
695,000 men experienced domestic abuse in the last year.
Calan deals with a caseload of more than 20 male victims at any one time, from south and
west Wales.
Another victim, Dave, said he was made to feel "useless" because he was unemployed and
his children were used as a "tool" with threats to leave.

"One time she punched me - and I pushed her off me, she ran to the telephone and called the
"Apparently her friend had told her 'if you want to get rid of your husband start a fight, call
the police and they'll throw him out of the house'. So that's what she did."
Compass is currently being piloted with the aim of a wider roll-out later this year.
Dr Sarah Wallace, from USW, said there were numerous reasons why domestic violence and
abuse (DVA) was not reported, by both men and women, including a fear of retaliation or a
lack of trust or confidence in the police.
"However, the issue of under-reporting is even more pronounced amongst men," she said.
"They fear appearing unmanly, shame, embarrassment, and a failure to live up to masculine
"This was the experience of the men we interviewed, who felt that they needed help to get to
the root of these feelings."
Sessions for men are shorter, but also include a focus on the role of masculinity and gender
stereotypes, and help validate their experience, recognising that they too can be victims of
Mr Dix-Williams said the funding runs out soon, and financial security was essential if this
were to continue.
"We know that DVA against men is a seriously underreported crime, and we know that
713,000 men were reported to have been a victim of one or more types of DVA.
"It begs the question how many more men are actually out there that are suffering in silence."
This might startle many people in India. A man being subjected to domestic violence seems
unbelievable to us as a society, primarily due to the extreme gender stereotypes that we have
inherited for centuries.

When a man goes public about facing domestic violence, abuse or harassment at the hands of
his wife, not only is his ‘mardaangi’ (masculinity) questioned, but he is also ridiculed for not
being able to stand up to ‘ek aurat’ (a woman). Both of these biases are dangerously
problematic. They are fruits of the same patriarchal order that devalues women and whatever
is considered ‘feminine.’

Like every other law, the IPC Section 498A made to protect women against domestic
violence has also been misused by some to settle scores or extort money.

Men who have reported their own experiences of harassment and violence – ironically, say
the law against domestic violence has been used against them by the wife’s family.

27-year-old Sonu Sharma got married in 2016. He says things went from bad to worse for
him on 7 January 2017, when his six-month-old baby accidentally fell off the bed.

“My six-month-old baby fell off the bed and was bleeding from his mouth and nose. I told
my wife that we have to rush him to a hospital, but she said that she can't, it's my baby and I
should take him and that she wants to return to her parents. She called her family, told them
that I had hit her and asked them to come pick her up,” he said.

After that, the woman’s family members got some goons and started misbehaving with
Sharma’s family, he alleged.

In another case, Akbar Ali from Haryana alleged that he was asked to pay Rs 20 lakh to see
his three-year-old daughter.

“In the third month of marriage, my wife went to her parents' house for Eid and did not
return. She then called me to tell me that her parents have put her under house arrest and
asked me to pick her up. When I reached there, they threw me out of the house. I moved the
court and the court issued a warrant summoning her family and her to the court. But she lied
in the court that I used to hit her and that is why she returned to her parents' house,” Ali said.

Gurvinder, a 37-year-old, has also come forward and said he was blackmailed while his wife
was having an affair.

“I realised that she was having an affair with someone since before marriage and she was
continuing it after marriage. When I questioned her, she said that I was the ‘bank balance.’
After 10-15 days, I got a summon saying that I had subjected her to domestic violence and
that I used to hit her and demand dowry. Now the demands for money keep pouring in,” he


1. Article from BBC about male domestic violence sufferers.

2. Article by quint on male domestic violence and harassment sufferers in India.