Recently, pop star Rihanna’s tweet turned the global spotlight on internet shutdowns at sites where farmers’ protests were taking place. She and other eminent women who tweeted support to the farmers’ protests later became victims of misogynistic comments from those who were offended by the said tweets. The social media was at its lowest when several critics resorted to slut-shaming, name-calling and glorifying abuse against these women. From this incident, it is evident that, while social media plays a powerful role in enabling women’s voice to be heard, it also fails to curb harmful and toxic contents by its users. Such instances often forcefully silences women users. It is the duty of the government and social media to protect women from such a harmful environment.
In the last few decades, suicide has emerged as one of the common causes of death in India. A large number of people lose their lives every year to suicide in India. Suicide has emerged as a serious public health issue in our country. It leaves a major social, economic and emotional burden on those who are left behind. Hence, it has become important to delve deep into the issue and look into the various aspects related to it.
The pandemic-led health and socio-economic crisis have hit women and girls in a disproportionate fashion, leading to increased feminisation of poverty, domestic work, work burden as well as a spike in domestic violence. At the same time, it has also caused a boost in the feminisation of agriculture, making rural women play a critical role in providing household income. This presents an unmissable opportunity for the economic empowerment of women, which has the potential to remove all structural barriers hampering gender equality within India.
Unbiased interpretation of judiciary of laws passed by the legislature is vital for ensuring sound democracy and inclusive society. Yet, the Indian Judiciary is plagued by patriarchal mindset, with interpretations being regressive and insensitive towards women. In this light, steps need to be taken to inculcate gender sensitivity in the Indian judiciary, so that it treats everyone as equal regardless of differences.
With the coronavirus pandemic roiling across the world, most of the government measures focus on containing the spread of the infection. In this situation, social issues, many of which are gender-related, are given lesser priority. This, along with the lockdown orders, has led to increased instances of violence against women, creating a new “shadow pandemic” amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The Indian handloom industry is one of the oldest and largest cottage industries in India with a standing ancient tradition dating back thousands of years for their excellent craftsmanship, representing the vibrant Indian culture. Indian artisans dating back to the Egyptian Babylonian times had such fine mastery over their fabrics. They were appreciated globally for their hand spinning, weaving and printing techniques that were handed down from generations. Among the largest in the world, this industry employs close to 10 million artisans in India and is considered the second-largest income-generating activity after agriculture in rural India. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has resulted in a sudden disruption of all businesses across the globe including the handloom sector. The sector has severely affected by the closure of the traditional and contemporary market for artisans. Recently, India has celebrated the National Handloom Day and it was on August 7, 2020, for the first time India does so without the All India Handloom Board. The Union Ministry of Textile has abolished the All India Handloom Board in consonance with the Government of India’s vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ on August 3, 2020.
Violence against women in India is an issue deeply rooted in societal norms and economic dependence. Female feticide, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence constitute the reality of most girls’ and women’s lives in India. During the first four phases of the COVID-19-related lockdown, Indian women filed more domestic violence complaints than recorded in a similar period in the last 10 years. But even this unusual spurt is only the tip of the iceberg as 86% of women who experience domestic violence do not seek help in India.
In a judgment that would remove ambiguity in Hindu women’s inheritance rights after the amendment to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, the Supreme Court in its Vineeta Sharma Vs Rakesh Sharma case held that a Hindu Women’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth. It comes in the backdrop of various judgments providing contradictory views on the 2005 amendment and clears the confusion.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi In his seventh Independence Day speech at Red Fort, stressed upon several aspects about the development of women in India including his government’s resolve to revise the minimum age at which women can legally get married in India. He has announced that the central government has set up a committee to reconsider the minimum age of marriage for women, which are currently 18. Though there is ambiguity in available data, the recent trends show that in nearly one-third of marriages in India women are aged less than 21.