Friday, November 17, 2017

How do rigid gender roles in labour outcomes of rural environment impact women?

Work activities of women and men in rural areas primarily revolve around land and related resources. In addition to these activities, every household has the minimum amount of housework for carrying on its day-to-day activities. The household constitutes a basic unit of production in all such societies where agricultural production depends almost entirely on the use of family labour. The activities associated with agriculture are considered of prime importance while associated activities such as the management and care of livestock are considered of secondary importance since they are an additional source of income but are not the chief source of livelihood. Another area of work is household work, an activity where the labour of the individuals is not paid for, as it is performed for one’s own family.
It is quite often seen that in patriarchal societies, men are assigned those types of activities which have a direct exchange value and therefore the work of women is considered of little or no exchange value and is considered less important.
In the sex-based segmentation of labour, some activities are generally restricted to men and others to women. Agricultural activity is regarded as a man’s job and animal husbandry and housework as a woman’s jobs.
The activities performed by women on farm or in the household are generally not considered to be economically productive and are unpaid. 
A recently published article on Unequal Sharing of Domestic Work from the 'Indian Journal of Gender Studies' focusses on the permanence of traditional intra-household gender disparities in the distribution of work within the household. These values are transferred to the next generation as young girls are expected to help their mothers in carrying out domestic duties and care work, while boys have no such obligation.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Love is Love, then why is it “CRIMINAL LOVE?”

Sunday, November 12, 2017: Grey of the capital splashed off when the capital got its rainbow on at the Delhi’s 10th Queer Pride Parade. Over 5000 people in high spirits marched with colour and enthusiasm carrying posters, banners and placards, creating space for members of all communities to express love for each other, without the fear of being judged or being put behind the bars for simply expressing themselves.
In the quest for a change in attitude of the society towards queer, supporters from different walks of life marched to express the “Right to Live with Dignity”. Read the news here.

A much timely addition to the subject of Queer theory and Queer Politics in India is a recent publication by SAGE, ‘Criminal Love?’ by R. Raj Rao. The book is a courageous work that does not shy away from this contested territory and challenges the ideas of what it might mean to be a queer.

Criminal Love? takes up the challenge of studying the wide gamut of lived reality of the Indian queer, against the backdrop of a set of theories. The queer theory still largely comes to us from the West. We have yet to develop an indigenous queer theory of our own in India. Written by a man who has been openly gay for the last 40 years, this book picks up issues, concepts, and theories within the realm of queer studies and dissects them against the day-to-day experiences of Indian queers. Digging deep into his own experiences and those of the people with whom he has come into contact, Rao highlights the sites of transgression within a seemingly monosexual society.
Criminalised love today demands anti-discrimination legislation and social accountability for discrimination based on gender, class, caste, religion, ability, race, tribe, sexual orientation, and ethnicity and the revocation of Section 377, known as the anti-sodomy law introduced by the British, which criminalizes homosexuality.
A glaring and welcome change over the years is the Supreme Court making a favourable noise through its Right to Privacy judgment and the pride being celebrated with huge masses turning up with lesser number of people wearing masks to protect their identities.

To delve more into various aspects of the struggle of being queer in a repressive atmosphere, grab your copy of the book today.