Gender

Woman Led Self-Reliance Family

Woman Led Self-Reliance Family

I would like to share something with you about an ethnic Lahu family in Southern Shan State, Myanmar. This is a women-led family and they are relying on their own farm for their family foods and income generation. She is Daw Thida Aung with 52 years old and her husband is a religious leader. The family consists of four family members with her husband, a daughter and son.

Cultivating Rice in Covid-19 Times

 COVID-19 is not the only challenge that common people across the world have been faced with. But there are places where this problem has been compounded due to other kinds of natural challenges felt locally. This has been particularly so in the state of Assam in India where annual flooding ravaged  lives and livelihood. The worst hit have been the ones settled in low lying flood prone zones across the state, making it simply impossible for many to engage in cultivation of the staple food crop, rice. 

Different? Not really

The two women are as different as chalk and cheese. And I don't mean in terms of skin colour alone. Their appearance distinctly identifies them from two different regions of India - Northeast and South. They speak different languages and cook and eat food vastly different. But they are one - as women, as mothers as sisters in arms. They are united in their strength in the face of adversity. Migration, resettlement and subsistence bring them together in this space. Each is invisible, marginalised and discriminated against - be it colour, caste or communal identity.

Cycling Shades of Chennai

Simi Mariya Thomas, Research Scholar, MIDS, selected a photograph from the exhibition, Ambedkar Nagar- Near Kakkan Bridge, Chennai, to write her story for the session on Reading/Writing/Re-writing/Telling/Re-telling using prompts, 20 December 2019.

Superwomen of Chennai always surprise and excite me. They design their life in a manner in which they are fully involved into some sort of activities around the clock.

Voices from the Outside

Dr Imsuchila Kichu is an Assistant Professor of English at Cotton University, Assam. The following is an excerpt from a piece penned by her reflecting upon Naga women and society from the perspective of an insider who has lived away from her community.

Making Jou: Traditional Boro Rice Beer

Jou is the most favoured traditional brew of the Boro people in Assam. It has social, cultural and religious usage but jou for a long time was identified with the community. Particularly the Hindu caste society of Assam looked down upon the indigenous (tribal) people of Assam because of their traditional lifeways that involved making and drinking of jou. But for the Boros, no ritual and custom is complete without it. Traditionally, Boro women were expected to know how to make jou, and therefore, this community knowledge also is held by women.

Tattoos and Patriarchy

For the Konyaks, tattoos are associated with traditional customs and culture which have their own distinct origin and significance and are called Huhtu or tatu in their language. The word ta means body, tu means to prick and ‘huh’ means ‘thorn’, which translates to pricking the body with thorns. The word huhtu is more commonly used among the Konyak Nagas over tatu.

Fish Selling in Leiden and Elmina Market

On my visit to the Leiden Market, I witnessed a scene where the fish sellers were singing in unison with each other. There was a man and woman selling and singing, while scraping herrings. But in my home country, Ghana, the fishermen sing when pulling the nets of fishes out of the water whilst the women await and take the fish away to sell at market like the Elmina fish market. The women are the one that sell and the atmosphere is mostly of chaos.

Libraries of a Town

Bhagat Singh Library and Cultural Centre (1983-1990) was an initiative of a grassroot organisation called Kishore Bharti in Pipariya, Madhya Pradesh. The Library/Centre focused on creating social awareness through reading, writing and community based activities. While the library started as a space for all the sections, a need was soon felt to add a separate slot to encourage women readers. In the following excerpt, Rekha Vyohaar, a resident of Pipariya, shed light on how the setup was significant to the women at the local level:

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