Princess Sophia Duleep Singh

Princess Sophia Duleep Singh’s life is extraordinary and full of what seem like contradictions. As Anita Anand, her biographer, says:She was the vacuous socialite who developed an all-consuming social conscience. A royal pauper, who appeared on every aristocratic guest list, yet lived on state handouts. An obedient goddaughter to Queen Victoria, she revelled in giving the establishment a good kick-in. …

SOUTH ASIAN REPRESENTATION

Introduction As a brown person, I have always felt unheard and unrepresented.  Growing up, mainstream media constantly churned out whitewashed content for children like me. The movies I watched, the books I read; they were all about girls with pale skin and blue eyes. They say your childhood shapes you. Well, I spent a large part of mine struggling to accept …

Why We Need To Talk About Sex

“There is so much guilt and shame and fear imbued in people because they don’t have any place where they can get permission to accept themselves as sexual beings.” – Patti Britton, Ph.D., A.C.S.E. Introduction The approach towards sex education programs has serious limitations around the world. High-quality Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) is science-based, medically accurate and age-, developmentally, and culturally appropriate. It …

PAY ATTENTION: Rapes In India

Image courtesy of the BBC  RAPE IN INDIA In 2012, six men gang-raped a young girl on a moving bus in Delhi. Many thought it was a watershed moment that started a fresh wave of anti-rape movement in the country.  However, this movement has a more extended history than we assume. In pre-Independence India, the nationalist-feminist campaign often raised the issue …

How To Be An Ally To Survivors

Introduction Sexual assault is a topic that is rightfully gaining momentum these days. Social media is buzzing with survivor tales. Tales which span years, with many survivors finally finding the courage to speak about their many years old experiences.  A lot of these reveal the true colours of popular, respected and revered people.  While there has been an outpouring of support …

DIVINE GODDESSES AND REAL WOMEN

Goddess Worship In India The Hindu lexicon has many goddesses, all of whom we worship. We have Saraswati, the goddess of music and learning, and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Some worship the divine feminine energy of Shakti, in Durga, Kali and Parvati. And others valorise women such as Lakshmibai, singing Bundeley Harbolon key munh hamney suni kahani thi, …

Owning Your Safety: A Tale of Collected Wisdom

“I have this recurring scene playing in my head – I’m walking alone on a dark road, and a man jumps out of the shadows and pins me to the ground. I try to scream, but nothing comes out…I try to move, but I’m frozen.”  Over the past decade of working in security, women from different corners of the globe …

Gender and Climate Change

IntroductionPerhaps the greatest challenge to humanity currently is climate change. We have seen, in recent weeks, people marching to voice out this issue.  The Global Climate Strike saw people protest in numerous countries. It brought people from different genders, ethnicities, religions and backgrounds together for one purpose. However, it is important to note that climate change does not affect us all …

Ramadan: Is it the same for Men & Women?

Introduction I love Ramadan. It has undoubtedly always been my favourite month of the year.   Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims worldwide. All throughout the month, Muslims fast every day from dawn till sunset.  Ramadan, for me, means a chance to strengthen my relationship with God. An opportunity to repent and a time to revel in good deeds.  Growing up, …

Domestic Violence and Covid-19: How to Support Victims?

What Is Domestic Violence? Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, financial, and/or verbal violence perpetrated on an individual by their spouse or spouse’s family. The use of abusive tactics by the spouse’s extended family is more common in immigrant cultures than in American communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2017), domestic violence prevalence is as …