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“I Am Going Solo” – Women and Their Travel Stories

“The map was just an accessory. She knew exactly where she was.” ― Galt Niederhoffer

To step out of the house, travel to faraway places, explore the world or even loiter in the in the narrow alleys in one own city is a joy that women are most often kept away from. Famously, explorers in history and fables have always been and portrayed as male. It’s worth exploring why none of these words ever  bring to mind the image of a woman who steps out of her house, to have a nice time, travels to different places alone, or just loiter around?

Travelling has its own zest which fills people with excitement, anticipation, and thrill. Women have time and again spoken about their passion for adventure and traveling, though only some have managed to see these dreams to fruition. Why? The control of underlying structures of patriarchy on women’s bodies and their sexuality have set rigid norms to limit mobility, decision making, and financial independence of women. Travel often involves transgressing several of these norms and facing social reproach in its wake.

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ये है कैसी पढ़ाई?

8 सितम्बर 2016, अंतर्राष्ट्रीय साक्षरता दिवस के उपलक्ष पर निरन्तर में काम कर रही प्रार्थना पढ़ाई के साथ बच्चों के चुलबुले रिश्ते पर यह कविता प्रस्तुत करतीं हैं:

पढ़ाई, पढ़ाई, पढ़ाई, पापा कहते पढ़ाई, मम्मी कहतीं पढ़ाई,

कुछ ना समझ में आई, ये है कैसी पढ़ाई, ये है कैसी पढ़ाई?

भारी बैग ढोवाई, रोज़ डंडा खिलाई, दिन में तारे दिखाई,

ये है कैसी पढ़ाई, ये है कैसी पढ़ाई?

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Identity Politics and Dynamics of a ‘Victim’

“Even people who listen to you are a resource – only when people listen to you can you move from one place to another.” – Sankari[i]

The above quote was shared by a participant at the National Consultation on Sexuality Discourses in India, organized by Nirantar on 16, 17 June 2016 in Delhi. The consultation was a step forward from the sexuality mapping that we conducted in the year 2013-14. . Through the mapping exercise, Nirantar started to interrogate conversations around sexuality happening in different spaces. One of the primary points of discussions that emerged during the sessions was that of Identity Politics, “political arguments that focus upon the interest and perspectives of groups with which people identify”.[ii]

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Let’s Talk About Sex: Sexuality and the Embodied Empowerment of Girls

Please join GreeneWorks, American Jewish World Service, CARE and the International Women’s Health Coalition on 7th September at the 2016 AWID Forum at the Costa do Sauipe in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil for an interactive, “get out of your seat” theater performance and learning session about the possibilities for the embodied empowerment of girls through exploring sexuality, gender, power and pleasure in their lives.

Invite image for announcement

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कविता: खेल सी ज़िन्दगी

(This poem was first featured at Feminism in India on July 1, 2016)

न जाने मैं कब इतनी बड़ी हो गयी,
खेल-कूद, दौड़-भाग को भूल,
जीवन की पतंग की लरी हो गयी।

कामकाज को, चाल-ढाल को,
सीख-सीख कर मैं बड़ी हो गयी।

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