The Last Taboo? Take the Health Quiz

What's this condition? 10 questions to test your health knowledge Every day approximately 300 million people worldwide are affected by this physical condition. It is estimated that approximately half the global population will be struck at some point in their lives. In much of the world, sufferers experience significant stigma and are often humiliated and shunned. It is not communicable. It is genetic, though there is no routine testing. Unlike leprosy (Hansen’s Disease), another disease leading to cruel social stigma, there is no cure for this condition. With guidance, symptoms can be managed to significantly lessen the pain. Many of those…

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SPOILED Reading & Welcome to PM Modi

No, there isn't really a connection between our first very successful reading of SPOILED on Friday and the arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend.  Or is there? Our reading was a benefit and fundraiser for the League of Professional Theater Women's International Award, given this year to Colombia's Patricia Ariza. We were thrilled to receive incisive feedback from our first public audience. SPOILED covers some pretty heavy material - rape, domestic violence, infanticide, abduction: this is not necessarily the stuff of an evening's entertainment. But these stories - all taken from real events - are interwoven with windows…

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First Reading of Spoiled

Friday, September 26 at 7 PM Theaterlab 357 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor Tickets $15 A benefit for the League of Professional Theater Women's Gilder/Coigney International Award. For the past two years, I've been following recent trends in violence against women (VAW) in India and the US: reading about the background, talking to people, researching, writing, arguing. Along the way it became apparent that the focus was NOT really women, it was men. What captured my attention were the social and cultural forces that produced male abusers. Where had these men and boys come from? Teenagers, especially in India, were…

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Bollywood Women Rise Up?

Whew. Thank you Deepika Padukone!  And Parineeti Chopra...and the small group of Indian women who just might be starting a backlash against the intensely sexist Indian culture, right at its core: Bollywood. In case you missed it, Padukone, an extremely popular film star, was featured in a Times of India tweet showing a chest shot with the tag:"OMG: Deepika Padukone's Cleavage Show." Yup, just flashing some cleavage seemed 'newsworthy' for the Times of India, theoretically one of India's more reputable dailies. What really made news, however, was her response: ""YES! I am a Woman. I have breasts AND a cleavage!…

  • Post category:IndiaMusingsWomen
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CEDAW – The International Women’s Rights Treaty You Never Heard Of

SEPTEMBER 2015 UPDATE Sarasota, Florida has added its name to the cities seeking local CEDAW ordinances. We hope to join San Francisco, Los Angeles, Louisville, and many other cities bringing CEDAW to their communities. Stay tuned and see here for more info on the Cities for CEDAW initiative. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________ June 2014 A Primer: What the hell is CEDAW and why should I care? What is CEDAW? CEDAW – conveniently pronounced “see-daw” - is the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Admittedly, this is a mouthful, but most international treaties are, so we won’t let that…

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Alpha Montessori

Alpha Montessori As a committed Montessorian, I was curious about what Montessori schools were in New Delhi.   The first ones I visited were very disappointing. The Montessori name has been an advertising slogan for many years, often disguising schools with little to no Montessori practices or philosophies at work, and that is what I found here. So I was delighted  when I found Rajesh Batra, school director, and he led me to Alpha. "The Alpha Montessori School, located in Mandawali, an impoverished community in East Delhi, India, was founded to provide high quality education to low-income children and provide them…

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Sanitation in India

Poor Sanitation in India May Afflict Well-Fed Children with Malnutrition, by Gardiner Harris, in Monday's New York Times, discusses something that has been puzzling health and sanitation experts for a while: why are so many children in India with improved food quality and quantity not thriving?  Why are patterns of growth stunting so persistent? If this emerging hypothesis is correct, then it would seem the clue to the disturbingly high rates of stunting is sanitation, not food.  The large percentage of the population in India who defecate in the open may be the cause; the theory is that the bacterial…

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Are Women in India Safer Today?

Here's the question: after the wave of publicity following the Delhi rape of December 2012, and actions by the government in response, how's it going?  Do women feel safer?  Might they actually BE safer? Thanks to the fantastic work of ICRW - the International Center for Research on Women - we may soon know. In 2012, an ICRW survey asked about public safety in Delhi. The results found that 90% of women and girls had experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime. Ninety percent?  Did you catch that right?  In my book, that's pretty close to everyone.  That should…

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Birthday Celebrations: Charity

How about adopting this birthday tradition? Birthdays are a big deal in many parts of India.  Some widely respected traditions include wearing new clothes, blessing parents, feeding others birthday cake - often including some messy frosting face smearing - and, in some offices, taking the day off work. But another practice I especially like is to give to charity.  Many people donate to a charity on this special day, especially by giving clothing or food to an orphanage or perhaps hosting a meal at a shelter home. It is both a blessing for the person celebrating the birthday as well…

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Shop for a Cause: Kamalini

Kamalini's spring Mela is coming up!  Kamalini works to empower underprivileged young women by providing basic education, useful skills, and confidence-boosting activities through two centers in Delhi and numerous outreach programs.   This Mela features women's and children's clothes donated by El Corte Ingles, a large Spanish department store. Shop for bargains and help Kamalini at the same time.

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