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Lalita Panicker

Lalita Panicker leads the opinion section at Hindustan Times. Over a 33-year career, she has specialised in gender issues, reproductive health, child rights, politics and social engineering.

Articles by Lalita Panicker

Manipur women face trauma in relief camps

In many camps, there are 200 women to one toilet in most camps and often only open spaces for bathrooms

Many women have had to flee their homes to reach refugee camps as the violence spread (PTI Photo)
Updated on Feb 25, 2024 01:39 PM IST

View family planning through a gender lens

Building capacity among health workers, addressing intersectionality, and implementing innovative solutions can improve access to family planning services

A group of women at a public health centre in Vadodra, Gujarat. (Hindustan Times)
Published on Feb 10, 2024 09:50 PM IST

Fear of unsafe public spaces erodes women’s autonomy

The study argues that as the idea of the unsafe city has taken hold, women have been forced to restrict their own conduct in public while facing restraints

Women have been cast as vulnerable and in need of paternalistic protection and guardianship of the State and family. (HT File)
Published on Jan 27, 2024 10:05 PM IST

Empower women in emerging tech fields

India, with its considerable expertise in all new technologies, can take many steps to build equal access to them for women

Many experts have hailed AI as a creator of opportunities to override tasks which have an inbuilt bias, such as hiring for the workplace or performance evaluation(Shutterstock)
Published on Jan 13, 2024 11:25 PM IST

Women must be heard in climate decision-making

The government must support the voice of women in the response to the climate crisis through increased participation in policy design

Women shout slogans during a protest for climate justice and a cease fire in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, during the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 9, 2023. REUTERS/Amr Alfiky(REUTERS)
Published on Dec 30, 2023 10:13 PM IST

Lalita Panicker picks her favourite reads of 2023

To understand what is happening in Gaza, it is necessary to look back at the many works on the subject, especially Failing Peace: Gaza and the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict by Sara Roy, which provides a deep understanding into the origins of the conflict

In a broken and desperate land (Pluto Press)
Updated on Dec 29, 2023 05:42 PM IST

Women's power surges in political landscape

The real testimony to women’s political rights will come when they hold significant positions of power across the political spectrum

Women display their voter's identity card sitting in the back of a truck in Chachiyawas, near Ajmer, India, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023. (AP)
Published on Dec 16, 2023 10:00 PM IST

In Delhi murder verdict, a plea to make cities safe

Youth-led decision-making can contribute to the betterment of the cities, while also empowering youth as informed and active citizens

Soumya Vishwanathan was shot dead in her car in Vasant Kunj around 3.30am on September 30, 2008, while she was returning home from work.
Published on Dec 02, 2023 10:19 PM IST

In Gaza war, women and children suffer most

There should be a much greater international effort to protect Gaza’s women and children, who are the most vulnerable in this conflict.

Palestinian women line up to buy fresh bread next to destroyed buildings at the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on November 4, 2023.(AFP)
Published on Nov 18, 2023 10:17 PM IST

Trafficking calls for urgent State action

Child trafficking networks uncovered in MP and Rajasthan, highlight gaps in the justice system

Human trafficking is a manifestation of the larger issues of gender inequity and economic and social marginalisation, which gets further aggravated with weak law enforcement responses. (Representative image- HT Archives)
Published on Nov 04, 2023 10:37 PM IST

Women as building blocks of liveable cities

The Mukta project in Odisha empowers women through self-help groups and aims to increase the involvement and empowerment of women

While we wait for the day when 33% of parliamentarians will be women, we should take note of and applaud several initiatives taken by state governments across the country to put actual power in the hands of women(Photo by Sunil Ghosh / Hindustan Times)
Published on Oct 21, 2023 10:35 PM IST

Women farm workers need workplace safety

Measures such as collecting data, raising awareness, and creating safe spaces are needed to combat violence against women in agriculture.

Indian women farmers place paddy saplings at one place before replanting in a field at Tiuri village, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, Saturday, July 10, 2021. Agriculture is the main livelihood of more than 50 percent of India's population. Daily laborer who works in the fields earns approximately USD $1.8 a day. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)(AP)
Published on Oct 07, 2023 10:00 PM IST

Brave new world of women entrepreneurs

The gig economy presents a significant opportunity for women's entrepreneurship, and the government needs to support the private sector in its business models.

 The existing women-led enterprises employ 30% of India’s female workforce with the capability to create around 150 million jobs by 2030 (PIC FOR REPRESENTATION))
Published on Sep 27, 2023 01:11 AM IST

Ensure justice for women prisoners

Overcrowding in Indian prisons is a major issue, especially for women prisoners who face isolation and lack of legal aid. Rehabilitation efforts are essential

Rehabilitation efforts have to begin when the women are in prison,(Vipin Kumar / HT File)
Published on Sep 09, 2023 09:52 PM IST

Urban development needs a gender lens

We need thoughtful urban planning along with equitable allocation of public services, keeping in mind the unique needs of historically disadvantaged communities

The inclusion of gender perspectives in urban development is a crucial aspect of the Urban20 (U20) framework in the G20 process.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Aug 26, 2023 10:22 PM IST

Educate men and boys on gender sensitivity

The horrific attack on women in Manipur highlights the need for societal change in India to address gender-based violence

We need to identify men and boys who are willing to be at the forefront of change. (AP)
Published on Aug 12, 2023 08:54 PM IST

Empower women to combat violence

Gram sakhis and women's forums in Kishangarh, Ajmer are promoting helpline numbers to deal with violence against women, covering 33 villages in the district.

A group of village women show inked fingers, after casting their votes during the local body elections at Bikamau Bhawanipur polling booth in Lucknow’s Bakshi ka Talaab, on Thursday. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
Published on Jul 23, 2023 12:06 AM IST

Universal basic income can be a game changer

Universal Basic Income (UBI), if implemented on a larger scale, could be a game changer for women's empowerment in India.

UBI can enhance women’s dignity and reduce their domestic work burden as they then have the ability to buy time and labour-saving gadgets such as fridges, mixers and washing machines.(File Photo)
Updated on Jul 09, 2023 10:09 AM IST

Manipur’s women and children need succour

Politics has to take a backseat in the face of this human tragedy and the priority should be to provide succour to these defenceless women and children first

Many women and children have had to flee their burnt homes as the violence spread, trudging through jungles to reach refugee camps.(PTI)
Published on Jun 24, 2023 08:23 PM IST

Push for more women in renewable energy

With a growing focus on the climate crisis, it would be wise to use its presidency of the G20 to push for women’s representation in the renewable energy sector.

Policymakers have to work to advance gender parity in this field. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jun 12, 2023 11:17 AM IST

Through G20, focus on women’s nutrition

Investing in women’s nutrition can have positive health outcomes. If India takes the lead here, the effects will be felt long after its presidency of G20 ends

If India takes the lead on female nutrition at G20, the effects will be felt not just nationally but across the Global South, and yield dividends long after its presidency of G20 ends (HT File)
Updated on May 27, 2023 08:58 PM IST

In Kashmir, a story of women empowerment

Nighat Shafi Pandit, chairperson of HELP, has doggedly worked in the state for years, providing help to women who have suffered in the conflict.

Nighat Shafi Pandit of the HELP Foundation. (Photo credit: wikipeacewomen.org/)
Published on Apr 29, 2023 08:48 PM IST

India’s welcome focus on women-led development

After the conclusion of India’s G20 presidency, women-led development must find a permanent place as a priority

Women across G20 countries must be assured of sustainable livelihoods. (HT Photo)
Published on Apr 16, 2023 11:52 AM IST

Within the natal family, the real threat of violence

Normally, the natal family is the one a woman turns to for help, but during the pandemic, staying at home did not always mean staying safe for many women.

Shakti Shalini recently brought out an incisive report, UnKahi- the Unspoken, documenting the rise of violence against women from natal families during the pandemic. (HT Photo)
Published on Apr 01, 2023 05:34 PM IST

Ukraine war: Mitigating the heavy toll on women

According to Olena Kochemyrovska, a gender-based violence technical adviser with the UNFPA, women suffered severe psychological problems due to abuse and the absence of their husbands.

As of December 13, 2022, the office of the prosecutor general of Ukraine reported 154 documented incidents of sexual violence allegedly by perpetrators from the Russian armed forces. (Reuters)
Published on Mar 18, 2023 07:17 PM IST

Engaging young people to create safe, inclusive cities

Young people are critical for shaping the future of our cities. Yet, their voices remain underrepresented in decision-making. This must change

The lives of young people, especially women, in cities are restricted by sociocultural norms as well as poor infrastructure and services. (Puneet Chandhok/Representative Image)
Published on Mar 04, 2023 07:00 PM IST

A refocused MGNREGS can benefit rural women

When enforced properly, MGNREGS has the potential to shift the power dynamics of gender, an outcome which could be a game-changer in rural areas.

efforts must be made to ensure that those left on the margins, mainly women, are encouraged to make the best use of MGNREGS. (Reuters)
Published on Feb 18, 2023 05:44 PM IST

Apply a gendered lens to disaster management

Serious thought must also be given to imparting skills to women on how best they can deal with disasters to minimise trauma and risk.

Neither women nor the specific problems faced by them feature in our one-size-fits-all policies. (ANI)
Updated on Feb 06, 2023 10:57 AM IST

Place gender at centre of climate policies in India

The level of engagement with gendered vulnerability and adaptive capacity is uneven. This must change

Only 16 out of 28 state-level actions plans on climate change mention gender. (AFP)
Published on Jan 21, 2023 07:40 PM IST

Family support, a critical pillar for women workers

A study conducted in rural Bihar by the Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3) looked into family support for work and domestic labour among elected women representatives. Here's what it found

The reliance on male family members for work is not surprising, given the stark gender inequalities in literacy, education, mobility, and access to digital technology that disadvantages women in Bihar. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Jan 09, 2023 04:31 PM IST
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