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Namita Bhandare

Namita Bhandare writes on gender and other social issues and has 25 years of experience in journalism. She has edited books and features in a documentary on sexual violence. She tweets as @namitabhandare

Articles by Namita Bhandare

How a law has turned the tables on interfaith couples

When the judiciary colludes with the State in denying adult citizens the right to choose their partner, you know that there can be no happily ever after here.

The eight interfaith couples had approached the Allahabad HC seeking directions for their protection. (HT Archive)
Published on Feb 02, 2024 10:10 PM IST

Women in small towns see a future in business

Mentorship and support are crucial for female entrepreneurs to succeed

Armed with degrees, many of these first-generation women learners want to do something that gives them an identity and puts their education to use (Shutterstock/ Representational image)
Published on Jan 20, 2024 03:10 AM IST

Salaam to the brave women battling biases

If we’ve seen a backsliding of gender rights, we have also seen the resistance to it

Afghan women chant slogans in protest against the closure of universities to women by the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 22, 2022. (REUTERS )
Published on Jan 05, 2024 10:15 PM IST

The stickiness of sexual harassment

How is it that men in power continue to enjoy such impunity?

BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh with supporters after UP Wrestling Association Vice President Sanjay Singh became the new President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), in New Delhi(PTI)
Published on Dec 22, 2023 10:14 PM IST

The ballot revolution led by women voters

The emergence of the woman voter has meant that there are new deals to be made between parties and potential voters

Telangana, Nov 30 (ANI): Women voters stand in a queue to cast their votes for the Telangana Assembly elections, on Thursday. (ANI Photo)
(CEO Telangana)
Published on Dec 08, 2023 10:15 PM IST

Nimisha’s story needs a sympathetic hearing

Nimisha Priya’s life and fate hang by a thread. But there are many who fall through the cracks, working in abysmal conditions with nobody to speak for them.

Malayali nurse Nimisha Priya
Published on Nov 24, 2023 10:54 PM IST

Dealing with deepfakes: Regulation & education

Morphing faces onto naked bodies is not new. Difference between then and now is the tech—faster, easier, cheaper and nearly impossible to tell fake from real

Women and girls who are already grappling with a gender digital divide where men are twice as likely as women to have used the internet. (Freepik)
Published on Nov 10, 2023 10:50 PM IST

Malevolent shadow of misogyny spares none

This culture of misogyny is all pervasive and knows no boundaries, sometimes even amongst judges.

Middle-class morality cannot be ignored in a country like India. Adolescent girls must control their sexual urges and not get swayed for “two minutes of pleasure”.(HT file)
Published on Oct 27, 2023 10:40 PM IST

Why we must cheer the Nobel for Goldin

Claudia Goldin's research on women's labor force participation challenges traditional economic assumptions

Economic historian Claudia Goldin, a Harvard professor who won the 2023 Nobel economics prize for her work examining wage inequality between men and women, speaks at a news conference at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., October 9, 2023. REUTERS/Reba Saldanha (REUTERS)
Published on Oct 13, 2023 10:27 PM IST

Scripting our own change

Women in India continue to be underrepresented in political and public spaces and the credit for the women’s reservation Bill goes solely to women

Lucknow: Women celebrate after the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill, in Lucknow on Tuesday. (PTI)
Published on Sep 30, 2023 12:43 AM IST

Back to school, and a new beginning

Pratham's Second Chance project helps women and girls who dropped out of school pass their board exams, offering them a new beginning

Enrolment rates of 96% tell of modern India’s success in getting kids into schools. The challenge now is getting them to stay. (For Representation)
Published on Sep 15, 2023 10:04 PM IST

Women drivers can steer cities to safety

Having more women drivers on the road instils confidence amongst women, creates role models, normalises women's access to public spaces and transforms lives

Seeing more women in the bus, as passengers and drivers, normalizes the idea that women have a right to and belong to public spaces (Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)
Published on Sep 01, 2023 11:11 PM IST

Not just words, gendered attitudes need to change

The problem isn’t just words. It’s the mindset and thinking behind them

While the 31-page handbook is a first step that seeks to end prejudiced language and to legitimise feminist principles of equality guided by no less a person than the chief justice, it cannot be the end goal.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Published on Aug 18, 2023 10:02 PM IST

Keep politics out of the fight for women’s safety

The Supreme Court's intervention and comments are seen as a positive step, but more needs to be done to address the malaise of sexual violence.

Members of tribal community hold placards and gestures during protest over violence against women and for peace in the ongoing ethnic violence in Manipur, in New Delhi on August 3.(AFP)
Published on Aug 04, 2023 09:50 PM IST

Women bear the brunt of civil strife. Stop this

Despite the viral video, it is unclear whether justice will be served, as police complicity and a lack of protection for women are serious concerns.

Students taking out candle march against Manipur violence at the campus of Chanakya National Law University (CNLU) in Patna. (Photo by Santosh Kumar / Hindustan Times)
Published on Jul 21, 2023 10:49 PM IST

To be just, UCC needs openness and honesty

Despite the BJP's push for UCC, for the uniform law to succeed, it must prioritize gender justice and Constitutional equality, rather than majoritarianism.

Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel recently criticised UCC, saying that uniform code will destroy tribal culture. (Representative Image/File Photo)
Published on Jul 07, 2023 09:55 PM IST

Give her a free ticket to equal public access

News of free bus rides in Karnataka, the latest state to join Delhi and Tamil Nadu, coincided with an increased scrutiny of women using public transport.

The carping aside, it’s not out of place to ask how women in modern India commute.(PTI)
Published on Jun 23, 2023 09:58 PM IST

What does it take to take down patriarchy?

The question to ask five months after India’s most celebrated wrestlers began their unprecedented protest is: What does it take to ensure justice for women?

What does it take to ensure justice for women?(Hindustan Times)
Published on Jun 10, 2023 01:37 AM IST

Freewheeling women

Can we reimagine ways in which the humble bicycle can improve mobility for older women?

India’s heaving metropolises are simply not designed for women. The focus on multi-lane highways and flyovers ignores women—and the differently abled and elderly. The metro rail does provide a speedy commute; what’s lacking is last-mile connectivity and affordability (HT PHOTO)
Updated on May 26, 2023 08:19 PM IST

The wrestlers’ protests can save the akhada

In the patriarchal dustbowl of India, sport has been the key to transforming the lives of girls. Now, a generation of girls stands to lose what their predecessors laid out for them

A prolonged protest could derail the progress of the past few years. The website Scroll reports that the wrestlers’ agitation has already resulted in many budding female wrestlers rethinking their careers. A whole generation of girls in sport stand to lose what their predecessors laid out, despite the challenges, for them. (ANI)
Updated on May 12, 2023 07:41 PM IST

Who’s afraid of marriage equality?

At the heart of the Supreme Court marriage equality hearings lie a host of patriarchal anxieties over the challenge to the definition of family

Nobody can predict which way the courts will rule. But to listen to the proceedings, is to hear the story of a nation where people fall in love and dream of building lives and setting up their own families. It is to hear of what senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal calls “lavender marriages”, where gay men are married off to women under family pressure. (Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 28, 2023 07:55 PM IST

For gender equality, go beyond symbolic steps

A gender-neutral uniform of pants for all students is welcome. But the message must go beyond symbolism

According to a 2015 Dasra report, 23% of girls eventually drop out of school because of a lack of menstrual hygiene facilities (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Apr 14, 2023 07:25 PM IST

Acing the game

There’s never been a better time for women athletes in India

The first time Anne Aiza Khan wore a pair of shorts was at a football tournament in Kolkata. (Courtesy: Anne Aiza Khan)
Updated on Mar 31, 2023 09:52 PM IST

Marriage equality: Be on the right side of history

There’s a unique opportunity for the five-judge bench that will start hearing arguments on same-sex marriage from April 18. What it will decide will send a signal to India and the world

What is the havoc that solicitor-general Tushar Mehta fears? If personal religious laws don’t recognise same-sex marriage, then there’s the secular Special Marriage Act of 1954 that allows interfaith couples to marry. A government that talks of a common civil code can easily extend this common law to sexual minorities. It’s hard to imagine that Armageddon will be unleashed by extending marriage rights. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Mar 17, 2023 07:43 PM IST

Why Seattle’s new law on caste bias is needed

he leadership of a new generation of Dalit women--articulate, clear about strategy and utterly fearless despite death threats and opposition from groups including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Hindu American Foundation

When Indians migrate, they can carry the prejudice of caste with them. The first comprehensive UN report on caste-based discrimination found at least 250 million people worldwide face dehumanizing discrimination, with women and girls vulnerable to sexual violence. (Shutterstock)
Published on Mar 03, 2023 08:34 PM IST

Why turning 60 is special in many ways

Turning 60 is not like turning 50, when old age still seems a long way off. It’s not like turning 70, where the clock ticking to where we’re all headed must only get louder. It’s that muddled place of no longer middle age, but not quite old age

At 60, you know you’ve lived longer than the years left in the tank. So much still to do in the time when you can do it. That road trip. Dance classes. A marathon — well, maybe, an easy hike. Sinking the patriarchy. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Feb 17, 2023 06:42 PM IST

When libraries become a safe place for children

Karnataka had a head-start as one of the earliest states, along with Tamil Nadu and Kerala, to have a public libraries act. In 2019, it decentralised 5,623 rural libraries and handed them over to the panchayats

Across the state, 2.8 million kids now have library cards. Senior citizens, self-help groups, and accredited social health activists are all welcome (Namita Bhandare)
Updated on Feb 13, 2023 08:39 PM IST

A mother’s courageous fight against the system

Trial by Fire quietly unpeels the dignity and grit of families who should never have had to be so brave, but were

In 2010, Neelam met with the law commission asking for a separate law for man-made disasters that enhanced jail time from the current two years. A report was prepared in 2012. Then, nothing even as other disasters raged: Kumbakonam school, Victoria Park, AMRI hospital, Sum hospital. (HT PHOTO)
Updated on Jan 20, 2023 07:34 PM IST

Not protection, women need autonomy, equality

A decade after a brutal gang-rape in Delhi led to our toughest laws, the National Crime Records Bureau continues to report an upward trend in crimes against women.

The problem is not a lack of laws but sheer callousness when it comes to the lives of women. (Amal KS/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jan 06, 2023 08:39 PM IST

Muslim women are smashing stereotypes

The demand for banning polygamy and halala remains. For how much longer will Muslim women be excluded from the gains won by other Indian women?

Caught in the crossfire between prevailing majoritarianism and the need to defend minority rights, Muslim women bear a double burden. For how much longer will they be excluded from the gains won by other Indian women, gains promised by the principles of a modern Constitution? (PTI)
Updated on Dec 23, 2022 09:46 PM IST
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