Swabhimaan and G20

This special edition of Swabhimaan in the context of the 2023 India G20, hopes to achieve a multitude of realisations and conclusions. India’s 1.3 billion people make it the second most populous country in the world, but with an average age of 29, it has one of the youngest populations globally. The team hopes that we can bring forth arguments that can highlight areas and topics in an attempt to do our part for our country. The issue aims to specifically focus on equitable growth in the light of gender and further dissect it in reference to labour force participation rates, care workers, urban and rural employment, climate and so on.


There is an imperative need to adopt legislation and practices that are completely dedicated to eliminating gender discrimination in the workplace. For the scope of this volume, we will be analyzing multiple facets of socio-political, economic, and legal factors that affect gender minorities in the workplace. We shall be interviewing organizations and individuals bridging the gap between societal expectations of gendered identities, highlighting their value creation process, as an expression of their creativity, with an objective to highlight hitherto under-represented voices in the mainstream discourse. This volume shall be divided into three different editions, each of which will represent different contemporary themes that are affecting the dynamics of gender in the workplace.

Family as a Social Structure

While our last issue wanted to understand non-heteronomrative families within the Indian context; our current issue will delve further into the non-normative. For our second issue dealing with Familial social structures, Swabhimaan would, while exploring the queer elements of a family, also like to draw focus to certain agencies awarded to women within these social structures. From focussing on how Indian single mothers tackle their unique hardships to understanding the role of Devadasis in Indian societies, this issue aims to understand the diverse forms of family prevalent across the sub-continent.

Family as a Social Structure

The institution of family has, since time immemorial, resisted any transformation of its core assertion of marital sanctity. Despite the prevalence of non-normative families, Indian law has defined familial relations exhaustively, alienating a large group of people who do not conform to this definition. Four years after the Navtej Singh Johar judgement India still lacks laws that protect the rights of queer relationships. It is high time that the legal arena recognises that parenthood, marriage and relationships are not gendered. This issue highlights the lacunae that exist between the social reality of familial structures and its understanding of the law.

Violence as a Social Structure

This volume of Swabhimaan hopes to cover different
social structures that drive our society, to an extent,
and we begin our journey by covering structural
violence. In this issue, we aim to delve into
intersectionality, referring to the interconnected
nature of social categorizations such as race, class,
and gender as they apply to a given individual or
group, regarded as creating overlapping and
interdependent systems of discrimination or
disadvantage and bringing in a legal perspective. We try to understand queer violence by reaching out to organisations working with victims of queer violence and acknowledging the legal, societal and psychological
support extended to these victims.

Abhimaan: Pride Month

In this special issue of Swabhimaan, we delve into the various frameworks of society that queer individuals engage with. By attending a pride parade in Pune and interacting with organisations and queer individuals from the community, this issue aims to voice multiple perspectives on the struggles faced at a social and personal level. We aim to shed light on the various scenarios of the Indian queer community where, amidst debates concerning the lack of legislation and equality, there exists a spark of hope for social change, acceptance and unity; all that is depicted by the existence of June, pride month. 

Interpreting Masculinities

Gender is one of the most prevalent social structures when it comes to human society. When the discussions about gender equality take place, it is an unsaid assumption that it is a discussion about women. The gender of men is rarely brought up when they are studied. For our upcoming edition, we look at and attempt to interpret this masculinity in crisis. We interviewed straight and queer men on the campus of OP Jindal Global University and Ashoka University. We spoke to them about how they understand their own masculinities and what behaviours they recognize as a performance of their gender identities. These conversations also covered what these men consider to be healthy and toxic masculinities.

Sex and the Meta

This edition examines the consequences of prevalent views on sexuality. The lack of discussion around sexuality, with a focus specifically on sex as means for heterosexual reproduction, the curriculum deprives students of understanding essential components such as consent, pleasure, body image, mutual respect, safety, sexuality, queer sex education and gender expression; the list goes on. The existing heteropatriarchal environment also at times reinforces pre-existing gender roles and negative attitudes towards women. This may also serve to provide linkages between lack of discussions around sexuality and higher, unreported instances of domestic and intimate partner violence.

S*x Education

S*x Education is Swabhimaan’s latest edition that focusses on the nuances of the heteronormative sexuality education that is imparted in schools in India. By delving into the the shortcomings and the scope for improvement in the current sex education curriculum, we explore the initiatives taken by organisations across the country to bridge these gaps. Through an educational, queer, and policy perspective, this issue intends to approach the various facets of sex education that is essential for change.

Women, Culture, & Traditional Arts

Women, Culture, & Traditional Arts is Swabhimaan’s Special Edition in collaboration with Feminist Economics & Policy Initiative. This edition is a part of CNES’s Jaipur project on the hand block printing industry. We have taken a deep-dive into the role of women in this industry, contextualising the local and global trends, and sustainability of this art.

Midnight Blue

Midnight Blue is aimed at understanding sex work and rehabilitation. Through a series of conversations below, we explore the lives of sex workers that is often clouded with misconceptions and stereotypes. This edition reinforces that sex work is “work” and highlights the individuals who have dedicated their lives in fighting against its criminalisation and working towards its rehabilitation.

Beyond the Red

Beyond The Red engages with individuals driving the front toward destigmatizing menstruation and reframing policies regarding menstrual health management (MHM) in India. This issue of Swabhimaan dives into questioning the existing gaps in MHM and the solutions put forth to uproot the institutionalization of the menstrual taboo in our society.

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Meri Art Meri Pehchaan, Part 2

The focus of this edition lies on the stories of artists working as part of a more privileged, ‘organised’ working class. ‘Meri Art Meri Pehchaan’ highlights the journey of a few individuals, who have adopted a creative ‘art’ field as an important tool to transcend the limitations of ‘traditional views’, while finding a
means to express themselves through Art as a form of ‘Artivism’. ‘Artivism’ , as we observe and believe for many, is becoming an important juncture of streamlining and converging gender, identity, through art and entrepreneurial pursuits.

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Meri Art Meri Pehchaan, Part 1

Through this edition of Swabhimaan, we bring to you stories of resilience, hardship, and success from the unorganised sector in the arts and crafts industry that have navigated through the gendered complexities embedded within the society. The scope of our edition extends to the role of women in small-scale family businesses, artists working independently and in collective groups.

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Made by Hand

Made by Hand – the first edition put together by Swabhimaan – is a collection of stories and journeys of women in the handicrafts and textile industry across India. Being the second-largest provider of employment in our country, this sector allows women a space to execute their own agency by breaking free from societal constraints to pursue their own unique and independent identity – this is the essence that Swabhimaan aims to capture with this particular issue.

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