Violence as a Social Structure

This issue covers a broad range of human rights abuses, such as rape, domestic violence, sexual assault, and harassment, as well as the trafficking of women and girls and several harmful traditional practices. Any one of these abuses has the potential to cause severe psychological damage, harm to any individual’s general health, harm to their reproductive and sexual health, and in some cases, even death. Violence against any need not be physical. In actuality, there is a lot of verbal abuse directed at young LGBTQIA individuals and females.

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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