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2020 has been a horrible year in so many ways, and we have tried to find for you some heartwarming, positive stories on Women’s Web.
2020 has been a bizarre year. The pandemic with its deaths and morbidities, holding hospitals and making frontline warriors of doctors, nurses, auxiliary workers, and most of the healthcare workers. The lockdown that brought ordinary, day to day life to a standstill.
Job losses as companies closed down. Daily wage labours, domestic workers, and other marginalised communities forced into the greatest migration in the subcontinent since the partition.
Then there was the increase in domestic violence as women, children, and the elderly were trapped with their abusers inside home with no way of getting away. School closing down and online classes that meant the marginalised who couldn’t afford means for these suffered the most. The unequal burden on women who were now burdened with not just their jobs and careers, but also the overseeing of children at home 24/7. The inevitable increase in kitchen and other household labour with everyone at home, and no domestic help, as well as not all men of the family contributing to this.
Where do we look for positives? That too, is in the day to day, the ordinary. And in those who went beyond the pale of duty to do their best to uphold humanity.
Here are 18 such positive stories on Women’s Web in 2020.
Gloria Steinem once said, ‘The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.’
There have been several women in the more recent past who have been working tirelessly to bring up other women, demonstrating not just the spirit of sisterhood based on common interests, but also epitomizing the idea of ‘women supporting women’.
Let us look at some Indian women who have embodied this spirit of sisterhood #EachForEqual, and in the process transformed the status of women in society.
Read the post by Piyusha Vir here.
“Once a daughter always a daughter”
Well, if society so lovingly says this about daughters, today the Supreme Court of India, the highest in the Law hierarchy, upheld it, and stated it in its historic judgement.
A landmark judgement by the three judge bench of Justice Arun Mishra, Justice S Abdul Nazeer and Justice MR Shah of the Supreme Court of India removed all the ambiguities arising in the 2005 Amendments to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.
Earlier the 2005 Amendments to the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, recognised and provided an equal share to the daughter, whether married or not, in parental property, with the condition that the father and the daughter, both should be alive as on September 9, 2005, the day when the said amendment was made.
The amendment, though relevant, left a lot of ambiguity and provided loopholes to many to suit their purpose. It failed to cover all women in its ambit.
Read the post by KrishRa here.
The Indian Saas-Bahu relationship is famous for its hostility – a huge chunk of it is from on-screen drama. But these inspiring MILs are their DILs’ biggest champions.
The relationship between MILs and DILs has more than its share of stereotypical beliefs. In the Indian context, this relationship is often seen as a power struggle between the two parties (thanks to the Saas Bahu serials).
It is therefore heartening to hear stories of positivity and empowerment from these five Indian DILs. What’s the secret behind such loving bonds? Is it possible for more people to follow their lead?
Read the post by Kasturi Patra here.
After the decriminalizing of homosexuality, lawyers Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy, are taking the logical next step towards legalising gay marriage.
Almost two years ago India won the long battle against the archaic law Section 377 that criminalized homosexuality. Section 377 was abolished by efforts of many lawyers, NGO workers, petitioners, activists, LGBTQ+ members. The frontiers in the battle were lawyers Arundhati Katju and Menaka Guruswamy.
Now, these lawyers are ready to fight for legalising gay marriage in India. (As reported by News18) . And yes, we can’t be any less proud of them.
Read the post by Nishtha Pandey here.
“I miss India a lot,” she says, “but the one thing I am grateful for, is that here, I am away from my mother-in-law. We live on our own. I wouldn’t give this up for anything.” How many times in the past seven years or so, have I heard this statement – phrased one way or the other? Countless.
The stories that I have heard have quite a varied range. Of course, I am aware that these stories are all one-sided. These are only the daughters-in-law speaking. There’s no representation of the mother-in-law’s viewpoint here.
If I had a son, and I became a mother-in-law, this is what I would tell myself – that it is his life to make the choice, and I must welcome his partner with love.
Read the post by Prerna Shah here.
What happens to the child when a couple breaks up? How do Indian parents manage the challenges of co-parenting when they do it successfully? 3 ex-couples show us the way.
Parenting is not easy at the best of times.
As anyone with children knows raising a child, involves a multitude of decisions – from the relatively easy ones like what to eat for breakfast to the harder ones like the kind of parenting style to adopt, the schools to send them to, the extracurricular activities to nudge them towards and so on and so forth.
Read the post by Shweta Ganesh Kumar here.
In a historic judgment, the Allahabad High Court has ruled “the right to choose a partner is a fundamental right.” This is a positive step for inter community marriages.
This powerful judgment made by the Allahabad High Court happens to come in the wake of some recent happenings of intolerance, one that should put an end to all the unnecessary debates for and once and for all.
The Bench of Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal said, “We fail to understand (that) if the law permits two people even of the same sex to live together peacefully then neither any individual nor a family nor even the state can have an objection to the relationship of two major individuals who out of their own free will are living together.”
Read the post by Aditi Singh Kaushik here.
India Love Project is an Instagram page that showcases inspiring real life stories, which celebrate love across man-made faith and caste lines.
Recently a Tanishq ad celebrating interfaith marriage was criticized heavily. The criticism was so bad that the makers had to bring down the ad.
This is not the first time that there has been intolerance toward interfaith marriage because of the idea of ‘Love-Jihad’, that opposes Hindu women marrying Muslim men. Amidst this, India Love Project is an initiative which is celebrating interfaith love.
In a country where talking of periods is a taboo, but cricket is almost religion, what better than get Rajasthan Royals men talk about periods for their huge audience?
What made this IPL groundbreaking (note the pun?), for me, is the recent video of four cricketers discussing about periods.
It is pioneering, innovative, and happening for these celebrities to talk about menstruation, during a tournament that gathers a huge number of spectators, on a platform as wide as YouTube.
Read the post by Prakarsha here.
It’s hard to explain the love and confidence I felt when I heard those words. For me, it was just dance performance at a Club. But he made it sound so special.
I felt I was meant to be the queen of the universe! And why not? That’s the stuff dreams are made of. What happens with those dreams was immaterial. The belief in being that dream, the belief in the possibility of that dream, that’s what matters.
Read the post by Anusha Singh here.
Does it matter if wishes could come true or not? If feasibility becomes the criteria to consider wishes as valid, the very essence in which they are rooted is lost.
How many times do we wish for something and sigh at the preposterous idea? How many times do we mock our own yearnings because being a grown-up warrants us to be pragmatic and mature?
I, for one, was reminded by my daughter about those thousands of wishes that lay crammed in the box of adulthood. I know I cannot fly with the birds. But, that’s how wishes are meant to be. Inane and unrealistic and fantasied; also beautiful and unfettering and soothing.
Read the post by Anupama Dalmia here.
Poverty, patriarchy, gender discrimination, domestic unrest – Alka Gujnal has braved many a storm. Yet, nothing could stop her from working for the rights of destitute sex workers. A brave crusader championing their cause, she has been working tirelessly to bring dignity to their lives.
“People ask me the benefit of my work or what do I get out of it. I just know that a sex worker is also a woman and she should get her due respect. Difficult circumstances push a sex worker to take this as a business, but that should not deprive her of her dignity,” she says. “My fight is against the stigmas, discrimination, and inhuman ostracization against these women.”
Read the post by Anjali G Sharma here.
Ranjitsinh Disale wins the global teacher prize this year for promoting girls’ education in tribal communities and introducing QR Coded textbooks for school children.
Maharashtra teacher Ranjitsinh Disale, working in a village near Solapur has won the Global Teacher Prize recently. His work in the Zilla Parishad school where a large number of children come from tribal communities, has changed the way education for girls is looked at, and has also brought to almost zero cases of teenage girls’ marriage.
Kangana Ranaut called Urmila Matondkar a ‘soft porn star’ – but hey, so many women, a whole, beautiful, inspiring tribe of them stood up in her defence!
If you’re a woman – one that reads, one that has a substantial bunch of women friends, one that compliments a woman in the elevator for her saree or her pleated apricot skirt, one that is generously appreciative of another woman’s skills – there’s one thing you would never do: disparage and degrade the woman that has walked before you; you owe the women who came before you.
Read the post by Aishwarya Sampath here.
Kani Kusruti’s father wrote a letter to her when she turned 18, demonstrating how we need to see our children as independent, rational individuals once they are of age.
This letter, written by a father to his daughter, should be read by every male in any role, or for any individual seeking validation in a society that brutally trolls and stereotypes.
Because on the surface, the sisters, the daughters, the wives and mothers… and any other woman, might bubble with excitement on receiving that chocolate hamper or any material gift, but deep down they harbour a secret desire to be understood and respected.
While most of us were locked inside our homes when the country went into complete lockdown due to COVID, there were a few warriors who were working day and night. Amongst several frontline workers and health care professionals, there were the members of project AHANA from Plan India who had a major responsibility on their shoulders. To ensure that the lockdown doesn’t disrupt the supply of essential life-saving drugs for HIV positive pregnant women. A slight miss could mean a threat to the life of both the mother and the unborn child.
Meet Yasmin and Roopkatha who have ensured every help and assistance to these women, even if it has meant going beyond their call of duty in these past few months.
I am right now living amongst men who are teaching me equality in their own unique way.
My father, who was the sole breadwinner for a family of six never thought twice about spending money on his daughter’s education.
My father-in-law, on the other hand was the eldest among his three brothers. In those olden days, when males enjoyed unquestioned dominance, my father-in-law learnt cooking as well as sewing from his mother so that he could give her a helping hand. And he still does so whenever the occasion arises.
As a father, my husband has fed, brushed, bathed, sang lullabies and changed our kid’s diapers. As a husband he has and still does help me in all the household chores.
My brother who never entered the kitchen in his life except to demand food of his choice learnt to cook, clean and wash when he was in hostel. It fills me with immense pride when I see him helping my mother as well as his wife at home.
But do they think that they are doing something extraordinary or something worth mentioning? Absolutely not!
Read the post by Manideepa Lahiri here.
The Delhi Police Commissioner SN Srivastava had launched an initiative to motivate the police to trace and rescue children who had gone missing. In his initiative, he had said that an out of turn promotion will be granted to any Constable or Head Constable who rescued 50 children under the age of 14 who had gone missing. And Seema Dhaka didn’t just manage to rescue 76 children, she did so in only three months!
Truly, Dhaka’s work does deserve all the praise it can get. Of the 76 children she rescued, 56 were under the age of 14. And some of them were even from out of Delhi, from regions like Punjab and West Bengal.
All the children had gone missing from one Police jurisdiction of Delhi or the other. In order to rescue the children, Dhaka even sought help from various other states and regions.
Read the post by Shagun Mangal here.
Do you have a positive story to share? Personal, or something outside? Do comment. We’d love to know.
Image source: Matheus Bertelli on pexels
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