About the Video

Some sessions of Women’s Writer’s Festival didn’t delve into the delicate niceties of being a woman. Thank god. It sprung open a so-called Pandora’s box where women felt safe to enquire – why does my mother come home early when both my mother and father are working in the same business that they had started together, why aren’t there enough trans women in the mainstream, why is feminism is considered to be such a loaded word, why aren’t our workplaces made safer for the female employees, why are women journalists expected to cover a news story differently just because they are women, and why does the point of ultimate validation for a woman come down to having a ‘supportive family’ – isn’t she still at liberty to make her own decisions?

This feeling was especially echoed at the session ‘Change begins at home’ where writers and academicians dealt with the question of motherhood and family – if it alters their perspectives as professionals, do they feel pressurised to be there for their children all the time, while perhaps jeopardising their job, which might have been their utmost priorities before becoming mothers.

Why does the onus always come down to the woman to be there for the family, while a mere guest appearance by the father works just fine?

The speakers: Journalist Natasha Badhwar, writers Veena Venugopal, Aparna Piramal Raje, Bee Rowlatt and lawyer and professor Gitanjali Surendran could only come to the topic with acute exasperation, considering there isn’t the nuance language for a woman to speak up and out really. The fact that the panelists felt a lack of agency when they became mothers was resonated with the women in the audience who listened with rapt attention.

There was also a discussion about the strict separation between work and home for a woman, and yet she was expected to cater to both. Bee recounted her time with the BBC when she thought that it would be untoward of her to speak about her children in the office but when a senior of hers started doing the same it made her realise that such a simple act could empower other women to talk about their children in a professional space without feeling ashamed.

There was also a sense that a woman shouldn’t undermine the influence of role models in her life to which Veena candidly replied, “I don’t have a role model as such. I think about what my mother would do in a situation. Then do the exact opposite.”

So, in the lack of a conducive workspace for mothers, the inherent pressure of being a great mother – does a woman lose herself in the process? In the presence of external influences, where does a woman’s selfhood lie?

https://twitter.com/SheThePeopleTV/status/835096152219451392

Natasha said that she started blogging anonymously and continued it for five years to be able to put a finger to the problem. Gitanjali, who is greatly influenced by The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer added, “It is important for you to find the things that speak to you… but there needs to be a larger systemic change.  Women are expected to do so much work, how do you quantify that? People to need to change on what they think about that.”

Beyond the delicate niceties of being a woman: A search within for moms

Some sessions of Women’s Writer’s Festival didn’t delve into the delicate niceties of being a woman. Thank god. It sprung open a so-called Pandora’s box where women felt safe to enquire – why does my mother come home early when both my mother and father are working in the same business that they had started(…)

Posts by Amrita Paul:

Domestic Violence No Longer A Major Crime In Russia

Domestic Violence No Longer A Major Crime In Russia

Russia has recently decriminalised domestic violence. Assaulting a family member can only lead one to spend 15 days in jail or a fine of 500 dollars. The clause to this being, ‘as long as it doesn’t cause substantial bodily harm’ or happen more than ‘once a year’.

More

Miss France Crowned Miss Universe 2016

Miss France Crowned Miss Universe 2016

Iris Mittenaere, a dental surgery student from France, has been crowned Miss Universe 2017. The event, which was hosted in Manila, Philippines, on Sunday had Haiti’s Raquel Pelissier placed as the first runner-up while Colombia’s Andrea Tovar finished as the second runner-up.

More

Making Wholesome Food Accessible, Here’s Saneesha Rao

Making Wholesome Food Accessible, Here’s Saneesha Rao

After studying and working in Games Development in the US and then living in Bogota, Colombia as an artist and sculpter, Saneesha Rao came back to Hyderabad in 2014 with an urgent appetite for home food. This craving soon dawned into a realisation for her and her husband Gopi Lingala, both of whom also had(…)

More

Was Padmavati A Controversial Rani?

Was Padmavati A Controversial Rani?

Director Sanjay Leela Bhansali is now having to change the location for the shooting of his film Padmavati owing to violent protests on the sets of the movie. A Jaipur community group had physically attacked the filmmaker and vandalised the set at Jaigarh fort claiming that the director was trying to showcase the life of(…)

More

Malia Obama protests at Sundance Film Fest

Malia Obama protests at Sundance Film Fest

In a series of terrible executive orders signed by President Donald Trump, is the one which seeks to revive the Dakota Access Keystone pipeline which was halted by the Obama administration. The construction is likely to adversely affect native-American lands in the US and none other than 18-year-old Malia Obama has come out in solidarity(…)

More

What E-Commerce startups want from the Budget

With schemes like Startup India and Standup India being launched and the Narendra Modi government supporting digital payments, the startup community is hoping to get considerable aid from the upcoming Union Budget which will be revealed on February 1. We speak to E-commerce startups and discuss their wish lists for the Budget. Ayushi Gudwani, Founder(…)

More

This entrepreneur’s maid inspired her company, Homework

This entrepreneur’s maid inspired her company, Homework

Former Hotelier Shagun Singh Baruah credits her maid for being able to come up with the idea of Homework, a full house deep cleaning service provider for residences in Delhi-NCR region. Shagun speaks to us about her entrepreneurial journey, the challenges she faced and how her family has been a great source of support all along(…)

More

6 Women Who Shaped India as a Republic

6 Women Who Shaped India as a Republic

Virginia Woolf had once said, “For most of history, anonymous was a woman.” But when it came to the Indian Independence Movement, women walked shoulder-to-shoulder with men to help India receive its Independence. Here are six women who played a pivotal role in shaping India as a republic: 1. Rani Lakshmibai She was one of(…)

More

Rimi Sen Joins BJP, Youngest Actor To Do So

Rimi Sen Joins BJP, Youngest Actor To Do So

Ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, actor Rimi Sen on Tuesday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. According to a tweet by ANI, the actor said, “I am inspired by PM Modi and will fulfill all responsibilities given.” Prior to her, Bollywood actors like Paresh Rawal, Kirron Kher, Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha and Smriti Irani(…)

More

Share Your Stories:

Discussions

Blogs

Events