20 October, 2020

Just Half the Story

For all that came out of Pandora's box, a lot more investigation and analysis is needed. This is just a beginning.

Just Half the Story
In India, single women are about 5-10 per cent of the total population of adult women—over 33 million widowed, and over a million divorced or separated. How do these women survive? Opening the Pandora’s box of single motherhood, Mehrotra presents a microcosm of these lives, in interviews with about 17 Christian, Sikh, Muslim and Hindu women, ranging in age from the 20s to 70s. But the stories of women as well as Mehrotra’s own (separated and with a child) are guarded. They are also repetitive. Single mothers, one learns, survive by making the best of a bad deal and often come out stronger. Let down by men in their lives, they take on an immense responsibility of supporting children, and aged parents. Most choose to keep men out of their lives, putting children and grandchildren first.

The reflections and insights from the data Mehrotra collected are weak and often disconnected. She touches on subjects such as masturbation and sexuality and then (quickly) abandons them.

For all that came out of Pandora’s box, a lot more investigation and analysis is needed....



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