27 January, 2021

Mapping Women

An innovative atlas traces the geography of gender issues

Mapping Women

CONSIDER this. A Government of India Report in '95 had this statistic to offer: In one area of the Himalayas, on a one hectare farm, a man works 1,212 hours in a year, a pair of bullocks for 1,064 hours and a woman for 3,485. Yet, when data is to be collected, her husband records her as a non-worker. As a farmer in Haryana shrugged, when asked why he had not recorded his wife's work on his farm: "But that is my land, and that is my wife."

Pearl S. Buck once said: "The basic discovery about any people is the discovery of the relationship between its men and women." In India, we know this relationship to be largely discriminatory, often exploitative. Yet, we are either inured to it-made passive by what seems an insurmountable problem; or we disregard it-as a fashionable whine of the times.

But what if one were to see this relationship-mapped out in stark detail. What if something were to make visible, at a glance, not only what is happening between men and women in India, but where it's happening and why. Would one be forced to confront the issues more squarely then?




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