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A woman who breaks all stereotypes
Behind the Scenes of "I wouldn't take no for an answer: How a solidarity-based sisterhood movement spread across rural India"
There are all kind of assumptions about rural women. People imagine such women do not have much formal education and so they are ignorant. They are supposed to be weak, and dependent on their spouses and families. Women in villages are not expected to know about their rights or have the courage to stand up for them.
In the west Indian state of Maharashtra, there is a woman who flies in the face of all these prejudices: Akkatai Teli. We at Unbias the News chose her story, told by Sanket Jain, because it dismantles stereotypes, points towards solutions, and reaffirms our own activist “bias” as a feminist publication.
Domestic violence is not a spatial issue but a gendered one. It happens in villages, towns and cities. While a higher number of perpetrators of violence against women live in , each day 137 women are killed by family members globally. During Covid-19, men across the world became even more violent in their homes, so much so that the UN termed it the “”.
Akkatai and the women in her informal support and solidarity network are remarkable because they no longer wish to be counted in the data above. They are overthrowing their socially imposed identity of “married women” to reclaim their self-respect and dignity as human beings. They have stopped decrying their “fates”, and trembling under the tyranny of “what will people say”. Instead they are outraged by the idea of men’s superiority, like Akkatai is when she says: “What shocks me every time is how a man thinks he can decide everything.”
We see these dots across the atlas as women, and our aim in bringing their stories together is that one day they would join to form a rock-solid chain. If you have a similar story to share, do write to us, and we would be honored to hold space for it.
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