Kalpana Sharma : Kalpana's Commentary
Dec 15 2005
Stop the violence
Each year, from November 25 to December 10, the United Nations and women's groups around the world draw attention to continuing violence against women in all our societies. In the midst of this, a recent silver lining is an AP bureaucrat acting to clamp down on sex-selective abortion. Kalpana Sharma takes stock.
Nov 28 2005
Women speak out
It is no coincidence that it is women who have been targetted in the recent controversy over talking about pre-marital sex. If men voiced similar opinion, their remarks would have been overlooked. Women, apparently, should not speak about sex with this level of frankness, says Kalpana Sharma.
Oct 21 2005
Good girls don't drink
Why is it that whenever there is any talk of values, it is women's behaviour, their dress, their attitude that comes into question, even though there are more men than women in India? Societal values and morality should apply to everyone, men and women, says Kalpana Sharma.
Oct 07 2005
Viewing health as an inalienable right
For the poor, the choice is often between health care in private systems that are beyond their reach, or death. That is a choice no citizen should be forced to make. To overcome this, the idea of a right to health should foreground policy debates on health care, says Kalpana Sharma.
Sep 17 2005
Savita's choice
CHILD MARRIAGE : Savita's choice

Hundreds of child marriages are held across Rajasthan with no one stopping them. Tiny boys and girls, some of them asleep and all of them unaware of what is happening, are betrothed to each other. The reality sinks in when the children attain puberty by which time they are told they have no choice. But they do, writes Kalpana Sharma.

Jul 10 2005
'Reality' rape
25 years ago, women's groups in this country fought for and succeeded to some extent in changing rape laws. More recently, one of the most regressive provisions of rape law was nullified. But the public spectacle made out of the rape of a Muzaffarnagar woman by her own father-in-law almost brings us back to square one, says Kalpana Sharma.
Jun 18 2005
Blaming women
Recent statistics about the growing number of women afflicted by HIV/AIDS around the world and in India are throwing light on a different dimension of this disease. The link between inequitable gender relations and the spread of HIV is setting it apart from other communicable diseases, says Kalpana Sharma.
May 01 2005
Winds of change
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) recently suggested that the custom of the man declaring "talaq" at one go and divorcing his wife should be discouraged. It stopped short of drafting further reform to the marriage contract, but this decade is seeing muslim women asserting for more, says Kalpana Sharma.
Apr 30 2005
Moral police not moral policing
The demand from citizens demonstrating in Mumbai that the Marine Drive rapist be handed over to them is yet another illustration of their growing frustration with state institutions. This is a dangerous signal that both the government and the police need to heed, says Kalpana Sharma.
Apr 12 2005
Gendered tsunami
A recent Oxfam report finds that women were, and are, disproportionately higher victims of the tsunami than men. While nature doesn't discriminate, says Kalpana Sharma, society certainly does, and such tragedies should remind us of this, or women will continue to remain invisible in suffering.

Kalpana Sharma is an independent journalist, columnist and media consultant. She has been, until recently, Deputy Editor and Chief of Bureau of The Hindu in Mumbai. In over three decades as a full-time journalist, she has held senior positions in Himmat Weekly, Indian Express and the Times of India. Her special areas of interest are environmental and developmental issues. She writes a fortnightly column in The Hindu's Sunday Magazine section, The Other Half, that comments on contemporary issues from a gender perspective. She has also followed and commented on urban issues, especially in the context of Mumbai's development.

Kalpana Sharma is the author of Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia's Largest Slum (Penguin 2000) and has co-edited with Ammu Joseph Whose News? The Media and Women's Issues (Sage 1994, 2006) and Terror Counter-Terror: Women Speak Out (Kali for Women, 2003)