with eyes open wide
Fantastic news out of India for women!
First is the Food Security Bill, which promises a major expansion of subsidized grains (to take effect in 2014).
One clause of this new law is that each family’s ration card will need to be in the name of the “woman head of the beneficiary family.” Not only does this psychologically place women as the “head of the household”, but also they will have purchasing control, which is a huge benefit in the Indian culture. Many men use the family’s ration to buy alcohol or don’t take notice to make sure the ration is properly weighed.
It’s also common to distribute poor quality grains (which the men don’t care about because it’s the women who have to work to clean it), so this could lead to a more direct demand of providing better-quality provisions.
Another excellent bit of news is that now all state governments have been mandated to allow single women to be posted closest to their hometowns or places of their choice. Mothers with small children will be addressed “with empathy”, meaning allowed flexible working hours to accommodate family obligations.
Cheers to a women’s movement in India!