Bitch Media Fellowship

Image 1 - 17 year old Morjina at her home in West Bengal
In a village in the outskirts of Kolkata, a 17-year-old talks about her life after marriage and the difficulties she faces in accessing reproductive healthcare. 

As the 2016 Bitch Media Writing Fellow in Reproductive Rights and Justice, I reported for the non-profit, feminist publication from India on issues like sex education, abortion, and the need for men’s involvement in reproductive issues.

 

All in the Family: Men’s crucial role in the fight for reproductive health in India
In the patriarchal society of India, men continue to make decisions and control resources that determine women’s reproductive healthcare. Worse, they do so while being ill-informed and without engaging in discussions with their partners. In my last piece for the fellowship, I wrote about the crucial need for men’s involvement in birth control and reproductive rights. 

Birds, Bees and Beyond: Towards more inclusive sex-ed in India
My longform piece for Bitch magazine’s “Kids These Days” issue is about the state of sex education in India and why for a country with the world’s largest youth population (and infinite problems), it’s important for sex-ed to be about boundaries, respect and advocating for yourself.

Access Denied: The impact of child marriages on healthcare for young girls in India
In India, where 47% girls are married before the age of 18 – a violation not just of their rights but also their bodies – access to reproductive healthcare is either too difficult or denied. To understand the link between child marriage and reproductive justice, I reported from a village in West Bengal for this piece.

Sex workers in India organise to fight discrimination
Durbar, a collective of sex workers, has been working to ensure access to reproductive health care for the community & fighting for their right to work, and also challenging stereotypes promoted by Bollywood films.

Safe Passage: Access to abortion in India 
56 percent of the 6.4 million abortions that take place in India yearly are unsafe, and only one out of ten women know that abortion is legal. This article sheds light on the state of abortion in India in terms of access – the law, the barriers, and an organisation that is training doctors to provide comprehensive abortion care to women in rural areas.

A fate better than death: Communities unite to fight maternal mortality in Assam
In Assam, the state with the highest maternal mortality ratio in India, three NGOs come together to train women of the marginalised Adivasi community to report violations and fight for their rights.

Agents of Ishq gives sex ed a good name
A Mumbai-based multimedia project that’s creating a safe space for discussions on sex, sexuality and desire.