Women against climate change

While many protestors at the Glasgow climate summit were young, and of them many women, the conference itself had mostly male and older leaders, writes Somini Sengupta for The New York Times. “Fewer than 10 of the 130 leaders in a group picture were women,” she notes.

Though many of these leaders have viewed the Glasgow talks as being fruitful, the protestors don’t quite agree. “If they [leaders] are really listening, she went on, ‘they would be prioritising people over profit’,” Sengupta quoted a protestor as saying. She notes that the ones most angry about the speed of climate action “are mostly young and female”.

“Girls and young women around the world have emerged as some of the most passionate climate activists, arguing that many of those most vulnerable to drought, water scarcity and other climate disasters are low-income women with children to feed,” writes Sengupta. “As a result, the climate movement has a shared mission with efforts to educate girls in developing nations.”

Read the piece here.

Shutting down Munawar Faruqui

Six shows of stand-up comic Munawar Faruqui were cancelled last month in Gujarat and Maharashtra after a campaign by Hindutva activists.

Faruqui’s troubles started after he was arrested in January for allegedly making fun of Hindu deities. Investigations proved he did not make these jokes, but the police claimed they had been rehearsed. Four others, including two comics, had been arrested along with Faruqui.

Kunal Purohit writes in Article 14 how threats to organisers and letters to the police have prevented Faruqui from holding shows, and the other comics from performing as well.

“Encouraged by the cancellations, these groups told Article 14 that they now aimed to have Faruqui’s shows in Mumbai on 8 and November 12 cancelled,” Purohit writes. “They would also pressurise ticketing website BookMyShow to stop selling tickets to his shows, they said.”

Read the article here.

India’s carbon emissions

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised that India will reach net zero carbon emissions by the year 2070, but this goal that has been met by scepticism by many in the country. Modi’s announcement came comes even as the Indian government has seemingly ignored criticism of its handling of the environment and flouted regulations.

Joydeep Gupta writes in The Guardian that India can demonstrate its seriousness about reaching the net zero target in how it acts now. “As usual, when it comes to implementation, there will be many devils in the details,” he says, pointing out that much of the regulation will come down to state governments.

“The other big problem will be to take along the myriad micro, small and medium factories that comprise more than 80% of India’s industrial sector,” Gupta wrote. “They rarely have the money or the will to invest even in efficiency measures, though they know very well they will make a saving in the long run by doing so. This sector will need many carrots, and perhaps some sticks, before it comes along.”

Read the article here.

Three years without a trial

Starting from 2018, 16 activists social workers, lawyers and others have been imprisoned in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. One of them is lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj.

Mahtab Alam writes in The Wire that Bharadwaj, whose trial has not yet begun, just celebrated her 60th birthday – her fourth in prison. The 60-year-old has been in jail since August 2018, and has been there through the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the activists arrested in the case died in prison during the pandemic – 84-year-old Stan Swamy. Alam notes that Bharadwaj’s family recently issued a statement expressing concern about a potential Covid-19 outbreak in prisons.

He went on to demand her release and to push for a campaign against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA, and other “draconian laws”.

“Moreover, not just that these laws should be summarily revoked but also it should be ensured that no such law is passed in the future,” Alam writes. “If that is not done, the cycle of structural violence will go on, as it has been happening because of the enactment of one law after the repeal of another — UAPA after the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), POTA after the repeal of the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Prevention Act (TADA) and so on.”

Read the article here.

Learning to say ‘no’

It’s no secret that a lot of people have trouble saying no to things and drawing boundaries. This holds especially true to women. From a young age, women are socialised to be nice, accommodating, generous with their time, and taught that they must, must, must be liked.

This expectation that women should say yes comes at a price, not just for them, but for society as a whole, writes Anna Holmes in The Atlantic. Holmes herself had trouble thinking of many instances where she was able to say no when asked for something.

“Women of color, in particular, have to find ways to survive within a society that sees our assertiveness as tantamount to aggression. (You know, the ‘angry Black woman’ stereotype.)… Successful women of color are expected to obligingly – obsequiously, in fact – say yes as a way to demonstrate gratitude for successes we’ve earned on our own,” Holmes writes.

Holmes calls up the examples of Naomi Osaka, who withdrew from the French Open this year citing her mental health, and Simone Biles, who pulled out of events at the Olympics. While they received overwhelming support for their decisions, they were also hugely criticised for it.

Read the article here.