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[26 Jan 2014 | No Comment | Posted by ]
An Open Letter to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment from trans masculine people in India

This open letter was sent to the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment by trans masculine people in India earlier this week. Grassrooted is publishing it in solidarity, and with the express intention of raising awareness about trans masculinity, which is, as this open letter purports, often forgotten. 

Dear members of the expert committee on transgender issues set up by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment,We would like to first of all thank the MSJE …

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[24 Nov 2013 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Carpe diem – Taking back the night in Sri Lanka

Last evening we accompanied Rev. Marc Billimoria to a Knowledge Forum organized by the youth fellowship of Holy Emmanuel Moratuwa on child abuse – “Understand the gravity of Child Abuse an the need for its Prevention at Home, in School and in our Community”. Marc was one of the speakers, and asked us to come along as it would be an opportunity to showcase the Sound Mind & Sound Body programme; an accurate and comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education …

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[28 Oct 2013 | No Comment | Posted by ]
A land not too far away…

Her face was broken.
Yes, once upon a time, in a land not too far away, someone broke her face.
Was it her absent teeth? Those left were black with decay.
As we spent more time with her, she covered her mouth as she spoke, not wanting to offend us with her broken face.
But it wasn’t her broken teeth that made her face appear broken.
Had she been punched? Slapped? Hit with batons? Probably. Perhaps even, definitely.
Her hair that …

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[21 Jul 2013 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Daddy – A Mad Incestuous Dance

When Amanda approached Grassrooted  to perform again for Shakti, we knew we were going to write and perform a piece on incest. Incest in this country has probably been always spoken about, albeit in hushed, almost reverent whispers. Curiosity has probably always led to incestuous acts among children, but then, is that something we can say out loud? It is universally accepted that Adults who engage in incestuous acts are despicable. Filthy. Sick. There is a …

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[13 Mar 2013 | No Comment | Posted by ]

The more we read about the status of women in mainstream media the more we realize that the discussions around equality, rights, choice, value, opinion, violence, dignity, respect, power… all empty noise.
What remains is unfailing patriarchy. This has not diminished in the least, and forget about prevalent norms in South Asian cultures, or cultures that are still struggling with the idea of women on top, women are the fairer sex and so despite, and possibly …

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[11 Mar 2013 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Absurd Theatre

About a week ago a baby in the US was apparently cured of HIV.  The use of post exposure prophylaxis, i.e. a high dosage of antiretroviral therapy is not necessarily revolutionary in 2013, but the disappearance of HIV in the baby is a welcome development. In fact, antiretroviral therapy as a pre-exposure prophylaxis is also now in use with people thought to be at higher risk than others, and appears to reduce the chances of …

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[17 Nov 2012 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Puzzling Patriarchy

Galle Fort. Ancient floorboards. Peeling ceilings. The Grassrooted team discussing sex, HIV, gender and everything in between with 13 young women from Galle, and we’re on our 3rd day… these workshops continue to underpin the challenges we face when trying to dismantle the edifice of patriarchy. There is a clear understanding of the religious (‘Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; …

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[22 May 2012 | No Comment | Posted by ]

I was in Jaffna last weekend for a discussion with over twenty young women about a YWCA initiative – Young Women Lead Change.
This piece, as always, is about to string a few random thoughts together, which may perhaps not always seem to fit, but are, nonetheless, definitely parts, or at least slivers, of the whole.
Sliver 1: The Doctor
The discussion last weekend was to test the waters with the local community on the need for a peer …

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[4 May 2012 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Buddha Wept

54% of adolescent girls in Sri Lanka feel that a husband is justified in beating his wife. The UNICEF Global Report Card on Adolescents 2012 however is not available yet to try and unpack this further. What do they mean?
Surely, they cannot be suggesting that the arbitrary violence that some wives are subject to in Sri Lanka is acceptable; burned rice that results in cut lips and black eyes? It must be wives that were …

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[6 Apr 2012 | No Comment | Posted by ]
A Cardinal Sin

Malcolm, I listened to your impassioned plea on abortion just now. It’s Good Friday and I needed something Christian and stimulating.
Absolutely nothing has changed, has it? In 1995 when they tried to review our archaic abortion laws (Article 303 of the penal Code enacted in 1883) the Church and Mosque formed an alliance that has not been witnessed since the Sufis and Franciscans sat down to barrels of mead and bawdy ballads in Sherwood forest. …