Meaningful youth engagement – Walking the walk not just talking the talk

Meaningful youth engagement: walking the walk not just talking the talk. Intersectional SRHR advocacy and gender specialist Srushti Mahamuni reflects on the lessons learnt from program staff perspective for program staff.

‘Youth engagement’, ‘Co-creation’, ‘Youth led advocacy’, ‘youth lie at the heart of what we do’ –are phrases that have become common jargon within the world of development aid cooperation in recent years. However, despite the best of intentions to engage youth in the work that
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Feminism and Motherhood, an incomplete conversation

Feminist. Mama. Immigrant. This is what my bio on Instagram reads. It may strike you as odd that I would choose to share that information in a motivation letter to a winter school program but becoming a mother has currently reduced my feminist engagement to merely that – Instagram captions. Once, a vibrant academic scholar with three master’s degrees in gender studies, engaging in elaborate discourse across continents about the multiple patriarchies that shape our lives and experiences, now all I have the emotional bandwidth for, is vomiting my lived experience of motherhood into a 500 word Instagram caption and bask in the momentary glory of comments from friends and acquaintances: “You’re so inspiring” “I relate to this so much” “Thank you for sharing”.

Pregnant people can’t have sex and other lies.

Is it safe to have sex when pregnant? YES! If you feel like it and want to, that is. Pregoland is a landmine full of judgment grenades waiting to explode at every step and a lot of this judgment is often internalized.

In a survey where 500 adults were asked the first word that came to their mind when they heard the word pregnant, most people said ‘cute’. When we label an adult as cute we take away their complexity and reduce them to childlike qualities. The same survey also asked heterosexual m

What to expect when you’re not expecting?

Discovering you are pregnant when you were not expecting or planning to get pregnant can be extremely stressful. Carrying the pregnancy to term or considering an abortion can be a highly emotional decision. The internet is not always super helpful, given the highly politicized nature of this intimate dilemma!

Of course, a woman has a total and complete right to her body, and while this decision should involve or at least take into account the partner’s opinion and feelings with regards to the p

5 Things That You Are Doing In The Bedroom That Might Be Sexist

So often during sex, people can unknowingly do things that may be disrespectful of their partner or that might be outright sexist. Even though you may be a very considerate person and not want to do anything to harm your partner, sometimes, some things happen in the bedroom that can be very problematic. And just because they don’t say anything doesn’t mean that it doesn’t matter. Read on to find out if you might be unknowingly sexist in the bedroom.

1. Assuming that your partner owes you sex


Flying Solo: 5 Female Masturbation Techniques Worth Exploring

The Female Orgasm: No two words in history have been the source of so much curiosity and hoopla while being so underexplored at the same time. While the whole world had been lamenting about the elusive female orgasm for centuries, not much had been done to find out why the elusiveness. Until now. Lo and behold, it’s 2019 and gone are the days when women were secretly wishing and praying that a miracle occurs and they have an orgasm. More and more research is being done about female bodies and re

Can masturbation make you go blind? And other ridiculous questions.

The answer to this question — NO, masturbation will not make you go blind. Unless maybe if you get copious amounts of jizz in your eye, many times. JK, Maybe not even then.

As ridiculous as this question sounds, it points to the plethora of myths surrounding masturbation. Want to demonize something? Surround it with myths, add some stigma and stir! The idea of pleasure scares the powers that be in a patriarchy, and the idea of self-pleasure, of women of female identifying bodies experiencing th

What’s color got to do with it? Is our desi obsession with fairness going too far?

“What’s the worst reason a guy has broken up with you?” I asked my girls one Sunday afternoon at brunch. This seemingly clichéd question provoked a discussion that lasted all day and had my usually-in-agreement-with- each other group fiercely divided. My friend Rashi* met this guy in college, they hit it off from the first day and were the best of friends for 2 years. During a college fest, they share a drunken kiss and their friendship turns romantic. Wanting to take things slow they decide to

My right to pleasure: A feminist manifesto.

In a world full of NOs, I want to talk about my right to say yes. In a world full of stories of sexual violence and assault, I want to talk about pleasure.

“ This is not the time to do that, hush, let people tell their stories of pain, of wrongs done, of boundaries crossed, lines undone.”

I see this, I see you, you who wants to tell your story.

I hold space for you and above all, I believe you.

I hear you and yet I want to talk about pleasure.

Because I have a right to talk about pleasure

Let’s get clitorate!


So if you are not making time for pleasure, you are not letting your clit fulfil its life’s only purpose, its destiny! Don’t be like that Susan. Let your clit get lit!

Historically the clitoris has had an important place in sex. The Kamasutra prescribes different poses to stimulate the clit. Not only did the ancient greeks know about the clitoris, but also saw it as an important player in reproduction. If a woman had an orgasm, the chance

Top tips for a happy period!

The 28-day cycle can roughly be divided into four major phases, which for ease can be classified into winter (day 1-5), summer (day 6-12), monsoon (day 13-18) and autumn (19-28). The actual periods mark just one of the 4 stages of what happens to our body during the month. The key thing impacting our body during our period cycle is our hormones. And they affect more than just our period. They can affect the way we look, eat, have sex and even think! The winter chill - Days of the period This is

Yes, we all feed violence against women: Here’s how to stop it now

Very often we see or hear incidents of violence occurring around us, ranging from ‘eve teasing’ on the street to direct physical violence or domestic violence towards women in our homes, and equally often we ignore it, thinking of it as a private matter. Violence is never a ‘private matter’, irrespective of what the person’s relationship or where it is happening. Next time, don’t be a bystander. Stand up against violence, tell your friends/family member that it is not okay to raise their hand or
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Visions of a feminist future

What would a truly feminist world look like? Srushti Mahamuni explores the visions shared by representatives of feminist organizations and Oxfam staff at a recent learning event.

Imagine its 2050 and you wake up one bright and sunny morning – the world as you know it has changed, for the better. It’s an inclusive, diverse and respectful world – it is a feminist world.

A world in which unpaid care work is valued and shared equally in households

Unpaid care work is often not recognised as work.
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Control your ovaries, lose your mind.

“The opposite of depression is not happiness, but vitality, and it was vitality that seemed to seep away from me in that moment.”

A strange intersection of events leading to the discovery of this line made me realise that I was suffering from symptoms of depression. Feeling empty, anxious, constantly tired, feelings of hopelessness, no motivation, difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking up, isolation, loneliness, the works lasting for weeks at a time. One day as I was blankly browsing my Faceboo
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A night at the detention centre

S ( Srushti): Good evening. ( Puts passport and residents permit on the counter)

O (Border control Officer) : ( Looks at the passport, at S, at passport, roughly flips through the many stamped pages) Where is your visa to enter the UK?

S : (nervously pointing) I have EU family residents permit.

O: (grunts and examines the permit) It doesn’t say family on it.

S: Uh, yes, right here ” familie en/of gezin of …”

O: But it doesn’t say it in English now, does it?

S: Yes, but it is a Dutch res
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About responsibility a.k.a the role of men in feminism/ the role of white folks in race discussions.

So yesterday my Feminist Club organised a discussion night about the role of men in feminism. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have some discomfort with this idea – for many reasons, some of them being – the way heforshe was framed, how men sometimes have a knack for taking over, that feminism is sometimes used by some men to seem ‘progressive’, the importance of safe spaces (women only) meant for sharing lived embodied experiences and for healing… the list goes on. (Click on the hyperlinks to