Ask a Feminist | Q. 5 What are the challenges that the feminist movement faces in India? / by Tara Kaushal

March 2018: I answer questions that are burning your bras and run this column as a makeshift guide to the feminist way of life.

What are the challenges that the feminist movement faces in India?

"There are many Indias, living simultaneously in many centuries, and there are feminist battles to be fought at all levels. Elements from all waves of Western feminism are all valid here. While privileged feminists battle for the right to retain our maiden surnames and other 'evolved' issues, we're still battling dowry and child marriage on other levels. The twain meet in strange ways, such as women eaming to help pay for their own dowries, or the popularity of 'choice feminism' that is evoked to justify the resurgence of karva chauth and other old-fashioned practices in certain sections. While it is important to remember that not all choices made by women are feminist just because they are women's choices, the biggest challenge of the Indian feminist movement is to unify despite these differences, to be truly intersectional and recognise the context of each of these battles being fought—acknowledging considerations of time, place, age, religion, caste, class, economics, etc. Feminist activists are pushing as many boundaries as they can in their respective milieus, and we need to respect each other."

This column appeared on Pass the Mic, the blog of Why Indian Men Rape in March 2018.