a person wearing a brown sweater holding a burning globe

The Wednesday Politics Thread is Heated

I’m pleased to say that I’ve finally returned home from my trip to Tanzania, and have cooled off significantly both physically and temperamentally. That relief felt short-lived however, as news of the Supreme Court’s intent to overturn Roe v. Wade brought things to a rapid boil. As a man who has zero experience concerning abortion, I don’t intend to offer any hot takes of my own. Rather, I’ll simply link to the dedicated discussion thread, and encourage participants to be mindful of how emotionally-fraught the subject can be, and to please respect the deeply personal (and often private) experiences of others when it comes to the topic of reproductive rights.

Erosion of abortion rights gathers pace around the world as US signals new era

In 2022, abortion remains one of the most controversial and bitterly contested ethical and political battlegrounds. It is illegal for women to terminate their pregnancies in any circumstance in 24 countries, with a further 37 restricting access in any case except when the mother’s life is in danger.

The Guardian [archive]

Gulf region: Women’s empowerment not all it seems

Time and time again, we see Gulf women’s presence and visibility being conflated with real impact. Yet visible women in the Gulf, more often than not, serve as mere spokespersons for the state. Owing to their visibility to the state, they resign their personhood, maintaining an almost sanitised public presence, especially on social media.

Empowered women have become the front-facing soft power with which Gulf states communicate their progressiveness, mainly to foreign audiences. Domestically, however, women who seek independent visibility are cast as rebellious feminists – feminist being the charge – who, enamoured by the West, conspiratorially aim to spread corruptive ideas among the good women.

Qantara.de [archive]

Feminist civil society groups demand urgent Climate Action

In late March 2022, as the 66th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW66) came to a close [The Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)] highlighted that feminist civil society groups, including young feminists, expressed deep concerns at the lack of progress towards advancing gender equality in the context of climate change and environment.

While the ambition of this year’s CSW fell short due to intense push back from some governments on women’s human rights and gender equality and others on financing, debt and loss and damage, the agreed conclusions made some forward strides. For the first time in its history, CSW made an explicit connection between sexual and reproductive health and rights, and climate justice.

New Delhi Times [archive]

Climate Change Turned Up India’s Heat. But by How Much?

New Delhi saw an average maximum April temperature of 40.2° Celsius (104.4° Fahrenheit) […] Temperatures in neighboring Pakistan’s Jacobabad rose to 47°C (116.6°F).

Analyzing decades of heat data is different from asking about one hot spell in particular — and looking for answers about India’s heat is harder than most anywhere else in the world.

Researching the effects of warming on India is made harder still because global climate models built in developed countries have failed to adequately account for unique factors in South Asia.

“Our weather inherently is hard to predict,” says Arpita Mondal, a climate researcher at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Climate is basically an average of a region’s weather. “India is really unique.”

Bloomberg [archive]

Caste And Gender In Paid Domestic Work In India

Recent scholarships on care work in general and domestic work in particular have expanded their horizon by taking into consideration other intersections like class, race and ethnicity. When care work is analysed through the framework of intersectionality, we notice that it is actually the least privileged women who have been carrying the burden of care work dumped on them by both men and privileged women.

Similarly, when we observe paid domestic work in India through the intersectional perspective, we find that it is largely performed by Dalit-Bahujan women. In mainstream feminist discussions, the only issue that gains eyeballs is how women are burdened with domestic work and men are not willing to share any household chores. The issue of paid domestic work and how it has been performed by marginalised women hardly comes into picture.

Feminism In India [archive]

I hope the change in formatting is an improvement on what I was doing in previous installments. By all means let me know if something looks awful on your device and I’ll try to fix it for next time.

As always, please help to make the mods’ lives easier by avoiding personal attacks (McSquirrel!) and flagging rule violations when you see them. Respect to the resident clam wrangler and all those laboring freely to keep this place tidy and pleasant to participate in.

With that, I’d like to leave you with a recording by أم كلثوم‎, Umm Kulthum, whose birthday (arguably) is perhaps today:

يا ظالمني (Ya Zalemni — “You are Unjust”) [Lyrics + English Translation]