Topics of Interest

“Drawing the Line: Indian Women Fight Back!” is a great starting-point for conversations about race/shadism, gender, women’s employment, women’s education, sexual harrassment/cat-calling, and more. Our TOPICS OF INTEREST section is here to help you contextualize those conversations and show why they’re important on a social level, as well as a personal one.

If you’d like to share any resources with us, please send us an e-mail!



Arti Patel. India’s Ugly Obsession with Lighter Skin Hits Close to Home, Too (August 2015)

Thappa DM, Malathi M. Skin color matters in India. Pigment Int, 2014;1:2-4.

Shuchi Bansal. Fairplay Guidelines for Fairness Products (August, 2014)

Hamann CR. Skin Lightening Products Contain High Amounts of Mercury (January 2014)

Chris Barker. Indian Skin-Lightening Market Slows Down: Has the Nation Finally Overcome Shade? (August 2013)

Shantanu Guha India’s Unbearable Lightness of Being (March 2010)


Shadeism: Digging Deeper (2015) – “Shadeism: Digging Deeper (2015) explores the issue of shadeism (i.e. colourism), the discrimination that exists between lighter-skinned and darker-skinned members of the same community. This issue of skin tone, of certain shades being considered ‘better’ than others, was never missing from conversations while growing up for Director Nayani Thiyagarajah. She was able to feel its harmful presence amongst family and friends, but she did not have the language to name it. And so, in many ways, it was easier to ignore it, suppress it, normalize its existence. But in 2009, a conversation with her then three-year-old niece Maanu forced Nayani to face the fact that we cannot continue to ignore this issue. Silence will not save anyone from suffering. Through the eyes and experiences of her friends and family, Nayani finally digs deeper to uncover the roots and impacts of shadeism on the women in her life, including herself, and attempts to recover and re-imagine what beauty means for women of colour globally. This film explores where the issue comes from, how it directly affects women individually, and ultimately begins to explore how we can move forward together.”

Dark Girls (2014) – Bringing the issues of race and shade into an American framework, this new documentary explores the experiences of African American women with dark skin, and how it effects their daily lives.



Rachel Williams. Why girls in India are still missing out on the education they need (The Guardian, 2013)

Dr. Kalyani Bondre. Gender Inequality in Higher Education in India: The Sustainability Paradox (Indian Federation of University Women’s Associations, 2013)

Anmol Soin. Gender Disparities of the Indian Education System (, 2013)

Ranjana Banerjee. Tackling Gender Disparity in Primary and Secondary School Education and the Empowerment of Women (, 2008)



Women in the Labour Force in India – An overview (, June, 2014)

An Overview of Women’s Work and Employment in India (, January, 2010)

India: Why is Women’s Labour Force Participation Dropping? International Labour Organization (2013)

Gender Dimensions of the Informal Sector and Informal Employment in India (Global Forum on Gender Statistics, 2009)


Women’s Rights in India

Women in India: How Free? How Equal? – United Nations Report (2006) – An overview of India’s status of women. Information around various topics, from education and employment to harassment and assault.

The History of Doing: An Illustrated Account of Movements for Women’s Rights and Feminism in India 1800 – 1990 (Zubaan Books, 1997) – Google Books preview


Sexual Harassment & Violence Against Women

Sexual Assault in India – A CrowdVoice site with infographics, timelines, and all kinds of information that helps to give clear context to the statistics.

Fact Sheet: Domestic Violence in South Asian Communities: This study was conducted by Saheli (Support and Friendship for South Asian Families), a a Massachusetts-based support group established in 1996. This study was conducted in 2012 with the participation of 160 women in the Boston area from the South Asian diaspora, and offers crucial data on the health and well-being of women in the community.

The Blank Noise Project Volunteer-run project in India working to trigger public dialogue on the issue of street sexual harassment. Conversations range from collectively building a definition of “eve-teasing” to defining the boundaries of “teasing”, “harassment”, “flirting”. Under the name Blank Noise Action Heroes, the collective builds testimonials of street sexual violence, harassment and “eve-teasing” and disperses them back in public spaces, thereby creating public debate. (They also run a pretty great Tumblr, full of photos of people participating in their projects.)

Vibhuti Patel, A Brief History of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace (Infochange India, 2005)

Dekh Le – Viral video produced by film studies students at Mumbai-based Whistling Woods International Institute of Film, Fashion & Media and released on December 16, 2013, the first anniversary of the 2012 Delhi gang rape. It garnered one million hits in its first week on YouTube.

The young victims behind acid attacks in Bangladesh – “Romantic rejection, gang rivalry, dowry solicitation, misogyny, prejudice – these are some of the horrendous reasons behind a painful form of violence many women around the world face: acid attacks. Acid violence is global, but a significant number of attacks are concentrated in South Asia, particularly in Bangladesh. According to Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) of Bangladesh, there have been 3,000 reported incidents in the country since 1999. Over 80 percent of the victims are women. However, most attacks go unreported.” Jennifer Chowdhury reports, with photographs by Khaled Hasan.

India’s Government Doesn’t Seem to Care That Husbands Can Legally Rape Their Wives – VICE News, May 2015

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