The Australian newspaper "The age" has a couple of articles on Indian women. The first
http://www.theage.com.au/news/world/stare-wars-indian-file-for-lechers/2006/09/01/1156817099394.htmlis about Jasmeen Patheja and her project http://blanknoiseproject.blogspot.com/ fighting back against the 'Eve teasers'. An excerpt:
"At first, in her own personal revolt, Mr Patheja would yell at any men who stared at her. She refused to avert her gaze and suffer passively as most Indian women did.
But it had little impact. The perpetrator would grin at her, amused. "It was only when I took out my camera and photographed them that the dynamics changed and the power situation was reversed," she says. "The camera instantly transfers power to the woman. Instead of being amused, the man felt threatened." She remembers the humiliation of being on a crowded bus once where a man cupped her breast. Furious, she whipped out her camera and started clicking. A few stops later, he got down and apologised.
Apart from her "lechers' gallery" on the website, Ms Patheja is collecting the clothes that women were wearing when they were pestered, squashing the idea (popular among Indian males) that women "ask for it" by wearing skimpy clothes.
Blank Noise has another weapon — the "street performance", which its members put on in busy places. Reversing the normal situation in which groups of men stand around and stare at the women, it is Ms Patheja's female "warriors" who do the staring.
They stand in a group, about a dozen of them, wearing T-shirtswith the slogan "Y R U Looking At Me?". When a man leers, they surround him silently and stare right back.
Most men, faced with a dozen pair of eyes boring into them,retreat. When a camera is trained at them, most panic and beg the women to put the camera away, insisting they are "family men withchildren".
Curious onlookers are given leaflets, explaining how sexual harassment violates a woman's self-respect and dignity. Blank Noise activists also board buses to read out letters from victims ofsexual harassment. With the permission of the bus conductor, agroup of women get on and start reading out loud the testimony that victims of sexual harassment have posted on the website.
A Bangalore journalist, Nirmala Ravindran, who witnessed a bus reading, says the men were shell-shocked.
"Sometimes women would jump up and applaud," she says. "They said that their own experiences were identical."
The official statistics support these personal testimonies— 90 per cent of female college students suffer harassment.
Government figures released in June show that a woman is raped every half-an-hour in India.
Such behaviour is primarily the outcome of a sexually repressivesociety, which segregates the sexes from childhood onwards,forbidding even innocent contact.
Laura Neuhaus, 23, a Texan who works in Bangalore and supports Blank Noise, is appalled at the Neanderthal habits of many Indian men.
"Because they've had so little interaction with women while growing up, men here are totally uninformed about women," she says.
"There is a deep-seated awkwardness. They don't realise what is acceptable or what the boundaries are."
With women like Ms Patheja around, they will soon learn."
Tjhe second is an old article from The Observer about hair trade
There is not only 'legitimate' trade from places like Tirupati but also coercisin in some places. an excerpt:
"Away from the crowd sits 19-year-old Uma, one of dozens of girls living close to Chennai's main Egmore suburban rail-line, who have had nastier experiences with more unscrupulous hair collectors. 'I was held down by a gang of men who hacked at my hair,' she says. 'I'm not the only one who has been attacked. I know other women who have been blackmailed and threatened to shave their own heads, in some cases their husbands have received money for their hair and ordered their wives to have their heads shaved. There is a lot of money to be made from hair not just from temples but from villages like ours, the police don't care, they will do nothing to protect women.'"
There is another article comparing how women managers are faring in different western countries: