Tag Archives: Why Loiter

Where do women belong in Indian cities?

While men can be seen hanging around, women are expected to have a purpose for being outdoors. This question must be addressed.

By Asiya Islam. Published 2-26-2016 at openDemocracy

A woman sits in front of her shop near Aligarh. Evonne/Flickr. Some rights reserved.

A woman sits in front of her shop near Aligarh. Evonne/Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Every time I go back to Aligarh, my hometown in India, I see a new eating spot. McDonald’s, KFC, Domino’s and Café Coffee Day are very recent additions to the city. Aligarh, pretty much like Oxford and Cambridge, is primarily a university city although it is also known for lock making and some handicrafts. When I went to the Women’s College, Aligarh Muslim University for my Bachelor’s almost a decade ago, I hung out mostly at the canteens in the college and university and went for lunch to local restaurants. The big city offerings of coffee, fried chicken and burgers were not around then (the closest we got to international cuisine was spicy chowmein which was probably more Indian than Chinese); those were the temptations of Delhi, the metropolis nearest to us. Continue reading

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