Circle of Friends: An Immersive Conversation On The Issues Facing Women | Verve Magazine - Part 3
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April 20, 2017

Circle of Friends: An Immersive Conversation On The Issues Facing Women

Text by Prabha Chandran

Aparna Sen, Lillete Dubey and Shabana Azmi, along with successful women from diverse fields, look into the issues concerning the contemporary woman


Is the growing number of singles an indication that heterosexual relationships have broken down at the deepest level? Lillete responds: “If women are changing vastly it has to impact the relationship. If we are asserting our own independence and demanding a change in the ecosystem, then marriage is one of the institutions that needs renegotiating. It’s a lot about equality: Finding a relationship that doesn’t lessen or reduce us but enriches us. It shouldn’t be a relationship where we become less than ourselves – neither do we have to be propped to be something extraordinary.” Shabana feels that equality cannot be legislated but Prabha differs, citing the fact that Iceland just became the first country in the world to pass a legislation ensuring equal pay for men and men. She mentions Norway’s insistence that all company boards have 50 per cent women’s representation. Shabana applauds these initiatives, but like others, says these are countries with small populations and none of the complexities that plague India.

Neha Kirpal, the young art impresario who has successfully curated the India Art Fair for several years asks a pertinent question: “Why do all the answers have to be found in this man-woman relationship? Why does all the ‘connect’ have to be in this relationship? Why do we put such a lot of pressure on this relationship? Why can’t I have a man and a woman friend who satisfies different needs? And not feel guilty about the other connects outside my marriage? There’s a sisterhood of women that is also very important.” Shabana echoes the sentiment adding women must be connected, help and mentor other women.

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