Feb 21, 2021Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Nikhil Halwalkarjust now

This rings so true... My wife has a mandatory loo inspection checklist when she goes for Job Interviews....

When i ask her how the interview and stuff, i remember her commenting on the hygiene of loo as a part of her evaluation process for the company she wants to work with....

I sometimes laughed at her pickiness.. then one fine day i had to accompany my 5 year daughter in a public loo is a mall.... she insisted on being in girls toilet... With obvious indignation and suspicion, i was made to wait at the door by the ladies traversing inside... And I kept wondering on the hygiene and cleanliness and my kid navigating on her own...

Btw below link is from movie Hidden Figures... this movie is in racial discrimination, the scene standa for me for what basic needs of your team you need to think of as a manager...

Women continue to be hidden figures in our corporates sometimes... All the more reason to raise your voice be heard on such basic needs issues.


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Feb 6, 2021Liked by Mahima Vashisht

Realistic writing.We have personally experienced during temple visits where the ladies toilets are kept locked

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Jan 8, 2021Liked by Mahima Vashisht

What a great newsletter, Mahima! 5 years ago, when I returned to maternity leave and wanted to pump at work, I was met with a lot of blank faces and expressions. The only reason I ever got the guts to ask if I could pump was because a colleague of mine had done it the previous year and the admin person was kind enough to allocate an empty cabin (which i had to frequently switch because it would get booked for meetings) twice a day for 20 minutes. when I asked my boss if I could get ten minutes twice a day to pump, she looked vague as if its the first time she had ever heard of it. I assured her I had all the necessary equipment and I was simply informing her that I would need to disappear for 20 mins everyday. sigh. all in all, at least 5 years ago, pumping wasn't commonplace for other mums coming back from maternity leave (at least none of the other mothers in my workplace who joined back around the same time I did, did it). sadly, going back to work simply seemed to mean having to wean baby from breastfeeding. i mean, I don't mind this If its an empowered choice but when its 2015 and we have technology like automatic, two-sided breast pumps, why should we wean a baby completely! i see a lot of women now using breast pumps that seem a breeze to use under one's clothes and when one's sitting in their own seats or in meetings- i hope this becomes more common and not a rare, privileged thing. meanwhile, here's hoping mothers' rooms and breast pumping stations become common place in indian workplaces.

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Jan 2, 2021Liked by Mahima Vashisht

This reminds me of my very short time at leadong indian magazine. One of the women two floors downstairs in the women's magazine/admin area had to climb two floors up to come to relieve herself everything because they didn't have a women's toilet on said floor. The editor in chief of course had his own attached toilet because of course he would not have to pee with the commoners. I've heard stories of how filthy toilets even places like Nykaa or good earth or nicobar have for their women. Or just don't. The line when men say other people they just mean other men was spot on. Women aren't humans. And all our biological needs are just an inconvenience. Because that reminds them that we are human or trying to be human. I gagged at the story about male colleagues peeing all over the women's toilet and spreading malicious rumors just cause one toilet was reserved for two lone women. This is extremely pathetic how men resort to extremely barbaric behavior to assert territory. It's almost as if men don't know how to human either. And their definition of being human is how poorly they treat each other as men to begin with. I also wanted to add that in my stint with a water and sanitation organization I realized how badly women were assaulted or attacked when they just went out to relieve themselves outdoors because of lack of toilets. How girls drop out of schools because they have no clean toilets. The barbaric rape in UP several years ago when the girls were hung from a tree also happened when they were out to the fields just to pee. Toilets are a feminist issue. And denying women the basic need to have a safe space to pee or defecate is one of the most barbaric things a system meant for men perpetuates. Its dehumanizing. Even jails have separate toilets for women.

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I have a positive story on this. A few months ago, I started working with a politician here in Delhi. Took me half a day to realize the absent bathroom situation, you see I was the only other woman in the office at the time and the former one was making do with the gross guest bathroom. Took me three days to gather the courage and the correct articulation to demand myself and my other female colleague a proper women's only bathroom. The operations person heard me out and the devised solution was to switch our office with the boss's for easy access to a bathroom that was now labelled 'Women's Only'. PS: I too did not drink any liquids those first few days. But yes, the absence of proper clean and hygienic public bathrooms for women in India has always made me mindful of my fluid intake.

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