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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

‘Chokhri’ Is Raising Awareness About Women’s Sexuality Through Crowd-Sourced Stories

  • IWB Post
  •  June 13, 2018

I remember my friend crying over the phone after a visit to her condescending gynaecologist who gave her an earful for having premarital sex and threatened to even raise the matter with her parents. My friend, by the way, was 25 when that happened.

Now imagine if that is how a qualified doctor reacts to the idea of an adult woman having sex how much worse it might get in a society where a woman is always either a saint or a sinner and never a normal human with basic rights and desires.

Living in a society where the idea of sex and sin go hand in hand, the mathematics gets pretty complicated and the weight of unspoken rules quiet heavy. In fact, the entire idea of sex is marred by so big a taboo that topics like women’s sexual health and unwanted pregnancies hardly see the light of the day. The idea of sex and pleasure as choices is downright revolting and the thought that a woman can have sex just for pleasure in an assault on the society which has minds as open as traps.

Chokhri is an online platform that is on a mission to address this issue by “Data collection and crowdsourced stories on sexual health, rape, assault and workplace harassment.”

“Chokhri is a singular effort to create a mosaic of women’s experiences; to amplify our voices, enhance agency, and attempt to quash the current feminist rhetoric. We want to crowdsource stories and resources from a vast interconnected network of women and their experiences,” says the Who we are section of their website.

They have initiated the movement because they are of the belief that our ecosystem today “is in violation of our most basic rights, further magnified by a lack of resources and education, and the inability to talk about taboo topics.”

They strongly assert that “to treat sex as anything less than necessary, healthy, and a talking point is to do a disservice to women and society.”

“Let’s heighten public consciousness and amplify our voices. Chokhris for collective advocacy,” they say and we stand by them.

Chokhri has been posting videos of real women on Instagram where they raise their concerns, express their desires and basically talk about all things sex.

Here are some of the videos that would reassure you that you are not the only one struggling with your sexual health, the lack of information around it, pesky gynaecologists, contraception and unwanted pregnancies:

Our next question and our most favourite one yet. Where did you learn about the female orgasm and masturbation? Beyond Sidney Sheldon, 50 Shades of Grey, a PG 13 introduction via Sweet Valley and our eternal pre pubescent guide Cosmopolitan, did your group of girlfriends ever discuss touching themselves? Have you noticed how sex is portrayed as a prize men get from women, or some sort of transactionary tool? Ladies, it is okay to feel desire, it is okay to watch porn, and it is even better to explore. Can we just a minute to discuss all the popular culture references of male masturbation and how normalised it is (hey American Pie), and the severe lack of female orgasm references? Here’s to happy, healthy and frequent masturbation sessions, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Hit us up for female friendly options. Xx PS: Placing a side wager for how many men take this as an open invitation. We will be posting. Love Chokhri #sex #incredibleindia #femalefriendly #sexualrights #masturbation

42 Likes, 1 Comments – Chokhri (@chokhritalks) on Instagram: “Our next question and our most favourite one yet. Where did you learn about the female orgasm and…”

A survey conducted in 2007 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suggests that only 22.9% of men, and 28% of women were aware that medical abortions are possible and available. A large number of people still remain unaware that by law, they have the right to access abortions in India.” Is this any different in 2018? And where does a girl go, a space without moral policing/the pressure of marriage/stigma/judgement and parental consent? All this on top of feeling physical and emotional consequences of terminating a pregnancy. #chokhristalk

39 Likes, 2 Comments – Chokhri (@chokhritalks) on Instagram: “A survey conducted in 2007 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suggests that only 22.9% of…”

May, 2017: the Supreme Court of India denied a medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) to Z., a 35-year old woman from Patna, Bihar living with HIV who became pregnant as a result of rape. Although Indian law permits MTP until 20 weeks on several grounds, including rape and risks to the pregnant woman’s health, Z.’s request for an abortion was denied by a government hospital which improperly demanded spousal and parental consent, despite the fact that the law requires neither for adult women. Although the Supreme Court recognized that Z.’s rights had been violated as the result of improper requirements imposed on her, she was ultimately denied an abortion because she was nearly 26 weeks pregnant by the time she was able to file the appeal. Via Centre for Reproductive Rights. You may be given the right, but what does it mean in practice, and should we standing up for our reproductive rights? #chokhristalk

41 Likes, 2 Comments – Chokhri (@chokhritalks) on Instagram: “May, 2017: the Supreme Court of India denied a medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) to Z., a…”

Medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) has been legal in India under certain conditions since the passage of the Act in 1971. India is one of the first few countries to legalise abortions. A survey conducted in 2007 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare suggests that only 22.9% of men, and 28% of women were aware that medical abortions are legal. Source CREA @caroline.zeliang on accessing abortions and the support services around it even though it is legal. Pro-choice or not, what do you know of legitimate abortion clinics? Share your experience via DM, or log on to www.Chokhri.com #chokhri #chokhristalk #metoo #lahukalagaan #iwillgoout #positionofstrength #womensmarch #heforshe #timesup #speakup #speakout #nomeansno #abortion #prochoice #plannedparenthood #uterus #womensrights #womensrightsarehumanrights #reproductiverights #reproductivejustice #feminist #thefutureisfemale #feministaf

715 Likes, 8 Comments – Chokhri (@chokhritalks) on Instagram: “Medical termination of pregnancy (MTP) has been legal in India under certain conditions since the…”

India was the first country in the world to have launched a National Programme for Family Planning in 1952. “Studies show that if the current unmet need for family planning could be fulfilled over the next 5 years, we can avert 35,000 maternal deaths, 1.2 million infant death, save more than Rs 4450 crores and save Rs 6500 crores, if safe abortion services are coupled with increased family planning services.” Source: Ministry of health and family welfare report 2015-16 One last question: Why only family planning? WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM: 1) SINGLE/UNMARRIED AND SEXUALLY ACTIVE 2) NOT PLANNING A FAMILY Write to us at www.Chokhri.com. Let us make a data collection point. Let us do it together. #iwillgoout #incredibleindia #india #maritalrape #thefutureisfemale #womensrightsarehumanrights #womensrights #india #familyplanning

1,275 Likes, 24 Comments – Chokhri (@chokhritalks) on Instagram: “India was the first country in the world to have launched a National Programme for Family Planning…”

 

 

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