‘To survive, I must appear fearless’: the former nun helping India’s garment workers fight sexual violence
Sexual harassment and assault are rife in the factories that supply some of the world’s leading fashion brands. In Tamil Nadu, union leader Thiyva Rakini is trying to change that
Many years ago, when Thivya Rakini was working as a domestic violence activist helping women to escape abusive husbands across the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, she took a pair of scissors and cut her long black hair back to the nape of her neck.
“Without my hair, I suddenly looked very frightening to a lot of people who couldn’t believe a woman would cut away her femininity like that,” she says. “I was sending a signal that that those men shouldn’t try to mess with me. Inside, I am really a very tender-hearted person but to survive I have learned that I must appear fearless.”Continue reading...