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Kashmir gets its first women’s magazine

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir saw its first women’s magazine hit the news stands this week, but while issues such as dating and working mothers are on the contents page, politics and Islam are not.

"She’ reflects changes in the conservative Muslim state, where women are increasingly faced with the kind of choices that more liberal societies have been dealing with for far longer, the magazine said in its launch edition.

The first issue addresses topics ranging from beauty tips to breast cancer; from teenage dating to dilemmas of working women in juggling work and families.

“Societal changes have brought about new problems for women that our previous generations of sisters didn’t have to face,” the English-language magazine said in an editorial.

In its inaugural issue “She” published profiles of six young Kashmiri women who have carved out niches in journalism and television.

An increasing number of women are working in banks, post offices and other jobs unlike in the past when men were seen as the lone breadwinners.

“The magazine has been launched to create awareness among Kashmiri women about their rights and address women’s issues,” co-editor Saima Farhad said.

She said it would not tackle sensitive topics such as religion. The magazine is the brainchild of Sheeba Masoodi.

The 27-year-old wears a headscarf and is married to Muslim cleric Umar Farooq, the spiritual leader of millions in insurgency-hit Kashmir and head of the moderate arm of the separatist political alliance Hurriyat.

Their marriage in 2002 was arranged, as is still common in the subcontinent, but Farooq, 34, the leading separatist player seeking to bring peace to the flashpoint region, and Masoodi courted by email before they married.

Date posted: April 14, 2006 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 316