Development Fiction

Exploring 'development' through all things fiction


Gender, rights, and society

The Global Gag Rule: Can writers join the resistance?

On February 28, PAI is calling on people from across the world to join ‘a day of action’ on Twitter to speak out against President Trump’s Global Gag Rule. Ahead of this twitter chat and twitterstorm, we ask, can writers join this resistance, that has, for too long, being a subject of political back-and-forth?

Every year, over 21 million women experience unsafe abortions around the world. A majority of such unsafe abortions occur in developing countries, and risks are even higher in conflict-affected contexts. Unsafe abortion is also among the main causes of maternal mortality. President Trump’s re-introduction of the Global Gag Rule has stirred further debate and action on the already widely contested issue of abortion, and overall, on concerns around women’s sexual and reproductive health rights, as well as women’s freedom of choice and empowerment.

Continue reading “The Global Gag Rule: Can writers join the resistance?”


FGM: Can fiction change the narrative?

“I just pray that one day no woman will have to experience this pain. It will become a thing of the past. People will say “Did you hear, female genital mutilation has been outlawed in Somalia?” Then the next country, and the next, and so on, until the world is safe for all women. What a happy day that will be, and that’s what I’m working toward. In’shallah, if God is willing, it will happen. ”

Waris Dirie, Desert Flower
Continue reading “FGM: Can fiction change the narrative?”

Women’s resistance movements in film: the Suffragettes and the Gulabi Gang (in light of women’s marches protesting Trump)

A day after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the new US President, tens of thousands of women took to the streets across the United States and in more than 60 countries in protest. The new US President had previously, unashamedly, boasted about sexually assaulting women, while his brutal verbal comments at women, and his views on family planning have come under intense criticism. The marches were more widespread, however, in their message, promoting awareness of broader issues such as minority and disability rights. Such protests were seen as resonating other large-scale women’s resistance movements, particularly those such as the women’s suffrage movement.

In light of such protests and debates, I am drawn to two representations of women’s resistance movements in film: the 2015 British period-drama, Suffragette, and the 2010 documentary, Pink Saris that depicts the actions of the Gulabi Gang in India. The two productions are set almost a century apart, and in two vastly different regions. Yet, the issues they raise resonate even today. Continue reading “Women’s resistance movements in film: the Suffragettes and the Gulabi Gang (in light of women’s marches protesting Trump)”

Is fiction a representation or re-construction of reality

I briefly wrote about how, in early 2015, as part of a MA module that looked at critical approaches to development and social change, I worked on an essay exploring the role of fiction in development. I drew on two texts that have enjoyed wide success, recognition, and commendation since their publication; Khaled Hosseini’s The Kite Runner and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun.

Continue reading “Is fiction a representation or re-construction of reality”

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