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Values Guiding the use of Public Spaces and the Presnce of Women

This paper articulates the concept of space and gender using illustrations from the cultural iconography of Hindu Goddesses. The boundary and control of public and private spaces leading to differences in toleration of women within them is discussed. I apply the popular conception of values outlined within Ramayana and Mahabharata texts as they impacted Goddess Sita and Princess Draupadi. I have juxtaposed this against the cultural construction of Rani from the Bollywood cinema Queen. The paper contributes to a discussion and reflection on the values that guide women’s visibility and access in public and private spaces as a likely factor in violence or its absence against them.

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