Her book Sex and Power: Defining History, Shaping Societies was released by Penguin Books in 2008 (Penguin Global, 2009). She is the founder and director of The 50 Million Missing Campaign, an online, global campaign working to stop the female genocide (gendercide) in India. An International, award-winning campaign, The 50 Million Missing Campaign is the largest, grassroots lobby to end female gendercide and is supported by more than half a million people from over 200 countries. It is a zero fund campaign that runs entirely on volunteer effort. The Campaign was selected as a Finalist for the 2013 Katerva Award in the Gender Equality Category. The Katerva Award highlights the most ground-breaking projects from around the world and has been referred to as “the Nobel Prize of Sustainability.” The campaign also won the Katerva Awards’ People’s Choice Honorable Mention. The 50 Million Missing has been nominated for The Shorty Awards which honors the best content producers on social media. In 2015, European Students for Liberty recognized Rita Banerji among ‘Six Women Who are Changing the World.‘ The ‘Wear Your Voice’ magazine voted her among ‘30 Of the Most Influential Women of 2015.’ The Readers Club of Delhi lists her among ‘Indian Feminist Writers You Can’t Afford to Miss.’
WRITINGS & PHOTOGRPAHY
Sex and Power: Defining History, Shaping Societies was a culmination of a five-year, in-depth, social and historical study of gender and sexuality in context of power in India. The book looks at how and why the concept of sexual morality and the sexual customs changed in each historical period in India, and has been described by The Telegraph as “An extraordinary take on a subject still a taboo [and].. a new interpretation of Indian history.” The book also looks at how this power hierarchy of gender and sexuality has lead to India’s ongoing female gendercide. The book was long-listed for the 2008 Crossword-Vodaphone Non-fiction Book Award. In 2009 the book reached the no.1 spot on Crossword’s best-sellers list in Kolkata. For the reviews, excerpts and other details about the book click here.
Banerji received the Apex Award of Excellence for Magazine and Journal Writing (U.S.A.) in 2009.
She is also a contributing photographer for Getty’s Images.
Her writings and photography have been published in magazines and newspapers in the USA, U.K., India, Nepal, Hong Kong and Australia. The publications include The Huffington Post, Intersections, Hysteria, The London Magazine, The Lyon Review, Women’s Web, The Women’s International Perspective, Youth ki Awaaz, Gender Forum, Women’s News Network, Masalamommas, New Orleans Review, and India Today.
She runs two personal blogs
Rita was born and raised in 17 towns and cities all over India. At 18 she moved to the U.S.A. where she lived for 11 years. She attended Mount Holyoke College and George Washington University in the U.S. Her fields of study were Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Cultural Anthropology, and she worked largely in the environmental field. Many of her projects had a gender perspective. She has worked with the Chipko women’s movement in India (under the supervision of Dr. Vandana Shiva), and with the Institute for Policy Studies and The World Resources Institute in Washington D.C.
AWARDS AND HONORS:
Long-listed for the Vodaphone-Crossword Non-Fiction Book Award (India)
National Award from the Association for Women in Science, Washington D.C. for Ph.D. research on acid rain (U.S.A.) [click to view announcement]
Morgan Adams Award in Biology for Ph.D. Research (U.S.A.)
Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, Associate member (-Ex)
Botanical Society of America’s Young Botanist Recognition Award
Howard Hughes Grant for research in genetics
Award for Student Leadership and Service, Mount Holyoke College
Charles A. Dana Fellowship for Research in Ecology
President’s Award for Commitment and Contribution to Campus Life, Mount Holyoke