What is working and what’s not
The number of women who are victims of crime are on the rise and include particularly brutal crimes like murders of dowries, rapes and honour murders. These patterns are troubling because a normal prediction would be that with increased growth comes prosperity and education, and the possibility of a decline in the adherence to the traditional social norms and gender roles that keep women behind.
Sons have a preference
The cultural institutions of India and in particular, those of patrilineality (inheritance through male descendants) and patrilocality (married couples who live close to the spouse’s parents) have a significant function in perpetuating gender inequalities and the notion of gender-appropriate behavior.
It is often the case that violence involving dowry against women by husbands and spouses, especially if the dowry was seen as insufficient or used as a reason to demand more money.
These practices encourage parents not to have girls children or spend less on girls’ education and health. This is evident in the increasingly masculine gender ratios across India. In 2011, the ratio was 919 girls aged under six in 1000 boys despite sex-based discrimination being banned in India.
This exacerbates the plight that is imposed on Indian women and places them at risk of being victims of violence within their families. As per the National Family and Health Survey 2005-2006, 37 percent of married women were victimized by sexual or physical assaults by their spouses.
Women demand an investigation into sexual assaults and rapes within Haryana state. Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters
There is an obvious need for government initiatives to empower women since gender inequality in India persists despite the economic boom.
The literature on the current state of affairs provides suggestions for policies that have proven successful to date. One innovative policy test in governance at the village level that required women be represented at least one third of the time in leadership positions locally has produced promising outcomes.
The evaluations of this affirmative action policy have shown that in villages governed by females, interests of women are more represented as well as women feel more comfortable in bringing to light crimes that they earlier be hesitant to be brought to the attention of authorities.
Female leaders are also examples and encourage career and academic goals for girls in the adolescent years and the parents of their children..
Behavioural research studies show that although in the short term there’s a backlash among males as gender stereotypes are in question However, it is a fact that the negative stereotype will eventually fade away. This highlights the need for constant affirmative action in order to lessen the gender bias.
Another change in policy aimed at ensuring equal rights to inheritance rights between daughters and sons is receiving more mixed reaction. On the other side, it resulted in an increase in education levels and a younger age for marriage daughters; however, on the other hand, it increased the likelihood of spousal conflict, which led to increased domestic violence.
Improved prospects for employment can also help women become more empowered. A significant research study on randomisation found that job recruiters’ visits to villages in order to provide information to women in their early years resulted in positive changes to their participation in the labour market and the enrollment into professional education.
It also resulted in an increase in the ages of getting married and having children, a decrease in the desired amount of kids, as well as an increase in the number of school enrollments of girls younger than the age to the program.
The recent initiatives in the field of training and attracting young rural women for factories-based jobs in cities offer an economic freedom and social autonomy they were not used to in their homes by their parents.