(P045)

Gender inequality: victimization of women in global context in tradition and modernity

Location 302
Date and Start Time 15 May, 2014 at 17:30

Convenor

Vibha Agnihotri (Nari Siksha Niketan PG College, Lucknow University) email
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Short Abstract

Modernity presents new arenas for social change to interact with tradition and modernity. This panel seeks to examine,from a gendered social problems,the varied ways in which society and community negotiate emerging and enduring social issues.

Long Abstract

The panel seeks to examine gendered social problems. The construction and implications of the notion of social problems in both policy and everyday life will also be placed under scrutiny. Who decides what social problems are and how they should or should not be dealt with? Inspite of processes of globalization and modernization gender victimization is still a major weakness of globalized world. Gender determines the power relation and resource allocation between the two sexes. It connotes that gender creates differences,which are specific to a given culture. These differences often work to the disadvantage of women. These inequalities get ramified into various forms of vulnerabilities to status of women regarding quality of life.The pace of social change in India has accelerated in recent years because of globalization trends but the problem of gender inequality in India has revealed as a new dimension despite the various political, social , economic and cultural movements. There is lack of development and upliftment of women as an entire class.

The panel will evaluate how such gender inequalities have been created and reproduced in various levels. The factor that underlay gender inequality will be thoroughly examined. Women in India are commonly portrait as among the most oppressed and majority of them are grounded in triple level of subjugation; gender, poverty, patriarchy and if they belong to lower caste of the society the problem enhances.

Chair: Dr Vibha Agnihotri
Discussant: Dr Sarika Shukla

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

The right to divorce for women (khul') in Islam gender practices in Mauritania

Author: Corinne Fortier (Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale)  email

Short Abstract

Moorish women in Mauritania display an understanding, passed down orally from mother to daughter, of certain principles and provisions of Islamic jurisprudence, that enables them to take initiatives to protect their wishes and interests when contracting and dissolving a marriage.

Long Abstract

In recent years, several Muslim countries have instituted significant legislative reforms, especially with respect to marriage (nikâh or zawaj) and divorce (talâq). In Mauritania, the government introduced the first personal status code in 2001. This code recognizes women's right to divorce (art. 92) or khul`. But this personal status code has not brought about a sociojuridical revolution, because this right has long been recognized and enforced in the Moorish society of Mauritania. Mothers instill in their daughters an awareness of their rights, especially with respect to divorce. Moorish women display an understanding, passed down orally from mother to daughter, of certain principles and provisions of Islamic jurisprendence or fiqh as understood in the Maliki school, that enables them to take initiatives to protect their wishes and interests when contracting and dissolving a marriage.

Negotiating women's socio-political space in local governance in Kerala, India

Author: Yuri Kitamura (Chikushi Jogakuen University)  email

Short Abstract

The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment brought over a million women representatives to the local self-governments in India. This paper attempts to delineate their challenges and changes they bring into panchayat governance in Kerala, the land of ‘gender paradox’.

Long Abstract

Kerala, which once gained international prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a unique model of development (Kerala model) has been challenged by the contradictions of women's low participation in politics and public sphere in spite of their high level of social development. 

The paper attempts to examine the emerging agency of the women panchayat members elected on the basis of 50% quota in the highly party-oriented local governance of Kerala. In addition to this, the paper tries to examine Kudumbashree, the state mission of gender-responsive and poverty-eradicating projects, to show how women are constructing 'social capital' through forming micro-enterprises among themselves. This econo-political shifts in the local governance provides women with more work opportunities and capabilities in the public sphere, which will eventually lead to deconstruct and reconstruct the socio-politically gender-divided space-time of Kerala.

The practice of wife battering in an urban slum: a study at Berhampur in Odisha, India

Authors: Itishree Padhi ( BJB Autonomous College, Bhubaneswar)  email
Prasanta Acharya (Naba Krushna Centre for Development Studies, Chandrasekharpur, Bhubaneswar)  email

Short Abstract

This paper tries to find out the major contributing factors of wife battering in an urban slum of Berhampur, India. Purely based on empirical data it tries to throw light on the attitude of both men and women towards wife beating and puts insights in raising awareness among them.

Long Abstract

Women though allowed to earn are incapacitated by lack of control over their own resources and earnings and suffer discrimination and violence. Thus, the changes are more superficial than penetrating. As far as our country India in concerned, family values still dominate and gender discrimination and family violence are kept as closely guarded secrets. Literature suggests that 75% rural women are regularly being beaten up by their husbands. UNICEF Global Report Card-2012 says in India 57% adolescent boys think that it is not a big thing to beat his wife and it is justified. Surprisingly 53% girls also support wife beating. Coming to Odisha, the scenario is no different. As far as urban Odisha is concerned where a number of slums have been mushroomed in last few years, the practice of wife beating is rampant. Thus, the problem of wife beating becomes more significant when a husband who is supposed to protect his wife starts beating her. The present paper purely based on empirical study takes opinions of both the victims and their husbands who are the perpetrators towards wife beating, its major contributing factors and norms to intervene strategy to raise awareness among both husband and wife in combating the problem.

The study has been conducted in a dalit slum of Berhampur, the largest city of southern Odisha. Interview schedule and focused discussions are the major tools of data collection. Few intensive case studies have also been incorporated to make the study more comprehensive.

Why women prefer home delivery

Author: Tonjam Chanu (Manipur University, India)  email

Short Abstract

The present study was collected from ever-married schedule caste women aged 15-49 years from a sample of 575 households in order to study why women prefer home delivery among the schedule caste population of Manipur by using the structural questionnaire.

Long Abstract

The data for the present study was collected from ever- married schedule caste women aged 15-49 years from a sample of 575 households in order to study why women preferred home delivery among the schedule caste population of Manipur by using the structural questionnaire. The study shows that 78% of women received ANC services from the health institute (Government hospital and private clinic) for their most recent birth in the three years preceding the survey. Overall only 33.31% of deliveries were delivered at institutional delivery. While a significant majority amount (60.9%) was delivered at home. The most important reasons for not seeking institutional delivery were the lack of transport (26.18%) and perceived not necessary (23.89%), followed by financial constraint (17.8%) and shyness or fear of hospital (16.98%). Small amounts (15.71%) were because of the not permitted by family members. Traditional home delivery was seen as culturally acceptable and competent health workers. The availability of skilled delivery care services at community, available of emergency delivery facility in primary health centre with skilled staff delivery and increasing awareness among women to seek skilled delivery care.

Gender and HIV/AIDS policies in India: critical reflections on feminist research ethics and ‘making an impact’

Author: Keerty Nakray (O.P. Jindal Global University)  email

Short Abstract

This presentation draws on reflections that emerged from in-depth interviews conducted with women living with HIV/AIDS in the Indian cities of Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi and the semi-rural Thane district. In spite of hailing from deprived communities leading lives marked by social stigma, economic privation and emotional isolation, the women were keen to participate in this research project. Women shared their experiences spontaneously and one of the prime reasons they said that they wanted to take part in this study was because they wanted ‘to be heard’. This research will map out theoretical debates on feminist research ethics and how feminists have tried to address of making an ‘impact’.

Long Abstract

The proposed presentation draws on reflections that emerged from in-depth interviews conducted with women living with HIV/AIDS in Indian cities Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi and semi-rural Thane district. In spite hailing from deprived communities leading lives marked by social stigma, economic privation and emotional isolation the women were keen to participate in this research project. Women shared their experiences spontaneously and one of the prime reasons they said that they wanted to take part in this study was because they wanted ‘to be heard’. They wanted to share their stories to make a difference to other women. The diligence and commitment displayed by the women who were braving through so many everyday challenges had an indelible impact on me as a female researcher. As a researcher who shares a cultural identity albeit the differences in class and educational status it was easy to develop an empathetic understanding of their situation and sheer enormity of their exclusion. At the same time these experiences reverberate through one’s own life experiences in both private and public space in the Indian male dominated society. At certain levels both the researcher and participants want to be change agents for other women who might not have the opportunity to become a part of a public discourse.

Recreation and artistic endeavours of transhumant Gaddi women of Bharmour

Author: Keya Pandey (University of Lucknow)  email

Short Abstract

A wide array of domestic chores, rearing and looking after children, work at agricultural fields, keep the women occupied from morning to night. Their economic activities vary according to the cycle of agricultural operations and other new economic pursuits like sericulture etc.

Long Abstract

Leisure is something which an average able-bodied Gaddi women finds with difficulty. As such they have to squeeze out some leisure in-between there multitudinous tasks. Their economic activities vary according to the cycle of agricultural operations and other new economic pursuits like sericulture, harvesting and sowing seasons are the busiest seasons of the year, when they could not find any time for recreation. Women also utilize their leisure in a more fruitful way by indulging in artistic endeavours.

India's gender equity journey: access to resources

Authors: Manashi Mohanty (College of Home Science)  email
Pritishri Parhi (College of Home Science)  email

Short Abstract

Gender inequalities in India have an adverse impact on development goals as reduces economic growth. Women’s access to all financial services, including savings, insurance, and remittance transfers and credit, is essential to allow them to benefit fully from economic opportunities.

Long Abstract

Gender discrimination continues to be an enormous problem within Indian society especially in rural area. This drastically affects women's health, financial status, education, and political involvement.

Women in many parts of India continue to face discrimination in access to land, housing, property and other productive resources and have limited access to technologies and services that could alleviate their work burdens. Unequal access to resources limits women's capacity to ensure agricultural productivity, livelihoods security, and food security and is increasingly linked to poverty, migration, urbanization. Population growths, climate change, the spread of markets and urbanization have created new opportunities and new challenges in women's access to land, housing and other productive resources. Women's access to all financial services, including savings, insurance, and remittance transfers and credit, is essential to allow them to benefit fully from economic opportunities. Legal, institutional and socio cultural barriers often, however, limit women's access to these services.

Gender inequality is a problem that has a solution. Ensuring women's economic empowerment and access to and control over resources requires an integrated approach to growth and development, focused on gender-responsive employment promotion and informed by the interdependency between economic and social development. Social objectives need to be incorporated into economic policies. Economic growth strategies should give attention to the real economy and focus on creating a gender sensitive macroeconomic environment, full employment and decent work, access to land, property and other productive resources as well as financial services, and full coverage of social protection measures.

Women's rights are human rights

Author: Vandana Upreti (N.S.N PG College)  email

Short Abstract

India has made several laws to protect the rights of women in the country. However, like any other law, these too can be bent or broken and taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals. Money and muscle power also play a role in all this.

Long Abstract

The government of India has formulated many laws to protect the rights of women who are being ill-treated by their husbands and in-laws. But how many of these laws really help women gain custody of their children and protect their property? The woman's husband and in-laws usually claim all the wealth and property and also the custody of the child.

The women's movement has been among the most articulate, and heard, in the public arena. The woman as a victim of dowry, domestic violence, liquor, rape and custodial violence has constituted one discourse. Located partly in the women's rights movement, and partly in the campaign against AIDS, women in prostitution have acquired visibility. The question of the practice of prostitution being considered as 'sex work' has been variously raised, while there has been a gathering unanimity on protecting the women in prostitution from harassment by the law.

The Uniform Civil Code debate, contesting the inequality imposed on women by 'personal' laws has been resurrected, diverted and re-started. Representation, through reservation of women in parliament and state legislatures has followed the mandated presence of women in panchayats. 'Women's rights are human rights' has demanded a re-construction of the understanding of human rights as being directed against action and inaction of the state and agents of the state. Patriarchy has entered the domain of human rights as nurturing the offend.

Crossing the bridge between tradition and modernity: the changing trends. A case-study of Lucknow city, Uttar Pradesh, India

Authors: Sarika Shukla (I.T.P.G.College, Lucknow University)  email
Ira Shukla (VIT University)  email

Short Abstract

LPG policy introduced in the 1990's ushered in an era of modernisation. This wave transformed not only our economy but also our thoughts and beliefs. Women's education and her entry into the professional world ensured her growth and liberalisation. Present alpha male tries to encourage her success.

Long Abstract

"A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult", Melinda Gates. These words hold true for the female species all over the world and particularly so in India. The journey from purdah to corporate suits, from the kitchen to the boardroom has been arduous and long indeed. Though goal had been hard, it has been achieved.

The women of today are no longer struggling caterpillars. They have metamorphosed into magnificent butterflies who are ready to conquer the world. Be it the corporate or the academic world-the men count her in as a strong competitor and a stronger friend. However, the success has come at some cost. Breaking the barriers and meeting the high expectations of being the avatar of traditional values while also being a working women has come with its own set of challenges. Stress, nuclear families, failing relationships haunt her.Gender inequality in the subconscious of the average Indian stalks her. Still, the good part is that their spouses are increasingly taking pride in their successes and helping them achieve greater heights.The alpha male seems to be increasingly ready to accept and adjust to the greater role his wife has in the society.

But is this enough? Is the initial struggle justified? Do the norms of society support her or do they still make her fight the same battle everyday?

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Gender diversity in the socio-economic and health status of Dalit women of Lucknow city

Authors: Vibha Agnihotri (Nari Siksha Niketan PG College, Lucknow University)  email
Vinamrata Agnihotri (Wisdom Mart)  email

Short Abstract

There are multiple cultural barriers and social evils that influence women which operate at every level of society. Dalit women face discrimation and exploitation based not only based on gender but also caste and poverty. The present study is based on gender and caste disparities.

Long Abstract

In India caste system is the living reality and in caste hierarchy Brahmins occupy highest whereas Dalit are those at the bottom of social hierarchy also engaged in all the low level occupations irrespective of the level of development of the society. Slums in India inhabited largely by the urban poor were earlier labeled as areas of despair signifying pessimism among those dwelling in them. Urban poor are not hopeful of a better future and they lack high ambitions and motives thus making them as frustrated and desperate as in earlier periods. The female population in the slum areas is oppressed in several ways but being a part of the Dalit Community makes their lives even more difficult. The present study explored that how the various socio-economic variables like education,occupation,age at marriage, the type of family, family planning practices etc. effect the women in these areas, a greater understanding of the problem in hand is likely to be obtained the findings. All women face discrimination & exploitation based on gender, caste & poverty. Apart from poverty, other contributing factors to poor health among the urban poor, is the low awareness and malpractice of ended health practices.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.