From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NA
Mains level : women empowerment
- Due to prevalence of patriarchy women have been discriminated not only in India but in most parts of the world. According to The United Nations, one out of every three women experience domestic violence. The same UN report suggests that the most dangerous place for women is their home. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential for the development and well-being of families, communities and nations.
How UN women defines Violence against women and girls
- Any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
Why Women are the victim?
- Domestic violence is one of the most common forms of violence experienced by women globally.
- Women are usually the victim of domestic violence that derives from unequal power relationships between men and women.
Why there is recent spike in violence against women?
- According to UN, Violence against women and girls is one of the world’s most prevalent human rights violations, taking place every day, many times over, in every corner of the world.
- Conditions created by the pandemic – including lockdowns, reduced mobility, heightened isolation, stress and economic uncertainty have led to an alarming spike in domestic violence and have further exposed women and girls to other forms of violence, from child marriage to sexual harassment online.
What is Domestic violence?
- Domestic violence is any pattern of behavior that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. It encompasses all physical, sexual, emotional, economic and psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.
- Domestic violence can include the following.
- Psychological violence: Psychological violence involves causing fear, threatening physical harm or forcing isolation from friends, family, school or work.
- Economic violence: Making or attempting to make a person financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources.
- Emotional violence: Undermining a person’s sense of self-worth through constant criticism; belittling one’s abilities; verbal abuse.
- Physical violence: Use of Physical force or hurting or trying to hurt a partner .it also includes denying medical care.
- Sexual violence: Forcing a partner to take part in a sex act when the partner does not consent
What is the current Status in India?
- Nearly one-third of women in India have experienced physical or sexual violence
- The most common type of spousal violence is physical violence (28%), followed by emotional violence and sexual violence
- While domestic violence against women has declined from 31.2% to 29.3% in the country, 30% women between the age of 18 and 49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15 years, while 6% have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime,.
- Only 14% of women who have experienced physical or sexual violence by anyone have brought the issue up.
- 32% of married women (18-49 years) have experienced physical, sexual, or emotional spousal violence.
Recent findings from National Family health Survey Report-5
- Status: Domestic violence against women is highest in Karnataka at 48%, followed by Bihar, Telangana, Manipur and Tamil Nadu. Lakshawdeep has the least domestic violence at 2.1%.
- Rural–urban difference: Physical violence is more common among women in rural areas (32%) as compared to their urban areas (24%).
- Impact of schooling and education: 40% women with no schooling are subject to physical violence compared to 18% who completed their schooling.
- Impact of employment and wealth: The experience of physical violence ranges between 39% among women in the lowest wealth quintile and 17% in the highest wealth quintile.
Why women left behind as compared to men in India?
- Patriarchal structure: Patriarchal structures and ideologies and the mindset lead to women subordination and gender inequalities
- Low sex ratio: Sex ratios for women in India Is not good comparatively. It was even bad at the time of independence.
- Life expectancy: Women’s life expectancy, health, nutritional levels are significantly lower than that of men.
- Education: low investment on girl education, Girl children are kept out of schools, or made drop out of school at early age, girl is considered as burden on family in many societies.
- Employment: even if they are educated they are not allowed to work by their families Discrimination at the workplaces, lower wages for the work of equal value.
- Decision making: The have little say in the families, socio economic, legal and political rules and policy formulations. Very limited or no decision making power.
- Political participation: The participation of women in political and social decision making power is abysmally low. Their number in parliament has never exceeded more than 10%.
- Recognition: Recognition of women as productive, vital agents of family and environment should be a precondition for addressing their social needs. We need to change the way they are perceived.
- Treatment: They must not be only treated only as objects of welfare but needed to be treated as those who are contributing to the economy.
- Health: To provide quality and affordable healthcare and must be easily accessible.
- Education: Education of women is the most important component for women’s empowerment.
- Safe and secure environment: providing safety and security is the precondition for empowerment and social justice.
- Economic Independence: Helping women to stand on their legs, become independent and also to earn for their family is necessary to empowering women and to raise their hand in decision making process of family, society and nation
Woman as the foundation stone of every family, society and nation
- India has an ancient woman worship tradition.
- In India we see woman as a mother goddess. There are no of evidences to support this idea
- For instance the Sanskrit text “Yatra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra Devata”which means where women are honored, there gods resides.
- Which means there is a overall development if the women of the family is happy.
- Domestic violence against women is major obstacle on progress on achieving development targets. Without addressing it, anybody have little chance of meeting millennium development. Recognition of women as productive, vital agents of family and environment should be a precondition for addressing their social needs. Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential for the development and well-being of families, communities and nations.
Q. Empowering women on every front is the pre-condition for the overall development of the nation. Discuss.