Pew Research Centre's report highlights perception of Indians on Gender Equality

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Pew Research Centre's report highlights perception of Indians on Gender Equality

  • Women are accepted as political leaders by Indians but they mostly favour traditional gender roles in family life, says a report released by the Pew Research Centre
  • The study titled ‘How Indians View Gender Roles in Families and Society’ is based on a survey of 29,999 Indian adults conducted from November 2019 to March 2020.

Findings about perception for Women

  • Gender Roles: Although most Indians expressed egalitarian views on gender roles, with 62% saying that both men and women should be responsible for child care
  • But traditional norms still influence thinking of people as 34% are favour that child care should be handled primarily by women
  • Bread Winning: while a slim majority (54%) says that both men and women should be responsible for earning money, as many as 43% believed that earning an income is mainly the obligation of men.
  • Job Preference: 80% of Indians agreed with the idea that when there are few jobs, men should have more rights to a job than women.

Findings & Perception about Political participation of Women

  • Gender equality remains a distant dream in Indian politics.
  • Women are almost half of India’s voter base, yet they made up just 14% of all people elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019.
  • Political parties field women on only a handful of seats in any election.
  • Reasons for poor engagement of Women in Politics:stereotyped obligations such as managing household chores, which are traditionally assigned to women, and disproportionate burden of family care.
  • Indians in the Pew survey showed a strong tendency to accept women as political leaders, * Majority (55%) were in favour that either women and men make equally good political leaders or that women can make better leaders than men (14%).

Perception about Son/Daughter Preference

  • There is equal value for sons and daughters
  • But nearly 94% favour that it is very important for a family to have at least one son, with the corresponding figure for daughters being 90%.
  • Right to Inherit Property: about 64% of Indians also said that sons and daughters should have equal rights to inheritance from parents.
  • Parents Care: four-in-ten adults favoured that sons should have the primary responsibility to care for ageing parents and only 2% favoured the same about daughters.
  • Sex Selective Abortion: 40% of Indians saw “sex selective abortion as acceptable in at least some circumstances”.
  • While 42% found this practice “completely unacceptable”

Role of History in present status of Women

  • It is being noted by the report that prevalent gender norms are part of a wider phenomenon in Indian society
  • Due to variety of historical, social, religious and economic reasons, families tend to place higher value on sons rather than daughters

Comparison of Gender attitude in India with rest of the world

  • The study notes that a global median of 70% said that it was very important for women to have the same rights as men,
  • It found a similar ratio in India with 72% of Indians saying gender equality is very important. * Comparison with Developed countries: Indians were less likely than people in North America (92% median), Western Europe (90%), and Latin America (82%) to place a high value on gender equality.
  • Comparison with Least Developed countries: They were more likely to do so compared to sub-Saharan Africa (48% median) and the Middle-East-Northern Africa region (44%).
  • Comparison with South Asian countries: Within South Asia, Indians were more likely to bat for gender equality than Pakistanis (72% to 64%).

Gender Equality

  • It is being pointed out by the report that “despite broadly aligning with global public opinion on equal rights for women, Indians tend to be more conservative than people in most other countries surveyed when it comes to gender dynamics in the home and in the economy.

Way Forward

  • The report has noted that India has moved forward from its orthodox and patriarchal perception about Women but it is still behind the world in this respect. Indians should go forward by changing their thought process regarding women in different fields so that overall empowerment of women and ultimately of the Nation can take place