Asia

Opportunities and Challenges of Women's Political Participation in India

Opportunities and Challenges of Women's Political Participation in India
A Synthesis of Research Findings from Select Districts in India

Nandita Bhatla, Sunayana Walia, Tina Khanna, Ravi Verma
2012

 

This series of reports highlight the findings from an ICRW study that was conducted as part of a UN Women program titled “Promoting Women’s Political Leadership and Governance in India and South Asia.” ICRW researchers surveyed nearly 3,000 elected female and male village leaders as well as collected qualitative data from other stakeholders to determine whether the local governing bodies - Panchayati Raj Institutions - are platforms where gender issues are raised, discussed and acted upon.
 
The study finds that there is a sharp disconnect between the frequency with which women privately raise gender issues – especially domestic violence – with their representatives and the frequency with which those issues are brought to the table during panchayat meetings. Traditional attitudes among both women and men elected leaders around domestic violence contribute to it being perceived as outside the realm of public and political discourse. Yet, there is perceived space and commitment to discuss such issues, as a small but not insignificant proportion of elected representatives raise them in meetings.
 
The reports make an important contribution to the discourse on gender responsive governance, and include recommendations to make local governing bodies more responsive to women’s needs and concerns. 
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We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

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Maps for change: Making Delhi safer for women

Tue, 03/26/2013
Kashmir Times

ICRW's work with the Safer Cities Programme in Delhi is mentioned as one initiative that is trying to make public spaces safe for women. 

Why India Still Allows Marital Rape

Tue, 03/26/2013
Wall Street Journal, India Real Time

This exploration of the political and religious barriers to criminalizing marital rape cites ICRW's International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) to show the prevalence of marital rape in India.  

Asia Child Marriage Initiative: Summary of Research Findings in Bangladesh, India and Nepal

Asia Child Marriage Initiative: Summary of Research Findings in Bangladesh, India and Nepal

Ravi Verma, Tara Sinha, Tina Khanna
2013

The Plan Asia Regional Office invited ICRW to carry out a three-country study in Bangladesh, India and Nepal to inform its programming to prevent child marriage among girls. ICRW gathered qualitative data in each country from girls and boys, parents, community leaders and government officials. 

This report highlights these stakeholders' perceptions of the causes and consequences of child marriage and their views about the effectiveness of prevention strategies adopted by Plan, other NGOs and the government. In particular, the study examines:

  • Education patterns and changing trends among girls and boys
  • Aspirations of young persons and parents
  • Perceptions of the importance of marriage
  • Decision-making and child rights
  • Knowledge about and adherence to marriage laws

The report concludes with timely program, policy and research recommendations that are relevant not only in South Asia but in other regions where child marriage is a major health, development and human rights issue. 

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We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

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Child marriage is too big a problem to ignore

Wed, 03/13/2013
AlertNet

Plan International discusses the findings of their new report on child marriage in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal, which was researched by ICRW. 

Blueprint for Reducing HIV-related Stigma in India

ICRW researchers worked in partnership with five organizations in three states in India to carry out a variety of activities aimed at decreasing HIV-related stigma and discrimination. The project took place among university faculty, female sex workers living with HIV, local government members, hospital workers and leadership teams in workplaces. ICRW spoke with some of the participants about how the project has changed their attitudes.

Fertility Decline and Changes in Women’s Lives and Gender Equality in Tamil Nadu, India

Fertility Decline and Changes in Women’s Lives and Gender Equality in Tamil Nadu, India

Rohini Pande, consultant; Anju Malhotra, UNICEF; Sophie Namy, International Center for Research on Women
2012

In this paper we analyze the relationship between fertility decline, and changes in women’s lives, gender equality and gender relations in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu over the last 40-50 years. Using secondary quantitative analysis, published and unpublished quantitative and qualitative research, and interviews with experts, we examine how fertility decline in Tamil Nadu manifested in changes in the social and economic value of children, the shift from a focus on having a large quantity of children to investing more in fewer children, and the shrinkage of women’s lifespan devoted to childbearing. In turn, we explore how these changes have influenced specific domains of women’s lives, gender equality and gender relations.  We also describe how Tamil Nadu’s history of progressive social activism, combined with economic poverty until recently, has influenced these dynamics.  We find that, following fertility decline, women’s lives have improved in the realms of higher education, marriage spousal choice, and – to some extent – employment opportunities.  Gender inequality also has decreased in education and employment. However, these changes have yet to lead to notable shifts in societal gender relations and norms, as manifested in marriage practices, dowry, and intimate partner violence.

(548.65 KB)

We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

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Jeff Edmeades discusses child marriage on BBC Radio

Jeff Edmeades discusses the situation of child marriage in Ethiopia and Afghanistan. His 5-minute live interview with BBC Radio 5 begins at mark 3:20

Gap Inc. P.A.C.E. - Advancing Women to Advance the World

In 2007, Gap Inc. launched P.A.C.E. to provide female garment worked with the life skills, education and technical training they need to advance at work and in life. So far, 14,000 women have participated in the P.A.C.E. program. ICRW continues to evaluate the program's impact globally under the leadership of Priya Nanda, group director of social and economic development at ICRW's Asia Regional Office.

In this video, meet Sujatha, a participant in Gap Inc.'s P.A.C.E. program.

Fertility Decline and Women’s Empowerment in China

Fertility Decline and Women’s Empowerment in China

Xiaogang Wu, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Hua Ye, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Gloria Guangye He, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
2012

The literature typically treats fertility decline in developing countries as an indicator of women’s status improvement, based on the assumption that women have greater decision making power on childbearing as their status improves. This paper investigates whether and how fertility decline leads to reduction in gender inequality and the improvement of women’s status in China. Based on the analyses of data from two nationally representative surveys, we show that women with lower fertility do less housework and tend to be more satisfied with their status within family than women with higher fertility. Such effects are more pronounced for women in more recent marital cohorts. Across generations, lower fertility implies fewer siblings and daughters benefit more in terms of years of schooling and subsequently occupational attainment.

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We encourage the use and dissemination of our publications for non-commercial, educational purposes. Portions may be reproduced with acknowledgment to the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). For questions, please contact publications@icrw.org; or (202) 797-0007.

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