Dear 8th grade Students,
Here’s the presentation that Mr. Babcock presented during the advisory lessons. Please take a closer look and follow the links to the sources for more info.
General Overview: http://www.un.org/en/globalissues/briefingpapers/endviol/index.shtml
‘Missing women‘ refers to the idea that there are more men than women in India than one would expect, either because there are fewer girls born due to some form of sex selection or because girls and women don’t live as long as we would expect. There are many causes for this and it’s a complicated statistical problem, especially when we consider that in almost all human populations there more boys are born than girls, naturally. But in many Indian states, the numbers are much more skewed than they would be naturally. Furthermore, we find that women in India tend to die earlier than men, even when we adjust for differences in health care and income. Here are some interesting resources to look at if you want to research this:
- Sex Ratios and Gender Biased Sex Selection History, Debates and Future Directions a report for UN Women.
- ‘India’s missing women by age and state‘ digs into so some of the complexities involved in determining when women go ‘missing’. If you really want to go deeper, you can look at the research paper it is based on.
- ‘Child Sex Ratio In Haryana Touches 900 Mark For The First Time Two Decades‘–A 2017 story about gains made in Haryana.
- Sex Ratio Map of India: shows not all states are the same.
- The Red Sea: art for awareness along with much good information
- Haryana’s lonely bachelors
- India’s Missing Women – Where Will the Bachelors Go
- No More Guarantees of a Son
- The worldwide war on baby girls
- video: Frontline World India the Missing Girls PBS
- video: It’s A Girl!
Some statistics on violence against women: ‘Crimes against women reported every two minutes in India’.
Rape statistics are often more complex than they look. Many, for example, involve charges brought by parents against young couples who run away together. Here’s an analysis by The Hindu: ‘The many shades of rape cases in Delhi’.
Can wearing a hijab be an act of women’s empowerment? Read: ‘#Muslimahchic: The young and fashionable hijabi revolution on social media.’
Grassroots women’s organizations: Women in India have organized in many ways to stand up for their rights. Here are a few of the many efforts:
- The Gulabi Gang: This organization began when Sampat Pal Devi, a dalit woman from Uttar Pradesh saw a woman being beaten by her husband. Devi responded by organizing a group of women to thrash the man! Now her organization works on a wide variety of women’s rights.
- Why Loiter is a group based in Mumbai that encourages women to occupy public spaces like buses, dhabas, and the streets in general. A loose movement, it was begun by women who researched and wrote Why Loiter, a book we have in our library.
- The Ladies Finger is a feminist website that writes on all aspects of life and culture.
- Zubaan Books is one of India’s oldest feminist publishing houses.
- The Deccan Development Society: a grass roots organization that works on Women’s Empowerment, health care, and food security in 75 rural indian districts.
- Some states are using bicycles to keep girls in school. Bihar’s program for girls had reached 7 million students by 2015, and was expanding to include boys. Learn more here: ‘Pedal power: how bicycles are changing what it means to be a girl in India.’
- Bicycles: Cycles are changing the lives of thousands of women in a district in Tamil Nadu. Read famous Indian journalist P. Sainath’s piece: ‘Where there is a wheel’
Political Involvement and Reform:
- There are more women elected to office in India than the rest of the world combined. Most of these are at the local level. Learn more here: ‘Women’s empowerment through Panchayati Raj’.
- The increase of women in positions of local leadership is partly due to a law that guarantees a percentage of local representatives are women. And that percentage is increasing. Read: ‘Soon, law for 50% woman quota in local bodies.’
- Are women in Bihar beginning to vote as a block to support women’s empowerment efforts such as programs that give cycles to girls? Read: ‘Girl on bicycle: The rise of women as vote bank.’
- There are efforts to make sure more girl children are born and grow up healthy. And ‘Child Sex Ratio In Haryana Touches 900 Mark For The First Time Two Decades‘ shows some of these efforts seem to be working.
- Also, you could research a state like Kerala, where there are fewer ‘missing women’ and see what is working or not working there.
Further resources on Women’s role in India:
Here’s a website that is working to end gender discrimination on many fronts! Lots of great info for your project.
The Role of Women
- It’s a Toss Up
- Women in Banking in India
- What society loses when it doesn’t empower and educate women
Here’s an interesting BBC article about a place in India where women actually have MORE power than men! http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16592633
An article explaining that for rape victims, the police aren’t always helpful.
An article discussing how a woman politician blamed a rape victim, sparking criticism.
An article about how the gender issues have not improved for women in poor countries such as India.