The Journey of Women in India

 From International New York Times  Thanks to Adrienne Middlemay at

Social Gains for Women Linked to Domestic Violence

NEW DELHI — Indian women who experience economic and social gains in the form of employment and education are often at a greater risk for domestic violence, according to a study released on Tuesday.

The study, published in the peer-reviewed Population and Development Review, analyzed responses from more than 60,000 married women in the National Family Health Survey of India conducted from 2005 to 2006 in 29 states.

Abigail Weitzman, a doctoral candidate in sociology at New York University, wrote in her study that compared with women who do not work, women who are the only employed members of their households face more than twice the risk of frequent domestic violence and 1.51 times the risk of severe domestic violence, which includes beating, choking, burning or attack with a weapon.

Women with more education than their husbands had 1.4 times the risk of domestic violence and 1.54 times the risk of frequent violence compared with women with less education than their husbands.

“For lots of families, money is a source of power, at least implicitly,” Ms. Weitzman said in a telephone interview.  “If you’re starting to change the balance of power, it changes the equation.”

The idea of empowering women through development programs is almost as old as the idea of developmental aid itself.  The United Nations Development Program considers women’s empowerment as one of eight millennium development goals.

In India, the idea of women’s empowerment has received more public attention since the gang rape of a woman on a bus in New Delhi in December 2012 received widespread international attention.

Ms. Weitzman, whose findings are echoed in similar studies in India released recently, said that attempts to empower women through government programs like micro-financing were far more complicated than they seem.

“Scientific evidence of the unintended consequences suggests that programs that are designed to empower women are much more complicated than simply providing women with resources to achieve complete autonomy,” she said in a telephone interview.

“Change is often very turbulent,” she said.  “I think that’s perhaps what India is witnessing right now, and I don’t think India is alone in experiencing this turbulence.”

Blogger’s note:   We arrived just a few weeks after the horrible group rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi that is mentioned in the article.  It led to speeches and demonstrations all over the country.  The leaders in India do seem to be awake now on this horrible problem.  The other side of the coin of women’s empowerment and economic gains causing domestic violence  is out in the light now, too.  It reminds me of years ago in the US when women started having jobs outside the home. It was argued that families would suffer and men would lose their jobs due to women working. There was an adjustment for families and the workforce.  As Ms. Weitzman said in the above article, “Change is turbulent and India is not alone in experiencing this turbulence. ”  There are examples of this upheaval for women in other parts of the world, especially  in the Muslim world as they, too, strive for equality with the men.  Patience and understanding of the psychology of change is important, but   progress forward is the goal and that should never be forgotten.  Finding and naming  the challenges are the first step of overcoming the problems.

Challenges for Women in India!

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
This entry was posted in India, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Journey of Women in India

  1. Thank you for sharing this and highlighting this issue. Once again I am struggling to have the right words 😦 so much so unfair x


  2. YellowCable says:

    I have heard about this issue before too. That is a sad story 😦


  3. kyangel17 says:

    Isn’t this true in every country Anne? Even here in our own country women with more education are abused by the men in their lives than the women who are less educated than the man. Not always the case, but in some….


  4. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown and commented:
    In this post, this is an example of what i was talking about: ‘eight millennium development goals.’


  5. reocochran says:

    It is such a shame when group rapes occur, no matter where they are. I also am hoping for the future of women in the country of India, where their rights should be more considered and wishing them the best in progress in their goals! Smiles, Robin


  6. SouthernWild says:

    Unfortunately we live in an unfair world. I use to be marry to an Abusive man, but fortunate for me I was string enough to not take it. he shoved and slap me once, then three months later he beat the crap out me but when I got away from him he came after me, I got in my Jeep and ran him over and broke both his legs. We was treated at the ER and when released he was placed in Jail, he tried to press charges against me but thankfully the Judge said is was self defense, and he was the one that got more jail time and fines to pay and I was granted a quick divorce. I volunteer my time at our local shelter and I also work for free at CASA. This is so sad, so glad you posted this, more need to post things like this to make people aware of what really goes on and how bad it really is everywhere. My heart goes out to these women and children, and to the men that are abused too. While it happens more to women and children there are men that get abused too. 😦


    • annetbell says:

      What a horrible and powerful message you shared. I am so thankful you are safe now and that all that situation worked out. How precious of you to share and help other women and be able to totally understand their thoughts, fears and confusion. Thank you for sharing your story with me and other readers. Blessings for your continued work for the women in your area.


      • SouthernWild says:

        Thank you for your kind words, but I have learned that by talking and sharing what happens to an abused woman or child is power, that abuser no longer has control over the abused, the abuser now has all the POWER! 🙂


      • annetbell says:

        The power of that simple act begins the healing I imagine


  7. Pingback: Accomplished women in India face higher risk of domestic violence: study | India Insight | CHINDIA ALERT: You'll be living in their world, very soon

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