Friday, February 3, 2012

Be Aware: Women in India - Poor treatment

"The exceptionally high rates of malnutrition in South Asia are rooted deeply in the soil of inequality between men and women.'…the poor care that is afforded to girls and women by their husbands and by elders is the first major reason for levels of child malnutrition that are markedly higher in South Asia than anywhere else in the world.'" 
"A primary way that parents discriminate against their girl children is through neglect during illness. When sick, little girls are not taken to the doctor as frequently as are their brothers." 
"Women and girls receive far less education than men, due both to social norms and fears of violence." 
"Opening the door on the subject of violence against the world's females is like standing at the threshold of an immense dark chamber vibrating with collective anguish, but with the sounds of protest throttled back to a murmur. Where there should be outrage aimed at an intolerable status quo there is instead denial, and the largely passive acceptance of ‘the way things are.' 
Male violence against women is a worldwide phenomenon. Although not every woman has experienced it, and many expect not to, fear of violence is an important factor in the lives of most women. It determines what they do, when they do it, where they do it, and with whom. Fear of violence is a cause of women's lack of participation in activities beyond the home, as well as inside it. Within the home, women and girls may be subjected to physical and sexual abuse as punishment or as culturally justified assaults. These acts shape their attitude to life, and their expectations of themselves. The insecurity outside the household is today the greatest obstacle in the path of women. Conscious that, compared to the atrocities outside the house, atrocities within the house are endurable, women not only continued to accept their inferiority in the house and society, but even called it sweet. 
In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in atrocities against women in India. Every 26 minutes a woman is molested. Every 34 minutes a rape takes place. Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment incident occurs. Every 43 minutes a woman is kidnapped. And every 93 minutes a woman is burnt to death over dowry. One-quarter of the reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 but the vast majority are never reported. Although the penalty is severe, convictions are rare." 

…"Wife givers" are socially and ritually inferior to "wife takers", thus necessitating the provision of a dowry. After marriage, the bride moves in with her husband's family. Such a bride is "a stranger in a strange place." They are controlled by the older females in the household, and their behavior reflects on the honor of their husbands. Because emotional ties between spouses are considered a potential threat to the solidarity of the patrilineal group, the northern system tends to segregate the sexes and limit communication between spouses - a circumstance that has direct consequences for family planning and similar "modern" behaviors that affect health. A young Indian bride is brought up to believe that her own wishes and interests are subordinate to those of her husband and his family. The primary duty of a newly married young woman, and virtually her only means of improving her position in the hierarchy of her husband's household, is to bear sons."
Link to article (emphasis added)

"Numbers related to gender development, trafficking, sex abuse, education and nutrition rarely show that Indians are particularly good at protecting their daughters from early sexual activity, early pregnancy, dropping out of school or even hunger — the mistreatment just happens in a way that’s culturally palatable."
"First they toil in their parents’ homes; then they toil in their in-laws’ homes (for which honor the new family often gets a handsome sum, even these days). And yet somehow the collective wisdom that daughters are a burden still prevails, despite daily visual evidence to the contrary, and becomes a justification for neglect. When that neglect shows up in the numbers, we quibble about how they were calculated.Think on all this and it’s hard not to think this is a country that doesn’t just dislike women, it hates them.Now, can someone please tell me why?"


"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; ... So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church..."

[Eph 5:25, 28-29]


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