Gender-Based Violence Is Common And Accepted In India

You would think that women of all people would stand up and demand their rights as co-equals with men in a society that totally accepts gender-based violence against them, but that is not the case in India. In most Indian states more women than men justified wife-beating, and except for the state of Karnataka, more women than men thought that it was okay for a man to beat his wife if she did not properly cook his meal! What does this attitude say about India? Obviously, the nation is brainwashed to accept gender-based abuse and violence as the norm.

Nothing will change the acceptance of violence perpetrated against women as normal until the whole culture changes, and that is not likely – at least not likely anytime soon. In a recent survey, more than 40% of women and 38% of men said that it was okay to beat the wife if “she disrespected her in-laws, neglected her home or children, went out without telling him, refused sex or didn’t cook properly.” In four states the survey found that 77% of women justified wife-beating. When women accept as normal their inferiority to men under social norms and the law, little progress can be achieved in protesting gender-based violence. Western society totally condemns such acceptance and quickly seeks retribution for those upholding these ideas.

Activists in India have to battle a culture of silence about gender-based violence and its overwhelming approval of it. Amita Pitre, who leads Oxfam India’s gender justice program said, “Violence against women – and its justification – is rooted in patriarchy. There’s high acceptance for gender-based violence because, in India, women are considered the subordinate gender.” A popular piece of advice given to many Indian brides is “you are entering your marital home in a palanquin (litter carried on poles), you must leave only on your funeral bier.” Is it any wonder that women accept physical abuse from their husbands as normal? It will take a mighty campaign to change the thinking and mentality of a country when both men and women accept wife-beating as normal and acceptable.

Let us pray fervently for:

  • Those working to change the gender-based thinking and violence in India to be led by the Holy Spirit in ways and procedures that will be effective in changing the mindset of this nation (The Bible, Psalm 7:9).
  • Christian Believers in India to lead the way in recognizing the equality of men and women in the eyes of God as the Bible reveals it and to be influential popularizing the public concerning this injustice against women (The Bible, Matthew 19:4-5).
  • Christian husbands to begin to understand this sin of wife-beating and begin to change their attitudes and actions that will bring about change in others (The Bible, Ephesians 5:26).