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.
Violence against women in India