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One thought on “01 January 2019 Daily Question

  • rukhsartak

    From the perspective of women as victims:
    Exactly seven months since the horrifying rape and murder of a 23-year old student on a New Delhi bus, the Indian courts convicted four men of the brutal crime. By Indian standards, this was a speedy trial. Most rape trials last well over a decade, leaving the victims tired and disillusioned with a judicial system that is archaic, under-resourced, and insensitive to women. The Delhi rape case was also exceptional in that the victim typified the modern Indian woman with aspirations of a good education, career, and the hope of entering a profession. She was a part of an India that has encouraged women to seek greater freedom to study, travel, to work outside the home and to meet their marriage partners in clubs, movie theaters, malls.
    These circumstances have led many conservatives to argue that the liberalization of social norms is in fact triggering attacks against women. But recent research suggests that these opponents of modernization are wrong. In particular, there is solid evidence that the economic empowerment of women reduces their risk of becoming victims of violence. One of the question is that, whether women who are empowered – whether through employment, earnings, or wealth- are less likely to experience domestic violence. The answer isn’t immediately clear. On the one hand, women who have their own sources of income and wealth may be better able to stand up for their rights within the household. On the other hand, some husbands, fearing a threat to their own authority within the household, may retaliate against their empowered wives with violence.
    One way to address this problem is through the use of a natural experiment, a setting in which different policies apply to different individuals. One such experiment comes from Indian Inheritance Law, which, until 2005, put daughter at a disadvantage relative to sons in inheriting their fathers’ ancestral property. A national-level amendment in 2005 removed the gender disparity in this law. However, prior to the national amendment, several states (Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka) enacted their own amendments to the law and granted daughters the same inheritance rights as sons. The state level reforms are a good proxy for economic empowerment because women who benefit from equal inheritance rights are more likely to have independent wealth compared to those who do not.
    If economic empowerment is an important tool for reducing domestic violence, it is likely to be an important tool to address violence outside the home as well. Women who are more empowered are more likely to fight back against harassment and report abuse than women who are entirely dependent on their families for support. Empowered women are more likely to be able to walk away from households, workplaces, and other settings where they face abuse. Empowered women are more likely to come together to seek help and fight against abuse.