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Women in India
Transcript of Women in India
According to the 2011 census an effective literacy rate for men was 82.14% , and for women it was 65.45%. It has been estimated that India will attain universal literacy in 2060. Compared to 1947 where literacy rates over all was 12%, India has progressed tremendously. Though India's literacy rates are increasing, there is quite a huge gap between male and female literacy rates. The state of Kerla has the highest literacy rates for women ( 92%). On the other hand because of the social caste system ,lower castes are denied education; particularly the females. Due to strong stereotyping of female roles and male roles in society, sons are thought of being the ones who are more useful. Indian society is a male dominated society, the social norms are present for the benefit of the men. Since men are known to be more useful , they are the ones that acquire a good education rather then women. Women are increasingly replacing men in jobs that require little to no education, such as farming. Females are to aid their parents in handling the agricultural "business". Less than 2% of the girls who work in the agricultural field attend school. Female illiteracy is predominant in villages where women and girls are considered less than men. Poor families keep girls at home to care for the younger siblings. Also parents view sons as an investment , a profit ; where as girls are seen as a loss. Sons are deemed to be the financial stability that aging parents require to survive , because the daughter goes to her husband's house. Many a times education is seemed as a waste of money on girls because daughters eventually leave and live with their in laws , who consume dowry ; its not beneficial for the parents. Daughters that are highly educated
are likely to have a higher dowry expense.
Female feticide has led to discrimination against women, they are either treated as burdens or objects. In 1961 for every 1000 boys under the age of 7 there were 976 girls. India's ratio of young girls to boys , currently is the lowest in the world after China. Many cases are reported each year revealing inhumane and cruel deaths of young girls. Infants are put into pots and buried alive, often have cigarette marks on their body and tobacco in their system, and many infants are beaten to death. Indians have a strong pull towards sons over daughters. Pregnancies are planned according to the sex of the child. Hundreds and thousands of women in India are forced by in laws or the husband to give tests that determine the sex of the unborn child. If the woman refuses to take the test and abort the child she is often beaten or forced into doing so. Under the Pre-Conception and Parental Diagnostic Techniques Act (1994 amended in 2002) and the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act (1971 amended in 2002) parental sex determination was banned . Though this law was created to prevent sex-selective abortion , which is usually favorable for the boys; the law has failed to be effectively enforced. Female feticide is common and done often in India because girls are considered a burden and too expensive. This problem is still prevalent because it is socially acceptable to take dowry. One of the reasons females are considered to be burdens is because of the huge amounts of gold , money and valuables that "needs" to be given in the form of dowry. Many girls are mistreated or disregarded simply because they are females; who can't carry forward the family name. This negative mindset is the reason why India is classified as a developing country .
Determining the sex of a fetus is illegal in India, but several clinics across the country secretly agree to conduct tests and reveal the sex of the fetus for a price. According to the statistics, nearly 10 million female fetuses have been aborted over the past two decades. Of the 12 million girls born in India, one million do not live till their first birthdays.
Women In India
The dowry system is the payment in cash or some sort of gift that is given to the bridegroom's family along with the bride. Gifts include money, cars, jewelry, property, and anything of value.The dowry system existed in Pre-colonial India; in this system of dowry the parents of the bride would give wealth to their daughter. The wealth and gifts were all owned by the bride. This type of dowry was an institution managed by women , for women. Enabling them to remain independent even after marriage. Through this dowry system women acquired financial independence to manage the income from their agricultural land. In 1973 under the British Lord, Lord Cornwallis , private land ownership had begun. This led to the citizens fighting for land. Shortly after this land distributing act ,the British rule imposed that the women were prohibited from owning any property at all. This was the turning point in history that started the cruel injustice we face today. Since women were not allowed to own any property , all their " dowry" (money to aid them) went to the groom and his family; it was then when a male child became an additional source of income for the family. Discriminatory acts , domestic violence, selective marriages (marrying girls solely for the purpose of reviving money) became the social norm because women had no rights, it was illegal for them to own any property. Since then it has become an Indian tradition to take dowry. Until the year 1956 women in India did not have the right to inherent any property.
On May 20th ,1961 the Dowry Prohibition act was created. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The act banns dowry
- any dowry is received by any person other than the woman in connection with whose marriage it is given, that person shall transfer it to the woman .
Women marriage and property laws due to religion
-1956 due to the Hindu personal laws women were allowed to inherit ancestral property.
( Sons had independent shares in ancestral property while daughters shares depended on the shares received by their fathers)
- 2005 Hindu law amended providing women equal status with inheriting ancestral property.
-1986 Muslim Women Act
-1872 Indian Christian Marrige Act ------------> which led to Christian Marriage Matrimonial Causes Bill in 1990.
The burning of a widow on her husband's pyre is called Sati (sut-ee).
Widow burning was a woman's sign of devotion to her husband. Being burned alive, buried, or drowned was recognized as a form of ultimate womanly devotion and sacrifice. Thats what was believed. This act of sati was practiced among some Hindu communities ; first sati was practiced in 510 CCE. At that time period it was socially acceptable because it was believed that a truthful wife would remain her husband's soul mate even after his death. Hence the banishment of widow marriages. Sati was suppose to be a voluntary act , but in most of the cases women were forced to sit on their husband's pyre and be left to burn alive. Women in the communities where Sati was practiced were "encouraged" by the priests to burn themselves with their husbands. Convincing a Widow to commit the act of Sati would give priests valuables. Many a times in laws would convince the priests to persuade the widows into Sati so they could take the widow's valuable possessions ,and any property that had been given to her by her husband. This horrific custom was the norm because wives were considered devotees of their husbands; if "his" life ended her life lost its meaning. There are many debates as to Sati's origin. Most sources say that a religious Hindu story was manipulated to create a social custom that would benefit certain people. In the Hindu mythology there is a story of a woman named Sati that burnt herself in fire as an act of protest against her father, who prevented her from being a consort of the God Shiva. In order to marry Shiva she burned herself and was reborn . Many stories of women burning are written in the Hindu mythology , but none mention women being burned at their husband's pyre or being harmed or forced to show their devotion. This custom was misinterpreted and it morphed into a social custom to oppress women. This is when the society started turning into a male dominant one . In the 20th century Sati was committed so the in laws and relatives could benefit from the deaths of the husband and the wife; inheriting property and valuables. Some small communities still believe in this custom , they believe the only way a woman can show her devotion and love is via Sati. This custom spread mildly to North India but was primarily practiced in South India.
In 1987 the commissions of Sati Prevention act was created. This was an act that was created to provide a more efficient way of preventing the act of sati from taking place. The act was to stop the glorification of sati. The government of Rajasthan initiated this law in 1987. The commission of Sati Prevention act became a federal legislation by the government of India in 1988.
Sati was banned first under the Bengal Sati Rlation in 1829. It was banned under the Governor- General Lord William Betnick.
Although a law was placed banning Sati it wasn't enforced. Sati was and still is embedded deep in the Indian culture. The most controversial Sati case was the one of Roop Kanwar. Roop Kanwar was an 18 year old girl who was married to a 24 old year man (Maal Singh ). She committed the act of Sati on 4th September 1987. This event let out a public out cry, it put a modern Indian ideology against a traditional one. It is yet to be determined whether this was a voluntary act or a forced one. Some news reports claim that Kanwar was forced to her death by the people present at her husband's pyre. On the other hand there are reports saying Kanwar told her brother-in-law to light the pyre when she was ready, denoting that there was a possibility that this act was done with her consent. This case was taken to the state , and then this case led to the central government's Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act. In the original inquiry 45 people were charged for murder, they were acquitted. Shortly after that 11 people, including state politicians, were charged with glorification of sati. On January 31st in the special court of Jaipur those 11 people were acquitted.
As a result of families abandoning girls , human trafficking has become common in various states of India . Teenage girls are being sold for cheap money by poor families. The girls are treated as sex objects and more than half of such cases go unreported. They see them as burdens because according to them girls are just a loss.
The United Nations’ World Population Fund has indicated that India has one of the highest sex imbalances in the world. The demographers warn that there will be a shortage of brides in the next 20 years because of the one sided sex ratio, combined with an overall decline in fertility
Five years ago, the World Bank upgraded India from a "poor" country to a middle-income one. Yet it seems like the socially India has not upgraded itself in the area of education. Under the Right to Education act, passed in 2009, a free and compulsory education is guaranteed for all children aged between six and 14, and the most recent figures for primary school enrollment stand at an impressive-sounding 98%.
In 2010 according to a report by the National Council for Teacher Education estimated that an additional 1.2 million teachers were needed to fulfill the RTE (Right to education act) Act requirements, and last year the RTE Forum, found that only 5% of government schools are equipped with all the basic standards for infrastructure set by the act. Some 40% of primary classes had more than 30 students per classroom, and 60% didn't have electricity. The RTE Forum also reported official figures showing that 21% of teachers weren't professionally trained.
More than 22,000 Indian Men have ended their life in reverse dowry Harassment by their wives against 6800 wives who ended their life due to dowry harassment by their husbands.
The roles are being reversed now when it comes to harassment due to dowry. A lot of Indian husbands had been sent behind bars without any investigation and more than 68% found to be innocent, where as in the 22,000 cases only 6 cases had been registered and not a single woman has been questioned as to why their Husbands ended their life.
Thousands of years of tradition , culture and custom have brought barriers between the genders; old ways need to change which is possible only if the mindset of Indians are changed on the stigma of women.
- eliminate caste system by taking a stance and educating the coming generations.
- changing gender roles. Getting rid of the stigma that the men are the ones that look after the parents.
- getting rid of corrupt government officials by enforcing laws strictly to protect human rights .
- abolish the dowry system ; educate all youth about their rights.
- More government sanctioned social programs to promote literacy and healthy lives in women
More social programs for women who are prostitutes since their is such a high rate in this part of the world.
•The Christian Marriage Act, 1872
•The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956
•The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
•The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
The Christian marriage act allowed christians to get married , but there was no act for christians to divorce. Christian women who wanted a divorce due to abuse were not allowed to separate from their husbands and vice versa. To make this law fair for the women a bill known as the Christian Marriage Matrimonial Causes Bill in 1990.
Organizations and Associations
This foundation was established in 1936. the ford foundation works in Nepal and Sri Lanka ,India but also many other countries. In India they help by supporting women's rights but also try to help the government, poverty, schooling, women's health rights and sustainable agricultural policies. contact them at (+1) 212-537-5000, 320 East 43rd street New York, N.Y. 10017 USA
This foundation helps women in india get jobs by giving them education and also other unprivialeged groups. Contact at info@Keringfoundation.org
Global fund for women
the mission of the organization is to advance women's rights. They want to see women have a voice and a choice. They're plan is to educate the women and let them know their rights.
Canadian womens fondation
Human trafficking for females is a huge problem for the world today and this foundation is trying to put a stop to this act of human suffering. to do this they try to move females out of poverty, their main goal is to building a stronger more independent women and to make sure they have access to public education. contact at 416-365-1444, firstname.lastname@example.org
Under this law a person under the age of 16 can't go into "prostitution". That person is considered a child and any sexual activity they are forced in is considered sexual exploitation or abuse of persons for commercial purpose.
Section 3 : Stringent action and punishment for keeping a brothel or allowing premises to be used as a brothel
Section 4 : Living on the earnings of prostitution
Section 5 : Procuring, inducing or taking a person for the sake of prostitution
Section 6 : If any person is found with a child in a brothel it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that he has committed an offence of detaining a person in premises where prostitution is carried on. The punishment consists of imprisonment of either description for a term which shall not be less than 7 years
Section 21 : Establishment of protective homes by the State Government
According to this law prostitutes can practice their trade privately , but can't legally solicit or "seduce" customers in public.
The practice of selling one's sexual service is allowed but under the law , but it is not recognized as "prostitution".
Organized prostitution is illegal ( brothels).
Clients can be punished for sexual activity in a public place.
This act banned dowry in India (1961)
After the passing of this law, dowry giver and receivers both will be punished and will be imprisoned for 5 years ; a fine of 15,000/- or equal to the amount of such dowry whichever is more will have to be payed.
As per this act, there is penalty for demanding dowry from the parents or their relatives or guardian of bride or the bridegroom. The penalty in this case could be for imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years and fine of up to Rs 10,000/- is applicable. However, in special circumstances, the courts will reduce the imprisonment below 6 months also. This is part of the Section 4 of the Dowry Act
This act was passed by the Indian parliament in 1986. This act does not allow indecent representation of women through advertisement or in publications, writings, paintings, figures or in any other manner.
In January 2013, Punjabi singers, Jazzy B, and Yo Yo Honey Singh were arrested in India under this act for indecent representation of women through their songs.
Our focus today is on equality rights issues of women in India, we have looked through the hardships and struggles of this population and explored the various laws that have been developed through time because of events and crimes taken place all through India.
From 1956 to 2013, there has been 6 laws set into place to protect women of India.
- The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956
- The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961) (Amended in 1986)
- The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986
- The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 (3 of 1988)
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
- The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (PREVENTION, PROHIBITION and REDRESSAL) Act, 2013
These laws have progressed society in India allowing Women to be considered as an equal to men. Although women in lesser developed places i.e villages etc. still suffer from inequality. .