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“Though women in post-Independent India have excelled in various fields, the social attitude towards women and the feminist movement has been patriarchal.” Apart from women education and women empowerment schemes, what interventions can help change this milieu? (250 words) [2021]

Despite women in post-Independent India excelling in diverse fields, the social attitude towards women and the feminist movement remains patriarchal. Evidenced by gender-based violence incidents, limited political representation, and persisting gender pay gaps, it is clear that deep-rooted patriarchal norms continue to hinder true gender equality and impede the progress made by women in the country.

To change the patriarchal social attitude towards women and the feminist movement in India, apart from women education and women empowerment schemes, the following interventions can be considered:

  1. Promoting gender equality in education: Encourage community-based initiatives that focus on gender equality in education, addressing cultural and social barriers that prevent girls from accessing quality education.
  2. Addressing early marriage and childbearing: Implement programs that raise awareness about the consequences of early marriage and childbearing, and promote the use of contraceptives among young women.
  3. Leveraging media and communication: Utilize media and communication campaigns to challenge patriarchal norms and promote positive behavior change. Interpersonal communication can empower vulnerable groups by providing information and knowledge.
  4. Digital technologies and interventions: Combine digital technologies with facilitated interventions to address gender-based violence in rural areas. Overcome barriers such as patriarchal mindsets, lack of education, digital illiteracy, and lack of access to digital tools and services.
  5. Women empowerment through entrepreneurship: Support social entrepreneurial initiatives that encourage women to engage in economic activities, leading to economic empowerment and increased participation in decision-making.
  6. Comparing women empowerment interventions: Analyze the impact of different interventions, such as Women Self Help Groups and Women Cooperatives, on women empowerment in rural areas.
  7. Preventing sexual violence: Develop interdisciplinary approaches to challenge rape culture and prevent sexual violence, including education, bystander programs, and legal reforms.
  8. Promoting gender equality within religious frameworks: Support Islamic feminist movements that promote gender equality within religious contexts, addressing the tension between religious beliefs and gender equality.

Real examples of these interventions include the Indian Muslim Women’s Movement (Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan), the social entrepreneurial startup “Pahal,” and the Safecity platform addressing gender-based violence in Bihar and Satara district. By implementing these interventions, it is possible to create a more inclusive and equal society for women in India.

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