Gender inequality in many communities and countries remains a major barrier to human development. The majority affected people are girls and women in the society since they have not yet gained gender equity. Women and girls in many societies are facing major problems which are as a result of gender inequality. They will be discriminated against things like health, labor market, education and even political system. Many people think that the working ability of women is low compared to those of men. However, the capability of individuals will not be defined by the physical strength rather it will be defined by the intellect.
In this particular paper, we will consider gender inequality in South Asia. The four major countries that we are going to consider are Nepal and India where the majority of the population are Hindu and Afghanistan and Bangladesh where the majority of the population are Muslim. The obstacles to gender equality in these regions are the religion, culture, patriarchal attitude and the perception towards women. The above obstacles will lead to violence and discrimination against women. Cases related to violence against women have been common in South Asia and has been on the rise. People mostly in regions like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal still doubt that women have got equal abilities like men in the society. They believe that men and women are not equal both physically and intellectually. Domestic violence is common in these state due to gender-based discrimination.
The level of violence against women in South Asia is increasing every day mostly in nations like Pakistan and India. Violence against Women is mostly as a result of harassment of women workers in the workplace, rape, and sexual assault. Women in these regions are being harassed based on the type of clothes that they are supposed to wear which is intended to provide safety. (Chaudhuri 7)
Cases of violence against women in recent years have been reported in Afghanistan. A report submitted by the Afghanistan Independent Commission showed that there 5132 reported cases of violence in six months in the year 2016.Among these cases, 241 were murder cases. In Bangladesh and Nepal, the cases of violence against women have been increasing over the years. In Bangladesh for example cases of dowry related violence has rapidly increased over the last decade, where women have been tortured and in some cases killed by their husband or in-laws. Women in these cultures are required to bring a lot of gifts and money during dowry. (Chaudhuri 5).With high demands from the groom’s family, women will be violated and discriminated in these families. A girl from a low-income family will suffer from violence since her parent will not be in a position to fulfill some of the demands made by the groom`s family. Women in many families will be seen to be a burden that requires being taken care of.Ownership of the woman will be transferred from her father to her husband, and the dowry, in this case, will be a price of taking care of the woman.( Balasubramanian 609)
In India, the rate of violence against women is increasing at a higher rate. Statistics shows that every two minutes a crime against women is reported in India. The increase in the number of crimes has been as a result of the current social transformation, however this might not be the main reason, the main reason might be because of the increased filling of complaints today, previously many crimes against women went unreported. Gender-related violence is common in the whole of South Asia, but the nature of violence will vary between different states. In Bangladesh and India for example, there will be a high incidence of rape unlike in Afghanistan where marital rape will be more common. In Nepal, India and Bangladesh cases of acid attacks will be common. (Kabeer 138)
Other forms of inequality that women face in South Asia include discrimination in work environment and access to resources, for example, health and education. Women in many cases for example in India will suffer lack of independence when it comes to situations like decision making, the choice of education and issues related to marriage. In some cases, women and men will perform the same kind of work, but men will be paid more and given more decision-making power compared to women. The female representation in India’s parliament is very low (12%), which is a clear indication of the gender discrimination in the country. (Carranza 200)
To reduce the cases of gender inequality in South Asia, the state and locals activists have conducted numerous campaigns. However, the effort of these campaigns has been affected by the culture and traditions of the people where men are considered superior in the community. The phenomena of gender inequality need to be fought in the society mostly in the southern Asia. To fight and counter gender discrimination and stereotypes one need first to focus on the education sector and reduce the gap between genders. The education curriculum should be changed and education offered equally to both girls and boys. The state should also enact some laws that are against things like domestic violence, rape, and sexual harassment. Shared domestic responsibilities between man and women should be adopted in families and family’s property rights should be promoted, with women, as well as men, given the right to control their economic and financial asset. All the above measures will help to counter gender inequality.
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