Hundal explains why there are 60 million less women in India, a unique gender differential in the world.
In Sunny Hundal’s 15 minute TED talk, the gender difference between Indian men and women is explained by economic status. Men are financial assets, women financial liabilities – graphically shown by 8,000 dowry related deaths of women in a year – and that is just the official figures.
Education is not enough, nor urbanisation, to stem the tide of what Sunny describes as a genocide against women from gender selected abortion and infanticide through to dowry deaths. Financial independence will truly empower women. Having jobs, starting their own companies – no longer seen as a burden on family’s resources.
So whilst empowering women is the most effective way to end oppression, education is a means not an end in this. Jobs, well paying careers, which give independence to women are the way forward. We do not just need the right economic conditions but a cultural shift in attitudes which have been dominant for centuries.
As Sunny concludes in an article he wrote on this:
But the problem in India goes to the heart of cultural practices that have been around for centuries. Culture doesn’t just determine a country’s laws and how well they are implemented, it also discourages or encourages violence against women. Practices such as paying dowry for brides, shunning divorced women, passing on inheritances only to men, not putting girls through schools – are all part of the problem. As families get richer, there is more pressure to pay out bigger dowries for girls and they have more money to afford an abortion.
According to one estimate, by 2020 India will have an extra 28 million men of marriageable age. The social impact of such an imbalance is unprecedented in history, and India barely has a police force and judicial system that can cope with the current problem.
Unless the country recognises the gravity of the problem and does more to protect half the population, the social impact will be felt in every aspect of Indian society for decades.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog