Skip to main content

Conservativism behind poor participation of Gujarat women in non-domestic duties

By Rajiv Shah 
A new National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO’s) report, “Participation of Women in Specified Activities along with Domestic Duties”, finalized in September 2014, has revealed that a higher percentage of Gujarat women are driven by the conservative socio-religious framework of their families and society compared to most Indian states. Based on the survey it carried out between July 2011 and June 2012, the NSSO report has found that, in the 15+ age, 91.9 per cent of Gujarat’s rural and 94.4 per cent of urban women spend most of the time in domestic duties, which is around the same as the national average of 91.7 and 92.2 per cent, respectively. However, this does not tell the full story.
Of these women identified as being involved domestic duty full time in Gujarat, 54.8 per cent in rural areas and 62.5 per cent in urban areas said they were doing it because there is no other member to carry out the domestic duties. And – and this is worrisome – 18.7 per cent of rural women and 14.6 per cent in urban women said they are doing their domestic duties full time “because of socio-religious constraints.”
What should be even a matter of higher concern for policy makers and activists alike is, the percentage of women citing socio-religious constraints as the reason for spending most of the time in domestic duty is much higher in Gujarat than most major states. An inter-state comparison suggests that a much lower percentage of rural women from 15 out of 20 major states are “constrained” to do domestic duties due to socio-religious constraints. The NSSO does not find the situation in urban areas any different: A much lower percentage of women from 14 out of 20 major states felt “constrained” by socio-religious considerations while doing their domestic work.
Remarkably, just about 3 per cent of rural women in Uttarakhand — followed by 3.8 per cent in Tamil Nadu, 4.6 per cent in Kerala, 5 per cent in Himachal Pradesh, 6.8 per cent in Karnataka, and 7.6 per cent in West Bengal – cited “socio-religious constraint” as the reason full-time involvement in domestic duties. This is against Gujarat’s 18.7 per cent, Haryana’s 18.9 per cent, Odisha’s 19.4 per cent, Punjab’s 28.1 per cent and Uttar Pradesh’s 28.8 per cent rural women citing the same constraint.

Things are not very different for urban women, either. As against Gujarat 14.6 per cent urban women who said socio-religious constraints are the main reason for doing domestic duty full time, the respective percentage for Kerala is 4.3 per cent, Jammu & Kashmir 5.7 per cent, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Himachal Pradesh 5.9 per cent each, Uttarakhand 6.9 per cent, and Andhra Pradesh 9.9 per cent. States with higher percentage of urban women than Gujarat citing socio-religious constraint as the main reason for domestic work are just four – Uttar Pradesh 29.9 per cent, Punjab 18.2 per cent, Rajasthan 16.9 per cent and Bihar 15.2 per cent.
A conservative atmosphere would naturally not allow women to do full-time job, either. Thus, Gujarat’s only 16.4 per cent of rural women told the NSSO surveyors that they are willing to accept full-time work — even within the household premises. This is lower than most Indian states except three (Punjab 13.5 per cent, Jammu & Kashmir 14.5 per cent, and Uttar Pradesh 16 per cent). As for the urban areas, Gujarat’s only 23.7 per cent of urban women said they were willing to accept full time work within household premises, which is lower than 12 out of 20 major Indian states.
Coming to the type of domestic work, apart from the routine work, the NSSO report shows, 48.7 per cent of Gujarat’s rural women are involved in “free collection of wood”, 34.4 per cent in the “preparing cow dung cakes”, and 19.3 per cent in bringing water from outside household premises. Only just 4.6 per cent of women are involved in teaching their children. As for the urban areas, apart from the domestic work, 12.6 per cent of women spend time in tailoring and 10.8 per cent in teaching their children.

Comments

TRENDING

Constitution day makes us remember and rethink the values that India stands for

By Dr. Kapilendra Das*  India, also known as Bharat, was liberated from British rule and gained Independence on August 15, 1947. So every year on 15th August we celebrate Independence Day throughout the country. The Indians felt the taste of freedom, but there were no rules and regulations to govern the country for which British rules were effective up to January 25, 1950. To govern India, the draft constitution was prepared by the Drafting Committee which was published in January 1948, and the same was finally adopted by the Constituent Assembly on 26 November 1949, the day of an important landmark in India’s journey as an independent, Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic. The constitution so adopted came into force on 26 January 1950. To memorize 26 January, every year we observe Republic Day throughout India. To mark rethinking and remembrance of the day of adoption of the constitution of India, 26 November has been celebrating as “Constituti

Integrating biodiversity for poverty removal still not binding for this UN body

Reacting to a statement of the executive secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity ( CBD ), United Nations, Elizabeth Maruma Mrema, on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, which fell on October 17, well-known Thiruvananthapuram-based ecologist S Faizi has objected to the CBD’s plan for “effective integration of biodiversity for poverty eradication”. *** I compliment you for issuing this statement . However, I am disappointed to see that the CBD COP's output on poverty and biodiversity, namely the Chennai Guidance is not even referred to in your statement, particularly so since the 12th COP has asked the Executive Secretary to "continue the work requested by the Conference of the Parties in decisions X/6 and XI/22, for the effective integration of biodiversity for poverty eradication and development, taking into account also the related decisions of the Conference of the Parties at its twelfth meeting" and to promote the Chennai

Seventh most vulnerable nation, effects of climate change can be seen in Bangladesh

Mashrur Siddique Bhuiyan*  From November 6–18, 2022, Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt is hosting the 27th Conference of Parties (COP27) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This two-week climate conference is critical for the globe because it occurs at a time when nations are coping with a global energy crisis, the conflict in Ukraine, rising inflation rates, and dwindling funding for climate adaptation. It also has great significance for Bangladesh, as the country's ability to maintain its economic growth depends on raising the necessary finances for urgent climate action and mitigation. This year’s theme is "Delivering for People and the Planet," which aims to hasten global climate action by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, fostering resilience and preparing for climate change's unavoidable effects, and increasing the flow of climate finance to developing nations. The goals of COP27 are based on the outcomes of COP21, which was held in Paris in 2015

Unsung, tens of Morbi youth of local fishing community saved many, many lives

By Rajiv Shah  It was indeed a treat to listen to Bhavik Raja, who spoke at a meeting of the Movement for Secular Democracy the other day in Ahmedabad. Speaking in chaste Gujarati, Raja recalled his childhood days in Mobi when he and his friends would often go to the town's Jhulto Pul (Hanging Bridge) in free time. I listened to him online. The bridge, which should have been given a heritage status, was handed over to the owners of a watch-making tycoon for repair. The repair was carried out so shoddily that it broke down in less than a week after it was opened for general public, leading to the death of more than 140 persons, many of them children. Raja, who formed a group of three-person activists' team on a fact-finding mission to Mobi, said, what isn't taken note of is how tens of youth, belonging to the local Muslim fishing community, jumped into the river and saved many, many lives. It's a marshy river, and to navigate in there is an extremely difficult exercise.

Zakir Naik tumult, Catholic Church power abuse: will Anwar Ibrahim save Malaysia?

Anwar Ibrahim By Jay Ihsan*  Anwar Ibrahim, a hardcore reformist who took a punch to his eye in 1998 from then inspector-general of police, Rahim Noor, has finally been given the mandate by Malaysians to serve as the nation's 10th prime minister. Anwar knows too well the burden of staying true to both trust and faith the people have in him requires every once of commitment and dedication. The question is will he be apologetic for his transgressions enroute to "rebuilding" Malaysia? In his overzealousness to get the job done, Anwar, 75, needs to safeguard every bit of gumption to address prickling issues plaguing the safety of the nation especially those involving communal sensitivities. For one, dare Anwar get rid of terrorist hate preacher and fugitive Zakir Naik for inciting religious unrest in Malaysia? In November 2016, India’s counter-terrorism agency filed an official complaint against Naik, holding him responsible for promoting religious hatred and unlawful activi

Adequate attention not paid on changing human life to realize climate change aim

By Bharat Dogra  Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our times. It has to be checked as a matter of highest priority. Despite this adequate attention has not been given to how human life must change to realize this objective. We know that fossil fuels must be phased out and replaced by renewable energy. But is renewable energy capable of meeting the present day massive energy requirements, along with the increase taking place? Even if it is, what are the implications if renewable energy has to be scaled up to this level, and at such gigantic level won’t renewable energy also have very adverse consequences, although of a different kind? Such questions make the situation more complicated, but these have to be faced. So let us try to approach the issue in a somewhat different way. Since the daily consumption of various goods and utilities involves the use of fossil fuels in various ways, if all excessive, wasteful and harmful consumption can be given up, this will also lead

Ukraine war revitalizes silent competition between China and Russia in Central Asia

By John P. Ruehl  At the recent Commonwealth for Independent States (CIS) summit held on October 14 in Astana, Kazakhstan, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon expressed previously inconceivable remarks. His public admonishment of Russian President Vladimir Putin to treat Central Asian states with more respect showed the growing confidence of Central Asian leaders amid Russia’s embroilment in Ukraine and China’s expanding regional influence. After coming under Russian imperial rule in the 18th and 19th centuries , five Central Asian states—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan— emerged independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. While these countries remained heavily dependent on Russia for security, economic, and diplomatic support, China saw an opportunity in their vast resources and potential to facilitate trade across Eurasia. Chinese-backed development and commerce increased after the Soviet collapse and expanded further after the launch of China’s Belt an

Much like earlier meetings, COP 27 fails to find real solution to overcome climate crisis

By NS Venkataraman* COP 27 in Egypt was organized with much fanfare and expectations, similar to COP 26 at Glasgow that was organised in 2021. While nothing significant was achieved in combating the climate crisis subsequent to the Glasgow Meet, one thought that COP 27 would be more productive and would find some real solutions to overcome the climate crisis. Leaders and representatives from most of the countries participated in the COP 27 including the President of USA, Prime Minister of UK and so many others. Cosmetic speeches were made by the leaders, committing themselves to save the world from global warming and noxious emissions. Finally, resolutions would be adopted after representatives of all countries put their heads together . With no tangible agreement about the fundamental issues, the resolutions would inevitably end up as face saving documents. During COP 27, the UAE President clearly said that the UAE would not reduce production of crude oil and natural gas. In t

Bangladesh to import diesel from India: Win-win situation amidst economic turmoil?

Kamal Uddin Mazumder*  Bangladesh and India had been sharing friendly and warm relations since 1971. Both of the countries have been kith and kin through crisis moments. Bangladesh has witnessed India’s support from the liberation war to the Covid-19 pandemic. As now the world is facing the repercussions of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war through the economic crisis and the energy crisis, India is still with Bangladesh through a cooperative framework. The government of Bangladesh had decided to cut down its fuel consumption to keep up with the global energy crisis. It was necessary to import fuel at the cheapest possible rate to mitigate the crisis. Some talks had been initiated with countries like Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Brunei but India came forward first. The geographical proximity and the longest shared border had ushered multidimensional ways of cooperation and collaboration in many areas. The import of diesel from India through the pipeline is one of the prime example

Maldives migrants' death: Govt bodies haven't done enough for workers' safety, security

By Kirity Roy*  We have been notified by the media that a hazardous fire, which erupted in a cramped neighborhood of Maldivian capital Male, has killed 10 migrant workers including 9 Indians. We are much aggrieved by this incident, and sending our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. Many are missing. Almost half the population in the Maldivian capital constitutes of migrant workers, and out of them many are Indians. During the COVID-19 pandemic it was reported by many media outlets that due to the cramped and unsuitable living conditions, the disease spread more rapidly among the foreign workers than anywhere else in the country. This brought the light upon the serious housing problem for the migrant workers in the country. The current incident shows that the Government bodies have not done enough to ensure safety and security for the workers. While the United Nations have established the rights of the Migrant workers through the International Convention on the Prot