India: Teaching boys to examine gender in patriarchal societies

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Date: 23 Urvashi Sahni | Story Source: Brookings ~ Go to Original Article

One group of global experts ranks India as the most dangerous country in the world for girls and women. According to the government, crime against women rose by 83 percent from 2007-2016, with four rapes reported every hour. One in three girls is a child bride—the most in the world. The government estimates that “there are 63 million ‘missing’ women in the country because of sex-selective abortion, as well as 21 million unwanted girls.” The situation is serious and needs urgent attention.

The problem lies in patriarchal social and political structures, which are inherently violent towards girls. Deeply entrenched patriarchal mindsets tacitly condone gender-based violence and hegemonic views of gender. Boys are valued for their ability to protect and provide, while girls are valued for sexual, reproductive, and domestic labor. The widespread belief is that mindsets must change, which I agree with.

Educating girls is an important pathway towards gender equality, specifically providing equal access and ensuring completion. This needs to be done alongside strong government policy, stern implementation of laws, swift justice, and…