ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Shireen J JejeebhoySubscribe to Shireen J Jejeebhoy

Intergenerational Effects of Educating Girls on Empowering the Next Generation

The study was undertaken with financial support from a consortium of funders, including Bank of America Foundation, Chanel, Kiawah Trust, Tata Trusts, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development through grants awarded to Dasra, Mumbai; their support is gratefully acknowledged. Funding agencies played no role in designing the study, collecting, analysing, and interpreting the data, writing up this paper, or submitting it for publication. The authors are grateful to Sreya Bhattacharya, Shivani Gupta, Shailja Mehta, and Harihar Sahoo for their comments and support and to Dasra, Mumbai, for permission to use the data.

Access to Facilities for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence

In India, 29% of women aged 15–49 have experienced marital violence. Although crisis centres, known as helplines, exist to support those who experience violence, little is known about the experiences of women who use these services. Two rounds of surveys of 200 women who approached the government-sponsored helplines, conducted about four months apart, reveal that physical and sexual violence perpetrated by husbands and/or family members fell significantly in the inter-survey period. Women were also less likely to report suicidal thoughts and many reported a sense of economic security, happiness, self-confidence, and peace of mind. These findings underscore the importance of facilities offering women a haven in which they may learn about their options, have access to empathetic advocates, and secure support for addressing the violence they face at home.

Determinants of Marital Violence

Substantial proportions of married women in India report experiencing physical and sexual violence within their households. Most studies examining the risk and protective factors of marital violence have used crosssectional data to understand the determinants of physical and sexual marital violence. To identify determinants of recent experiences of physical and sexual marital violence, this survey collected data from 4,880 rural women of four states - Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand and Bihar - drawn from the National Family Health Survey-2 conducted in 1998-99 and a follow-up study for a subgroup of women carried out in 2002-03. The findings underscore the need to support programmes that aim to increase the education level of women and girls, make parents aware of the effects parental violence has on their children's well-being and improve married women's financial autonomy by increasing their financial literacy and awareness regarding various savings and asset-building options. Further, programmes and laws targeting dowry exchange and alcohol consumption need to be simultaneously developed.

Women's Empowerment and Forced Sex within Marriage in Rural India

This paper sheds light on the role of key indicators of rural women's empowerment in India in influencing their risk of experiencing forced sex within marriage. Additionally, it also highlights the continuing influence of dowry on forced sex experiences within marriage. It argues for programmes that enhance women's autonomy within their marital homes and encourage education. Further, programmes and laws targeting the prevention of dowry exchange need to be simultaneously developed.

Sexual and Reproductive Health among Youth in Bihar and Jharkhand: An Overview

Young women in India are less likely than young men to be aware of sexual and reproductive health matters or be able to negotiate safe/wanted sex with spouses and partners. This special issue explores the sexual and reproductive health situation among youth in Bihar and Jharkhand, two states that are rarely studied from this perspective.

Early Marriage and HIV/AIDS

Available programmatic sexual and reproductive health initiatives have focused disproportionately on the unmarried and on premarital sexual activity. Married young people have received little attention as a vulnerable group with distinct needs because marriage is assumed to be safe and because married adolescents and young people are assumed to face none of the stigma that their unmarried counterparts experience in accessing sexual and reproductive health services. Emerging evidence highlights that neither of these assumptions are tenable. Within the sub-population of young people, married young women constitute a group with distinct risks of human immunodeficiency virus and face a host of obstacles in making informed sexual and reproductive health decisions.

Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Married Adolescent Girls

This paper collates available evidence on the situation of married adolescent girls and also sheds light on ways their sexual and reproductive health situation and choices differ from adult women. Findings strongly argue for measures that delay marriage and recognise the special vulnerabilities of married adolescent females. There is a need to raise awareness among girls, parents, teachers and community leaders, but more importantly, there is also a need to hold the government accountable for enforcing the legal age of marriage for girls. Further programmes to enhance married girls' autonomy within their marital homes and those that encourage education and generate livelihood opportunities need to be simultaneously developed.

Reproductive Health Information in India

Although the NHFS has succeeded in updating and enhancing our data base, it has not been able to address some major reproductive health issues that lend themselves to being dealt with in large surveys. Among them, maternal health status and morbidity, and their correlates; quality of care concerns and women's ability to exercise reproductive choice are areas where data gaps continue to exist.

Wife-Beating in Rural India A Husband s Right-Evidence from Survey Data

Evidence from Survey Data Shireen J Jejeebhoy Drawing from the data collected in the course of a study on women's autonomy in two culturally distinct sites, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, this paper sheds light on the prevalence and patterns of a specified aspect of domestic violence, wife-beating and intimidation, and the ways in which women interpret this violence. It attempts to provide a backdrop against which the government can be held accountable for failure in respect of its obligation to take appropriate steps to prevent such abuse of women.

Addressing Women s Reproductive Health Needs-Priorities for the Family Welfare Programme

Priorities for the Family Welfare Programme Shireen J Jejeebhoy A growing recognition that population dynamics, quality of life and women's status are closely interrelated argues strongly for a fresh look at India's population programme. Strategies to broaden the narrow focus of services, and more important, to put women's reproductive heatth services and information needs in the forefront are urgently required. What are the gaps in women's reproductive health care? What are the constraints women face in accessing quality health care?

Family Size, Outcomes for Children, and Gender-Case of Rural Maharashtra

This article explores the linkages between family size and such out comes for children as educational attainment, work, and future expectations, in rural Maharashtra, using sample survey data for currently married women aged 25-44 in 1983- 84. The results suggest that while the most important determinants are parental education and economic status, family size has a consistent effect on the situation of children and their gender roles in particular. The situation of daughters in small families continues to be unchanged and in some ways worse: They are no more likely to be educated than those in large families and with the shrinking labour supply of sons, shortfalls are taken up by daughters, and especially older daughters, who, at the cost of securing an education, now spend considerably more time than both girls in large families and their brothers in small families in working in non-domestic activities.

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