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Training Material for Teacher Educators on

Gender Equality and Empowerment

Perspectives on Gender and Society

Volume I

Department of Women’s Studies

ISBN 978-93-5007-260-8

First Edition
July 2013  Ashadha 1935 p No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
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As we know, children are the chief agents of their learning, and teachers are a major
resource for this. As professionals, the teachers contribute in imparting quality
education and bringing about a qualitative change in the learning environment.
The role of teacher educators is equally crucial, as they can motivate the teachers
to adopt inclusive pedagogical process that keeps the learner perspective in mind
in planning curricular activities.
The National Policy of Education (1986) viewed education as an instrument
of social transformation that would eliminate curriculum biases and enable
professionals such as teachers, decision makers, administrators and planners to
‘play’ a positive interventionist role for gender equality. The Programme of Action
(POA), 1992, clearly emphasizes training all teachers and instructors as agents of
women’s empowerment, developing gender sensitization programmes for teacher
educators and administrators, developing gender-sensitive curriculum and removal
of sex bias from textbooks.
The National Curriculum Framework, 2005, propagates the need for the teachers’
role shifting from being a source of knowledge to being a facilitator of learning.
In the training required for this, adequate efforts should be made to bring about
attitudinal changes. The best way to bring about this is to stress the criticality of
being able to recognize one’s own biases and act upon them to maintain a ‘gender
bias free’ approach in one’s work. This is expected to make teachers aware of
the prevalent attitudinal problems and at the same time gear them up to make
conscious efforts to avoid/minimise discriminatory practices that can impact the
growing up of boys and girls.
The Focus Group on Gender Issues in Education (2006) has also emphasized
on teacher training to be more self reflective, participatory and research oriented.
It states that resource material need to be developed to provide inputs to teacher
and teacher educators as to how the gender issues can be woven into the teaching
learning process.
The training of teacher educators has always been a priority of the Department
of Women’s Studies, NCERT. These training programmes have been instrumental
in generating awareness on gender issues in education. States and NGOs and other
organisations working in the area of gender issues can utilize this training material
to train their own educational personnel or use it as a resource material.
The approach followed in the material is based on the position paper on ‘Gender
Issues in Education’ wherein it is stated that gender should not be treated as a
add on approach but as a cross cutting edge in all disciplinary areas. The present
material is gender inclusive and will also enable the teachers to understand
key concepts related to gender and how they operate in reality through various
institutions. This material will provide an opportunity for self introspection and self

reflection of their own socialization processes and will encourage them to question
and critique existing power relations and customary practices. It will enable them
to integrate their experiences with the content of different disciplines for weaving
issues related to boys and girls.
While the authors have made each module participatory and focus upon building
imagination and creativity in school settings, all modules are based upon an evolving
and developing approach. The readers can adopt and adapt according to their needs
and context. A range of sample activity has been incorporated. Additions to this
material are welcome and users can utilize their own context specific knowledge and
experience while transacting the modules. The training material is divided into three
volumes according to the focus of the various themes. These volumes are:
Volume 1: Perspectives on Gender and Society
Volume 2: Gender and Schooling Processes
Volume 3: Gender and Women’s Empowerment
We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of the authors, editors and
coordinators towards the creation and finalization of the three volumes.
As an organisation committed to systemic reform and continuous improvement
in the quality of its products, NCERT welcomes comments and suggestions on this
material, and its utilization.

New Delhi Director

June 2013 National Council of Educational
Research and Training


Gouri Srivastava, Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT

Kinkini Dasgupta, Vigyan Prasar, Department of Science and Technology

Sarita Anand, Department of Development Communication and Extension,

Lady Irwin College

Seema Khanna, Association for Social Welfare and Human Development


Anita Vaidyanathan, Independent Education Consultant

Namita Ranganathan, Central Institute of Education, University of Delhi

Nandita Singh, Independent Education Consultant

Usha Nayar, All India Women’s Conference


Gouri Srivastava, Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT

Mona Yadav, Department of Women’s Studies, NCERT


Foreword iii

Introduction 1

Volume I : Perspectives on Gender and Society


1. Sex and Gender 3–9

2. Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 10–33

3. Gender Budgeting 34–41

4. Gender, Media and Education 42–63

5. Gender and Violence 64–72

6. Gender, Science and Technology 73–85


Volume I : ‘Perspectives on Gender and community awareness). A life stage

Society’ comprises of a set of six modules approach, suggested in this module can
which build our perspective about gender be effectively implemented as a part of Life
and society from a multiple lens. Each Skills Education. This author dwells on the
of these modules are interdisciplinary in practical aspects of fostering empowerment
nature and give an insight into how gender amongst girls and women and gives
is perceived, constructed and translated an insight into curriculum planning,
into different disciplines and domains formulation and implementation. It weaves
such as the personal, social, public and together the gender aspects by charting
economic. This volume aims at building out the various subject specific indicators,
awareness and understanding among which can be incorporated and analysed
different stakeholder groups like teachers, as a part of gender friendly approach
teacher educators, researchers, policy (especially in subjects such as Literature
planners, administrators, legal experts and Social Science). This module also aims
about the interface of gender issues with at building awareness not only among
different facets of society. teacher educators and policy makers but
The first module, Sex and Gender makes also those workers who work in the rural/
a subtle distinction between these two terms backward areas. The information about
through the incorporation of activities. the variety of schemes introduced by the
While sex is biological, gender is a social Government might dispel the ignorance
construct. The chapter also delineates the of rural/backward women and propel
stereotypical attitudes and notions allied them to work for their betterment, thereby
with specific gender roles. The activities facilitating greater participation of women
incorporated as a part of this chapter would in the legal, social, economic and political
enable practitioners to generate awareness spheres. This module could be a part of
about gender complementarity among the the adult/rural education project and is of
participant groups. great relevance to teacher educators, policy
The second module, Indicators of Gender planners, administrators, researchers and
Equality and Empowerment flags the idea of academicians working in the field of gender.
bringing about equality and empowerment The third module, Gender Budgeting
through transformation in the processes of as a cross cutting point emphasises the
schooling and education (which includes need for equal allocation of budget for the
adult education facilitating social and holistic development of both boys and girls.
2 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

The author proposes that only if there is learners towards objectionable content by
such an allocation can the constitutional invoking their critical thinking abilities.
goals of equity and equality be achieved. The fifth module, Gender and Violence
The concept of gender budgeting would spells out the laws which exist for the
be extremely significant in training policy redressal of crimes against women. It
planners and practitioners to analyze succeeds in building awareness about
the budget from a gender lens so that the these laws. It not only highlights the kinds
benefits of development are shared by all of violence that women face, but also
and sustainable development is gender carries a citation of real life incidents. It
enclosing. This module also lays stress on ends by presenting a set of suggestions on
the importance of a gender inclusive budget, the pedagogical measures which could be
which aims at allocating the budgetary taken at the level of school, community and
provisions according to the needs and society to curb violence and masochism
requirements of both men and women. against women.
The sixth module, Gender, Science
The fourth module, Gender, Media and
and Technology highlights the gender
Education juxtaposes the role of media in
bias in the area of science education with
perpetuating stereotypical gender roles
specific reference to the conspicuous
and attitudes as well as their potent role in
invisibility of women in such arenas due
critiquing and subverting these gendered
to the socio-cultural biases and prejudices
notions. The author emphasizes on the and unfriendly working environment. It
role of new media and its inaccessibility suggests some practical interventions
to certain sections of society, especially which could be undertaken by the teachers
women. She questions the conspicuous and teacher educators to remove the bias,
invisibility of women in media, especially thereby encouraging the girls and women
the print and the television media, covering to undertake further research and studies
news as well as the commodification of in the area of science education.
women in films and advertisements. The Apart from the theoretical enrichment,
module emphasises that an all inclusive this module also aims at gender sensitization
media can play a pivotal role in changing and suggests certain practical interventions
age old attitudes by projecting and depicting and strategies which could be incorporated
women in empowered roles and positions. in varied arenas such as education,
Media studies as such can efficaciously be schooling, media and economy at large to
integrated as a part of the school curriculum foster gender equality, equity and women’s
by the teachers who can sensitise the empowerment.
Module 1
Sex and Gender

Structure of the Module

1.1 Overview
1.2 Introduction
1.3 Objectives
1.4 What are Stereotypes?
1.5 Common Gender Stereotypes
1.6 Gender Relations and Roles
1.7 References

1.1 OVERVIEW refers to the socially constructed differences

In this module, we will reflect upon the between them. These socially constructed
differences between the concepts of ‘Sex’ differences can change over time and are
and ‘Gender’. We will also examine the
also likely to vary within a given society and
ways in which gender roles and stereotypes
are socially constructed and the role that from one culture to the other. Our Gender
education can play in bringing about a Identity determines how we are perceived
change. and how we are expected to behave as men
and women. The main differences between
the two terms are presented in the box
Sex refers to the biological difference
between men and women, while Gender below:

Sex Gender
Sex is natural. Gender is socio-cultural construct.
Sex is biological and it refers to visible differences
It refers to the masculine and feminine qualities,
in genitalia and related differences in procreative
behaviour, roles and responsibilities that society
functions. upholds.
Sex is constant, it remains the same everywhere.
Gender is variable; it changes from time to time,
culture to culture, even family to family.
Sex cannot be changed without complex medical Gender can be changed/ re-oriented.
4 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

• To understand the concepts of sex and
• To analyze the role of culture in creating
gender stereotypes
• To appreciate the ways in which
education can help women to question
and deal with gender stereotypes.


As we grow up the socialization processes
shape our self concept and our expectations
from ourselves and others around us. In
this process certain patterns and mindsets
also get transmitted from one generation to
the other. Pink equals to girl and blue equals to boy
Stereotypes are “Unduly fixed mental
impressions” or reducing a person to a mere A stereotype is a picture that we carry
instance of a characteristic (Oxford English in our minds and not necessarily an
Dictionary). Gender stereotypes are socially accurate mirror of the real world. The
constructed beliefs about men and women. mass media act as important agents of
They are usually manifested in sayings,
socialization, together with the family and
songs, proverbs, media, religion, culture,
peers, contributing to the shaping and
customs, educational practices etc
perpetuation of gender roles and gender
They vary substantially overtime and
among cultures. The fact that individuals
What we see in our environment
are likely to think of a ‘man’ when they
particularly in our homes, school and
hear the word surgeon illustrates how we
place of work and on television, on radio,
all hold beliefs, attitudes and stereotypes
in the newspapers and magazines influence
about the occupations of men and women.
our thoughts. Our imagination of who
These greatly influence our perception of
the world around us. is capable of doing what is in relation to
Think about an elementary school what we see happening most often. Parents
teacher. Which sex do you associate with communicate their stereotypes to children
an elementary school teacher? Now think in numerous ways. Indian girls grow
about a fashion model. Which sex do you up with a deep-rooted sense of fear and
associate with a fashion model? Now think insecurity, which not only restricts their
about an engineer. Which sex do you social mobility in every day life but also
associate with being an engineer? often psychologically cripples them to face
Most individuals still indicate that the hardships of life in general and resist
elementary school teachers are female, gender based discrimination in particular.
models are female, and engineers are This division of gender flows almost directly
male. Stereotypes refer to individuals’ from the popular notions and beliefs that
pre-determined cognitions that may not are fostered in society. These images can be
correspond with social reality. noticed in most Indian families in varying
Sex and Gender 5

1. Relate the following characteristics with male or female:

Characteristics Female Male

The list is not exhaustive and you can add more examples.
What do you find? Observe your responses. Do you agree? Do you think your opinion will

degrees. It is important to recognise that up, irrespective of our age, sex, place of
these images leave a deep imprint upon residence and occupation.
women’s self-perception. Gender identity is our psychological
awareness or sense of being male or being
1.5 COMMON GENDER STEREOTYPES female and one of the most obvious and
Some of you may and some may not. It is important aspects of our self-concept. There
our interpretation of what we think male are several factors which determine gender
and females are. Others may challenge identity. It is generally consistent with
these stereotypes. It is also because these chromosomal sex. This does not necessarily
mean that gender identity is determined
stereotypes are created by the society we
biologically. People tend to be reared as
live in. They are not guided by nature. Since
either males or females. Gender identity
childhood, as an individual develops a self-
is said to be influenced by both biological
concept, these stereotypes get reinforced and psychosocial factors. Gender is thus,
through socialization. The process may the psychological sense of being female or
start with the kind of toys given to the being male and internalizing the roles that
children to play with and continue with the society ascribes to gender. It is a complex
type of clothes and colours that parents concept that is based partly on anatomy,
use for daughters and sons. Gradually, partly on the psychology of the individual,
family, peers, school, books and media and partly on culture and tradition. It is a
play a very important role in building them social construct.
6 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

Tick whether the following functions are associated with sex or gender.

Function Sex Gender

Growing a beard
Breaking of Voice

Social Construction of Gender: In history of social relations and interactions.

regard to different phenomena, objects They vary over time and place and between
and events that exist in the world in which different groups of people. They may also
we live, we develop or construct an image. be impacted by other factors, such as race,
We develop our own understanding about class, ethnicity and disability.
them. This “every day sense of things” forms Gender Roles: These are the social
the foundation of the social construction of norms that dictate socially appropriate male
reality. Social construction is a continuous and female behaviour. Earlier, it was
process in which both the individual common for a woman to be a submissive
and the wider social processes play a homemaker in contrast to the male’s
part. Social processes like socialization breadwinner role. However, over the last few
and education also help to make these decades this perception has undergone a
constructions. Gender is an example considerable change especially in urban
of such social construction. The above areas. In fact, the efforts made by the Indian
exercise is intended to test whether or not Constitution and later by academia, policy
we understand the difference between sex makers and NGOs have been able to
and gender. Breastfeeding, menstruation, invalidate gender roles, in the sense that
growing a beard and the breaking of voice
are biological processes associated with
sex. Cooking and boxing are activities
traditionally associated with men or women
that have no biological basis: they are
therefore a function of gender.


Gender Relations: These are socially
constituted and are not derived from biology.
Biological differences are permanent with
the rare exception of those who undergo sex
changes. Gender relations and functions
are dynamic. They are shaped through the
Sex and Gender 7

feelings. Whether these gender roles are fair

or not, is where the argument begins. Does
the fact that we are treated differently based
on our sex prevent us from reaching equality
or are we treated differently because we are
different by nature?
Some of the situations in which we see
gender differences are as follows:
Social: Different perceptions of women’s
and men’s social roles. The man is seen
as head of the household and chief bread-
winner; the woman is seen as a nurturer
and care-giver.
women are not considered secondary to men
Political: Differences in the ways in
anymore. At the same time, the fact that
which women and men assume and share
gender roles exist is indisputable.  
power and authority. Men are more involved
Gender roles influence women and men
in national and higher level politics; women
in virtually every area of life including family
are more involved at the local level in
and occupation. Early in their childhood,
activities linked to their domestic roles.
girls and boys are treated differently in
Educational: Differences in educational
families, schools and other institutions.
opportunities and expectations from girls
Girls are encouraged to play with dolls,
and boys are seen. Families may invest
kitchen sets and playhouse type of toys,
more resources in boys’ education rather
while boys with trucks, construction games
than girls’ education.Girls may be streamed
and army toys. Boys are played with in a
into less challenging academic tracks.
rough manner and told to “rough it out”
Economic: Differences in women’s and
when they get hurt. Girls are taught to
men’s access to lucrative careers and control
be more passive and expressive with their

1. Fill out the following table of the biologically and socially determined roles of men and women.
Biologically determined
Socially constructed roles
Work place

2. Identify gender roles from the following-

• Women give birth to babies, men don’t.
• Little girls are gentle and timid; boys are tough and adventurous.
• In many countries, women earn 70 per cent of what men earn.
• Women can breast-feed babies.
• Women are in charge of raising children.
• Men are decision makers.
• Boys’ voices break at puberty.
• Women are forbidden from working in dangerous jobs such as underground mining.
8 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

of financial and other productive resources families and working children and the
like credit and loans; land ownership. future workforce i.e. infants and school
The reproductive role is the only one going children.
that is biologically determined. The roles in Productive work comprises of work
the home, community and work place are done by both women and men for payment
“grafted” onto these biological roles. Thus it in cash or kind. It includes both market
is assumed that because women give birth place production with an exchange value,
to children, therefore, they must care for and subsistence/home production with
them and for the home and offer voluntary an actual use value. It also subsumes a
“care” services in the community. Gender potential exchange value i.e. home based
stereotypes are carried into the work place, workers, artisans and crafts women. For
where women predominate in the “care” women in agricultural production this
professions like being teachers, doctors, includes work as independent farmers,
secretaries, nurses, domestic workers peasant’s wives and wageworkers.
etc. Men on the other hand are assumed Community management consists of
to provide and protect and they take on activities undertaken by women primarily
“control” work in the community and work at the community level, as an extension of
place — they are the politicians, managers their reproductive role. It aims at ensuring
and decision makers; working in industry, the provision and maintenance of scarce
army, business etc. resources of collective consumption, such
Reproductive work comprises the as water, health care and education. It is
child bearing/rearing responsibilities and voluntary unpaid work, undertaken in one’s
domestic tasks undertaken by women, free time.
required to guarantee the maintenance Now, the most important learning is
and reproduction of the labour force. It that when our mind starts questioning the
includes not only biological reproduction, relevance of socially dictated roles, it is
but also the maintenance of the work force the first step towards change. The teacher,
for the family i.e. husband, elders in joint the books, the school curriculum and the

1. What are gender stereotypes?

2. What are the ways by which gender roles get established?


3. What role can a teacher play in making class rooms gender neutral? Elaborate your
answer with two appropriate examples.
Sex and Gender 9

school environment are the potent catalysts which is more equitous and relatively free
who can initiate this change through their of stereotypes can be built.
thoughts and actions. Therefore, a sensitive
teacher would try to provide a gender 1.7 REFERENCES
neutral environment to the students and • Oxford English Dictionary.
would also try to generate gender sensitivity • Bhasin, K. (2000). Understanding
among boys and girls so that a better future Gender, New Delhi, Kali for Women.
Module 2
Indicators of Gender Equality and
Structure of the Module
2.1 Overview
2.2 Introduction
2.3 Objectives
2.4 What the Indicator should Try and Encompass
2.5 Types of Qualitative Indicators for Understanding Gender Issues
2.6 The Indian Context
2.7 Quantitative Indicators on Empowerment of Girls and Women: A Life Stage Approach
2.8 Enhancing the Self-esteem and Self-confidence of Girls and Women
2.9 Building a Positive Image of Girls and Women by Recognizing their Contribution to Society,
Polity and Economy
2.10 Developing the Ability to Think Critically
2.11 Fostering Decision-making and Action through Collective Processes
2.12 Enabling Girls and Women to make Informed Choices in Areas like Education, Employment
and Health, Specially Reproductive Health
2.13 Ensuring Equal Participation in Developmental Processes
2.14 Providing Information, Knowledge and Skills for Economic Independence
2.15 References

2.1 OVERVIEW and schemes for strengthening the forces

of inclusion that emphasise on equality of
The mapping of gender equality and
opportunities for all children irrespective of
empowerment is crucial to know the
their caste, class, gender and location have
holistic development of girls’ and women been developed. Many such programmes in
from infancy to adulthood. Discourses the area of education have been designed to
on education have highlighted that post strengthen the retention and achievement
independence, many policies, programmes of children in school. Primary education
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 11

has been made accessible to 98% children a constant realization by policy framers and
within one kilometer of the habitation educationists that though women contribute
where they reside and likewise the figure to 2/3 of the world’s work-hours, they earn
is almost 92% for an upper primary only 1/3 of the total income and own less
school within three kilometers of their than 1/10 of the world resources. Further,
habitation. Gross enrolment ratios have they are excluded from socio-economic,
increased significantly across all social political and knowledge power. Therefore, to
categories, drop out rates at primary address the forces of exclusion and to bridge
level have declined, and the transition gender gaps in all development initiatives
from primary to upper primary stage has for making the process of economic growth
improved. (Report of the Committee on more gender inclusive, most developing
Implementation of The Right of Children countries of the world have adopted a
to Free and Compulsory Education Act, gender sensitive mainstream approach.
2009, p.1). However, studies on classroom In the realm of education, efforts are
processes have highlighted that hidden being made to address gender and class
curriculum practices by teachers while disparities at all levels. In this regard, steps
transacting different disciplines overtly and have been initiated by many countries
covertly discriminate children, particularly of the developing world since the Beijing
girls from marginalized groups. This affects Platform for Action, where special emphasis
their overall personality development. was given to developing gender sensitive
The proposed module is designed to indicators. These indicators it was felt
focus on qualitative issues related to gender would help in the identification of factors
equality and empowerment. It is based on that impede the attainment of Education
the recommendations in the National Policy for All. The focus of the indicators was to
on Education (1986) and the Programme be on eliciting all information that would
of Action (1992). Each parameter related minutely map social realities.
to the empowerment of women has been Currently, in the domain of education,
identified, conceptualized and listed as some of the gender disaggregated indicators
an indicator for which information can be used for eliciting information on equity
qualitatively assessed. The list of indicators and empowerment are related to sex ratio,
can be used and tried in different field population, mean age of marriage, infant
situations and modified as a function of mortality rates, work participation rates,
the context. literacy, enrollment, dropout, gender
parity and transitional rates. Besides these
2.2 INTRODUCTION there are some international indicators
The dawn of the present millennium on Women’s Empowerment and Human
witnessed several countries of the world Development that attempt to depict the
struggling to achieve equity and equality global scenario and also assist in promoting
in education and in other related fields. comparisons between different countries of
The millennium development goals have the world.
already set the agenda in motion by Gender sensitive indicators aim to
highlighting that achieving universal capture social processes, particularly with
elementary education and promoting reference to gender-related social changes.
gender equality and empowerment is what In addition, they explain why a situation
needs to be prioritized by all signatory that has been measured or assessed has
countries of the world. In the context of occurred and also point to how it might be
gender issues in education, there has been corrected, enhanced or changed. Further,
12 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

the indicators also help in examining • Do the indicators measure processes

different paradoxes that exist in society through which gender equality and
and also throw light on whether they have women’s empower ment are being
been adequately addressed or not. Thus, promoted or hindered?
they can help to explain the gap between • Do the indicators track obstacles and
equity and equality, policy rhetoric and field opportunities? For example, economic
reality, demand and supply of educational facilities/schemes, social opportunities
provisions, practical and strategic gender and technical aspects of interventions.
needs and transformatory and existing • Do the indicators take into account
socialization practices. socio-cultural and political realities?
Both quantitative and qualitative • What type of data ought to be relied
indicators have their own merits and upon?
are useful in understanding a scenario,
process or phenomenon. It is essential to
understand that both quantitative and
qualitative indicators are complementary
to each other. Researchers, policy framers
and professionals can choose any set • Condition focused indicators can point
of indicators to study a given social specifically to women’s life and work
phenomenon. The indicators can be conditions and identify areas where
quantitative and qualitative. They are not specific interventions can take place by
mutually exclusive. the government and civil society.
• Capabilities focused indicators are
2.3 OBJECTIVES those that reveal information on how
• To acquaint the participants/learners women perceive and actualize their
with different types of qualitative opportunities and strategize to deal with
indicators constraints. They help to identify spaces
• To enable them to understand the for planning interventions that are not
only guided by actual experiences but
difference and complimentarity between
also allow for women’s participation in
qualitative and quantitative indicators
formulating the interventions. Capability
• To help them to analyze the qualitative
focused indicators are derived from
indicators related to their context
an examination of the rights that are
• To build in them the ability to develop
addressed through the interventions.
and use indicators relevant to their field
• Practical gender needs focused
indicators are those which address the
2.4 WHAT THE INDICATOR SHOULD immediate and short-term needs and
TRY TO ENCOMPASS constraints that girls and women face
in their everyday lives.
Every indicator should be realistic,
• Strategic change focused indicators
meaningful, quantifiable and provide refer to more long term, transformative
insights on qualitative issues as well. changes such as those that address
While formulating indicators, the following structural issues of inequalities like
aspects may be looked into: caste, class and gender.
• Do the indicators measure results or
outcomes in terms of women’s rights Given in the box below are a set of questions
such as achievement of gender equality and activities that will help you to apply
or facilitation of women’s empowerment? what you have just read in actual situations.
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 13


1. Prepare an indicator to access the impact of NPE on the teachers of your school and on

2. Organize a debate on the topic: Education as a Tool for the Empowerment of Women.

3. Complete the following table by placing the items mentioned in the list keeping in mind
practical and strategic gender needs (After placing these items as per your understanding,
initiate a discussion).

S. Practical Strategic
No. gender needs gender needs
1. Pay
2. Working conditions
3. Infrastructure facilities
4. Leave rules
5. Recruitment
6. Posting
7. Roles
8. Duties
9. Maternity leave
10. Deputing for training programme
11. Any other

2.6 THE INDIAN CONTEXT The National Education System will play
a positive, interventionist role in the
The Constitutional Provisions, National empowerment of women. It will foster
Policy on Education (1986) and the the development of new values through
Programme of Action (1992), have redesigned curricula, textbooks, training
been the guiding forces influencing and orientation of teachers, decision-
both the qualitative and quantitative makers and administrators, and the active
indicators regarding gender equality and involvement of educational institutions.
empowerment. Some important policy This will be an act of faith and social
excerpts in this regard are presented in the engineering. Women’s Studies will be
box below: promoted as a part of various courses and
educational institutions will be encouraged
4.2 Education will be used as an agent to take up active programmes to further
of basic change in the status of women. women’s development.
In order to neutralize the accumulated
4.3 The removal of women’s illiteracy
distortions of the past, there will be a
and obstacles inhibiting their access to,
well-conceived edge in favour of women.
14 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

and retention in, elementary education universalise education, eradicate illiteracy,

will receive overriding priority, through create a gender sensitive educational
provision of special support services, system, increase enrollment and retention
setting of time targets, and effective rates of girls and improve the quality of
monitoring. Major emphasis will be laid education to facilitate life-long learning, as
on women’s participation in vocational, well as development of vocational/technical
technical and professional education skills by women. Reducing the gender gap in
at different levels. The policy of non- secondary and higher education would be a
discrimination will be pursued vigorously focus area. Sectoral time targets in existing
to eliminate sex stereotyping in vocational policies will be achieved, with special focus
and professional courses and to promote on girls and women, particularly those
women’s participation in non-traditional belonging to weaker sections including the
occupations, as well as in existing and ST/SC/OBC/Minorities. Gender sensitive
emergent technologies. curricula would be developed at all levels of
(Source: National Policy on Education 1986, pg. 6.) the educational system in order to address
sex stereotyping as one of the causes of
gender discrimination.
The Programme of Action (1992) has
actually provided the different parameters (Source: National Policy for the Empowerment of
Women-2001, pg. 11.)
of women’s empowerment. They are as
In the present module, an attempt has
• Enhancing the self-esteem and self-
been made to examine various indicators
confidence of women.
that could perhaps map some qualitative
• Building a positive image of women by
changes related to the overall personality
recognizing their contribution to the
development of girls/women. In this regard,
society, polity and the economy.
a life stage approach has been adopted
• Developing the ability to think critically.
that takes into account the entire span of
• Fostering decision-making and action
the mortal existence of women. Indicators
through collective processes.
focusing on societal issues that impact
• Enabling women to make informed
personality development, coupled with
choices in areas like education,
those related to textual and contextual
employment and health, especially
situations have been discussed. They may
reproductive health.
be adapted, applied and modified according
• Ensuring equal participation in
to contextual needs.
developmental processes.
• Providing information, knowledge and 2.7 QUANTITATIVE INDICATORS OF
skill for economic independence. EMPOWERMENT OF GIRLS AND
• Enhancing access to legal literacy and WOMEN: A LIFE STAGE APPROACH
information relating to their rights and
In the life stage approach, childhood,
entitlements in society, with a view to
adolescence and adulthood are seen
enhance their participation on an equal
as developmentally contiguous stages.
footing in all areas.(p2)
Childhood is the first stage after infancy
Empowerment of girls/women has once
which typically commences at the end of the
again been reiterated in the National Policy
first year of life and merges with adolescence
for the Empowerment of Women 2001. The
as the growing child strikes puberty. Since it
policy states that:
spans over several years, it is often divided
Equal access to education for women and into early, middle and late childhood. Each
girls will be ensured. Special measures of these sub stages are defined by a set
will be taken to eliminate discrimination, of characteristics and capabilities that a
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 15

child is capable of. These in turn determine and failures. A person’s self-esteem may be
what the child can be taught and trained reflected in her behaviour. So the girl may
to do. The curriculum in schools is also be bold and assertive or shy, diffident etc.
based on these. Interventions that facilitate Often because of the gendered division
children’s development are also based on of work and expected behaviour, girls do
the developmental profile of the child. not get ample opportunities to develop their
Adolescence is the transitional stage of self esteem. For self esteem to grow, a girl
development that occurs between childhood needs to have self-worth. Self worth comes
and adulthood. This transition involves when girls feel they are valued and have
biological (i.e.; pubertal), social, cognitive experiences of success. The psychosocial
and psychological changes. Biological environment in which a girl lives and grows
or the physiological changes are the which include her family, friends, school
easiest to measure objectively, but social experiences and society play a major role in
and psychological changes are difficult building or breaking her self esteem. They
to measure quantitatively. The teenage can provide her the experiences of being
years span from age 13 and go on till 19 valued, nurtured and success which in turn
years. However, the end of adolescence will help her to develop positive self esteem.
and beginning of adulthood vary across When they work in a negative direction, the
regions and countries. Adulthood is a long result will be low self esteem.
and extensive phase which subsumes Self-confidence is the realistic confidence
young, adult and late sub stages. Each in one’s own judgement, ability and power,
sub-stage has its specific characteristics etc. If a person is self-confident, it will show
in the way she holds herself and interacts
and challenges.
with others. People with self-confidence
The life stage approach is important
tend to be decisive, able to make decisions
since it recognizes the developmental
despite uncertainties and pressures, believe
continuity between childhood, adolescence
in themselves and don’t care about what
and adulthood. Thus, the girl child, the
others say or think.
adolescent girl and the woman are all
Some of the ways in which self esteem
equally important and the indicators would
and self confidence get reflected are given
apply to all of them.
in the box below. A discussion on each of
The indicators discussed in the sections
the listed points may be taken up.
that follow have been drawn from the
Programme of Action (1992). They take How Self Esteem/Self Confidence are
into account the qualities that need to be reflected?
developed in girls- with the larger goal being (1) Appearance
overall personality development. • Way of dressing
• Cleanliness of body (nails, hair,
AND WOMEN • Sitting
• Standing
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology • Bending
to reflect a person’s overall evaluation • Walking
or appraisal of his or her own worth. (3) Communication
Self-esteem encompasses beliefs about (a) Use of language
oneself such as “I am competent” or “I • Mother-tongue
am incompetent” and emotions such as • English
triumph, despair, pride and shame, success • Multilingual
16 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment


(b) Ability to express ones ideas in
• Other social gatherings CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIETY,
(c) Classroom processes POLITY AND ECONOMY
(d) Participate in question/answering Women’s studies were pioneered in the US
• Convey own ideas in the late 60’s. In India, this term gained
• Additional information cognizance since 1975. The concern for
• Ability to correct teachers when incorporating women’s issues in the syllabi
not convinced
and textual material was given emphasis at
(e) Outside classroom activities
the first National Conference on Women’s
• Music
Studies (NCWS) in 1981. Review of curricula
• Drama
in different disciplines undertaken by the
• Debate
NCWS highlighted the absence of women/
• Essay competition
girls in curricula. Since then there has been
• Sports
serious concern for incorporating women’s
• Yoga
• Any other
issues, experiences and contributions
(f) Expressing own ideas in
visibly in the curriculum. Textual materials
• School magazines
prepared in the Indian contexts attempt
• Newspapers to depict girls and women through visuals
• Other publications and content, aimed at building a positive
• Any other forums image of women’s contribution in different
(4) Behavioural patterns spheres. However, studies conducted by
• Emotional the Department of Women’s Studies in
• Assertive the 90’s showed that a partial approach of
• Fatalistic inclusion of women in different disciplines
• Initiator was adopted. Stereotypes were very visible
• Dreamer in depicting women’s contributions.
• Insecure In the context of some SAARC countries
• Dependent too this phenomena was observed (see
• Independent Srivastava 2007 and 2008). To make the
• Childish contribution of women an integral part of all
• Reliance on others development processes the ‘add women and
• Can’t stand up for herself stir’ approach should be negated. The NCF-
• Doesn’t know what to say 2005 and position paper on Gender Issues in
• Tolerant Education very aptly emphasize highlighting
• Intolerant women’s contribution in all disciplines as
• Accepting instructions without an integral part of knowledge construction.
questioning Textbooks based on NCF integrate girls’ and
• Afraid of voicing out one’s opinion women’s experiences in all spheres such
• Scared as agriculture, livestock and other service
• Bold sectors of the economy. Visuals show them
(5) Voice in active roles. Personalities who have
• Articulate contributed throughout history have also
• Pronunciation been given spaces.
• High pitch Literature on women role models can
• Low pitch also be used extensively in preparation
• Takes few minutes to speak of textual materials and their experiences
• Problem in speaking can be depicted in classroom transactions
• Any other through innovative pedagogical approaches.
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 17

Indicators for Textual Materials

(a) Identification Data
1. Title of the Textbook
2. Class
3. Subject
4. Language
5. Authors
6. Editors
7. Month and year of publication
8. Total number of pages

(b) Cover/back pages: Visuals

S. Women/ Men/boys Both None
Visuals portraying the following:
No. girls
1. Students
2. Educationists
3. Professionals
4. Producers
5 Roles in which characters are depicted
6. Artist/theatre persons
7. Eminent contributors to society
8. Animal/birds species depicted as
9. Any other

(c) Cover/back pages: Content

Women/ Men/
Content Both none
girls boys

Sayings and quotations relating to

Themes depicting

(d) Symbolic representation of colours

(e) Any other features related to identities: such as

1. National
2. Religious
3. Linguistic
4. Neutral
(f) Whether contextualization has been taken care of

(g) Organisation of the content

18 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

Content analysis chapter wise

Chapter/Lesson No:
Total number of pages:

S. Male/ Female/
Criteria Both No. of times
No. boys girls

1. Adjectives used for both sexes

Pronoun/common words used/


• Primary
• Tertiary
• Service sector

• Administrators
• Decision makers
• Leaders
• Producers
• Social reformers
• Educationalists
• Any other

Values associated with both the

6. Derogatory remarks used

Men and women depicted in

7. relational terms (father of, mother
of, sister of, wife of, daughter of)

• Existing customary practices

• Purdah
8. • Child marriage
• Female foeticide
• Dowry
• Any other

Any other localised practices

Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 19

Mention of violence:
10. • Physical
• Emotional

(h) Does the chapter mention conflicting situations in:

1. The family
2. School
3. Classroom
4. Community
5. Work place
6. National level
7. International level
8. Any other
(i) Who takes initiatives in resolving conflicts?
1. Men in different capacities
2. Women in different capacities
3. Both
4. State
5. Non-Government Agencies
6. Any other
(j) What methods are adopted for conflict resolution?
1. Power assertion ____________________
2. Consensus ____________________
3. Delay/Postponement ____________________
4. Suggest Constructive solution ____________________
5. Laws ____________________
6. Any other ____________________

(k) Is there a mention of Human Rights? What rights are mentioned?

1. Rights pertaining to Men/Boys
2. Right pertaining to Women/Girls
3. Duties pertaining to Men/Boys
4. Duties pertaining to Women/Girls

(l) Visuals in the lesson

Criteria Male/Boys Female/Girls Both None

Role models


Fine arts

Any other
20 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

(m) Evaluation exercises based on gender and peace

Criteria Male Female Both None

Understanding of gender and peace
Skills related to communication,
negotiation and critical thinking
Ethics and values

(n) Perception of Lesson/Chapter from the view point of

1. Gender bias
2. Gender stereotyping
3. Conflict management/Peaceful co-existence

(o) Points of discussion with students on

1. Visuals
2. Contents
3. Illustrations
4. Exercises
5. Gender portrayal
6. Adequate
7. Inadequate
8. Totally lacking

(p) Valuing girls/women’s contributions: Family/society (Perceptions)

The activities in the box below should be discussed in detail with reference to how the
columns are filled up by respondents

Unpaid Essential Having no
Work (income
(having no for human Stereo- impact on
(House hold related saved –
economic resource typical the status of
chores) income
value) development women





Looking after the sick

Stitching/ knitting

Fetching food
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 21

Fetching drinking
Care of siblings

Teaching children

Transmitting values
and beliefs

Maintenance of
household items
Involved in
remunerative and
employment oriented
Role in Agriculture
• Sowing
• Transplanting
• Weeding
• Winnowing
• Harvesting
• Marketing
• Any other
Participation in
Live stock related
• Cottage industry/
• Small Scale

• Decision making
and participation
in family matters
• Panchayat
• Other governing
bodies at the :
–– Local Levels
–– State Level
–– National
–– International
22 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

2.10 DEVELOPING THE ABILITY TO Yadav (2010) have highlighted that schemes
THINK CRITICALLY like Mahila Samakhya (1987) and Kasturba
Earlier studies on feminism concentrated Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV, 2004),
on finding a voice. Women’s silence has Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) have the
been attributed to their oppression and potential to bring about attitudinal changes
marginalisation in history. The silencing of in girls and develop in them a critical
women was understood in terms of their perspective to introspect on their lived
oppression and hence their marginalisation. realities and existing customary traditions.
Patriarchal families were and continue to Some of them relate to ceremonies
be sites where silencing of women through performed at child birth, child marriage,
the use of hegemonic male language, child widowhood, purdah, segregation at
values, and structures is done. Women’s the onset of puberty, dowry and traditions
silence therefore represents psychological associated with enforced widowhood and
repression. practices like witch hunting. This may be
Researches conducted in the Indian discussed more contextually by using the
context such as Srivastava (2008) and activity built into the box below.

Criteria Men Women Boys Girls Both

Participating in
undoing customary
• Purdah
• Dowry
• Child marriage
• Female foeticide
• Any other

Steps taken to address

emotional violence
• Verbal abuse
• Sign language
• Eye contact
• Derogatory
• Any other

Physical violence

Participation in
monitoring and
evaluation of:
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 23

• Schemes and
meant for:
• Women
• Adolescent
• Children
• Infant

Voicing opinion for

better implementation

2.11 FOSTERING DECISION MAKING AND of education lies in empowering women

ACTION THROUGH COLLECTIVE to achieve equality. It has adopted an
PROCESSES innovative approach that emphasizes on
The National Policy on Education (NPE, processes rather than mechanical fulfillment
1986) focuses on removal of women’s of targets. Education is understood not
illiteracy. Obstacles inhibiting their access merely as acquiring basic literacy skills,
to and retention in elementary education but as a process of learning to question,
continue to receive overriding priority. The critically analyse issues and problems and
Programme of Action (POA, 1992) mentions seek solutions. It endeavours to create
empowerment of women as the critical an environment for women to learn at
pre-condition for their participation in the their own pace, set their own priorities
educational process. and seek knowledge and information to
This aspect has been reiterated in make informed choices. Mahila Samakhya
the National Policy for the Empowerment brings women together to collectively solve
of Women (2001), wherein some of the their problems and empower them to
objectives mention that women will have address a wide variety of issues themselves.
equal access to participation and decision- Mahila Sanghas (Women’s Collectives) are
making in the social, political and economic committed to collective actions impacting
life of the nation. There is also a mention the overall status of women. In this
of building and strengthening partnerships context, the enactment of the 73rd and 74th
with civil society, particularly women’s
Constitutional Amendments constitutes a
organisations. Efforts would also be made
landmark in giving women a centre stage
to bring about attitudinal changes in
role in decision making at the grassroots
society through the active participation and
level. They ensure that one third of the total
involvement of both men and women. One
elected seats and positions of Chairpersons
of the programmes that attempts to
in rural and urban local elected bodies be
translate the former and even latter into
practice is the Mahila Samakhya Programme reserved for women.
(1987). The following box presents an activity
The critical focus in Mahila Samakhya which may be conducted or used for building
is that it recognizes that the centrality up understanding through discussion.
24 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

(a) Children

Decision making Family elder1 Male Female Both

in different social
institutions Male Female

• Food
• Health
• Education
• Ownership of
property (moveable/
• Income
• Expenditure

Management Principal Head Teacher
Male Female Male Female Male Female

• Recruitment of
• Posting of teachers
• Job assignment
• Participation in
service training
• Assignment of
different tasks
 Teaching
 Non-teaching
• Participation
in seminars,
• Space given to
innovative teaching

Strategies adopted for

• Rewards
• Certification
• Remuneration
• Promotion

Attitude towards
formation of

Family elder would include elderly grandparents, uncle-aunt, and mother-father as per the family consideration.
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 25

(b) Contextual situations in schooling processes

Classroom activities Boys Girls Both
Teaching and learning process
Asking questions
Giving answers
Clearing of doubts
Adding information
Classroom management
Appointment of monitors
Cleaning of the class

Getting duster, water and other

miscellaneous items

Collecting copies
Maintaining discipline
Looking into dress code
Peer group interactions

Formation of groups for different activities

such as music, dance, debates etc.

Promoting group activities

Outside classroom activities
Participation in sports
Indoor games
Outdoor games

Promotion of leadership and decision

making qualities2
Any other

Decisions taken by boys and girls independently or any other which would include parents and peers.
26 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

2.12 ENABLING GIRLS AND WOMEN rights of women, their vulnerability to

TO MAKE INFORMED CHOICES sexual and health problems together with
I N A R E A S L I K E E D U C AT I O N, endemic, infectious and communicable
E M P L O Y M E N T A N D H E A L T H, diseases such as malaria, TB, and water
specially reproductive borne diseases as well as hypertension
health and cardio-pulmonary diseases. The social,
The National Policy for the Empowerment developmental and health consequences of
of Women (2001) looks into the overall HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted
empower ment of women in ter ms of diseases are also to be tackled from a gender
education, health and employment. It perspective. In the context of employment,
mentions that special measures would efforts are being made to empower women
be taken to eliminate discrimination, in all sectors of the economy by providing
universalize education, eradicate illiteracy, opportunities, training in conventional and
create a gender -sensitive educational un-conventional professions. The National
system, increase the enrollment and Policy for the Empowerment of Women
retention rates of girls and improve the and the strategy of Women’s Component
quality of education to facilitate life-long Plan adopted in the Ninth Plan ensures
learning as well as the development of that not less than 30 percent of benefits/
vocational/technical skills by women.
funds flow to women from all Ministries
Gender sensitive curricula would be
and Departments. This will be implemented
developed at all levels of the education
effectively so that the needs and interests
system in order to address sex stereotyping,
of women and girls are addressed by all
which is regarded as one of the causes of
concerned sectors. The Department of
gender discrimination. In the context of
health, a holistic approach to women’s Women and Child Development being the
health is stated in the above mentioned nodal Ministry will monitor and review
policy. the progress of the implementation of the
The reduction of infant mortality and Component Plan from time to time, in terms
maternal mortality, which are sensitive of both quality and quantity in collaboration
indicators of human development, is a with the Planning Commission.
matter of priority and concern. There is The box below presents an activity on
a commitment to taking up measures decision making. It may be used to initiate
that take into account the reproductive discussion and build perspective.

Education Grand parents Father Mother Both

Who decides the levels of

• Boys
• Girls

Choice of professions
• Boys
• Girls

Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 27

Choice of food
• Boys
• Girls

Preventive measures, during

• Boys
• Girls

Diet – Decision about intake

of different food items
• Protein
• Vitamins
• Iron
• Carbohydrates
• Fats
• All the above
• Not aware

Size of the Family

Health related issues

• Getting vaccinated
• Knowledge about one’s
own body
• Puberty
• Age of marriage
• Any other

Physical freedom of
• Visit to local market
• Fairs
• Health centre
• Visit to maternal home
and relatives
• Fields
• Educational Institutions
- School
- College/Vocational
- University
28 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

2.13 ENSURING EQUAL PARTICIPATION expanded to benefit women workers in the

Since the inception of the Eighth Five year The important role played by women
plan (1992-97) efforts have been made to in electronics, information technology,
see that the benefits of development from food processing, agro-industry and textiles
different sectors like education, health and has been acknowledged as crucial for
employment do not by pass women. In fact, development. In this regard, women are to
the approach adopted regards women as be given comprehensive support in terms of
equal partners in the development process. labour legislation, social security and other
To encourage women’s participation in support services to participate in various
development processes, the National Policy industrial sectors.
for the Empowerment of Women laid stress
Further, provision of support services for
on the important role played by women in
women like child care facilities, including
agriculture, industry and the service sectors.
crèches at work-places and educational
To ensure the participation of women, the
policy mentions that special programmes institutions, homes for the aged and the
for training women in soil conservation, disabled are to be expanded and improved
social forestry, dairy development and to create an enabling environment. The
other occupations allied to agriculture like activity in the box below may be used to
horticulture, livestock including animal build perspective on ways of empowering
husbandry, poultry, fisheries etc. would be women through supportive state policies.

Criteria Yes No Not aware Comments

Existence of women’s

Awareness among
women about
the existence of
organizations working
for their development
and empowerment

Awareness about
roles and functions of

Are women
represented in

Awareness among
women regarding
allocation of funds and
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 29

Knowledge about
utilisation of funds
under different heads
• Recurring
• Non-recurring
• Miscellaneous

Participation of women
• Traditional
• Non-traditional

2.14 P R O V I D I N G I N F O R M A T I O N , for engaging teachers for conducting

ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE (b) Swayamsidha is an integrated scheme
Since the eighth plan, the nodal Department for women’s empowerment. It is based
of Women and Children has reset its priorities on the formation of women into self-
to accord special emphasis on employment help groups (SHGs) and aims at the
and income generation activities for women. holistic empower ment of women
The ultimate objective in all these efforts is through mobilisation, awareness
to make women economically independent generation and convergence of various
and self-reliant. Some of the important schemes.
programmes initiated by the Department (c) Swa-Shakti Project also known as
in this direction are listed below: Rural Women’s Development and
(a) Support to Training and Employment Empowerment Project was sanctioned
Projects (STEP), 1987 — Condensed on 16 October 1998 as a centrally
Courses of Education and Vocational sponsored project to be implemented in
Training for Adult Women (CCE and seven states over a period of five years
VT), 1993 for self-reliance. The Central with an estimated outlay of Rs. 186.21
Social Welfare Board started the crore. In addition, an amount of Rs. five
programmes of Condensed Courses of crore was provided for facilitating the
Education in 1958 and the Vocational setting up of revolving funds for giving
Training Programme during the year interest bearing loans to beneficiary
1975, to help women complete their groups primarily during their initial
schooling and also upgrade their skills formative stage.
in order to meet the demands of the The project is implemented through
changing work environment. women’s development corporations
Under the scheme of Condensed (WDCs), other state gover nment
Courses, voluntary organisations are un d er ta k in g s a n d N GOs in t h e
given grants to conduct courses of two states of Bihar, Haryana, Gujarat,
years duration to enable women of the Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar
age of 15 plus to pass secondary/matric, Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and
middle and primary level examinations. Uttaranchal, covering 57 districts, 323
The scheme also contains provisions blocks and 7,288 villages.
30 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

The project aims at enhancing women’s positively seen as an important tool for
access to resources for better quality of bringing about qualitative changes at
life through use of drudgery and time the grassroot level. Awareness about
reduction devices, health, literacy and laws and implementing agencies helps
confidence enhancement and increasing people understand that literacy can aid
their control over income through their women’s empowerment.
involvement in skill development and The failure of execution of many laws
income generating activities. has been attributed to the beneficiaries’
(d) Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) (1993) lack of awareness. Therefore, sensitising
facilitates credit support to poor people on legal issues is important in
women. RMK mainly channellises removing the paradox between rights
its support through non-government and their realisation.
organizations, women’s development In this regard, the Right to Information
corporations and women’s cooperative Act, 2005 mandates timely response
societies. to citizens’ requests for government
Accessing information about the laws information. It is an initiative taken
governing girls/women are crucial for by the state. The list in the box below
initiating social change. Legal literacy may be used to gauge awareness
has become an important component levels and initiate discussion on
of schemes like Mahila Samakhya and some important Articles and areas of
in academic discourses. It has been women’s participation.

Constitutional Somewhat
Aware Not aware No response
provisions aware

Article 14

Article 15

Article 15 (3)

Article 16

Article 21

Article 23

Article 24

Article 29

Article 30

Directive Principles
of State Policy

Article 39 (a)

Article 39 (d)
Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 31

Article 39 (e)

Article 39 (f)

Article 41

Article 42

Article 44

Article 45

Article 47

Fundamental Duties
(Part IV A)

Legal provisions
related to
• Inheritance
• Adoption
• Dowry
• Child marriage
• Age of Marriage
• Divorce
• Child labour
• Prostitution
• Ragging
• Any other

Knowledge about
participation of
women in
• Decision- making
• Panchayats
• Urban bodies
• Any other
32 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

Has participation of women in your neighbourhood, village, town, district and state
brought about a change in empowering women?

(a) Aware about their rights/entitlements

• Family
• Society

(b) Encourage them to participate in voting

(c) Motivate them to participate in local/urban bodies

(d) Enable them to form organizations taking up social and educational programmes for self-

(e) Steps to curb customary practices derogatory to the status of women

(f) Access to legal authorities

The above mentioned indicators would and equality. They would further help in
help in acquiring information regarding unraveling important parameters in the
the qualitative dimensions in the domain context of empowerment i.e., whether
of gender equality and empowerment. educational processes help in bringing
The list given is not an exhaustive one. about transformatory structural changes or
It is suggestive in nature and seeks to they merely reinforce existing socialization
provide information on issues of equity practices in the society.

1. You can ask teachers and students of your school to use the tool for textbook evaluation.

2. Discuss among them steps to undo gender biases and stereotyping.


3. You can ask students to prepare a short write-up on girl/women achievers of their village,
district, state and nation and the journey of achievement.

4. A debate can be organized on issues related to equity, equality and empowerment.

Indicators of Gender Equality and Empowerment 33

2.15 REFERENCES —— (2010). Indicators on Gender Equality

• National Policy on Education (1986). of Empowerment, University News: A
MHRD: New Delhi. Weekly Journal of Higher Education,
• National Policy on Education (1986). Association of Indian Universities, Vol.
Programme of Action (1992). MHRD: 48 No. 09, New Delhi.
New Delhi. —— (2010). Gendering the Budget Making
• National Policy for the Empowerment of Processes for Translating Equity and
Women (2001). Department of Women Equality in Practice, University News :
and Child Development. MHRD:
A Weekly Journal of Higher Education,
New Delhi.
• Fourth World Conference on Women, Association of Indian Universities, Vol.
Beijing (1995). Country Report, Govt. of 49 No. 21, New Delhi.
India, Department of Women and Child • Yadav, Mona, (2010). Study of Mahila
Development. MHRD: New Delhi. Samakhya, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan and
• Srivastava, Gouri. (2008). Study of Non-Government Organisation run
the Impact of Mahila Samkhya on Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas of
Education and Empowerment of Rural Uttar Pradesh in terms of the objectives
Girls and Women in Two Low Literacy
of KGBV Scheme: A Report, DWS,
Districts of Uttar Pradesh: A Report,
Module 3
Gender Budgeting

Structure of the Module

3.1 Overview
3.2 Introduction
3.3 Objectives
3.4 Gender Responsive Budget: The Indian Experience
3.5 Planning Processes
3.6 Policy Initiatives
3.7 Past Experiences
3.8 Budget Making Process from a Gender Lens
3.9 Suggestive Steps for Gender Budgeting
3.10 Guidelines for the Formulation of a Budget
3.11 Monitoring
3.12 Evaluation of the Budget
3.13 Tools for Gender Budgeting
3.14 Outcome Budget
3.15 References

3.1 OVERVIEW equality. Gender budget initiatives aim

Budget is a technical term that reflects at disaggregating data to see the impact
government policy and priorities that of budgetary allocation and performance
get translated into monetary terms. It on holistic development of boys and girls,
is a document which encompasses the men and women. The gender budgeting
government’s expenditure and revenue initiative in India started in July, 2000
proposals. Consequently, budget overtly when a Workshop on ‘Engendering National
and covertly reflects the government’s Budgets in the South Asia Region’ was held
philosophy, values and commitment to in New Delhi in collaboration with UNIFEM,
the constitutional goals of equity and in which Government representatives,
Gender Budgeting 35

UN agencies, media, NGOs, research turn, would contribute towards equality,

institutions, civil society and members of accountability, transparency, efficiency and
the Planning Commission in the South effectiveness.
Asia region participated. The process of
gender budgeting continued in India, 3.3 OBJECTIVES
lead by multiple actors at different stages • To acquaint the readers with gender
who pressed for its popularization and budgeting
dissemination. The Department of Women • To analyze the Indian budget from a
and Children is the nodal agency that gender lens
currently organizes workshops for officials • To apply tools of gender budgeting for
of different ministries for popularizing this evaluating schemes and programmes.
The purpose of gender budgeting is 3.4 GENDER RESPONSIVE BUDGET:
to train policy planners and practitioners THE INDIAN EXPERIENCE
for analyzing and preparing budgets The gender budget initiative draws its
from a gender lens so that the benefits philosophy from the Constitution, the
of development are shared by all and five year plans, policy initiatives and past
sustainable development is gender inclusive. experiences, particularly in the domains of
economy, polity, social and cultural milieu,
3.2 INTRODUCTION employment scenario and education.
Nations all over the world have committed The Constitution of India not only grants
themselves to achieve gender equality equality to women but empowers the state
and equity, a cherished goal that ensures to adopt affirmative measures in favour
the human face of development. This of women for neutralizing the cumulative
commitment has once again been reiterated socio-economic, educational and political
by 192 signatory countries for achieving the disadvantages faced by them throughout
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by their mortal existence. The Preamble to
2015. Goal three of MDGs has stressed upon the Constitution resolves to secure to all
gender equality and women’s empowerment, its citizens, justice, equality and liberty
an agenda that needs to be prioritised by of thought and expression. The Directive
all the countries. It is in this context that Principles of State Policy enshrined in
emphasis is placed on making our budget the Constitution focus on gender equity
statements gender responsive. as a core principle. Several Articles of the
Gendering the budget making process Constitution, such as Article 14, confer
is crucial as it is the most effective tool equal rights and opportunities to both the
for empowering girls and women in a genders in polity, economy and the social
substantial way. It weaves together the sphere. Article 16 guarantees equality
needs and aspirations of men and women of opportunity in public employment.
so that the outcomes address the practical Along with rights, the state also imposes
and strategic needs of both genders. fundamental duties on every citizen to
Conceptually, gender budget does not renounce practices derogatory to the dignity
mean budgeting for men and women of women.
separately. Rather, within the budgetary
provision of different sectors, allocations 3.5 PLANNING PROCESSES
for men and women are built in, in an The five year plans wield an important
inclusive manner based on their needs influence in the preparation of a gender
and requirements. An inclusive budget in inclusive budget statement. Planning in
36 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

the Indian context has taken cognizance creating equality of opportunity in all fields,
of women’s issues in a very substantial eliminating gender bias and stereotypes
way. There has been a shift in focus of by bringing about an attitudinal change
viewing women not only as a welfare among all stakeholders and encouraging
category but as equal participants in all active participation of men and women in
development initiatives. From the tenth all sectors of the economy.
plan onwards the approach adopted has
been to mainstream gender concerns by 3.7 PAST EXPERIENCES
assessing the implications for women and The Government of India has been adopting
men, in any planned action, including Gender Budgeting since 2005-06 to achieve
legislation policies and programmes across the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
areas and at levels. Gender mainstreaming for women. In 2001, the National Institute of
underscores the principle that there can Public Co-operation and Child Development
be no sustainable development as long as (NIPCCD) undertook a study on Gender
discrimination between the two sexes exists. Budget Analysis of twenty-two states of
India. The findings of the study highlighted
3.6 POLICY INITIATIVES that allocation to women’s programmes
The National Policy on Education (1986) (target and pro-women) varied between 2
analysed from the context of women’s per cent to 11 per cent across ten states
equality, stressed on the removal of for the year 2000-01. Further, the share
disparities and equalizing of educational of women in women targeted schemes in
opportunities through attending to the the state budget was less than 1 per cent
specific needs of those who had been in six states. Pro-women schemes received
denied equality so far. It further stated a larger portion of the state budget as
that education would be used as an compared to the women specific schemes
agent of basic change in the status of (6%-11%) during 2000-2001 in five states.
women, for neutralizing the accumulated Combined allocations were as low as 2%
distortions of the past and playing a positive and 5% of the state budget in some states.
interventionist role in the empowerment of In fact, it was far below the desired and
women. It would foster the development of recommended levels of 30% as per the
new values through redesigned curricula, guidelines of the Planning Commission
textbooks and the training and orientation under the Women Component Plan.
of teachers. The Programme of Action Based on these experiences, a realistic
(1992) elaborated on the parameters of and context specific budgetary allocation for
women’s empowerment. Some of them gender can be planned at the district, state
were: enhancing the self-esteem and and national levels.
self-confidence of women; building a
positive image of women by recognizing 3.8 BUDGET MAKING PROCESS FROM
their contributions to society, polity and A GENDER LENS
economy; developing the ability to think Initially, the budget making process was
critically; enabling women to make informed formulated to address the needs of everyone
choices in different fields and providing in an apparently uniform way. As a result
access to women to legal literacy. of traditional macroeconomic theories
The National Policy for the Empowerment already mentioned, policy makers tend to
of Women committed to the advancement, assume that all individuals are equal, with
development and empowerment of women shared needs and interests. This approach
in a holistic manner. The emphasis was on however failed to recognise the distinctions
Gender Budgeting 37

that stem from class, caste, gender and 3.9 SUGGESTIVE STEPS FOR GENDER
location. It also ignored an important BUDGETING
hypothesis that policies, programmes and Prior to the formulation of the budget at the
budget have different outcomes for different central and at the state levels, a working
groups. Further, it helped to demystify the group is constituted. This group consists
proposition that enhanced outlay may or of representatives of different ministries,
may not lead to gender justice, harmony experts drawn from different disciplines
among sexes, or facilitate the capacity and representatives from different non-
building and empowerment of women. governmental organizations. In some cases
Inclusive budget making processes sub-groups can also be constituted as per
have to primarily carry out a detailed need and requirement. For making the
survey of the existing situation related to budget statement gender sensitive, there
socio-economic factors and education in is a need to examine past budgets from a
the political domain of a district, based on critical perspective and also see how these
quantitative and qualitative parameters. impact in addressing gender issues. Some
Data collected from different fields have of the analytical questions that need to be
to be disaggregated in terms of gender, asked are:
demography, education, employment, etc. • Does the budget have provisions for
either annually or five yearly, depending on looking into conflict management
the need and requirement. issues?
The approach adopted in the budget • Was there any bottleneck in the
making process should move from macro implementation of schemes addressing
to micro analysis following a bottom up both genders?
strategy. It should be context based so • Did there exist a gap between demand
that it holistically addresses the needs and supply of schemes that are pro-
and aspirations of all stakeholders. Issues women or for both genders?
related to equity and equality have to • Are there any suggested innovations?
be accorded priority as this is linked to • Are the budgetary provisions sufficient?
improving the quality of life of all people Have they taken the cost of living index
belonging to the different sections of society. into account?

1. Analyze the annual budget statement from a gender lens. Discuss the trends in allocation
of budget in dealing with gender issues.
2. Discuss direct and indirect taxes and their impact on both genders.
3. Organize a debate on the advantages and disadvantages of gender budgeting.
38 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

The strength of the past budget also below is an activity aimed at building up
needs to be examined and, if possible, it sensitivity and awareness on the division
could be adopted, adapted and replicated of labour by gender.
in the current budget statement. The box

1. Given below is an exercise on the budget making process at the household level. You can
give this table to the participants and get their responses.

Budget decision taken by

S. No. Items
Male Female Both
1. Investment
2. Education
3. Food
4. Medical aid
5. Clothing
6. Luxury items
7. Transport
8. Any other

2. Work done by men and women in a day.

Work done (24 hrs) Male Female Both Any other
Agriculture- sowing, manuring,
1. weeding, harvesting, winnowing,
threshing, marketing
2. Caring for the live stock
3. Household chores
4. Looking after the sick, aged
5. Sibling care
6. Engagement in remunerative work
7. Fetching drinking water
8. Gathering Fuel
9. Attending literacy classes
10. Any other

After giving this exercise ask the students to reflect on the saying– income saved is income
3. Hold a discussion on the theme: ‘Public expenditure affects women and men differently.’
Gender Budgeting 39

3.10 GUIDELINES FOR THE • Have the steps taken been successful
FORMULATION OF A BUDGET or are some modifications needed for
Any budget that is formulated needs to have mid-course corrections?
a vision and mission statement. It should • Are budget heads appropriate or are
address issues of equity and equality in all some changes required?
the items, proposed across schemes and • Do proposed budget heads help in
programmes. The cost of living index should meeting conceived targets?
be a yardstick in budgeting each item • Has the approach initiated a process of
under recurring and non-recurring items skill development?
and plan and non-plan funds. Strategies • Has it encouraged voices and
for achieving equality of outcomes need participation of women in making the
to be clearly reflected with reference to budget?
achievement of short term, medium-term
• Are issues of allocation of funds in
and long-term objectives. There is a need to
different sectors need based in terms
make the budget flexible so that it addresses
of time management?
unforeseen exigencies and takes district
variations into account, especially at the • Is it leading to empowerment of (women/
state level. men)?
• Has it helped in addressing conflict
3.11 MONITORING management?
Monitoring is an important step in making
the budget statement responsive to gender
needs. Monitoring or mid-course correction The criteria of evaluation have to be
of the budget can help in answering some based on the indicators of the budget. The
pertinent questions as follows: targets set for meeting practical and long
• Are the objectives/activities being met? term needs, sector wise need to be looked
• Is the approach participatory? into. The successful initiatives have to be
• Are gender issues being addressed? identified. Finally suggestions for moving

1. Collect the budget statement of your school/organisation in the last five years and analyse
how the budget reflects gender concerns.
2. Procure the budget statement of different ministries. Analyze and evaluate the same from
a gender perspective.
3. Organize a debate on the theme: ‘Union Budget: Concerns and Prospects in the context
of Gender’.
40 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

ahead have to be envisaged and placed as needs and aspirations of both genders
recommendations. (men/women) in a substantial way.
To facilitate understanding of this A gender Budgeting Tool can be prepared
process, the activities proposed in the box to gather the relevant information. A sample
below may be used. has been provided in the box.


A Gender budgeting tool is a method/ As part of the monitoring process, each
technique for assessing the impact of Ministry and Department of GOI is required
budgetary allocation of resources of different to prepare a performance and output budget
schemes and programmes in meeting the by the middle of the year. Government of
practical and strategic needs of: India introduced this concept in 1969.
• Men/Women belonging to different The purpose of the outcome budget was to
classes and communities. analyse the impact of money allocated to
• Analysing whether public expenditures both genders, to examine whether it has
is allocated in an equitable manner for led to overall improvement in the socio-
the development of both genders. economic status of men and women and
• Examine how the budget addresses the whether it has met the objectives that it had

Sample of a Gender Budgeting Tool

1. Schemes/Programmes:..................................……………………………..……………………….
2. Year of Initiation:………….....................................………………………………………………...
3. Objectives:
• Short term
• Medium term
• Long term
4. Target Group:
5. Allocation of Budget – Annual/Gap of 2 to 5 Years:
• Recurring
• Non-recurring
• Plan
• Non Plan
6. Miscellaneous provisions:
7. District variations:
8. Allocation for unforeseen situations:
9. How it addresses:
• Practical gender needs
• Transformatory changes
10. Vision and Mission: ………………...........................……………………………………………….
Gender Budgeting 41

envisioned. Presently most of the Central • Debbie, Budlender and Guy, Hewitt
Ministries have come out with a Result (2006). Engendering Budgets – A
Framework Document (RFD) that focuses Practitioners Guide to Understanding
on output slated for each programme and and Implementing Gender-Responsive
the time frame allocated for its completion. Budgets, Commonwealth Secretariat.
Under this framework emphasis is on • Fourth World Conference on Women
objectives, weightage, action, success in Beijing (1995). Country Report,
indicators, units, targets and criteria Department of Women and Child
values. RFD is a self monitoring performa Development, Government of India.
that sets guidelines to achieve objectives
• National Policy on Education (1986).
within a stipulated time, keeping in mind
Ministry of Human Resource
the quality aspect.
Development, Government of India.
Thus, outcome budget is reflective of
the health of the economy and also its • National Policy for Empowerment of
sustainability in moving from policy rhetoric Women (2001). Department of Women
to community acceptance in terms of and Child Development, Government
answering their felt needs by weaving their of India.
hopes and aspirations. • Srivastava, Gouri (2010). Gendering the
Budget Making Processes for Translating
3.15 REFERENCES Equity and Equality in Practice,
• Aleyamma, Vijayan and Marriamma, University News: A Weekly Journal of
Sanu George (2009). Gender Responsive Higher Education, Association of Indian
Budgeting - the case of Kerala. Universities, Vol. 49 No. 21, New Delhi.

1. Discuss the budget tools with your students and elicit their responses.

2. With the help of the tools students can be asked to examine the budget of their household,
school, state and centre.

3. Students can be asked to prepare tools on gender budgeting based on the above mentioned
Module 4
Gender, Media and Education

Structure of the Module

4.1 Overview
4.2 Introduction
4.3 Objectives
4.4 Gender and Advertising : Reinforcing Stereotypes
4.5 Gender and Entertainment Media
4.6 Gender, Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and the New Media
4.7 Gender Sensitive Code of Ethics for Media
4.8 Beijing’s Legacy for Gender and Media
4.9 Potential for Positive Interventions
4.10 Media and Education
4.11 Objectives of Media Education
4.12 Concept/Activities
4.13 References


Some thought this was ‘cute’ – a photograph “The product of the media — what appears,
in an English daily of the future mayor of what does not appear, the way it is slanted,
Mumbai shown cooking in her kitchen. (The will reflect the interest of the buyers and
Telegraph, Calcutta, 2006). But why, one sellers, the institutions and the power
wonders, should a person who wishes to systems that are around them. If that
hold an important public post, be placed in wouldn’t happen, it would be kind of a
the kitchen? Who has ever seen a picture miracle”
of a male politician doing the same? Is
it because media decides the context in — Noam Chomsky, 1997
which a woman is placed, and reinforces it Media has played a significant role in
constantly? In this section, we will examine gender stereotyping for decades. Every day,
the media scenario in India. we are exposed to numerous images from
Gender, Media and Education 43

the media. These images suggest what we dressing to obtain the approval of men. This
should be like. The suggestions of media sex role stereotyping in the media is not
invade our thoughts. only derogatory, but is seriously impeding
Gender role biases in all forms of the struggles of women to achieve economic
entertainment media have served to and political autonomy.
reinforce and even enhance the degradation The changes that have occurred
of women in society. Several content in women’s roles in society have been
analysis studies have reported that women nothing short of phenomenal. Yet media
are portrayed as victims, caretakers, and sex representations of women remain worryingly
objects while men are presented as masters, constant. Representations of women across
doers, and intellectuals. Fiction based all media tend to highlight the following:
dramas reinforce the sex role stereotypes • beauty (within narrow conventions)
of men as decisive, assertive, dominant, • size/physique (again, within narrow
and career oriented, and those of women conventions)
as emotionally dependent, eager to please, • sexuality (as expressed by the above)
• emotional (as opposed to intellectual)
sentimental, and primarily concerned with
family relationships. Female characters in
• relationships (as opposed to
these series are most often house- wives,
independence/ freedom)
secretaries, teachers, or nurses. Though
• dependence (economically and socially)
women are featured more often than men
• marginalized and deprived
in Indian commercials, yet they are shown
performing stereotyped female activities Sexuality laden images of women occupy
such as shopping, preparing meals, and not only magazines but newspapers and

Look at the pictures below. These are two typical examples of the most often seen images of
women. The so called urban and young women are shown in western outfits with fashion as
the only statement they make and the other from a rural or a small town in a conservative
family set up. Do you agree with these images?

Think and talk about the reasons for such depiction of women in television.

Beauty and brains are never seen together!!! Always dependent and deprived*

*Source : A still from Balika Vadhu

44 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

television too. While the physical/ sexual • Physique

aspects of womanhood are highlighted, • Independence of thought and action –
their abilities are undermined. Although Prime decision maker
the stereotypes of women as caregivers Activity: The group may debate on –
have some positive connotations, they are Do all men behave like this only or is there
nevertheless stereotypes. These images do a changing trend?
not highlight their multitasking abilities There may be some men who do not
and competence. The fact that needs to conform to such depictions and some
be reinforced is that women work outside who feel pressurized to maintain such a
and inside the home; are responsible, disposition. An interesting observation is
progressive and thinking beings; and have that the way in which a man and a woman
the ability to take up leadership roles in are portrayed has been more or less similar
family, community and at the national level over the years. Though the looks, clothes
too. and careers may have undergone a change,
Thus, we find that media contents are
their roles remain primarily the same. It is
influenced by what the media makers
only very recently that some androgynous
perceive to be the commonly accepted
images are being depicted. Some men
ways of viewing and defining the reality of
are macho and bold but equally soft and
gender roles. The failure to propagate and
empathetic. Likewise women in addition
disseminate a more rational and balanced
to being kind and gentle are also shown as
view of society is derived from the patriarchal
capable, courageous and outgoing in some
nature of the political and economic system
serials, films and advertisements. This is
that perpetuates stereotypes.
however a recent trend and not as widespread
On the other hand, when we look
as depictions of the traditional division of
at the images of men portrayed by the
media, we find another rigid stereotype. labour and responsibilities and the traits
Representations of men across all media associated with being male or female.
tend to focus on the following: Consequences of Negative Stereotypes
• Strength - physical and intellectual The socialization process forces males and
• E c o n o m i c a l l y i n d e p e n d e n t a n d females into behavioural modes, personality
resourceful characteristics, and occupational roles
• Wielding Power deemed appropriate by society. More
• Sexual attractiveness (which may be importantly, these constraints create a
based on the above) system that is biased in favour of males.

EYES speak ....... POWER!!!

Source : A still from Mukti Bandhan Source : A still from Balika Vadhu
Gender, Media and Education 45

As a consequence, men get abundant 4.3 OBJECTIVES

opportunities to develop their talents • To understand how the media reinforce
while women get restricted to functioning gender stereotypes
in limited arenas and spaces. What gets • To analyze some of the positive and
highlighted is: negative images reinforced by media
• The relative powerlessness of women, • To examine some of the popular media
• Limited range of occupations for women, genres for their gender portrayals
• Loss of academic opportunities for • To understand how low level of women’s
women, participation in media affects the
• Lack of respect for women’s abilities projection of content within it
and, • To identify factors that prevent women
• Low self-esteem among women from taking up media as a profession
Although media plays a vital role in • To explore media laws, ethics and
perpetuating gender stereotypes, yet it is values.
difficult to undermine the changing face of
media, which also succeeds in subverting 4.4 G E N D E R A N D   A D V E R T I S I N G :
those stereotypes. Thus, while on the one REINFORCING STEREOTYPES
hand, media is accused of sensationalizing Today, advertising is a multi-cultural and
crimes against women, on the other hand, transnational industry. Advertisements are
it has also played an important role in developed to appeal to the vast majority.
bringing such issues to light. We can for Advertisers exploit stereotypical gender
instance cite several examples wherein notions to have the widest appeal. Men are
media has played a positive role. The more likely to be shown advertising cars
Jessica Lal murder case was actually or business products; women are mostly
unraveled by media and the Nirbhaya seen advertising domestic and decorative
gang rape case has triggered mass protests products. Men are also more likely to be
and succeeded in bringing about judicial shown outdoors or in business settings.
reforms and amendments with respect to Also, with age men seem to gain authority,
the formulation of anti-rape laws. These are whilst women seem to disappear.
two examples of national magnitude which The basic explanation for the critical focus
have got etched in the annals of national on sex role portrayals in advertising lies in
history. What emerges clearly from this the close relationship, which exists between
is that media can act as a powerful agent advertising, the consumer goods industry
of social change by reinforcing images of and the crucial economic role of women as
gender complementarity.

Popular Ads: Depicting Stereotypes

46 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

consumers. Women in advertisements are that certain products only appeal to a

usually restricted to home and isolated from certain sex. However, even this ‘intention’
other women outside home with men as is culture driven. Big car launch functions
their favourite companions, although now are female celebrity endorsed. Celebrities
a somewhat changing trend is beginning with international appeal and sexuality
to unfold. It is this changing trend that are invited for glamour and attention. The
requires pursuit. same is true for car and bike shows and
In most of the advertisements as is visible trade fairs too.
in the visuals above, a woman is washing An illustrative example of this trend
clothes or utensils, cooking, serving food beginning early can be seen in the Daag
to family members or trying to make her Achae Hain! Campaign for Surf Excel, a
husband feel better, who at that time may detergent brand from Hindustan Unilever.
be reading a newspaper or suffering from The advertisement features a little boy
cold. A woman does all this even when she as a protector brother beating up a mud
has headache or backache. Such depictions puddle to make his sister laugh. Majority
reinforce the old belief that a woman is of such advertisements feature boys as
supposed to forgo her own comfort and dirty, naughty, rowdy, intelligent and cute.
keep on doing household chores without When we do see two children in ads, it is
getting tired. Even a contemporary TV usually a boy and girl or two boys and
advertisement, like that of “MOOV” is based rarely is a family with two girls spotted, thus
on the same philosophy. The woman in this reinforcing the idea that an ideal family has
advertisement is shown as the single person one son at least. No wonder the sex ratio
doing all the housework, and attending has shown a declining trend against girl
to the whims and fancies of all her family children with families going in for a small
members, from her husband to kids, to family but choosing the sex of the children
mother and father-in-law. She is allowed a to be born with the help of easily available
break from her work only when she cries sex determination techniques and aborting
out in pain from a backache. Finally, the female foetuses.
family decides to recognize her presence by Women are generally not depicted
passing a tube of an ointment around, and as politicians, newsmakers, experts,
the husband offering to apply the ointment social workers or businesswomen and
for her. entrepreneurs etc. in which men regularly
It is not unusual to see clothing feature. The representations of women
detergent advertisements always have a that do make it to such depictions on the
homemaker washing clothes. Similarly, a screen also show compatibility with home
car commercial mostly has a man in the duties. If there is dire professionalism or
driver’s seat. Regardless of the intentions ambition, familial and societal resistance
of the advertisers, this gender -based is highlighted. So those who do not fit into
advertising gives viewers the impression the mould tend to be seen as dangerous and

The group members can think and present two advertisements reinforcing stereotypes
and two which have tried to create positive imagery for women in advertisements.
Gender, Media and Education 47

The ‘good’ women are presented as

submissive, sensitive and domesticated
and ‘bad’ women as rebellious, independent
and selfish. The ‘dream-girl’ stereotype is
gentle, demure, sensitive, submissive, non-
competitive, sweet- natured and dependent.
The male hero tends to be physically
strong, aggressive, assertive, takes the
initiative, is independent, competitive and
ambitious. TV and film heroes represent
goodness, power, control, confidence,
competence and success. They are geared
Source : A still from Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi to succeed in a competitive economic
system. This aggression permeates into
deviant. A powerful woman in business is men being shown in films and drama
shown in more negative overtones. Recently, as the warlords perpetuating crime and
some of the programmes have tried to convey violence. Many young boys tend to emulate
such characteristics through action and
that traditional images have given way
gracefully to a new culture. As part of this,
the contemporary image being portrayed Women as Consumers
is that of a new role model for the Indian The media is more interested in women
woman who has the best of both the worlds, as consumers. They are stereotyped
is economically independent, progressive and used to market, sell and consume
and ambitious, but very feminine. products. Stereotypical images of women

Following are some pictures from media. Interpret and discuss them in three groups.
The groups may take themes for presentation of their comments as-
a. Reinforcing stereotypes
b. Breaking stereotypes
c. Creating new images
48 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

in the media are enhanced by the extended not. They communicate cultural values,
commercialization. The woman is the one which shape the way viewers think and
who buys without end and her hair, dress, interact. It is important to understand
shoes, each bear the stamp of the latest, such typifications in order to unmask the
the most expensive products. None of the double standards that are pervasive in
women characters in any of the serials our culture and society. The dichotomy is
repeats a dress. She makes sure that her that we internalise such stereotypes that
house is decorated with the latest gadgets. reinforce abuse, while trying to “root out”
The media is more interested in women as violence in our community. Let us now
examine the specific modes through which
The women’s movement has criticized the these operate. 
local mainstream media for stereotyping
women’s images, commodification of Television
women’s bodies, and appallingly portraying Popular actors and women from the fashion
violence against women in the media, industry are seen endorsing beauty and
through advertisements, soap operas and home products. Women in careers and
dramas. professions which are off beat may make
So far we have discussed about what a story, but they are too few and far apart.
kinds of images are portrayed by media. In fact, there is a big industry thriving on
Another important point of discussion is looking good from weight management to
to understand the underlying reasons for grooming and wellness products that are
each depiction. being promoted. While many business
establishments target women consumers,
4.5 GENDER AND ENTERTAINMENT they often seem to be aimed solely at selling
MEDIA products to women and do not provide the
Common female stereotypes found in the information that they need. The same has
media have a powerful influence over how remained true for the soap operas. Moreover,
society views women and how women view those women who wear modern clothes and
themselves. The world of make believe appear very confident are depicted as having
as is presented on television and in the bad intentions or being non conformists
movies. Ranging from thriller films to soap as against their conservative and not-so-
operas, this make believe world has a very modern counterparts.
significant effect on the viewer. Even though Sports programmes define men in
the plot and characters are fictitious, the relation to competition, strength and
underlying attitudes and messages are discipline. Most war films promote violence

The gender stereotyping is engrained into our culture from

the initial stages of a child’s exposure to watch television and
read children stories. Numerous kid movies have strong male
protagonists. Even though the producers may not be intentionally
making gender insensitive statements, but what they create
is watched by millions of boys and girls. Seeing that the man
must be the hero in the end and the woman should be a thin,
fair, pure hearted girl who needs to be saved, does create these
stereotypes at a young impressionable age. A popular children’s
programme: Alladin
Gender, Media and Education 49

as ‘natural’ and heroic for males. The Men are provided with large number of
soldiers are men of few words, heroic deeds opportunities to present their viewpoints.
and strong and independent. Similarly, They are shown in diverse roles like
detective stories give the masculine ego the administration, law, business, science and
technology. Representation of women varies
pleasure of mastery and certainty. Women from negligible presence to total exclusion
in such programmes play a second fiddle, and women in certain accepted professions
performing desk jobs, looking good and are interviewed and talked about. For
sadly sometimes even fickle minded to add example, women educationists or women
doctors may be more visible. If women
a hint of humour.
are interviewed for achieving success in a
Films ‘male’ profession, then the article often goes
to great pains to point out her ‘femininity’.
Most women in Bollywood films are
portrayed as hysterical and irrational.
Newspapers sometimes cover women’s
Screaming, yelling, and crying is a part
problems drawing the attention of
and parcel of their reaction to a stressful
policymakers to issues requiring immediate
situation. Also, there are any number of
attention such as the adverse sex ratio,
movies where women who assert themselves
infant and maternal mortality, crime against
are considered ‘bad’ while men, even if
women and the effects of poverty on women
they tease and hit women are considered
and their families. But this coverage is very
‘heroes’. Even in those movies where a
limited with the rest of the space occupied
woman exercises her decision making
power, she is almost always portrayed in by cinema actresses, models, video jockeys
a bad light or as a non conformist radical. (VJs) and the rich women and their hobbies.
Many of the women’s magazines are devoted
Print to fashion, glamour, beauty aids, weight
Generally, women’s problems never figure reduction, cookery and how to sharpen
on the front page of a newspaper unless ‘feminine instincts’ to keep men and their
it is a gruesome murder or a case of rape. in-laws happy. There are comparatively
Newspapers do not usually address relevant fewer articles on career opportunities,
issues of women’s empowerment such as health awareness, entrepreneurship, legal
decision making abilities, multitasking aid, counselling services, childcare services
skills or their achievements in the political, and financial management. A study in
social and economic sphere. It requires a this regard was conducted in Jharkhand,
special day to highlight their strengths such Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh
as a Mother’s Day, Women’s Day. One can and Jammu and Kashmir. Two regional
however, find the representation of women newspapers and two English newspapers
related issues through beauty tips, recipes, were selected for the study. Prominent
fashion, jewellery etc. newspapers only publish 5% of women
related issues and 8% are published on
A study conducted by a Delhi based Media
Advocacy group highlighted instances main page and remaining are placed inside.
of stereotyping and of discrimination. This study revealed that no importance is
According to the study, interviews of men given to development issues of women.
in newspapers hardly ever mention their
marital status or their dress sense. The Magazines
focus is on their work. By contrast, women The usage of the term magazine itself first came
achievers are subject to irrelevant, even about with the publication of ‘The Gentlemen’s
distasteful queries. The amount of coverage Magazine’and ‘The Lady’s Magazine’ in
women get overall is also much lesser.
the 1730s by Edward Cave (1691-1754)
50 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

(Connor, G 2001). Dif ferent types of Another vital point of discussion is that
magazines exist for just about every age young students must begin to ask questions,
and social group, for any interest, hobby rather than passively accepting whatever
and lifestyle. The pressure put on women they see and hear. Recognizing media myths
through advertisements and articles in for what they are is a good first step. The
magazines, to be sexually attractive is objective here is to differentiate between the
profound. Provocative images of women’s stereotypical behaviour of television, film,
partly clothed or naked bodies are especially and video heroes, on the one hand, and our
prevalent in print advertising in order to own lives, on the other.
grab the viewers’ attention.
Laurie Abraham, executive editor of
Messages from Magazine Advertisements
Elle magazine, warns that the biggest
Divide the learners into smaller groups.
problem with women’s magazines is “how
Ask a participant from each group to read
much we lie about sex.” Those “lies” answers to questions and record their
continue to perpetuate the idea that responses on a board or flip chart for
women’s sexuality is subservient to men’s comparisons.
pleasure. In her study of Cosmopolitan and What common themes are present in most
Playboy magazines, for example, Nicole advertisements these days?
Krassas found that both men and women’s What are the advertisements saying about
magazines contain a single vision of female roles of men and women?
sexuality that “women should primarily How do you think the advertisements
concern themselves with attracting and affect our attitudes and our expectations
sexually satisfying men.” The presence of for gender roles?
misinformation and media stereotypes is Now, Let us examine, if the newer forms of
disturbing, given that research indicates media offer a better scope for inclusion of
young people often turn to media for women and better gender sensitivity.
information about sex and sexuality”
(Singh,S. Anand, S. and Capila, A. 1998). 4.6 GENDER, INFORMATION
Pornography in Internet Cafés COMMUNICATION
Many commercial public Internet access TECHNOLOGIES (ICTs) AND
points are appearing in developing countries THE NEW MEDIA
like India. However, in small towns and First, let us understand what is new
rural areas, these Internet facilities are
media. New Media is the advanced means
typically entertainment joints, which
men frequent for accessing pornographic of communication like internet, mobile
content. Most often, the Internet café phones, community radio interactive
manager, usually a young male, is himself video, etc. New media has made the
into surfing pornographic content, and process of receiving information interactive,
the place serves as a hangout for his which means that everyone involved and
male friends. This is even true of some participating makes a difference in defining
community telecentres set-up by non-profit the content of messages or even benefitting
organizations in India. Women and girls
from the process of message creation and
are obviously wary of going to such places
for accessing the Internet. Additionally, broadcasting. There exists a lot of potential
gender insensitive management of many in such media to make a far greater
commercial Internet access points poses contribution to the advancement of women.
the threat that personal email addresses However, there are contradictory views
of women and girls are accessed and used about the scope of women’s participation.
by boys and men to harass them. Some believe that there are substantial
Gender, Media and Education 51

inequalities in women and men’s access be illiterate; not know English; and lack
to their use and production, which do training in computer skills.
not allow women to take fair advantage of Using new ICT as knowledge and
new opportunities and fully contribute to networking tools provides important
development. Low income, time constraints, economic and development opportunities.
lack of education, including knowledge In Gujarat, women dairy producers use
about computers, lack of leadership the Dairy Infor mation System Kiosk
skills, and cultural barriers affect access (DISK), which manages a database of all
to new media and ICT related facilities. milk cattle, provides information about
On the other hand, some are of the view veterinary services, and other practical
that new technologies in the information information about the dairy sector. This
and communications arena, especially infor mation helps women producers
the Internet, have ushered in a new age. maximize productivity and earnings. The
There is also a view that such technologies use of ICT devices like PDAs (Personal
have only technical rather than social Digital Assistants) and financial software
implications. applications in micro-credit activity is also
However, it cannot be denied that being explored by development agencies
existing power relations in society determine and NGOs, to enhance women’s economic
the enjoyment of benefits from ICT. Hence, opportunities.
these technologies are not gender neutral. Domestic r esponsibilities, cultural
The access to ICT is still a faraway reality for restrictions on mobility, lesser economic
the vast majority of people especially rural power, as well as lack of relevance of
population groups. They have generally content to their lives further marginalize
been left out of the information revolution, them from the information sector.
given the absence of basic infrastructure, Similarly, women may not be visible
high costs of ICT deployment, unfamiliarity in the news stories. They are neither
with ICT and dominance of the English interviewed nor asked for an opinion. The
language in the inter net content. In situation is even worse for those belonging
addition to this, women are more likely to to poor households or rural areas. Further,

Now let us look at the picture below (a young
girl as Radio Jockey). Just think, how many
times do you get to see such an image in the
newspaper? This picture depicts a young girl,
as a popular Radio Jockey in Kashmir. Think
about it!
We repeatedly hear from media about the
conservative and conflict-ridden society of
Kashmir. The whole picture looks gloomy, but
if media portrays such stories more often in
the Press, Radio and TV, it will create a more
positive image. It will create positive role models
too for so many other young girls in Kashmir in Stepping out!!!
specific and all other places in general. Radio Station in Kashmir
52 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

women from the north east and Muslim Similarly, ‘Khabar Lahariya’ is a local
women appear far lesser number of times newspaper. A group of eight women
than those from Hindi or English speaking belonging to the backward class brings out
backgrounds and from well to do urban this paper from the Bundelkhand region.
family backgrounds. This paper is being funded by an NGO
New alternate media like community and was started with the aim to encourage
radio wherein programmes are broadcast women to fight for their own rights. Such
for a small geographical area, in local
initiatives are required in every nook and
dialect about community needs, offers a
corner of our country so as to empower
great scope for women to participate in
women at the grass root level. Thus,
local decision making. However, we find
very few women are able to participate due increasingly more and more opportunities
to the cultural barriers. Young “daughters” are available for women to participate in
and “daughters-in-law” are not allowed to media and create more positive images
be seen in “public spaces” like these and and for women to be the role models. In a
the talented and young girls are hesitant developing country like ours, media offers
to join. However, there are some inspiring tremendous potential to be used for bringing
examples. women into the mainstream by giving
information for their larger participation
in development activities and to augment
their family resources. The new generation
of girls and their gender sensitive teachers
can make a huge difference in what future
girls will aspire for.
The Mass Media and Women’s
Most often, media is owned and controlled
by men. Despite the fact that a large
Inauguration of Community Radio at number of women are participating in the
Banasthali Vidhyapeeth media industry, it is hardly acknowledged.
Banasthali Vidhyapeeth is in Tonk, a
Further, although women have been
backward district of Rajasthan. This contributing significantly to development
women’s educational institute operates an
all women’s community radio. Similarly
Self Employed Women’s Association
(SEWA) operates an all women community
radio called “Rudi no radio” in Ahemdabad,

Women listening to radio in Bundelkhand,

Madhya Pradesh — a place where regular
electricity supply is not available. An NGO
has mobilised women to participate in
programme production and feedback for
Community Radio.
Empower Me!!!
Gender, Media and Education 53

and economic growth, patriarchy is seen presented by women. This imbalance is

to hinder the equal treatment of women. most evident in newspapers, where very
Let us try to understand the specificities of few newspaper items are written by the
what the real scenario is. female reporters. However, gradually
one can evince news stories by women
News Media
reporters. Some of them are getting
In news calling for opinions/quotations from wider coverage and visibility in national
consumers/public/expert authorities, the newspapers.
views of women need to be reflected along • Female reporters are more likely to
with their male counterparts. The voices of cover ‘soft’ news — Men tend to cover
women need to be particularly reflected in the ‘hard’ or ‘serious’ news. Female
news pertaining to a variety of issues and journalists generally cover stories on
not just in women-specific issues. social issues such as education or
News stories about women are treated fashion, emotions etc. Although here
differently. Here are some of the observations: too we have an exception like Barkha
• Wo m e n ’ s v i e w s a n d v o i c e s a r e Dutt, who covered the news from the
marginalized — Women constitute 52 per Kargil war front.
cent of the world’s population, yet make
A significant number of women journalists
up only 21 per cent of people featured
are very successful in magazines dealing
in the news.
• Men’s voices dominate in hard news —
with the problems of women and children.
Men are the majority of news subjects They write with sensitivity and skill and
in all story topics. Even when women analyse events in depth on women’s abuse
do feature in the news, they are more and exploitation, harassment of women at
likely to be found in ‘soft’ stories such the workplace, the trauma of HIV infected
as celebrity and arts and less likely women and female foeticide. The magazines
in ‘hard’ news stories about politics, deal with the issues more in depth as
government and the economy. compared to newspapers and women are
• Men dominate as spokespersons and considered competent to handle such
experts — Most of the people featured stories.
in news stories as spokespeople and News Content
experts are men. Women are less likely • Women are not the central focus of a
to be considered experts in media story — Very few news stories have
coverage. Instead, they are more often women as the central focus. The
present as voices expressing personal proportion of these stories varies across
experience or popular opinion. It is different topics. Women are central to
significant to note however that some of the news story in ‘soft’ topics such as
the most successful characters in Hindi celebrity news, or social issues.
serials are women. • News stories reinforce gender
• Women are more likely to be portrayed stereotypes — News content reinforces
as victims than men — Females and gender stereotypes by depicting a world
male victims are common subjects in in which women are relatively invisible.
news programmes. However, women are Gender inequality is not considered
represented disproportionately much newsworthy by almost all the news
more as victims as compared to men. channels and print, with the exception
• News is mainly reported by men — The sometimes of Doordarshan. Majority of
only exception is among television news stories do not highlight issues of
presenters, where some news stories are gender equality or inequality.
54 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

Think of two examples each from print and television where you feel women have been shown
or have broken the stereotypes
• Print
• Television

4.7 GENDER SENSITIVE CODE OF to recommend amendment in the Indecent

ETHICS FOR MEDIA Representation of Women (Prohibition
Every country has laws and regulatory Act), 1986. The NCW wants to include new
authorities that place some obligations or technologies like MMS and the electronic
restrictions on the way media operates. In media and some which were left outside the
addition, the way media works is influenced ambit of the Act, like posters and TV serials
by the society in which it operates. which perpetuate stereotypes of women.
Explaining the reason for including soaps
Codes of Ethics may be regional, national,
in the proposed amendment in the Act,
or specific to the institution. Gender has
National Commission for Women has stated
hardly featured as a consideration in
that “women are either being portrayed as
these codes of ethics. Since the gender
perceptions and stereotypes are deeply Sita (Ramayana) or as Kaikayee (Ramayana)
ingrained in the socialization of every media and there seems to be nothing in between
practitioner, ethical codes are mechanisms the two extreme characters being shown in
to put this in order. The study conducted by soaps. Divorce and adultery are highlighted
the Media Advocacy Group also mentions frequently in daily soaps where characters
that media needs to take an extended, break the law without repercussions.”
broader view of crimes against women. Negative images or just portraying reality
It has to be instrumental in conducting is not enough. In fact, it can often be
a social audit on factors responsible for harmful. This can be avoided by depicting
increasing crimes against women and positive images or success stories of women
children, including indifferent investigative in whatever sphere they happen. There is
procedures, miscarriage of justice, and help a need to produce programmes that talk
to bring the perpetrators of crime under about income generating schemes for
the legal ambit. It has to be instrumental women. Unfortunately, in these kinds of
in creating awareness among civil society ventures typical “womanly jobs” like papad-
about the causes and nature of the crime making, sewing, embroidery, pickle making
itself, and of the preventive measures. It etc. are propagated. Stress should be given
further suggested that when treating these to non-traditional skills which can break
issues, media has to be extremely factual the myth that women are suited for certain
and empirical. kinds of jobs only. A systematic survey
However, the portrayal of women in media of the existing schemes (Government/
has led the National Commission for Women Non- Government) and presentation of the
Gender, Media and Education 55

analysis and changes are needed to upgrade To address each of the above concerns,
those schemes which would in turn make specific strategic objectives were identified
them more purposeful. along with actions to be implemented by
governments, financial and development
institutions such as the World Bank,
national and international NGOs (non-
The Beijing Declaration and Platform for governmental groups), women’s groups and
Action, approved in September 1995 at the private sector. The Beijing Declaration
the Fourth World Conference on Women and Platform for Action were approved
is a global commitment to achieving unanimously by representatives from
equality, development and peace for women 189 countries attending the Fourth World
worldwide. As defined in the Mission Conference on Women, held during the
Statement of the 123-page document: 50th anniversary year of the founding of the
The Platform for Action is an agenda United Nations. While the Beijing Platform
for women’s empowerment. It aims at… for Action steers clear of being prescriptive
removing all the obstacles to women’s to the media, the document:
active participation in all sphere of public
• Notes that media has the potential to
and private life through a full and equal
share in economic, social, cultural and
make a far greater contribution to the
political decision-making….at home, in the advancement of women by impacting
workplace and in the wider national and on public policy, private attitudes and
international communities. Equality…is a behaviour;
matter of human rights and a condition for • Calls for the elimination of negative and
social justice…. degrading images of women in media
To achieve equality, the Platform for communications in order to provide a
Action emphasizes the need for women to balanced picture of women’s diverse
work together and in partnership with men lives and contributions to society in a
towards the common goal of gender equity changing world;
worldwide. • Notes that pornographic, degrading
The Beijing Platform focuses on twelve and other violent media projections
“critical areas of concern” that must be negatively affect women’s participation
addressed to achieve gender quality and in society, and that programmes
women’s empowerment: reinforcing women’s traditional roles
should not be tolerated;
• Women and poverty
• Calls for empowerment of women
• Education and training of women
through the enhancement of their “skills,
• Women and health
knowledge and access to information
• Violence against women
technology” in order to strengthen their
• Women and armed conflict ability to combat negative portrayals of
• Women and the economy women internationally and to challenge
• Women in power and decision-making instances of abuse of power by an
• Institutional mechanisms for the increasingly important industry;
advancement of women • Calls for the “creation and development
• Human rights of women of self-regulatory mechanisms for
• Women and media the media and the development of
• Women and environment approaches to eliminate gender-biased
• The girl child programming.”
56 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

4.9 POTENTIAL FOR POSITIVE • The laptop advertisement depicting the

INTERVENTIONS homemaker as technologically savvy
Edutainment, which consists of weaving and guiding her son’s tuition teacher
educational messages with entertainment and her husband’s clients about the job
has shown a way to place a strong position opportunities available abroad.
in people’s hearts. Commercial media has • Majority of the television serials and
established a well defined niche for itself, soaps are gradually making a departure
and hence creates a lot of scope for positive from the presentation of stereotypical
interventions. Media in its various forms images of a demure or passive wife or
seems to be experimenting or “taking risk”. daughter. The projection of adolescence
Be it print or electronic, there are a few as a life stage is also one imbued with
examples, which have certainly tried to responsibility. It is being depicted not
break stereotypes and have been successful only as a phase of storm and stress,
in their own ways. but also of creativity, challenge and
Alternative Media Portrayals: Although potential. Daughters are projected
a majority of advertisements represent as problem solvers. They solve the
stereotypical images, yet there have been problems of their parents. Wives are
alternative portrayals as well. These shown as active decision makers,
portrayals also signify the fact that media husbands as companionate seeking
too has been initiating changes through their wives approval and taking pride
such portrayals. Some examples are as in their abilities.
follows. The examples can be drawn from • Even the animation movies no longer
contextual factors. revive the story of the maid in distress,
• The ad for TVS Scooty, shows two waiting for her knight/prince in armour.
sisters in small town India, enjoying The girl/women protagonists are
the freedom and independence that depicted as adventurous, explorative,
mobility, brings them. stoutly built and having the prowess to
• The ad for ICICI Prudential Life Insurance physically overpower the boys.
shows a wife urging her husband to • Popular directors such as Deepa Mehta,
get life insurance as it would secure Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar have
their future as well as provide for their been experimenting with novel themes
daughter’s education. such as lesbianism, identity crisis with
• The advertisement in which a daughter respect to sex role identification and
presents a car to her parents with her homosexuality. They build upon the
savings, thereby asserting her financial strength of their women characters
autonomy. and project them as ones who celebrate
• The advertisement of a kitchen cleaning their sexuality and womanhood and are
liquid, in which the husband has staunchly independent and courageous.
already kept the kitchen intact before Experts believe that advertising could
his doctor wife returns home. influence society and big brands can take
• The refrigerator advertisement in which this initiative to break stereotypes. Maximum
the husband keeps the food ready before restraint should be exercised regarding
his wife returns from office. the publication of vulgar and provocative
• The advertisement of a mosquito repellant, advertisements. There is a growing need
portraying an aged wife challenging her for advertising agencies to project healthy
husband to find a mosquito, which shows gender roles, that is, to show men engaged
her as a decision maker. in domestic activities and involved with
Gender, Media and Education 57

children. It should In general, women have been latecomers

also discourage the in media related professions owing to social
commodification of and religious taboos which operated as
women’s images like social sanctions. Besides Doordarshan and
in advertisements All India Radio, the increasing number of
of shaving creams, private channels has brought a boom in
employment thereby increasing the number
cigarettes etc.
of women media professionals. However,
The picture
their ratio as compared to men is more or
illustrates the new less static. A deliberate policy for ensuring
emerging identity adequate representation of women both in
of a young Indian the public and private sectors of the media is
woman. It suggests therefore a must, not only for giving women
that she is rational, a source of livelihood, but also to ensure
assertive, intelligent, fun-loving and their adequate and effective representation,
professional. Such images are required to and to make the media truly national and
be created more often. representative in character.
Women Journalists in Media As per a study in the NCR, there are
around 900 women journalists. However,
With women holding responsible position
it is important to consider risks faced by
in newspapers or electronic media, their
them, both in the urban and rural areas.
competency should extend to a wider As we move down, from the metropolitan
range of issues. More significantly, a towns and the state capitals, the risks
woman journalist is expected to show more increase. The cases of sexual assault and
sensitivity to women-centric issues and lend harassment of women reporters are very
meaningful insights and perspectives. often brought to light. Women in such cases

1. How does media create gender stereotypes? Explain your answer with examples from
2. Is it possible to challenge stereotypes? If yes, in what ways?
3. New Media offer a better scope for women to participate. Justify your answer with at least
two examples.
4. ‘Code of Ethics for media is necessary’. Why?
58 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

have to take a risk in joining the profession. 4.12 CONCEPT/ACTIVITIES

Odd hours of jobs, make the women
Activity 1
journalists vulnerable. The recent murder of
Ms. Soumya Vishwanathan, producer of TV Facilitator’s Note: Make the
news channel in Delhi shows that women participants read and analyse the
journalists are more exposed to risk. It is following:
noticed that more and more young women • The sex ratio of girls is steadily
graduates are joining the field of journalism declining in most states. At the
with an ambition to make a mark in the National level, the figure was recorded
profession. Society, therefore, must make as 945 in the 1991 census which has
arrangements to provide adequate security come down to 927 in 2001.
to women in the media, to promote their • There is growing sexual abuse of girls
participation at all levels. and women at the hands of both
family members and strangers. As
4.10 MEDIA AND EDUCATION per NGOs working in the field of child
While in the previous section, the role of abuse while most cases of incest go
media in perpetuating stereotypes as well unreported, 6 out of 10 rape victims
as fostering change has been highlighted, are minors.
the focus will now be on defining the role • A Survey by the National Commission
of teacher educators who can effectively for Women reveals that up to 60%
of working women including those
enhance rational thinking among students,
in police and judiciary have faced
by enabling them to critically analyse
sexual harassment and gender bias.
media projections and the information
Up to 55% of female students in college
that is disseminated. Students should and universities are sexually harassed
be particularly enabled to identify the or receive unwanted attention from an
stereotypical representations and be employer, manager or any man with
sensitized towards the regressive trends power.
which hinder the progress and growth of • Despite an increase in the percentage
girls and women. Likewise their attention of literacy and job opportunities, only
should be drawn towards the changing 22% of women are employed. Mere
trends. 6% of women in the work force have
regular jobs in the formal sector
4.11 OBJECTIVES OF MEDIA EDUCATION and approximately 90% of them are
• To build the capacity of teacher educators concentrated in rural areas, mainly
on issues related to girls’ and women’s in agriculture. At both ends, women
education and empowerment workers are crowded at the bottom end
• To enable them to recognise the potential with low levels of pay, job insecurity and
of media in achieving the goals of girls’ fear of sexual harassment.
education and empowerment Question for Discussion
• To analyse the nature of representation • What are your views regarding the above
of women’s issues as projected in media data and facts? Do you agree/disagree
• To sensitize teacher educators to gender with what has been reported?
issues presented through media images • What does the above data indicate?
• To focus on the importance of media • I n w h i c h d i r e c t i o n i s w o m e n ’ s
education. empowerment heading?
Gender, Media and Education 59

• Mention the major issues of concern • What is the participants’ view regarding
mentioned in the report. biases present in the police, judiciary
• Do the reports hint at the gender bias and administrative services?
prevalent in society? Facilitator’s Note: Focus more on
points 2 and 3. What as teachers and
Activity 2
teacher educators should you do to
Facilitator’s Note: Bring the attention ensure the safety and security aspect?
of the participants to the school
Would sensitizing teachers/family
environment and the girl students.
members/students towards such
Make them discuss the attitude of
issues help? How?
parents towards girl students and boy
students. Discuss Rupen Deol Bajaj’s case as
outlined in the newspaper extract below:
• Does the situation create any kind of
fear/apprehension in the minds? • Do you think that by fighting for so
long, in order to get justice, she set an
• What are their views regarding the
safety and security of girls and women
• Do you empathize with her?
present in our family?
Facilitator’s note – Ask the participants
Facilitator’s Note: At this point ask
whether they or any one they know
the participants if such a kind of fear
have experienced any kind of bias or
or apprehension can result in female
sexual harassment.
foeticide or parents not sending their
daughters to school in rural areas. Self-Reflection 1
Discussion- ‘If I were a man’ for women
• What kind of toll (mental, physical,
participants and ‘If I were a woman’ for
emotional) would it have had on the male participants.
sufferers? • What are the participants view regarding
• Why is this happening? ((hint: focus on media as a positive intervention to make
social, cultural/economic issues) the situation better? Can media help in
• Is there a connection between education making the situation better?
and empowerment? • How is media playing its role?
60 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

Facilitator’s Note: Here the facilitator Discuss the above with respect to the
will emphasize on the impact of media on following:
people’s senses and the power it has on • the role of media in empowering women
formation/moulding of our views, thoughts • the two disturbing trends described
and subsequent action (Refer to the report above
mentioned in the next objective)
Introspect, analyze and answer the following:
Activity 3 • What according to you should be the
role of media?
Media plays the most important role in
• How does media represent the girls and
building public opinion on issues related
women centric issues ?
to women and has power to encourage and
• H o w s h o u l d w o m e n ’ s i s s u e s b e
motivate people to raise their voice against
atrocities and injustice meted towards them.
It is a platform which can immediately beget Activity 4
the attention of all those who matter- be
they in government, police, judiciary etc, Facilitator’s Note: Draw participants’
and compel them to take concrete action. attention towards the scenario before the
advent of satellite TV and globalization
However, when analyzed, the present
to the representation of women through
scenario visible in media, especially on media. Discuss India’s socio economic
television and in newspapers points towards and socio cultural ethos to create an
two disturbing trends. The first focuses appropriate context for discussion.
on cultural representations of woman as
‘sex symbol’. The second pertains to the Activity 5
decreasing coverage and under-reporting of Take up a discussion on all the emerging
important developmental and governmental issues. Focus mainly on the appropriateness
issues concerning women, and the crimes of such projections and their impact.
against them.

Facilitator’s Note: Read the clippings below and study the photographs.
Gender, Media and Education 61

Question for Discussion

• Do such presentations hinder the prospects of girls getting empowered?
• What kind of impression do we form after watching them?
• What are your views on how women should be depicted on television?

Activity 6

• Which report fetches more attention? Why?

• Does it harm the prospects and interests of common girls/women? How?
Activity 7

Facilitator’s Note: Present a de-glamorized report focusing on a female film star and then
pose the following questions.
62 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

• What is the message conveyed via the reports?

• Does such kind of a shocking and startling presentation create any kind of sympathy
or empathy towards the victims?
• Do the reports compel the readers to think about making the conditions better?
• How are these crimes related to girls’ education?
Activity 8

Facilitator’s Note: Present the two clippings related to female foeticide. One talks of Haryana
where the bias against the girl child is evident and the other talks of a Punjab village where
the ratio of girls is more. Highlight the important points of the reports and the impact each
has on our thoughts and mind. Pose the following questions.
Gender, Media and Education 63

• What does the Haryana report reflect? • Mitra. Nishi. (2000). Gender Construction
• Does the report send any positive signals in the Media in Sangari Kumkum
to our mind about taking immediate Ed. Foundation Course in Women’s
steps to ensure that the ratio of does Empowerment and Development 1,
not fall further? IGNOU, India.
• Does the Punjab report kindle any kind •
of hope in the present dismal scenario or-serenade-question-530
of declining sex ratio? • http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.
• Do you think that more such villages com/2008-06-22/india/27754449_1_
would be existing in the country where kashmiri-women-sara-rjs
girls and education are taken care of? •
Should media highlight them more and •
in what ways? content/70653/changing-face-women-
Many more activities can be developed as tv.html
per the context and participant group. •
Thus, by tapping the media resources the news/coming-soon-a-film-made-by-
teacher educators can generate sensitivity allwomen-crew/590868/
and awareness amongst the learners. Pictures
Media analysis would enable the learners •
to capture the gender bias harboured in the •
society by critically examining the girls and •
women situation at the family, society and •
institutional level. Dutt
• h t t p : / / w w w . l i v e i n d i a . c o m /
• Bhasin, K. (2000). Understanding • http://marketingstrategems.blogspot.
Gender. Kali for Women, New Delhi, in/2010/05/vanish-trust-pink-forget-
India stains.html
• Khanna, Seema. (2002). Women in the •
City, article in The Hindustan Times, jeene-ki-aasha-facts-about-women-
29 October, Editorial page. and-children-10459
• Khanna, Seema. (2003). Sex, Lies and •
Media, article in The Pioneer, 23 April, •
Editorial page, Second Opinion Column. •
Module 5
Gender and Violence

Structure of the Module

5.1 Overview
5.2 Introduction
5.3 Objectives
5.4 Policy Initiatives
5.5 Laws for Addressing Violence against Girls and Women
5.6 Evolving Educational Strategies to Address Violence against Women
5.7 References

5.1 OVERVIEW been seen. Developing societies like India

The growth of consumerism and the are grappling with this problem, in their
expansion of the market economy in quest to protect girls and women. The
contemporary times have led to various crimes against women and the
commodification of women and girls. violence that they are subjected to are
Advertising agencies and the soap operas given wide coverage in both the print and
use women and girls to sell their products the audio-visual media on a daily basis. It
and influence young minds. Showcasing of is ironical however that only those that are
women in the role of continuity and change, reported are brought to the public domain.
with a focus on physical appearance has The other kinds of violence, especially
escalated the demand for products related emotional violence remains unreported.
to cosmetics, jewellery and clothes in a big Mechanisms to redress against this form of
way. It has also however led to escalation violence do exist in the form of laws and law
of violence against women in different enforcing agencies like the Crime Against
ways. Female foeticide, infanticide, rape, Women Cell and Family Courts, but many a
dowry deaths, murder, sexual harassment times, the victims fail to get justice due to a
and many more crimes against girls and variety of reasons like personal inhibitions,
women cut across caste, class and location. fear of social stigma, systemic delays, etc.
That the site of occurrence of such crimes A lot of initiatives are being undertaken
could be anywhere in the family, school, by the government and civil society in this
workplace or in the community has also regard, but the phenomenon continues to
Gender and Violence 65

exist both in the rural and urban contexts. significantly and have brought the issue of
The intensity of its occurrence may vary quality education to the centre stage.
from time to time, but it exists as a human Quality concerns in education have been
cast rope. The present module attempts to a major theme of discussion in all education
sensitize the readers to address this issue discourses and at various forums — at the
from a humane perspective so that gender national and international level. The effort
harmony becomes an achievable goal. of policy framers, implementing agencies
and pedagogues is to remove all kinds of
5.2 INTRODUCTION paradoxes between policy rhetoric and field
The present millennium is marked by realities, so that challenges of contemporary
an explosion in the arena of information education are addressed. In the present
technology. In this digital age, accessing module, an attempt has been made to
the plethora of information available in analyze in details the efforts made by the
search engines has made it possible for government and civil society in India to meet
children of all age-groups to acquire the the growing challenges of endemic violence
information they are looking for. Google faced by humanity, particularly women,
earth has made it possible to locate the and the role of contemporary education in
remotest of habitations on the world map. addressing this phenomenon.
It is truly an era that has brought closer
connectivity between people and societies 5.3 OBJECTIVES
the world over. In the domain of education, • To understand different types of violence
this techno-savvy revolution has resulted in against women
loosening the straight jacketed boundaries • To acquire knowledge about legal steps
between disciplines and has facilitated the to address violence against women.
evolution of application based subjects. In
fact, the current century is an era of multi- 5.4 POLICY INITIATIVES
disciplines or inter-disciplines. The National Policy on Education (1986)
These changes have also challenged is a landmark initiative as it attempts to
the print world and textual materials are make education an important vehicle for
gradually being digitized, especially in the ushering in social change. The policy lays
developed world. The impact is also being felt special emphasis on removal of all kinds of
in the Asian subcontinent. With the onset socio-economic and educational disparities
of these important changes a significant by playing an important interventionist role
question that plagues policy planners and in the empowerment of girls and women. It
educationists as well as people at large further reiterates that education will foster
is: Have these changes addressed human the development of new values through
issues such as learning to do, learning to redesigned curricula, textbooks, and
know, learning to be and learning to live the training and orientation of teachers,
together. Further, in this global and technical decision makers and administrators for
age there is an escalation of gender based, undoing all kinds of biases and stereotypes.
emotional, sexual and physical crimes that The philosophy reflected in NPE (1986),
have acquired different contours. Coupled especially in the context of women’s
with these phenomena are environmental empowerment, has also been further spelt
degradation, global warming, drug peddling, out in the Programme of Action (1992). The
cross border terrorism and the spread goals envisaged for women’s empowerment
of killer diseases such as HIV and AIDS. include: enhancing the self-esteem and
These natural and man made catastrophes self-confidence of women, building a
have impacted all sections of society very positive image of women by recognizing
66 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

their contributions to society, polity and age, especially in the Indian context. This
economy, developing the ability to think is also true about existing laws.
critically, fostering decision making and
action through collective processes, enabling Activities
women to make informed choices in areas 1. Initiate a discussion with students on
like education, employment and health existing policy and practice.
(especially reproductive health), ensuring …………………………………………………
equal participation in developmental …………………………………………………
processes, providing information, knowledge 2. Organize a debate on policy and the role
and skill for economic independence and of concerned agencies in implementing
enhancing access to legal literacy and them.
information relating to their rights and …………………………………………………
entitlements in society with a view to …………………………………………………
enhance their participation on an equal 3. A comparative analysis of the existing
footing in all areas. policy and growing violence against
The National Policy on the Empowerment women in developed and developing
of Women (NPEW, 2001) is also a step in this countries can be taken up by you in
direction. The policy once again reiterates classroom or any other period available.
that equal access to education for girls …………………………………………………
and women at all levels would be ensured. …………………………………………………
Emphasis has been given to the development 4. Students can be asked to list out the
of gender sensitive curricula which would, kind(s) of violence that they experience
in the long run, empower girls and women in different spaces such as family,
to meet the different challenges of life. It was school and community.
felt that this thrust in education would help …………………………………………………
in meeting the goals of equity and equality …………………………………………………
and address quality issues in education.
In the context of violence, the policy Recently, the Government of India has
states that all types of crimes against enacted the Right of Children to Free and
women in the family and at the societal level Compulsory Education in the age group of
would be addressed effectively. Institutional 6-14 years. This Act extends to the whole
mechanisms coupled with the strengthening of India except the state of Jammu and
of redressal measures would be focused Kashmir. Some of the main parameters of
upon. Legal literacy would be promoted this Act are as follows:
so that awareness about preventive laws
regarding crime against the girl child and Activities
women is disseminated to all. The policy 1. Initiate activities through play way
lays a special emphasis on removal of method for finding out reasons for non-
trafficking of girls and women. enrollment of children in neighbourhood
Policy initiatives have also tried to schools.
address the onslaught of globalization and .…………………………………………………
consumerism by making education a means .…………………………………………………
for empowerment of women, but situational 2. You can prepare a check list on the
analysis based on indicators related to availability of infrastructure and its
education and crime against women have quality.
highlighted that there is a missing link .…………………………………………………
between policy rhetoric and the existing .…………………………………………………
status of women in the present globalised
Gender and Violence 67

3. You can initiate an activity among (1954), The Hindu Marriage Act (1955),
teachers for identifying training needs The Hindu Succession Act (1956), The
and resources in schools. Family Courts Act (1954), the Immoral
.………………………………………………… Traffic (Prevention) Act (1986), the Dowry
.………………………………………………… Prohibition Act (1961) (amended in 1984
4. Examine and review the safeguards and 1986), The Equal Remuneration
provided under this Act to ensure that Act (1976), The Indecent Representation
all children complete the elementary of Women (Prohibition) Act (1986), The
cycle of education with substantial Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act
quality. (1971), The Prenatal Diagnostic Technique
.………………………………………………… Regulation and Prevention Act (1994) and
many more. With the passage of time some
of the laws have been modified or clauses
added to them and newer ones enacted to
• Every child between the age group of meet the changes taking place in the social
six to fourteen years shall have a right and economic milieu of Indian society.
to free and compulsory education in a However, existing laws have not prevented
neighbourhood school till completion of the occurrence of growing violence against
elementary education. girls and women. The media, either print
• No child shall be liable to pay any kind or electronic provides on a daily basis the
of fee or charges or expenses which may coverage on incidences of growing crimes
prevent him or her from pursuing and against women. Several reasons are cited
completing elementary education. for their occurrence. Some of documented
• A child above six years of age who has ones include lack of awareness about
not been admitted in any school or laws, poverty, fear of being stigmatized by
though admitted, could not complete the family and society, lack of confidence,
his or her elementary education, then, psychological fear of being victimized by the
he or she shall be admitted in a class perpetrator of the crime and false notions
appropriate to his or her age. of honour. In cases where the matter is
• Ensure that the children belonging reported, very often the delay in getting
to weaker sections and the children justice makes the victim lose confidence in
belonging to disadvantaged groups institutions implementing law and order.
are not discriminated against and Thus, enactment of laws in itself does not
prevented from pursuing and completing address issues of social justice unless they
elementary education on any grounds. are accompanied by effective machinery for
• Ensur e good quality elementary implementation.
education conforming to the standards India is also a signatory to several
and norms specified in the Schedule. international conventions that work towards
• Provision of training facilities to teachers. creating an environment that promotes
To know what the status actually is, the gender justice, harmony and peace. Some of
issues listed in the box below may be the well known ones are: Convention on the
investigated and discussed Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention
5.5 LAWS FOR ADDRESSING VIOLENCE on Rights of the Child (CRC) which calls
AGAINST GIRLS AND WOMEN for the protection of children under the
Preventive laws have been enacted since age of 18 from all forms of physical and
independence for dealing with the growing mental violence, injury or abuse, neglect
crime against girls and women. Some or negligent treatment, maltreatment or
of them are: The Special Marriage Act exploitation, including sexual abuse as
68 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

stated in Article 19. Further, Article 34, calls

2. Show film clippings and initiate a
for protection of children from all forms of
discussion among students on growing
sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. violence in Indian society.
It is a known reality that gaps exist
between laws and their implementation.
However, as stated earlier, the efforts .…………………………………………………
of civil society in this regard cannot be 3. Arrange a talk by a legal expert/NGO
under estimated. Many non-governmental working on prevention of physical and
emotional violence.
organizations and civil society initiatives do
take recourse to public interest litigations .…………………………………………………
in providing justice to victims affected by .…………………………………………………
different types of crimes. In this regard the 4. Arrange a field visit to institutions
role of Mahila Samakhya established in dealing with crimes.
1989, is a welcome initiative in providing .…………………………………………………
speedy and cost free assistance to rural .…………………………………………………
women in matters related to property rights, 5. On bulletin boards and other spaces
marital discord, physical and emotional in school you can display important
violence faced by girls and women in parameters related to Right to Education.
the family, workplace and society. The .…………………………………………………
structure that addresses judicial issues .…………………………………………………
under this programme is the Nari Adalat. In
all the states where the programme is being
While policy initiatives and existing
implemented there are several success
stories where this structure has helped laws have attempted to provide a conducive
women in getting justice on several issues environment for the overall development of
pertaining to their family and society. In girls and women in contemporary India,
Assam, Nari Adalats have played a proactive indicators related to education as well as
role in the settlement of family disputes, violence have highlighted that systemic
dowry harassment, second marriage, rape, factors in relation to socialization and
domestic violence, child custody, child customary practices, notional beliefs and
marriage, witch hunting and alcoholism. In growing consumerism have negatively
2006-2007, the total number of Nari Adalats impacted the status of women. In the realm
in Assam were 10, located in the districts of education, even though the participation
of Darrang, Dhubri, Morigaon Goalpara, of girls at the national level has increased
Sonitpur and Nagaon. at all levels, it is still below 50 per cent.
To build perspective on this and take the (Selected Educational Statistics (2005-06)).
discussion further, the box below has a set The literacy rate as per the 2001 census
of activities that may be followed. indicates that a gap exists between men and
women. For men, it was 75.85 per cent and
for women it was 54.16 per cent.
1. Organise a legal literacy workshop The phenomenon of growing crimes
to acquaint students, teachers and
against women also indicates that growth
parents on laws enacted for prevention
of crime against children, particularly in literacy and education is not always
girls. positively linked to the status of women in
.………………………………………………… society. The National Crime Record Bureau
provides information about different types
of crimes that are committed annually. In
Gender and Violence 69

the year 2007, a total of 1,85,312 incidents

3. You can ask students to prepare a story
of crimes against women (both under line on any kind of discrimination that
IPC and other laws) were reported in the they have seen/experienced and how
country as compared to 1,64,765 during would they address it.
2006, recording an increase of 12.5 per .…………………………………………………
cent during 2007. The different cases of .…………………………………………………
crime that recorded an increase were – 4. You can show websites on different
kidnapping and abduction, dowry deaths, forms of violence existing the world
torture molestation and rape. over and methods adopted in combating
In 35 metropolitan cities having a them.
population of over 10 lakh as per 2001 .…………………………………………………
census, a total of 24,709 cases of crimes .…………………………………………………
against women were reported. Among 5. Initiate a discussion on the given
these 35 cities, Delhi recorded 4,331 newspaper clipping and ask the students
cases, followed by Hyderabad 1,931. The if they are aware about agencies that
help in rehabilitation of women in
crime rate was significantly higher in
difficult circumstances.
Vijaywada and Vishakhapatnam at 96.2
and 56.7 respectively, as compared to the
national average of mega cities at 16.3. A
comparative data set on different forms of
violence committed against women in Delhi .…………………………………………………
was reported in The Times of India, March .…………………………………………………
14, 2011 which is shown in the following .…………………………………………………
table. .…………………………………………………
Crimes 2008 2009 2010
Acts of violence against
Murder 554 552 565 women also include forced
Rape 466 469 507 sterilisation, abortion, use of
Attempt to Murder 389 369 311 contraception and prenatal sex
Robbery 541 515 599 selection. Further, globalization
has ushered in the existence
Total IPC 49,350 50,251 51,292
and perpetuation of new types
IPC Crime/per lakh Population 286 283 281 of violence through internet.
(Source: The Times of India, March 14, 2011) Having a wider audience appeal
and out reach, they very often use images
Activities of women by depicting them in an obscene
1. You can prepare a database of crimes manner. This kind of imagery is also
committed in your locality and find out perpetuated through mobiles- (Gurumurthy,
how they have been redressed. Menon (2009)).
.………………………………………………… In addition, the print and audio-visual
.………………………………………………… media on a daily basis portray the incidences
2. Organize a role play in your school of growing crimes against women which cut
on different methods for prevention of across all segments of society like caste,
crimes. class and region. Instances of domestic
.………………………………………………… violence, honour killing, witch hunting,
.………………………………………………… dowry deaths, female foeticide, rape, sexual
70 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

studies of India and some South

Asian countries about instances of
different types of crimes that girls
and women face from the womb to
the tomb.
Reflection of Gender Violence
throughout the Mortal Life Cycle
of Women
Prenatal – Sex-selective abortion,
battering during pregnancy,
coerced pregnancy, neglect of
health during pregnancy.
Infancy – Female infanticide,
emotional and physical abuse,
discrimination in the area of food
and medical care.
Childhood – Malnutrition,
child marriage, child abuse,
discrimination in the area of
food, medical care and education,
emotional violence perpetuated
due to caste, class and faith.
Adolescence – Rape, sexual abuse
in society, school, work-place,
eve teasing, emotional violence
perpetuated due to caste, class and
faith and cyber crimes.
Adulthood – Abuse of women by
intimate male partners; marital
rape, dowry abuse and murder;
partner homicide; psychological
abuse and many more have all highlighted
the vulnerability and insecurity that girls
and women face in the private and public
domain. Prenatal Old age
While physical violence against women
has been recorded in several government
documents and by private agencies,
emotional violence faced by women in the Infancy Adulthood
family, school and work-places has not
been recorded. Both physical and emotional
violence lead to lower self-esteem, low
confidence and negatively impact the overall
personality development of women. These Childhood Adolescence
very often become major impediments in
empowering women.
Several studies such as Hayward, Finney
Ruth (2000), have in detail given case Figure 1
Gender and Violence 71

abuse; sexual abuse in the family and be the cross cutting edge, informing all
workplace; sexual harassment, rape, abuse disciplines, curricula and activities so that
of women with disabilities and cyber crimes. skills of consensus and negotiations become
internalized qualities for the personality
Old age – Abuse of widows, emotional
development of both boys and girls.
violence and physical annihilation, abuse of
Agencies such as Parent Teacher
the elderly (affects women more than men).
Associations, Mother Teacher Association,
While different agencies and machineries
Peer Association and other similar ones can
exist for addressing the growing crimes
be made proactive in providing a platform
against women, a meaningful and
for resolving conflicts that children face in
substantial approach needs to be adopted for
schools, family and in society. Efforts should
holistically addressing this social menace.
be made for undoing emotional and physical
A multi-pronged strategy that includes all
violence that children of all age groups
agents of social change including education
face at different places by strengthening
needs to be geared up for bringing about
confidence building measures. This will
gender justice, harmony and peace in both
ensure that children have an outlet to
public and private spaces.
discuss stress and conflicts that they face
Activities in their journey of growing up.
Pre-service and in-service teacher
1. You can ask students to collect paper
cuttings on reported crimes and analyze
training programmes need to consciously
them. train teachers as problem solvers,
counsellors and as mental health workers
for dealing with all sorts of emotional and
physical conflicts that children face due to
2. Organize a poster competition to elicit multifarious reasons. Legal literacy should
perceptions of students on reasons for become an integral part of all training
growing crimes against humanity.
.………………………………………………… Activities
3. Counsellors can be invited to have a 1. O r g a n i z e g e n d e r s e n s i t i z a t i o n
discussion with children on issues programmes for reflecting critically on
related to conflict management and processes of socialization for boys and
social tensions. girls.
.………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………
.………………………………………………… .…………………………………………………
2. Activities for self defense such as Karate
can be organized.
In this era of globalization, the content
3. Street plays and Nataks can be organized
and process of education at all levels can
for propagating strategies to combat
integrate peace building strategies so that violence.
valuing women’s contributions, caring and
sharing, equality between sexes, tolerance
and dignity of labour can be internalised by .…………………………………………………
children from their primary years. Conflict 4. Organize workshops for evaluation of
management and social tension need to textbooks from the view point of gender
72 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

sensitivity, conflict management and and girlhood in order to understand

social tensions. the complexities of growing up, identity
.………………………………………………… formation and conflicts that adolescent
children face in terms of their inner and
outer self within the overarching impact of
5. Appointing a committee in schools
consisting of representatives from
globalization and socialisation taking place
parents, community members, in different family settings of our plural
teachers, administrators, members Indian societies.
from non-governmental organizations to
deliberate upon diagnostic, curative and 5.7 REFERENCES
reformative measures for confidence • AIDE MEMOIRE, First Joint Review
building and rehabilitation of victims Mission of Mahila Samakhya, 24 th
of different forms of violence.
November, 2008 to 4th December, 2008.
• Fourth World Conference on Women,
Beijing (1995). Country Report,
Government of India, Department of
Women and Child Development, MHRD.
• Gur um ur th y , An ita a n d M eno n ,
Niveditha (2009). ‘Violence against
Women via Cyberspace.’ Economic and
Political Weekly, Vol. XLIV No. 40.
• Hayward, Ruth Finney (2000). Breaking
the Earthenware Jar. Lessons from
South Asia to End Violence against
Women and Girls. UNICEF: New Delhi.
• National Policy on Education – (1986).
MHRD, Department of Education, New
• Programme of Action (1992). MHRD,
Department of Education, New Delhi.
• National Policy for Empowerment of
Women (2001). Department of Women
and Child Development, MHRD,
New Delhi.
Different pedagogical approaches using • National Crime Reports Bureau (2007).
varied mediums such as folklore, films, Report.
videos, theatres, songs, dramas and many • Selected Educational Statistics (2005-
more can be innovatively used for promoting 2006). Government of India, MHRD,
messages that generate harmony between Department of Higher Education,
sexes. In addition, resources of non- Statistics Division, New Delhi.
governmental organizations working for • Farmer arrested for daughter’s murder
preventing violence against women should in Noida, (2011). Times of India, March
also utilize research studies on boyhood 14, 2011, New Delhi.
Module 6
Gender, Science and Technology

Structure of the Module

6.1 Overview
6.2 Introduction
6.3 Objectives
6.4 Description
6.5 Root of the Problem
6.6 Methodology
6.7 How Teacher Educators can Promote Gender Equality in Science and Technology
6.8 Recommendations for Teacher Educators
6.9 References

6.1 OVERVIEW Both science and technology have been

Science (from the Latin scientia meaning integral to Indian culture. The history
knowledge) refers to a system of acquiring of philosophy, scientific discoveries and
knowledge which uses observation and development in India date back to the Vedic
experimentation to describe and explain era. It was India which gave the world the
natural phenomena. Technology (from the concept of zero in mathematics, distillation
Greek technologia – techne, an art, skill or and perfumery in chemistry and yoga and
craft and logia, the study of something, or Ayurveda in health care.
the branch of knowledge of a discipline) In fact, India was ranked fifteenth in
is the usage and knowledge of tools, Science and Technology systems output
techniques, crafts, systems or methods of in the year 2003, but later it managed to
organization in order to solve a problem make it to the  top ten  list of Science and
or serve some purpose. Technologies have Technology systems in the world. It rose to
to satisfy requirements such as utility, the ninth position in the world’s Science
usability and safety. and Technology map in the year 2010. The
Basically, science and technology deal Indian government has declared 2010-20 as
with different techniques and methods the “Decade of Innovations” with the hope
aimed at enhancing the welfare of mankind. of increasing wealth and employment for
74 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

the country using scientific research and just as a chariot cannot travel on a single
innovation. At present, the government is wheel alone. The scientific contributions of
taking major steps to make India a major any community or nation reflect its level
global science power. of development. The present module is
There is no denying that Science thus also designed to enhance sensitivity
and technology education can be the and awareness about gender equality and
gatewa y to national development and to empowerment in science and technology.
poverty alleviation. All sectors of society An attempt has been made to describe
must be seen to participate optimally in various ways in which teacher educators, in
it, including girls. This module targets particular, can foster gender equality and
serving teachers whose roles and work empowerment in science and technology.
have a direct influence on learners of It is well established that science and
school-going age and thus on the future technology can bring in knowledge gain,
of society as well. attitudinal reconstruction, behavourial
It will address gender issues in science change and build capacity in a manner
and mathematics classes and in schools that facilitates the empowerment of women.
i n general with a view to removing personal Women can become informed decision
and cultural obstacles placed in the way makers and change agents.
of girls that inhibit them from choosing
science subjects, from performing well 6.3 OBJECTIVES
in them and ultimately from choosing • To create awareness among women
science related careers. about the support that science and
The gender disparity is palpably evident technology can provide them
in the education sector which hits inclusive • To provide a platform for both urban
growth very adversely. Recognising this, the and rural girls for a successful science
present module aims to address the factors career
accounting for gender disparity prevailing • To improve the institutional climate
in our education sector, with special focus for women in science so that they are
on science. The underlying assumption considered at par with men
is that although science and technology • T o encourage women to assume
bring economic growth, enhancement in leadership roles nationally and
these fields is possible through women’s internationally in science
empowerment and maximum participation • To promote standards of learning and
of women. teaching for schools as well as colleges
by making laboratory work more
6.2 INTRODUCTION interesting and by introducing life skill
There is need for fostering gender equality activities
and empowerment in science and technology.
Gender is not just a women’s issue, but 6.4 DESCRIPTION
rather a people’s issue. Femininity does The profusion of resourceful and passionate
not exist in isolation from masculinity. The scientific talent of women makes one
capabilities of a nation comprise the skills optimistic about the future of India.
and knowledge of all sections of its people. Such prodigious talent can catapult India
Therefore, any society cannot reach its true not only to the forefront of scientifically
potential and a nation cannot develop when advanced nations but also enhance its
half of its population is kept out of activities image as a country that advocates women’s
and professions that are constructive, advancement.
Gender, Science and Technology 75

The important issues which affect the in scientific study and research competing
current status of science in the country on equal terms with their male counterparts.
include: Women now constitute about 40% of all
(a) Poor enrolment of devoted young people science and technology students in higher
in science education, education. In educational and research
(b) Declining trend of Indian scientists’ institutions, they share about one-third of
contributions at international academic the positions in science and technology.
level In medicine and information technology
(c) Scale of investment in science in State too, they are present in large numbers.
and Central Universities Despite the heart-warming statistics, it
(d) Lack of growth of institutions of is well known that a lot more potential
excellence yet remains to be tapped. Several factors
(e) Lack of freedom of operation in scientific contribute to the decreased participation of
and higher educational institutions.  girls and women in science and technology
The Scientific Research publications education. Girls are seen to be unwilling
clearly show considerable improvement in to participate in science based activities
the (c and d factors mentioned above) over primarily due to lack of motivation. It
the last twenty five years. The absolute seems to serve no instrumental purpose for
number of research publications has gone them. Other factors include lack of relevant
up from 14983 in 1980 to 19448 in 2005. policies, inadequate curriculum content
However, India’s contribution in terms of and delivery, biased teaching materials
a percentage in the larger stead of world and negative socio-cultural attitudes and
publications has declined from 2.9% in practices.  It is therefore appropriate that
1980 to 1.9% in 2005. the goal of gender parity in science and
It is seen that despite unfavourable technology should rely on a mix of strategies
socio-economic conditions that prevail, drawn from lessons learned from the best
women’s education in India has progressed practices and experiences at national,
and its effect is manifested in the overall regional and international levels.
progress of education in India. An educated As per the National Policy for the
mother is always the foremost motivation Empowerment of Women (2001), there is a
for her ward’s educational upliftment. But commitment to strengthening programmes
even beyond the realm of general education, that bring about a greater involvement of
achievement of Indian women in science has women in science and technology. These
been significant. The glaring reality is that include measures to motivate girls to
women’s contributions in the domestic and take up science and technology for higher
career front have always been obliterated. education and also ensure that development
The very fact that they take on the double or projects with scientific and technical inputs
triple burden of home making, work outside involve women fully. Efforts to develop a
home and fighting male chauvinism often scientific temper and awareness will also
goes unnoticed and unrecognised. Among be stepped up. Special measures have
the various professional spheres, women been taken for their training in areas of
seem to miss out more in science and special skills like communication and
technology, particularly physical sciences information technology. Efforts to develop
and engineering fields. Those who do study appropriate technologies suited to women’s
science often end up in what are considered needs as well as to reduce drudgery are also
as less challenging teaching jobs. being given special focus.
The present statistics indicate that a The major initiatives taken by the
large number of women in India are involved government to encourage women in science
76 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

and technology may be summed up as these initiatives, sustained efforts are still
follows: needed in order to improve the participation
• Equal access to participation and of girls and women and their performance
decision making of women in social, in science and technology education and
political, economic and development science- based activities. 
activities That gender disparity exists at all levels
• Equal access of women to health-care, and impacts women’s development is
quality education at all levels, career an undeniable fact. This is partly due to
and vocational guidance, employment, the biological roles and responsibilities of
remuneration, occupational safety, women as mothers, but mostly due to the
social security etc. traditional mindset, which visualize women
• Strengthening legal systems aimed at as child bearers and home-makers, and
elimination of all forms of discrimination men as breadwinners. There is a growing
against women. realization that by hindering the creative
• Changing societal attitudes and talent, expression and active involvement
community practices by encouraging of women, in research and development,
active participation and involvement of we are depriving society of its intellectual
both men and women. capital. Therefore, efforts have to be made
• Adopting suitable measures to enable to make scientific research more gender
women to work during night shifts in friendly.
• Drawing up women friendly personnel
policies to encourage women Although girls seem to consistently outshine
to participate effectively in the boys in the board examinations, the
developmental process enrollment of women in higher education,
• Provision of support services for women particularly in science has not kept pace with
like child care facilities including what the board examination results reflect.
day care facilities at work places and Since 1951 there has been a steady growth
educational institutions, homes for the in Universities and other higher education
aged, the disabled, etc. institutions in India. The participation of
These measures need to be expanded and girls at all stages of education has also been
improved to create an enabling environment increasing steadily over the years. Yet the
and to ensure their optimal contribution to wide gap between women and men entering
social, political and economic life. Several the University persists. Let us analyse some
initiatives have been taken to attract girls of the problems and issues which explain
and women to science and technology this.
education. They include promoting gender Attrition
mainstreaming in policy and programmes Relatively more women tend to persist
for science and technology, instituting with studies after graduation though some
incentives such as scholarships, award attrition occurs at the level of Ph.D. This
systems in specific clusters of science and interesting finding differentiates India
technology, offering special internships from many other developed countries. (At
for female students, strengthening career Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA
guidance at institutions of lear ning, a survey found continuous attrition as one
establishment of mentoring programmes, moved from undergraduate to graduate
curriculum restructuring and addressing to post-doctorate and faculty positions.)
the role of teachers and parents. Despite This has led to some speculation that in
Gender, Science and Technology 77

India, if the “leaky pipeline’ is plugged at tend to take up radiology, pathology and
the school level (stopping school dropouts), anesthesiology much more as compared to
the presence of women in higher education, neurosurgery. The INSA (Indian National
including science may increase. Science Academy) report says that there
Gender difference in enrollment of boys is clustering in obstetrics/gynaecology,
and girls also varies regionally. Urban pediatrics and pathology for women doctors.
women are more likely to gain access to Few enter the more lucrative male dominated
higher education as compared to their specializations like orthopedics, cardiology,
rural counterparts. So while their caliber psychiatry etc.
may be the same, timely motivation and The participation of women in
grooming makes a lot of difference. There engineering remained almost negligible
is vast evidence to show that the attitudes till the early 1980s. The INSA report
of parents/teachers influence academic quotes a 2002 finding that there is 32 %
decisions. The Indian National Science enrolment in Physics in India. In a report
Academy (INSA) Report of 2004 found published by NISTADS (National Institute
that in states such as Goa, Kerala, Punjab of Science Technology and Development
and Pondicherry, more than 50 % women Studies), it appears that there are 61,050
enrolled in colleges (2000-2001), but in women employed in R&D ( Research and
states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar, Development) establishments, which is
Jharkhand, Orissa and Rajasthan less than 15.6% of the total manpower employed in
35 per cent women did. The enrolments in the country (Department of Science and
the other states were between these two Technology, 2008). Globally, women tend
extremes. to go in for the natural sciences more as
It is not just motivation and grooming, compared to the perceived to be “harder”
but lack of facilities and availability of disciplines such as Mathematics. So deeply
colleges and universities in the vicinity entrenched is this supposed aversion that
that cause lesser enrolment of girls from even the Barbie doll was once made to utter
rural areas. Other lacunae are the lack of the words that the mathematics class was
women’s hostels and commuting facilities, tough. This is an example of how gender
among others. stereotypes are reinforced from an early
Gender Stereotyping of Subjects in age…even while a girl child is at play.
Science and Technology Today of course there is a lap-top carrying
Barbie in pink, which hopefully will carry
Another problem similar to the trend in
a subliminal message of equality and
western countries relates to the disciplines
empowering technology.
in which women enroll. The highest
representation of women is in education. Post Education Scenario
Education, to a large extent, is considered Paradoxically, even after having obtained
to be most apt subject for women as it is higher education, societal pressures
compatible with other responsibilities of and family obligations affect a woman’s
women as mother and wife. This is followed chances of getting a job of her choice.
by disciplines like arts and medicine. It Interestingly, professional women’s attitude
is only in the past 15 years that their towards education, employment and family
enrolment has shown an increased trend. situations have revealed that most women
Though medicine has been a favourite retain traditional values. This means
discipline among females, it is seen that that economic empowerment does not
the rate of growth of male-access to it is necessarily translate into independence
larger and faster. Even in Medicine, women in other spheres of life. And when they do
78 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

find employment, most women scientists although the University of Madras denied
struggle in a male-dominated workplace her a formal PhD degree.
that often marginalizes them.
Follow up Exercise
The Struggles of the Pioneers
Discuss with students any 2 success
Many pioneers in the field of science and stories of women in the area of science and
technology had to face gender discrimination technology from your area or state. Ask
in their journey to success. Marie Curie them to share any such success stories
was denied a place at Kraków University which they have come across in their life.
merely because she was a woman. In 1911,
What are the kind(s) of discrimination
the French Academy of Sciences refused experienced by women pursuing the field
to abandon its prejudice against women, of science?
and Marie Curie was denied admission
as Member by two votes. Then it was
Marguerite Perey, a doctoral student of Social Barriers
Curie, who became the first woman elected There are also several social and institutional
to membership in the Academy over half a barriers to the continuing education
century later. of women, especially when it comes to
Kamala Sohonie (1912-1998) was science, technology and engineering.
the first Indian woman to get a PhD in a Gender discrimination is much higher in
scientific discipline. She carried out detailed the scientific and technical fields in India
biochemical studies on three major groups than among social sciences and other
of food items consumed by the rural poor fields. Women in all professions are seen
and established their nutritive value. When to perform the double role of managing a
Kamala Sohonie applied for postgraduation job and domestic responsibilities, which
at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), after has been commonly referred to as a ‘dual
completing her graduation from Bombay burden’. In science, the dual burden is
University in 1933, the institution dismissed combined with various problems that are
her application despite her having topped specific to the scientific profession. In fact,
the university merit list that year. The the prevailing socio-cultural systems in
reason for this was that Sohonie happened India result in a ‘triple burden’ for women
to be a woman! After much hesitation, she in academic and scientific careers.
got admission. Kamala’s sincerity led her Social Role and Prevailing Mindsets
to do regular research in biochemistry. A woman is still seen primarily as a
This was a landmark victory for her. Her home maker. Marriage, not career is
struggles made life considerably easier for perceived to be the primary goal of women.
other aspiring women scientists. Although women’s employment is becoming
Anna Mani (1918-2001) distinguished increasingly more accepted in society, there
Indian meteorologist, for mer Deputy is yet the expectation from them that they
Director General of the Indian Meteorological should shoulder the household/domestic
Department made significant contributions responsibilities, particularly the care of
in the field of meteorological instrumentation children. This impinges on a woman’s
and pioneered research in the areas of career in different ways depending on the
solar radiation, ozone and wind energy nature of her profession, as well as the stage
measurements. Anna Mani is a success at which her career is poised.
story to which few women (or men) could Some women scientists, but not all,
aspire. She transcended the delimited incur breaks in career for child bearing and
cultural and physical spaces available to her rearing. Age-related, re-entry difficulties
Gender, Science and Technology 79

exist for those who take such breaks, e-networking can compensate for this to a
so most of them try to rejoin as soon as certain extent. Again, many older women
possible. Paradoxically once again, there scientists admit that they have self-imposed
is an overt and covert societal assumption certain restrictions upon themselves and
that this is actually leading to neglect of are therefore willing to take a backseat
the child and places extra burden on the in their career. Interestingly however, the
woman’s shoulders. The responsibilities younger scientists are comparatively more
of parents, in India at least do not get over ambitious and have definite career plans.
when the children grow up. Older children, Institutional Barriers
particularly girls are considered just as a
Institutional barriers include paucity of
serious responsibility as are very young
financial aid, a male-oriented curriculum
children. The dual responsibilities faced by
and lack of in-campus residences. Gender
professional women are thus quite heavy.
insensitivity further compounds the
Some problems are chronic while others
problems that women face. Scientific
become acute at different career points.
institutions in India carry an essentially
Science calls for long and uncertain hours
masculine ethos and exhibit vertical as
and this often discourages women from
well as hierarchical segregation in terms
taking it up as a profession. Research seeks
of gender. Women’s participation has been
dedication and a lot of attention which
limited and confined to comparatively junior
women find difficult to give as they are
burdened with other responsibilities.
Unequal treatment and subtle
Women scientists with children are
discrimination against women scientists
often not eager to conduct field work for
and engineers in the behavioural and
extended periods. They may find it difficult
interpersonal relations also prevail. Nature
to live under field conditions, particularly if
(2010) has reported common incivilities
the areas do not have basic facilities. They
that reflect subtle sexism. At scientific
may find it difficult to go on tours except
meetings, women scientists do not get the
for a limited period of time. Often they are
microphone to speak and when they do,
unable to attend conferences or workshops
they are interrupted sooner than loquacious
for special trainings. Many women are not
male colleagues.
comfortable travelling on their own and
Also, in Science and T echnology
thus senior administrative/management
women tend to be engaged in “pure
positions that entail travelling may by pass
research” as compared to administration
them. In one Indian survey it was found that
and management. This actually means
on an average, a male scientist travelled four
that women have less involvement in the
times as much as his female counterpart.
decision making process of the institution.
Most women also do not socialize with
In many cases the “pure research” is
their male colleagues with ease, partly
mostly compilation, collection and review
because of gender socialization and social
as opposed to being more analytical and
restrictions. Personal interactions of
creative. However, while this may not mean
women scientists with male colleagues are
much difference in terms of books or papers
deeply constrained by standard patriarchal
written; it does mean a sizable difference in
cultural barriers of so-called morality.
the numbers of patents and inventions that
Women scientists are therefore unable to
men and women file.
meet and establish personal camaraderie
or networks or jockey for positions. This Employment of Women Scientists
inability often leads to them getting Gender has figured in important ways in
overlooked. Perhaps the evolution of shaping the careers of scientists for centuries.
80 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

Statistics/data availed from major Research required. In recent years, however, the
and Development institutions showed that Government of India (the Department of
gender disparity in the male/ female staff Science and Technology and University
selection process was continuing, and Grants Commission) is giving enormous
females were marginalized in recruitments. attention to the importance of women’s
The INSA report 2004 has shown that the education and is making serious attempts
Department of Biotechnology (DBT) followed at imparting high level skills to women.
by the Indian Council of Medical Research Special scholarships and awards have been
(ICMR), are the best employers of women. instituted to attract students in general
DBT had almost 32% and ICMR 27% women and women in particular to the science and
scientists. technology stream.
In most cases, institutions included Nature (2010) has highlighted that
less than 15% women in their Advisory countries wherein the salaries of scientists
Committees. The Inter Press Service News are rising rapidly (for example, Brazil, China
Agency report points out that though many and India) are those where job satisfaction
women have reached top positions in the is also rising. These nations are also
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), stemming the brain drain and increasing
under the Department of Space, the overall their publications in peer-reviewed scientific
percentage of women scientists is still very journals. More importantly, these countries
low. Women’s representation in government have made enormous economic progress
constituted research advisory bodies is also over the past two decades, showing a
very low. Data shows a range between 0-21 correlation between science, salaries and
percent. sustainable development. The gender
Unanswered Important Issues disaggregated statistics confirm that
In western countries, gender related women researchers earn significantly less
questions in science have been extensively than their male colleagues. These gaps are
raised. They range from discussions about particularly alarming for leading industrial
women in science to philosophical analysis nations such as Japan and Germany. What
of the gendered nature of science itself. remains to be seen is whether with rising
In India, the status of women in science salary levels for researchers in China and
has still not drawn adequate attention. India, the same gender gap will open or not.
There are only a few reports and studies Hopefully, more balanced conditions will
on gender and science in India. Empirical emerge in the ‘Asian century’ ahead.
research specifically on women scientists
is scarce and their research productivity 6.6 METHODOLOGY
has not been dealt with in particular. Active and interactive methods of
The scattered infor mation about the participatory learning will enable both
participation of women in science in the teachers and students to gain a deeper level
developing countries focuses more on their of understanding of the issues involved and
access to education and career. Very little to internalize them, so as to bring about a
is known about the contribution of female change in thinking, attitudes and behavior
researchers to scientific production. patterns. Catching them young when their
We may thus conclude that gender plays minds are not yet set into stereotyped
an important role in the shaping of scientific thinking and behavior patterns is a key
careers in India. Major attitudinal and element. These transformed young Indians
institutional changes in the structure and will then become the citizens and builders
procedures of Indian science are probably of the emerging new India.
Gender, Science and Technology 81

Basic education is a catalyst of social pictures of female scientists, especially

change. Education provides the critical Indian women scientists like Kalpana
key to open many doors of opportunity to Chawla can be introduced as subliminal
life and living, for gaining life skills leading and suggestive images.
to jobs and to become empowered to avail Illustrations and Colorful Diagrams
of and participate in the larger dimensions
Use of illustrations and colorful diagrams
of life. Beyond literacy, it is the quality
to explain scientific phenomena and
of education that enables the women to
experiments and including certain life-skill
become aware of and participate in the
activities, etc. can attract young minds.
many affairs of life.
Making them aware of how science is related
Gender responsive teaching of Science
to day-to-day activities develops scientific
and technology should thus attempt to:
temper in them.
• identify and prioritize the elements of
teaching that should be addressed; Science Activities
• identify existing gender biases; Certain science activities could be included
• develop training programmes aimed at to build the interest of students towards
eradicating biases. science. Few examples of science activities
are given below:
6.7 HOW TEACHER EDUCATORS CAN • Making paper or polystyrene models of
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ? • Caring for a laboratory fish tank.
Gender biases starts at an early age, much • Making a long poster display showing
before a child enters school. Teacher the main periods of the geological
educators play an important role in the timescale
life and education of teachers, as they • Demonstrating Ohm’s Law for a fixed
are responsible for their capacity building resistor.
and shaping their careers. Teachers and • Making a periscope
teacher educators can both play a major • Talking in groups about how to mitigate
role in eradicating gender differences in the impact of HIV and AIDS.
science and technology at the school level • Setting up and using a pulley system
which in turn can help to create a relatively to lift a heavy load
unbiased society. The following steps • Drawing the image of a cell seen under
should be followed by teacher educators to a microscope.
make science teaching interesting, to attract • Discussing how global warming might
young minds and to inculcate scientific influence the climate of southern Africa.
temper in them to help them choose a career • Separating salt from a mixture of sand
in science and technology. and salt
• Growing a large copper sulphate
Examples and Pictures
Use of examples of women scientists as
Contextualizing Science Topics
compared to male scientists. When the word
scientist is said aloud, a picture of a male Contextualization of science means,
scientist like Newton or Einstein comes to ‘teaching science through its applications’.
the mind of the students rather than female Some contextual ideas are as follows:
scientists like Madam Curie. Examples of • Use the context of what makes clothes
women scientists can motivate the minds of comfortable in cold weather via the
young girls. In our laboratories the pictures insulating properties of different fabrics
of male scientists are more prominent. The to the concept of conduction of heat.
82 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

• Use the context of water to illustrate a motivate their students. School teachers
variety of different concepts according must work in coordination with college
to phase. These could include solubility, teachers who should in turn have
energy, changes of state, pollution, collaborations with universities and
density, pressure, etc. research centers. This will help them to
• Use the context of the refrigerator to become aware of the current status and
study phase changes, particle theory trends of research and development in
and latent heat. our country and abroad.
• Use the context of growing crops as a • The publication of research findings are
starting point for a variety of biological very important. The students should
concepts such as photosynthesis, be made aware of such publications
plant growth, soil structure and types, and they should be encouraged to go
energy flow in living systems, food chains, through them. They will become aware
environmental conservation, etc. of what has been done in particular
Biographies of Women Scientists areas of research, their limitations and
Students should be made to work on what more needs to be done.
projects such as the biographies of women • Women scientists should be identified
scientists, their journey from being a and they should be publicized as role
student to a scientist and the hurdles they models. They should be invited as guest
faced and how they dealt with them to speakers for programmes in schools.
attain that position. Such assignments will • Students should be encouraged to
motivate them to take up a career in science give examples on how science helps in
and technology. earning a livelihood.
• Science text books show gender biases in • Choice and role of appropriate technology
the content and pictorial representation in relation to women and development
that should be addressed in the class. become crucial in building up local
Describe a girl student performing an capacity, to devise solutions to tackle
experiment rather than a boy student. the identified problems to improve their
• Leadership qualities in girls should be quality of life. The emphasis should be to
developed to enhance their confidence improve their skills, provide managerial
level. Make them speak on certain topics capabilities and to understand the
related to science. Encourage them to scientific theories behind the processes/
share any scientific experiences in their products. This will make women more
life or any innovative ideas. open to emerging technologies for
• Science exhibitions should be conducted improving production efficiency and
annually. Girls should be encouraged to reducing drudgery in their day-to-day
participate. Students should be allowed work. Since rural women have special
to bring about innovative ideas. Their understanding of natural resource
ideas should be encouraged management they can play a crucial
• Awareness programmes should be role in re-nurturing and re-greening
conducted both for parents and students rural India.
to help them realize the importance of • There is an urgent need to use Science
science. Parents should be motivated and Technology (S &T) to ease women’s
to allow their girl children to pursue work. They should be involved as equal
science for further studies. partners, their knowledge, experience
• Exposure to teacher educators in and skills must be recognized, for
schools and colleges is necessary to only then they can play a significant
Gender, Science and Technology 83

role in sustainable development. The human resources of this particular

systems approach adopted with proper organization or department.
networking to involve rural women as (ii) Then ask them to give their feedback
para-technologists in processing and on the following questions: What
preservation of horticulture produce for categories of workers are there in this
value addition and income generation at organization? What is the dominant
the village level must be worked upon. gender i n each category?
• Students should be made aware of (iii) Teachers should go through each
the different awards and schemes of feedback and then conduct an open
government available at different stages. discussion to discuss the given
questions for few or all organizations
• Every educational and r esear ch
mentioned in the feedback
institution must provide a friendly
(iv) Through a discussion, the teacher
family environment, which will facilitate
should try to answer the questions:
girls to show quality output. Where are women and men primarily
Activities located? What are the differences
between the dif ferent categories
Interviewing two women and levels of work and the work that
(i) Give students the task of interviewing women largely do and the work that is
two women: mainly conducted by men? Are there
• One woman who wanted to pursue a similarities between the different
career in science and technology and kinds of organizations?
succeeded in pursuing it.
• One woman who wanted to pursue a This exercise will help to know about the
career in science and technology but gender segregated division of labour and
could not do so.
gender bias in the hierarchy of organizations
(ii) Conduct an open discussion in which
as well as the types of activities that men
students are asked to give feedback on
the interview. and women are involved in.
(iii) Observe the feedback from each Activities
student. Try to find the possible
A practical approach for contextualizing
reasons as to how the first woman
science topics
could pursue the career in science and
technology, while the other woman (i) Select a topic from the syllabus.
couldn’t make it. (ii) Develop a concept map showing
how the topic can be taught around
One reason could be lack of voluntary social a central interesting context, that is,
part of the daily experience of the
support that women require to pursue a
career in science and technology which is
(iii) Develop the concept map into an
often very time demanding.
outline scheme of work that shows in
more detail how you would use the
Activities context to teach the basic scientific
Human resources in organizations principles.
(i) Ask students of your class to think (iv) Display selected ideas to the whole
about a science/technology related class and allow discussion.
organisation or company or laboratory
(v) This concept map will be helpful in
with which they are familiar (it could
developing an outline scheme of work
be a science department of a school,
to teach the basic scientific principles
college or university, or a science
and other topics too.
council). Ask them to focus on the
84 Training Material for Teacher Educators on Gender Equality and Empowerment

Contextualizing the topic makes it very fixed from birth or unchangeable are
interesting and easy to understand. more likely to experience decreased
confidence and performance when faced
Activities with difficulties or setbacks. Students
Famous Scientists who are more confident about their
(i) In the class, ask students to list the abilities in math and science are more
names of famous scientists that they likely to choose elective math and
know. science courses in high school and more
(ii) Make a composite list while the names likely to select math and science-related
are being given by them. Identify all college majors and careers.
the famous Indian scientists and (ii) Teachers should provide students
inventors. How many of these are w ith p r escr ip tive, in f or m a tio n a l
women? feedback regarding their performance.
(iii) If none of them are women, ask them Prescriptive, informational feedback
specifically if they know about any focuses on strategies, effort, and the
famous women scientists? See how process of learning (e.g., identifying
many women are then mentioned?
gains in children’s use of particular
(iv) Discuss these lists with the students
strategies or specific errors in problem
and try to find out the reason why
this is the case. solving). Such feedback enhances
students’ beliefs about their abilities,
It is likely that very few women will be typically improves persistence, and
mentioned, as even women scientists who improves performance on tasks.
have made substantial contributions to (iii) Teachers should expose girls to female
scientific knowledge are relatively unknown. role models who have achieved in
math or science in order to promote
Activities positive beliefs regarding women’s
Women and Science abilities in math and science. Even in
(i) I n t h e c l a s s , a s k s t u d e n t s t h e elementary school, girls are aware of the
following questions: What is science? stereotype that men are better in math
Is domestic science a science? Are and science than women are. Exposing
the kinds of domestic jobs that girls to female role models (e.g., through
women have traditionally carried out, biographies, guest speakers, or tutoring
science? Ask the group to discuss by older female students) along with
this. male role models can invalidate these
(ii) Try to get the students to explore stereotypes.
both the issues of what counts as (iv) Teachers can foster girls’ long-term
science as well as the reasons why interest in math and science by choosing
women scientists have not been activities connecting mathematics and
science activities to careers in ways
(iii) Summarize the conclusions of the
that do not reinforce existing gender
class on a flip chart.
stereotypes and choosing activities that
spark initial curiosity about math and
6.8 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR science content. Teachers can provide
TEACHER EDUCATORS ongoing access to resources for students
(i) Teachers should explicitly teach students who continue to express interest in a
that academic abilities are expandable topic after the class has moved on to
and improvable in order to enhance girls’ other areas.
beliefs about their abilities. Students (v) Teachers should provide opportunities
who view their cognitive abilities as for students to engage in spatial
Gender, Science and Technology 85

skills training. Spatial skills training Council of Science and Technology in your
is associated with performance in state. Share it with your students.
mathematics and science.
Assignment 2
Self-Reflection Organize a one-day visit to any Science
The progress check can be classroom Centre or Science Museum or Scientific
assessment. Laboratories of CSIR/State Council. Ask
(i) Ask the students in your class to give the students to give a report of what they
feedback on the following questions:
have learnt from the visit.
• What do they feel about science
teaching in the classroom? Whether 6.9 REFERENCES
they find it interesting or not?
• Would they opt for a career in science • Agarwal, P (2006). Higher education
and technology? in India: The need for change. Indian
(ii) On the basis of their feedback, the Council for Research on International
teacher educator can assess themselves Economic Relations: New Delhi. URL:
on whether they are successful in
inculcating scientific temper in students papers_180.html.
and shaping their minds to opt for
• Annual Report, Ministry of Human
careers in science and technology.
Resource Development. (2006-07).
This activity will help the teacher educator Government of India.
to know whether girls are encouraged • Draft Report of Working Group on
to participate in science and technology Higher Education for the XI Plan (2007).
subjects. If not, the teacher educator can Planning Commission, Government of
share the measures taken by him/her to India.
promote girls in science and technology • Jha, (2009). Higher education in India
fields and try to adopt their implementations
Restructuring for increased innovation.
if found new and successful among the
Document prepared for the World Bank.
students there.
• Pavan, Agarwal (2009). Indian Higher
Activities Education: Envisioning the Future. New
A teacher educator can visit any nearby Delhi, Sage Publications India Pvt. Ltd.
school and check into the following details: • Selected Educational Statistics. (2004-
(i) Do teachers encourage girls to opt 2005) (as on September 2004). Ministry
for science subjects? What specific of Human Resource Development
approaches have been used? Give
Government of India.
specific examples
• UGC: Chairman’s Nehru Memorial
(ii) What specific activities do teachers
organize to promote science learning Lecture. University of Mumbai, Nov.24,
for girls and for boys? (2006) (available on the Web)
(iii) What techniques do teachers use to • UGC Annual Report, 2004-05.
ensure that girls and boys participate •
equally in Science and Technology php?nodeid=1119&nodetype=2
subjects including practicals? •
(iv) What techniques do teachers use to website/quest.asp?qref=117430
help students to overcome their fears, •
inhibitions, and lack of confidence in
these subjects?
Assignment 1 •
Search for the scholarships given to •
students, especially girls by the State womeninscience/INSA_1-17.pdf