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A study released ahead of International Women's Day 2011 finds that Indian men commit more sexual violence than their counterparts in other developing countries.
The survey, by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), found that nearly one in four Indian men have committed an act of sexual violence at least once in their life and one in five have forced their wife or partner to have sex. Two percent of men in Brazil and nine percent of men in Chile, Croatia, Mexico and Rwanda have committed an act of violence against women.
The three-year study looks at gender attitudes among men and boys in six developing countries. It is based on interviews with more than 8,000 men and 3,500 women.
“This is the first survey of its size to offer a comprehensive picture of what men think and do,” Gary Barker, who directs ICRW’s programs that involve men and boys, said in a press release. “These initial results really just scratch the surface. But it provides a needed starting point – one that uses statistical rigor and evidence – to help inform practitioners’ work with men as allies in women’s empowerment and gender equality.”
India and Rwanda were the only two countries in which the study found that men do not want more equitable partners. The inequality was reflected repeatedly in the survey. For example, 61 percent of men in Rwanda and more than 80 percent of men in India said that it is the mother's responsibility to change diapers and feed children.
In terms of domestic violence, Indian men also proved to have the lowest respect for women in the group. More than two-thirds of Indian men reportedly believe women should tolerate domestic violence for the sake of keeping the family together and that women sometimes deserve such violence.
"Indian men are far more traditional, to put it mildly. Even young, educated men are not changing as rapidly as women. They are still living in the old ages," said Ravi Verma, director of ICRW's Asia regional office in Delhi, according to the Times of India.
Meanwhile, check out this look by CBC News at 10 remarkable women and their impact on the world.
Events are taking place around the world to mark the progress women have made and shed light on the continued inequalities.
DISCUSSION: Which remarkable women would you highlight on International Women's Day? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.
-- Hanna Ingber Win