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need for change of attitude by men in India

Sisters, I've been praying for guidance, reading posts made by women in India and wonder whether we should start with father's of girls. I come up with many reasons girls are seen as a burden, instead of a jewel, but would like some imput about why some Indian dads love their daughters and some see them as a liability. Would you please share with me, as I think this might be where we need to start changing males attitudes, which in turn could eliminate violence toward women in India. I've been trying to post in India Cafe, but my computer can't seem to open that. I've been having near-fatal problems with our computer.

Please share with us why some fathers overcome the cultural mentality and love their daughters. Thanks.


Kumudini Pati's picture

What to do

Yes, William. India has patriarchal values. So men mostly look down upon women as inferior beings because they have seen it in the family. Some fathers love their daughters because their own lives have been a bit more free from their feudal joint families ,where patriarchal norms are imposed and because they have had the chance to be exposed to better people and better circumstances,. Actually, it is a vicious cycle. If I am suppressed I try to suppress to gain a sense of power which has been denied to me all along. So if I am to love, I have to be a free person myself. And that needs me to voice my feelings and be heard. So let people learn how to attain freedom themselves so that they can love and grant freedom to their children.

Dear Kumudini, thank you for your insightful post. Do you have some ideas of how to start giving men freedom to love now. This change you express so well must start somewhere, sometime, so how do we inspire, encourage, teach men to love themselves, so they will receive love in return? Tough question, but any ideas may be useful.


Mukut's picture

Vicious cycle!

Dear William,

The most important reason why some fathers look down upon daughters as liability as compared to others would be - dowry and education ! Till today, men and their families (even educated ones) gloat and boast about how much dowry their brides would bring for marriage. Most families consider girls as burdens instead of assets because they feel their daughters would eventually get married and settle at someone else's place hence they invest less on their education and rather save money for their dowry.

It is a vicious cycle of poverty, lack of education and dowry. Less or no education to girls mean lesser prospects of her getting a job hence her liability on the family increases.

Many families in India still prefer a 'boy' child. There is tremendous pressure on mothers to deliver male child and hence the killings of female fetuses.

Only when we invest in girls' education and teach the society better, can we rid ourselves of this cycle. Fortunately some families have realized the importance of educating girls therefore they are not looked upon as liability anymore.

Freedom from patriarchy can only be achieved when women stand up and claim their rights. Often women become the silent observers and cannot do much about the situation. They need to stop internalizing any kind of violence, oppression against them. When a woman will learn to say NO, men would automatically stop and take note

Therefore, parents need to be advised about girl education which will automatically help in bettering the whole society.

Thanks for asking and sharing this.
Lots of love,

Mukut Ray

olutosin's picture

Another reason

Men have oppressed women, they can actually KNOW that it is wrong and they will NEVER want any OTHER MAN to do that to their own blood. It is better not to have a daughter when they think about how they oppress their wives and brothers wives. MOST INDIANS BELIEVE IN KARMA, II DONT.

Secondly, men know that to correct the ills they are doing and have done will take along time, they do not want to be caught dead with a daughter in the world while they are rolling in their graves or blowing as ashes somewhere in the oceans after cremation.

Some men who love their wives will not want her to have daughters to that the family will not mark her as evil woman, she will want her to remain in the good book of his family.

Fourthly, Indian men have discovered that it is taken so long for women to take leadership position in India. No matter how much you push an Indian girl she continues to be timid, being timid and being a good girl is what every Indian girl believes its called being a good child.

There is no instrument on ground that can protect Indian women. A good father will not want to subject his daughter to such environment. A lawless nation filled with brutal men is a dangerous place for women to thrive. A woman is raped every 29 minutes in India and this is a country where it is the men that tie wrappers and women wear trousers, with such dressing culture, I always think that it is the women who are supposed to rape men who are always scantily dressed. Personally I wear trousers every time, thinking that it would be hard for a man to loose my rope and pull off my trouser, unlike men who wrap around short materials.

Psychologically, the men have imbibed the hatred for women, mere seeing women gives them a kind of whatever...the last meeting I attended in India, all the men refused to handshake me but men where as all other male participants from abroad shook hands with me, to an Indian man, 2 girl child is not even equal to a son!!!! WHAT A TRAGEDY!!!!

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


Ladies, Mukut, Olotosin and Kumudini, thank you for your thoughts. Now, what one or two things could we encourage (somehow), that will slowly allow men to accept girls/women as--dare I say it?--equals, or at least having value, and save face while changing?

1 Get girls to school AND keep them there;

2 Do away with dowry?

Perhaps if some daughters stayed at home and helped support their parents, after college and before they decide to marry--sort of paying them back and showing their love?

Thoughts? Thoughts?

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