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Survey: 41% of India’s youth feel women have no choice but to accept violence

NEW DELHI(WEB TEAM): At a time when a woman who was raped by an Uber taxi driver in Delhi is planning to sue the company with the help of a leading American lawyer, a nationwide survey conducted among students aged between 15 and 19 has shown that 41% of them felt that women ‘have no choice but to accept violence’.

What is more shocking, is that the 11,299 respondents that participated in the survey, called the ‘Yuva Nagarik Meter’ (YNM), hail from urban schools and colleges.

The survey was conducted by the Children’s Movement for Civic Awareness (CMCA), a Bangalore-based NGO. The YNM survey tests the awareness of young Indians on topics like democracy, rights and responsibilities, adherence to civic rules, gender equality, social justice and environmental conservation. It was conducted in 330 high schools, 220 colleges in 11 capital cities.

According to YNM, the overall democratic citizenship score of young India is merely 21 per cent. Just 35% of high school students said they considered themselves ‘citizens’ of India, while 37% said they understand the meaning of ‘fundamental right to equality’. Around 74% said they did not know that the legislature is responsible for enacting laws. Also, 53% of college students wanted military rule in India for some years.

In adherence to civic rules, 38% agreed that it is alright to violate rules because the penalty is small, 43% agreed that it is alright to violate rules because one can get away by bribing officials and 51% of college students agreed that it is difficult to follow rules when others are violating them.

Around 72% feel it is important to collect and use rain water, 81% feel it is important to reduce wastage of water, and 78% feel it is important to protect lakes and tanks.

The most shocking were the gender equality results. While, 52% female students agreed that women dress and behave in certain ways so as to elicit violent reactions from men, 57% male students were of same view. If 39% girls agreed that women have no choice but to accept a certain degree of violence, 43% of boys were of the same view. While 36% girls from college admitted that dowry is a practice in their community and felt they should accept the practice, 44% of boys were of the same view.

Around 49% high schoolers admitted that their parents often punish them by beating or pinching. Also, 81% college students admitted that they are scared to express their ideas/ opinions in classroom whereas 63% high schoolers were of the same view.

Dr Manjunath Sadashiva, director of CMCA, said, “The report shows that there is a dire need to inculcate citizenship values and attitudes amongst youths. Civic education plays a crucial and integral part in growth and overall development of the country. However, our education system side-lines it.”

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