Decision Making Power of Homemakers in a Rural Muslim Community of West Bengal: An Empirical Study

Main Article Content

Samsunnehar
Sumana Sarkar

Abstract

Decision-making power is a vital key for assessing the empowerment of a person. Empowerment increases self-efficacy by which one can control one’s mode of life for survival in a better way. It is an established fact that women are the most disempowered section in our society and the rural Muslim women are relatively more oppressed than others as there is the predominance of social-cultural and economic inequality among this minority community. As a result, these women have very limited opportunities to participate in the decision-making process related to their family matters and societal affairs linked with their own lives. Considering this scenario, the present study attempts to examine and analyse the decision-making power of homemakers in rural Muslim communities at micro level, taking Santoshpur village of Murshidabad district, West Bengal, as a case study. The methodology designed for the present study integrates both quantitative and qualitative methods based on field surveys. For this, fifty respondents have been selected using stratified purposive random sampling technique, and data have been acquired through face-to-face interviews through a semi-structured questionnaire. Then, the Cumulative Empowerment Index (CEI) is constructed based on selected eight key indicators to measure respondents' decision-making ability and liberty. Multiple Correlations are also computed, indicating that education and economic dependencies are the most critical determinants influencing women's empowerment and decision-making processes. The study also reveals that the existing rigid cultural system is mainly responsible for the suppression of women’s identity as well as their thoughts. But there remains hope for the next-generation girl children as different schemes are being taken up by the Government of West Bengal to promote and popularise women’s education at different levels.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Samsunnehar, & Sarkar, S. (2021). Decision Making Power of Homemakers in a Rural Muslim Community of West Bengal: An Empirical Study. Space and Culture, India, 9(3), 45-60. https://doi.org/10.20896/saci.v9i3.1198
Section
Perspective
Received 2021-06-08
Accepted 2021-11-24
Published 2021-11-30

References

Acharya, D. R., Jacqueline, S., Bell, P., Simkhada, E. R., Teijlingen, T. R., & Pramod, R. R. (2010).Women’s autonomy in household decision-making: A demographic study in Nepal. Reproductive health, 7(1), 1–12. http://www.reproductive-health-journal.com/content/7/1/15
Bano, S. (2014). Women and decision making in urban India: A gender geographical study of Varanasi city, Uttar Pradesh, India. The International Journal of Engineering and Science (IJES), 3(4), 2319–1805. https://www.theijes.com/papers/v3-i4/Version-2/A03402001011.pdf
Bayeh, E. (2016). The role of empowering women and achieving gender equality to the sustainable development of Ethiopia. Pacific Science Review B: Humanities and Social Science 2, 37 -42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psrb.2016.09.013
Bhandari,T.R., Kutty,V.R., & Ravindran,T.K.S. (2016). Women’s Autonomy and Its Correlates in Western Nepal: A Demographic Study. PLoS ONE, 11(1), 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0147473
Boateng, G.O., Kuuire, V.Z., Ung, M., Amoyaw, J.A., Armah, F. A. & Luginaah, I. (2012). Women’s empowerment in the context of millennium development goal 3: A case study of married women in Ghana. SpringerScience+Business Media Dordrecht, 115, 137 – 158. https://www.jstor.org/stable/24720220
Bukhari, S. M. H. & Asim, M. (2013). Women empowerment in a Muslim society: A practical observation. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research Business, 5(1), 768-778. https://journal-archieves32.webs.com/768-778.pdf
Census of India. (2011). Government of India. https://censusindia.gov.in/
Cherayi, S., & Jose, J.P. (2016). Empowerment and social inclusion of Muslim women: Towards a new conceptual model. Journal of Rural Studies, 45, 243-251. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrurstud.2016.04.003
Cornwall, A. (2016). Women’s empowerment: What work? Journal of International Development, 28, 342 – 359. https://doi.org/10.1002/jid.3210
Crissman, H.P., Adanu, R.M. & Harlow, S.D. (2012). Women’s sexual empowerment and contraceptive use in Ghana. Studies in Family Planning, 43(3), 201-212. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1728-4465.2012.00318.x
District Census Handbook of Murshidabad. (2011). Directorate of Census Operations, West Bengal.
https://censusindia.gov.in/2011census/dchb/1907_part_b_dchb_murshidabad.pdf
District Statistical Hand Book. (2013). Department of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of West Bengal. http://wbpspm.gov.in/publications/District%20Statistical%20Handbook
Do, M. & Kurimoto, N. (2012). Women’s empowerment and choice of contraceptives methods in selected African countries. International Perspective on Sextual and Reproductive Health, 38(1), 23 -33. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41472762
Dutta, M. (2002). Women’s power and authority within middle class households in Kolkata. Contemporary South Asia, 11(1), 7 – 18. https://doi.org/10.1080/0958493022000000332
Fazal, T. (2013). Millennium development goals and Muslims of India. Oxfam, India. https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/millennium-development-goals-and-muslims-of-india-297587/
Garavaglia, S., Dun, A. S., & Hill, B.M. (2003). A smart guide to dummy variables: Four Applications and a macro. https://stats.idre.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/p046.pdf
Gebru, S. G., & Demeke, M. A. (2014). The millennium development goals and the status of gender disparity in Ethiopia: Achieving and challenges. American Scientific Research Journal for Engineering, Technology and Sciences (ASRJETS), 8 (1), 56–78. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/235049627.pdf
Gupta, K., &Yesudian, P. P. (2006). Evidence of Women’s Empowerment in India: A Study of Socio-spatial Disparities. Springer, Geo Journal, 65, 365-380. DOI: 10.1007/s10708-006-7556z
Haque, Md. M., Islam, T.M., Tareque, Md. I., & Mostafa, Md. G. (2011). Women empowerment or autonomy: A comparative view in Bangladesh context. Bangladesh e-journal of Sociology, 8(2), 17-30. http://www.bangladeshsociology.org/BEJS%208.2%20Women%20Empowerment%20or%20Autonomy.pdf
Hasan, Z, & Menon, R. (2004). Unequal Citizens. A study of Muslim Women in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
Hossain, Md. I. (2013). Socio-economic and educational status of Muslim women: A comparative outlook. Journal of Education and Practice, 4 (10), 39–57. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.959.6008&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Hussain, M., Khan, M.A., & Khan, F.A. (2018). Educational status of Muslim women in India: Issues and challenges. Scholars Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 6(3), 311- 316. DOI 10.21276/sjahss.2018.6.2.5
Islam, S., Ahmed, F., & Alam, S. (2014). The Role of Microcredit Program on Women Empowerment: Empirical Evidence from Rural Bangladesh. IISTE, 4(5), 90-97.
Jan, M., & Akhtar, S. (2008). An analysis of decision making power among married and unmarried women. Studies on Home and Community Science, 2 (1), 43–50. https://doi.org/10.1080/09737189.2008.11885251
Kabeer, N. (2005). Gender equality and women’sempowerment: A critical analysis of the third millennium development goal 1. Gender & Development, 13(1), 13–24. DOI: 10.1080/13552070512331332273
Kaur, G., & Kaur, D. (2012): Literacy of major religious groups in India: A geographical perspective. Abstracts of Sikh Studies, 14(4), 40-58. https://sikhinstitute.org/oct_2012/5-divjot.pdf
Kaur, R., Singh, B., Kaur, S., L., & Kaur, G.(2018). Dimensions of women Autonomy in Household Decision making in Rural Punjab. OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development,11(1), 11-39.
Kishor, S., & Gupta, K. (2004). Women's empowerment in India and its states: Evidence from the NFHS. Economic and Political Weekly, 39(7), 694-712. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4414645
Kundu, S. K., & Chakraborty, A. (2012). An empirical analysis of women empowerment within Muslim community in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, India. Research on Humanities and social Sciences, 2(6), 1-12. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/234672987.pdf
Laha, A. & Kuri, P.K. (2014). Measuring the impact of microfinance of women empowerment: A cross country analysis with special reference to India. International Journal of Public Administration, 37, 397-408. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01900692.2013858354
Lailulo, Y., A., Susuman, A., S., & Blignaut, R. (2015). Correlates of gender characteristics, health and empowerment of women in Ethiopia. BMC Women’s Health, 15 (116). 1-9. DOI 10.1186/s12905-015-0273-3
Malik, S., & K., Courtney (2011). Higher education and women’s empowerment in Pakistan.Gender and Education, 23(1), 29–45. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09540251003674071
Malhotra, A., Schuler, R. A., & Boender, C. (2002). Measuring Women’s Empowerment as a Variable in International Development. Social Development Group, World Bank. 1–58.
Maxwell, G. D.(1995). Measuring food insecurity: The frequency and severity of coping strategies [FCND discussion paper no. 8]. International Food Policy Research Institute Washington, D.C. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0306-9192(96)00005-X
Mussonera, A., & Heshmati, A. (2016, August). Measuring women’s empowerment in Rwanda [Discussion Paper No. 10131]. IZA, Bonn, Germany, 1-29. https://ftp.iza.org/dp10131.pdf
Nayak, P., & Mahanta, B. (2008). Women empowerment in India. Bulletin of Political Economy, 5(2), 155-183. http://papers.ssrn.com/so13/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1320071
Noureen, G. (2015): Education as a prerequisite to women’s empowerment in Pakistan. Women’s Studies, 44 (1), 1 – 22. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00497878.2014.971215
Pal, S. & Haldar, S. (2016). Participation and role of rural women in decision making related to farm activities: A study in Burdwan district of West Bengal. Economic Affairs, 61(1), 55–63. http://ndpublisher.in/admin/issues/EAV61N1h.pdf
Panigrahy, R. L., & Bhuyan, D. (2006). Women empowerment. Discovery Publishing House, New Delhi.
Parveen, S., & Leonhäuser, I.(2004, 5-7 October). Empowerment of rural women in Bangladesh: A household level analysis [Conference Paper]. Conference on Rural Poverty Reduction through Research for Development and Transformation, DeutscherTropentag- Berlin. https://www.tropentag.de/2004/abstracts/full/382.pdf
Phan, L. (2013). Women’s empowerment and fertility changes. International Journal of Sociology of Family, 39(1/2), 49 -75. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43488406
Rathiranee, Y., & Semasinghee, D.M. (2015). Factors determining the women empowerment through microfinance: an empirical study in Sri Lanka. International Journal of Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, 9(5), 1590-1594. https://zenodo.org/record/1105405/files/10001391.pdf?download=1
Rowlands, J. (1997). Questioning Empowerment: Working with Women in Honduras. Oxfam Publishing, Oxford. https://policy-practice.oxfam.org/resources/questioning-empowerment-working-with-women-in-honduras-121185/
Saba, T., Chell, M. M., & Ahmed, S. R. (2017). Education as a powerful weapon for empowering Muslim women in West Bengal. International Journal of Advanced Educational Research, 2(3), 43-45.
Sachar, R. (2006). Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim community in India. Govt. of India, New Delhi. https://www.minorityaffairs.gov.in/sites/default/files/sachar_comm.pdf
Santillán, D., Schuler, S.R., Anh, H.T., Minh, T.H., Trang, Q.T., & Nguyen, N.M. (2004). Developing indicators to assess women's empowerment in Vietnam. Development in Practice, 14(4), 534-549. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4029843
Sanu, Md. S. (2018). Empowerment of Muslim women in India: A study of socio-economic and political disparities. MPRA Paper No. 107878. https://mpra.ub.unimunich.den/107878
Sathar, Z. A., & Kazi, S. (2000). Women’s autonomy in the context of Rural Pakistan. The Pakistan Development Review, 39, 89–110. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41260246
Schuler, S.R., & Hashemi, S.M. (1994). Credit programs, women’s empowerment, and contraceptive use in Rural Bangladesh. Population Council, 25(2), 65–76. http://www.jstore.org/stable/2138085
Sharma, P., & Varma, S.K. (2008). Women empowerment through entrepreneurial activities of self help groups. Indian Research Journal of Extension Education 8 (1), 46–51. https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.1053.3718&rep=rep1&type=pdf
Siddique, M. H. (2012): Educational backwardness of Muslims in India and its possible remedies.Indian Journal of Applied Research, 2 (3), 50-52. https://www.worldwidejournals.com/indian-journal-of-applied-research-(IJAR)/fileview/December_2012_1357020431_becca_17.pdf
Singh, S. P. (2015). Empowerment of Muslim Women. Indian Journal of Research,4 (10), 65-66.
Sinha, B., Jha, S., & Negi, N.S. (2012). Migration and empowerment: The experience of women in households in India where migration of a husband has occurred. Journal of Gender Studies, 21(1), 61 – 76. https://doi.org/10.1080/09589236.2012.639631
Soetan, F. (1999). The economic empowerment of Nigerian women: Some determinants of access to resources. African Economic History, (27), 117–135. http://www.jstore.org/stable/3601660
Sultana, A., & Hossain, Sk. S.(2013). Role of employment in women empowerment: Evidence from a city of Bangladesh. International Journal of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Research, 2(7), 117–125. http://www.indianresearchjournals.com/pdf/IJSSIR/2013/July/13.pdf
Swain, R.B., & Wallentin, F.Y. (2011). Factors empowering women in Indian self-help group programs. International Review of Applied Economics, 26(4), 425-444. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02692171.2011.595398
Yogendrarajah, R. (2013). Women empowerment through decision making. The International Journal of Economics and Business Management, 3(1). 1–9. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259150775_Women_Empowrment_through_Decision_Making
UNDG (2010). Thematic Paper on MDG 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women. http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/62/62/45341361.pdf.
UNDP. (1995). Human Development Report. New York: Oxford University Press. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/256/hdr_1995_en_complete_nostats.pdf
Wahab, Md. A., & Khatun, M. (2015). A sociological study on empowerment of Muslim women in Darrang district of Assam. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 8 (1), 19 – 24. DOI: 10.9790/0837 -201051924
West Bengal Human Development Report. (2004). Development and Planning Department, Government of West Bengal. http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/india_west_bengal_2004_en.pdf
Wiklander, J. (2010). Determinants of women’s empowerment in rural India – An intra household study [Master’s Thesis, Lunds Universitet]. https://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?func=downloadFile&recordOId=1666646&fileOId=1666649