Intergenerational transmission of attitudes towards gender equality

Evidence from India

Speaker: Prof. Tarun Jain, Indian School of Business, Hyderabad
: Beryl Leach, deputy director, policy advocacy and communication, 3ie
: Prof. Rohini Somanathan, Delhi School of Economics
Prof. Ravinder Kaur, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi
Date: 27 March, 3.30-5 p.m.
Venue: Conference Room 1, Main Building, India International Centre, New Delhi

Please click here for Q and A session.

Girls and women in India face persistent gendered discrimination throughout life. This is reflected, for example, in India’s low child sex ratio. In 2011, the child sex ratio (children between 0 and 6 years) for the state of Haryana was 830 girls per 1,000 boys. Addressing gendered social attitudes, especially among youth, can be an effective way to address this discrimination.

This ongoing 3ie-supported impact evaluation by Diva Dhar, Tarun Jain and Seema Jayachandran examines the impact of an innovative gender sensitisation and attitudinal change programme currently being implemented among secondary school students in four districts of Haryana, India. The presentation will focus on the formation of gendered attitudes, especially the intergenerational transmission of gendered attitudes from parents to their children and the transmission of these attitudes among classroom peers.

Findings show that children imbibe the gendered attitudes of their parents. Mothers are substantially more influential than fathers, with girls exhibiting significantly more gender-equal attitudes than boys. Children are also influenced by the gendered attitudes of their classmates. Parental attitudes also affect children's personal aspirations. For instance, girls with parents that discriminate more based on gender do not plan to stay in school as long. These findings suggest that while parents' attitudes play an important role in the formation of children's attitudes, a school-based gender sensitisation programme could still have a significant impact.

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