Gender inequality in India: evidence from a survey in rural West Bengal
Notes the unfavourable female-male ratio in India and its declining trend. In addition, the convergence of this ratio for the scheduled castes towards that of the general castes is noted as well as the slight decline in this ratio for scheduled tribals. A reason for this trend is suggested. Gender inequality is explored by summarising the results of survey of wives in the Midnapore area of West Bengal. Wives in four villages were interviewed so as to include tribals (Santals), and non-tribals, all of whom were Hindus. The socio-economic characteristics of those interviewed are first summarised and general information provided about the survey. The results are then used to consider several aspects of inequality in relation to sons and daughters, to gauge the influence of wives on the welfare of their children and to compare the socio-economic status of wives in comparison to husbands. Comparisons are made between Santal and non-Santal gender preferences and socio-economic behaviour.