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Q. Discuss the causes that lead to gender based violence in India. How does it impede the growth of women in the country? (250 words)

08 Nov 2021 | GS Paper 1 | Indian Society

Approach / Explaination / Answer

  • Explain what do you understand by gender based violence
  • Highlighted the causes of these violences
  • Discuss how this behaviour severely affect the growth of women
  • Conclude by giving brief suggestions to end gender violence


  • Gender-based violence is violence directed against a person because of their gender. Both women and men experience gender-based violence but the majority of victims are women and girls. Gender-based violence is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality, and continues to be one of the most notable human rights violations within all societies.
  • It gets manifested throughout the entire lifecycle of the women- right from the womb of the mother till death. Gender-based violence knows no social or economic boundaries and affects women and girls of all socio-economic backgrounds.

Various causes of gender based violence include

Social/Political/Cultural factors

  • Discriminatory social, cultural or religious laws, norms and practices that marginalize women and girls and fail to respect their rights.
  • Gender stereotypes are often used to justify violence against women. Cultural norms often dictate that men are aggressive, controlling, and dominant, while women are docile, subservient, and rely on men as providers. These norms can foster a culture of outright abuse.
  • Collapse of family, social and communal structures and disrupted roles within the family often expose women and girls to risk and limit coping mechanisms and avenues for protection and redress.

Judicial Barriers

  • Lack of access to justice institutions and mechanisms, resulting in a culture of impunity for violence and abuse.
  • Lack of adequate and affordable legal advice and representation.
  • Lack of adequate victim/survivor and witness protection mechanisms.
  • lInadequate legal framework, including national, traditional, customary and religious law, that discriminates against women and girls.

Individual Barriers

  • Threat or fear of stigma, isolation and social exclusion and exposure to further violence at the hands of the perpetrator, the community or the authorities, including arrest, detention, ill-treatment and punishment.
  • Lack of information about human rights and on how and where to seek remedies.
  • Gender violence is one of the biggest hurdles in women’s advancement due to following factors:
  • It seriously affects all aspects of women’s health- physical, sexual and reproductive, mental and behavioural health, thus preventing them from realizing their full potential.
  • Violence and threat of violence affects women’s ability to participate actively, and as equals, in many forms of social and political relationships
  • Workplace harassment and domestic violence has an impact on women’s participation in the workforce and their economic empowerment.
    Sexual harassment limits the educational opportunities and achievements of girls.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) can be eliminated through collective efforts of society, government and individuals.Following steps could drastically help in eradicating the existing unequal gender relations:

  • Training healthcare providers to recognize and respond to gender-based violence is one of the most important ways of identifying and assisting victims.
  • The media is a key conduit for making GBV visible, advertising solutions, informing policy-makers and educating the public about legal rights and how to recognize and address GBV.
  • Education - School systems are instrumental to stopping GBV before it starts. Regular curricula, sexuality education, school counseling programs and school health services can all convey the message that violence is wrong and can be prevented.
  • A number of studies have shown that involving entire communities in recognizing, addressing and working to prevent GBV is one of the surest ways of eliminating it.