Women of Mughalpura, Haryana speak out against husbands’ alcohol addiction.
About the Video: India has been ranked in the bottom half among 134 countries in terms of gender equality. Fathers alone have authority on household income in most families, even if the wife is earning the money herself. In Mughalpura village men take the daily wages off their wives and spend it on alcohol instead of providing for their families. According to the patriarchal society structure women have trouble to deny their husbands the money. They are caught in a vicious circle of their husbands alcohol addiction and chronic unemployment.
The Community Correspondent says: Satyawan Verma, India Unheard Community Correspondent from Mughalpura village observes: “For years men drinking has been a severe problem for the women in my community. Their income, even if they keep it in a saving account is hardly enough to feed the whole family. They need the support of their husbands to raise their children. The limitless alcohol consumption has to be stopped and these men need to start working.”
The Issue: Alcoholism is a serious issue in Haryana. Compared to the national average of 0.82 litre per capita consumption 21.45 bottles were consumed in the state in 2008-09. The unemployed are especially vulnerable to a lack of alcohol regulations as their consumption often increases due to psychological stress.
India is the the third largest market for alcoholic beverages. The finances and taxes generated by the liquor trade encourage the government to promote the consumption of alcohol. Streamlined policies for liquor trade and alcohol consumption are absent.
Women have a weak social position according to traditional norms where men dominate the families income. Indian legislation has introduced rights for women to protect them from gender-based discrimination. Several laws of the legislation guarantee women’s access to financial independence. But these laws are often ignored.
Call to Action: The women of Mughalpura need the support of the state government: Women’s rights to land and property need to be promoted in the communities. Women have to have the right to invest their wages independently. Legal action needs to be implemented to protect the women.
Overall liquor trade regulations have to be introduced to stop alcohol addiction. The men themselves are in desperate need of addiction treatment and employment rehabilitation.