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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Chai Wai Series- Gender-based Violence in the Global South: South Asia and Beyond: Economics

This guide, built in collaboration with Julie Laut's History 365 class, is a detailed annotated bibliography and a companion to a library outreach event on the topic of gender-based violence in South Asia.


The resources on this page provide an outline of the ways in which economic issues affect gender-based violence in India. Gender-based violence can emerge from the caste system as well as from the economic and educational gap between married couples. Income inequality, the lack of entrepreneurship opportunities, and lower economic opportunity in the country as a whole are all effects of gender inequality that goes hand in hand with gender-based violence. The legacy of the caste system lives on as class-based violence continues. Standard patriarchal norms of the 19th and 20th century play a large factor in the chances of spousal violence. In Abigail Weitzman’s article, she details the statistics of gender-based violence in relation to education and earnings relative to the gap between a couple. One byproduct of this division is that women with more education and higher earnings are actually at a higher risk for domestic violence, a fact that could dissuade women from further involvement in entrepreneurial activities as well as activity in the formal economic sector. Income inequality is a pervasive factor in all economies, and especially so for India where caste system rigidity created a dichotomy between the ultra rich and the greatly impoverished. Gender-based violence is also a harmful factor in India’s economy. As the issue of gender-based violence becomes more apparent to the international community, India’s economy is taking a hit. In the sphere of tourism, the image of gender-based violence is harming a growing sector of the Indian economy. As this violence is broadcast to the international community, India’s image is harmed, slowing the progress that it has made as an economic upstart. Together, this research shows that economic issues are essential to understanding gender-based violence in India.





*Titles marked with an astericks are from scholarly publications.


This diagram of the Indian caste system was retreived from:

This diagram shoes how income distribution compares between China, India, the US, and the rest of the world. It was retrieved from: