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Past Quepolandia Contributor Publishes her 33-year Study: Gender Equality and Inequality in Rural India. Blessed with a Son.

Carol Vlassoff speaking in IndiaBeginning in 1975 & continuing until 2008, Carol Vlassoff, a demographer & women’s health specialist, has been travelling to the rural village of Gove, Maharashtra in India to study and record the lives of the people living there; in particular the roles and status of males and females – sons & daughters, brothers & sisters, husbands & wives – in the family and in the community. Last month Palgrave Macmillan published Carol’s findings, conclusions & recommendations in her book, Gender Equality and Inequality in Rural India. Blessed with a Son. 

Immediately upon publication, her book and recommendations therein were picked up by the Indian and international press. Carol’s findings reveal that aid donors to India are going down the wrong path when it comes to bringing millions of rural women into the modern economy. She determined through her work there that bringing rural women into the modern economy in India means making more job opportunities available to them, particularly professional, white-collar jobs. She found that self-employed and professional rural women were more likely to use contraceptives and delay having their first child than unemployed women with the same amount of schooling. Ultimately this can help slow population growth by increasing the age that women have their first child, and hence, the space between generations, thus giving rural women an opportunity for more personal, social, and financial autonomy.

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