Information Needs and Seeking Behaviour of Rural Women: A Study of Tamil Nadu, India

Information Needs and Seeking Behaviour of Rural Women: A Study of Tamil Nadu, India

P. Pandiselvi (Alagappa University, India) and M. Lakshmi (Alagappa University, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8178-1.ch009
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Indian society has been bound by culture and tradition since ancient times. The patriarchal system and the gender stereotypes in the family and society have always showed a preference for the male child. Sons were regarded as a means of social security and women remained under male domination. Due to her subordinated position, she has suffered years of discrimination, exploitation and subjugation. She became the victim of several evils like child marriage, sati, polygamy, Purdah system, female infanticide, forced pregnancy, rape etc. In such incidents/recorded cases surprisingly mother-in-law are also taking active part. This discrimination and violence against women had an effect on the sex ratio in India. The main causes of violence are unequal power-relations, gender discrimination, patriarchy, and economic dependence of women, dowry, low moral values, negative portrayal of women's image in media, no participation in decision-making, gender stereotypes and a negative mindset. In this study about 69.39% of the respondents were married and 4.91% respondents were widow, it is observed that 3.82% of respondents were divorcee. The rest of them 21.85% were unmarried. In this study 50.27% majority of the women need information on education information, followed by information on others respectively 25.68%, agriculture information 22.95%, employment information 15.30%, health care information 11.48%, loan and politics information 9.29%, food nutrition, entertainment information respectively 6.01%, the lowest 3.28% of the respondents needed information on religion. In this study 88% of respondents responded that they were highly satisfied with the source of information, where as 9% of respondents responded that they were partially satisfied, 2.73% of respondents said that the source of information are moderately satisfied.
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Women In Indian Society

The Indian society like a number of classical societies was patriarchal. Patriarchal values regulating sexuality, reproduction and social production prevailed and were expressed through specific cultural metaphors. Overt rules prohibiting women from specific activities and denying certain rights did exist. But more subtle expression of patriarchy was through symbolism giving messages of inferiority of women through legends highlighting the self-sacrificing, self sacrificing pure image of women and through the ritual practices which day in and day out emphasized the dominant role of a women as a faithful wife and devout mother.

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