US non profit hopes survey will guide its programs, policies and attitudes regarding women from Asia
Amid an ongoing debate about women’s rights in the wake of Supreme Court overturning the right to abortion, a US non-profit religious organization has launched a survey about Americans’ beliefs and attitudes about women.
Dharma into Action Foundation (DhIA) that “applies the principles of Dharmic traditions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism) in the modern world” survey would cover the “Dharmic” community’s responses to a whole range of issues related to women.
Besides women’s rights and abortion, the study will focus on bodily autonomy, gender norms, and women’s roles and responsibilities related careers, education, religion and family, according to Nirupama Raghavan, who spearheads the Women’s Initiative at DhIA Foundation.
“We will use results of the survey to shape DhIA’s Women of Dharma initiative, ensuring that our activities are based in the community’s interests and priorities,” she told the American Bazaar in an email interview.
“Our goal is to close the survey by the end of February and publish the results in March,” she said. “We plan to publish a paper on the findings and offer an opportunity to discuss and analyze the results with any individuals and organizations that help us spread the word.”
In the future, DhIA hopes to cover topics such as Dharma and Business, Dharma and Politics, and Dharma and Money, Raghavan said. “We hope the results of this survey will guide our programs as well as attitudes and policies regarding women from Asia,” she said.
Here is a link to the survey: Dharma into Action Beliefs and Attitudes Survey 2022-23
The American Bazaar talks with Nirupama Raghavan about the survey:
AB: What is the key purpose of the survey?
NR: There has been a good deal of discussion recently in the United States about women’s rights, especially around the US Supreme Court Dobbs ruling in June 2022 (holding that the US Constitution does not confer a right to abortion).
The conversation around that topic led us to look for data about how Americans of Dharmic heritage feel about women’s rights, abortion, and bodily autonomy. When we could not find any studies that parse out the data and insights that way, we saw an opportunity to start fielding our own research.
However, we did not want to limit our study to just those topics, so we expanded our focus to include bodily autonomy, gender norms, and women’s roles and responsibilities related careers, education, and religion.
We will use results of the survey to shape DhIA’s Women of Dharma initiative, ensuring that our activities are based in the community’s interests and priorities.
AB: Who is your target audience and how do you plan to reach them?
NR: Our audience is all Americans of Dharmic heritage and beliefs, regardless of religiosity, race, or ethnicity. We are sincerely interested in understanding attitudes and beliefs that may be different from those of the DhIA’s Board of Directors and membership.
We recognize that Dharmic Americans have very diverse backgrounds, experiences, and attitudes and we want to hear from as many people as possible to understand commonalities and differences.
We are reaching out through religious and community organizations, colleges, and personal networks—and welcome any assistance in outreach.
AB: What would you like to know about the three specified areas?
NR: We are interested in learning about people’s personal beliefs and their understanding of the direction and guidance provided by Dharmic texts and leaders regarding Bodily Autonomy, Gender Norms and women’s roles in Career, Education, Religion, and Family.
We are looking for broader insight into people’s beliefs about the roles of different genders and more specific feedback around their experiences in the world, eg, the policies of their employers.
DhIA is a young organization, and we asked for help from a Research Associate at Yale in formulating our survey.
AB: How long would the survey take and when would the results be published?
NR: Our goal is to close the survey by the end of February and publish the results in March. We plan to publish a paper on the findings and offer an opportunity to discuss and analyze the results with any individuals and organizations that help us spread the word.
AB: What was the outcome of previous surveys and how did these help “create the most relevant content and programming” and for whom?
NR: This is actually DhIA’s first survey, and we plan on fielding research at least once a year. In the future, we anticipate covering topics such as Dharma and Business, Dharma and Politics, and Dharma and Money. We welcome ideas for future survey topics.
We hope the results of this survey will guide our programs as well as attitudes and policies regarding women from Asia.