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Power Distance Index: An Overview Of Power Distribution In India

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Power Distance Index (PDI), an index which is not very known among the people but it is very much relevant in today’s context. Developed by Dutch social psychologist Geert Hofstede, PDI helps in measuring the distribution of power and wealth. It is used to determine the extent to which the people of a particular country have an authoritative image. This index is lower in case of countries where the authoritative people are working closely with their subordinates or people lower in the hierarchy whereas the same index is higher in the countries having a large amount of authority in the hierarchy.

Power Distance Index is broken down into five subfactors that help in coming to a conclusion and giving an index to a particular country. Let us see each of these five aspects in brief:


Individualism is the opposite of collectivism which shows the degree to which an individual is willing to work in groups. When we talk about individualism in terms of society, it means that each is responsible for taking care of himself/herself and his or her family. There are no or lose ties among people in the society. If we take an example then, USA (score is 91) is considered to be individualistic whereas Guatemala (score is 6) have strong collectivism.

On the contrary, India is having a score of 48 which is somewhere in midway having a mixture of both individualism and collectivism. This is because people in India have their dreams and their way of working with the major focus on their achievements and benefits. But at the same time, they expect to celebrate their achievements with other people and many a time they even enjoy others achievements. Also, people here celebrate several festivals together irrespective of their background leading to some amount of collectivism in India.


Here, the opposite of masculinity is femininity which refers to gender role distribution and one of the important aspects of any society. In most of the society, men are involved in decision making whereas the role of women is not even considered. But is this the case everywhere in the world? However, according to the PDI index for Masculinity, Japan with 95 had the highest score whereas Sweden with 05 scored the lowest. On the same index, India scored 56, which is not something that we all should cherish. This shows that we as a country are more inclined towards masculinity and it is visible in our daily lives. If we examine the gender roles in our families, it is always male members who are considered to be head of the family irrespective of any other factors (age, experience, etc). However, in the Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, the women play the same role what men play in other parts of the country. Why can’t this thing be replicated in other parts of India? It is something which we all should ask ourselves.

Uncertainty Avoidance Index

It reflects the ability of the society to tolerate uncertainty and sudden change in environment. It represents the degree of how much a society sticks to guidelines, laws, and rely on truth or have a belief

that all the people know the truth. It also assesses the acceptance of people with different thoughts and ideas. In this case, Greece tops the list with a score of 112 and Singapore is at the bottom of the list with a score of eight. This shows that Greece is a country which is not comfortable with uncertainty. They like to abide by rules and regulations and have single thinking and thought process among all the people. On the other hand, Singapore allows maximum relaxation and is ready to face uncertainty in belief and ideas.

India in this index is relatively better than previous indices. It has a score of 40, which is not bad. This shows that people here are ready to face uncertainty and have the freedom to project their thoughts and beliefs. If we go deeper into this then, it is directly linked to the rich and diverse culture that we have where different people practice different cultural rituals.


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Is the power distributed equally among all the people in the country? (Here, Power means authoritative power)

Long-Term Orientation

This is used to provide the distinction in thinking between the East and the West. However, it is not deduced for all the countries. It attempts to present the effect or influence of the past on the present and future. If the score is low, then the old traditions have an impact on the progress of the country and affect the economic growth of the same. On the other hand, if the score is high, then the country is adaptive and ready to move ahead by overcoming traditions that hamper the economic development. India with the score of 56 is above average in this index.

Finally, in the PDI index, India stand with a score of 77 which is high enough showing how the po

wer is unequally distributed in the country. Top country in this list is Malaysia with the score of 104 and Austria with the score of 11 being the lowest.

To conclude, I would like to put a question to all the countrymen, what are their opinions on power distribution in India? Is it equally distributed? If not, then what are the reasons?

You must be to comment.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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