Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone’s responsibility.”- Ban Ki-Moon.
“Men of quality respect women’s equality.”- Jeremiah Say
Gender inequality has been a crucial social issue in India for centuries. Census 2011 shows the child sex ratio among children of 0-6 years to be 918 girls for every 1000 boys in India. This statistic speaks for itself and demands urgent and efficient solutions to address the cause of gender inequality. The total child population in India, girls account for 48%, many of whom are engaged in child labour, child trafficking and child marriage. The future of innumerable girls looks grim, as shown by the following statistics:
1. 12.15 million children are married in India - 8.9 million are girls; married girls are three times the number of boys. (Census 2011)
2. 51% of all trafficking victims were children, of which more than 80% were girls. (NCRB 2018)
3. There are 223 million child brides in India; 102 million were married before turning 15. (UNICEF)
The lack of access for women to basic social opportunities is an enormous challenge for women to absorb a highly fragmented structured market which is forcing most women to take up work in the informal and unorganised sector. Moreover, the rate of unemployment among young women (12-24 years of age) has also increased substantially over the last ten years.
In observing patterns on health indicators such as mortality rates, pregnancy levels for teenagers, female lifespan and so on, India is still deteriorating in the overall situation of women. Low-funded healthcare systems and a limited system of social insurance make it extremely difficult for higher spending, particularly for women, to be financed out of the pocket.
Representation of women in the public sector:
India is also lagging in terms of the percentage of women listed on the Board by SEBI, with at least one woman. Many Indian companies have not yet appointed a single woman board director. Even some of the top companies have women managers who only fulfil their mandate. The role of female directors and the effects of their membership of the board in formulating the Corporate Strategies is unclear, with only a few exceptions.
Women receive 49 cents relative to every $1 men benefit, according to the Women’s Policy Research Institute. Unlike other studies, the new data illustrates the demand for and raising of children or other family responsibilities by part-time workers and women who have taken time off from work. For a minimum of one year, more than half of women quit jobs, twice the rate of men.
Lack of freedom of religion:
Women suffer the most when freedom of faith is threatened. When extremist ideologies (e.g. ISIS) join the community and restrict religious freedoms, sexual inequality is worsening, according to the World Economic Forum.
By talking about sexism it would be difficult to speak about gender discrimination. That affects what jobs colour people can get and how much they are paid, and how the legal and health systems view their work. Gender inequality and racism have long been closely linked.
It is less tangible than some of the other causes, but the overall view of a society has an important impact on inequality between the sexes. Across any area, whether it is work or the legal system or health care, how society determines the distinctions and beliefs between men and women plays the primary role. Gender beliefs are profound. Although laws and structural changes can make progress, there is often a pushback after major changes.
For India to maintain its position as a global growth leader, more concerted efforts at local and national levels, and by the private sector are needed to bring women to parity with men.
While increasing representation of women in the public spheres is important and can potentially be attained through some form of affirmative action, an attitudinal shift is essential for women to be considered as equal within their homes and in broader society.
Educating Indian children from an early age about the importance of gender equality could be a meaningful start in that direction.
In conclusion, to reduce gender inequality, India needs to take practical steps. As the ongoing sexual inequalities continue, the concepts and strategies to promote the dignity and rights of women must be rethought. New types of institutions are needed, incorporating new rules and regulations that promote equal and fair relations between women and men. Male and female are like a carriage of two wheels. One existence is incomplete without another. The only foolish way to stop the inequalities between men and women is to change people’s mindsets. This question can not be overcome by a small amount, but everyone must join together to end this injustice. The challenge of achieving parity between men and women is extremely complex and can not be solved only by governments. The private sector will play its full role in maximising women’s job opportunities.
Gender Equality at public; https://blog.ipleaders.in/gender-inequality-at-home-and-public/
Achieving Gender Equality In India; https://unu.edu/publications/articles/achieving-gender-equality-in-india-what-works-and-what-doesnt.html
86 Best Gender Equality Quote; https://kidadl.com/articles/best-gender-equality-quotes-to-make-you-think
About The Author
SHARDA UNIVERSITY, GREATER NOIDA
Research intern ,
The Stambh Organisation,India