Gender Inequality in India

Inequality predicated on gender (or sex) is a habitual Civil Rights misdeed that takes in a
multiple shapes; including sexual embarrassment, unequal remuneration for women who do the
equal jobs as men and inequality even at the stage of pregnancy. Though the Indian constitution
provides and privileges for men and women and makes equal provision to improve the status of
women in society, majority of women are still unable to enjoy the rights and opportunities
guaranteed to them.

Despite the fact that the Indian constitution gives one and the same rights and benefits to
men and women and makes parallel procurement to enhance the status of ladies in the social
community, notwithstanding that the rights and opportunities ensured to the women by the
constitution, are still far away to enjoy that benefit by maximum part of women. The anti-female
attitude and inequality in the society compel the women population to bring down in the
traditional value system like too much household responsibility diminishes their opportunity to
flourish. In the present era, few other factors like lowest literacy rate, unemployment, poverty
amongst women are very common in India because of gender disparity in society. This paper is
trying to bring out the factors that are responsible for gender inequality and suggests measures to eradicate this problem.

India ranks 132 out of 187 countries on the gender inequality index – lower than Pakistan
(123), according to the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report 2006. The report said all countries in South Asia, with the exception of Afghanistan, were a
better place for women than India, with Sri Lanka (75) topping them all. Nepal ranked 102nd and
Bangladesh 111th. Gender inequality is especially tragic not only because it excludes women
from basic social opportunities, but also because it gravely imperils the life prospects of future
generations. Indian families often prefer boys to girls, and female feticide is tragically common.
Only 29% of Indian women above the age of 15 in 2011 were a part of the country’s labor
force, compared to 80.7% men.

At work, this disparity is visible through a different working environment for women,
unequal wages, undignified treatment, sexual harassment, higher working hours, engagement in
harmful industries, occupational hazards, working roughly twice as many hours as men and a
nearly 27 percentage of women are accounted by unpaid activities. Violence against women is
also prominent in India which leads to every 42 minutes a sexual harassment occurring, every 43
minutes a woman kidnapped and every 93 minutes a woman is burnt for dowry. And by the pre
quarter of reported, rapes involve girls under the age of 16 years. Every 26 minutes a woman is
molested and every 34 minutes a rape take place.

Labor participation: –
There is wage inequality between man and woman in India. A substantial number of
women enter the labor market after thirties, generally after completion of their reproductive
roles of child bearing and rearing.

Access to credit: –
There are large disparities between men and women in terms of access to banking
services. Women often lack collateral for bank loans due to low levels of property ownership and
micro-credit schemes have come under scrutiny for coercive lending practices.

Occupational inequality: –
Women are not allowed to have combat roles in military services. Permanent commission
could not be granted to female officers because they have neither been trained for command nor have been given the responsibility in India.

Women’s inequality in proper inheritance:-
Women are insignificantly deprived of their proper inheritance culturally and religiously
as well. The religious constitution doesn’t give women equal inheritance; there is a segregation
of giving the property to women as they will not be given the property as men can have. Though
Islamic constitution permits women having at least half of the property as man, society is
reluctant to give the desired property to women let alone giving the equal share.

Education: –
The female literacy rate in India is lower than the male literacy rate. According to census
of India 2011, literacy rate of female is 65.46% compared to males which are 82.14%.

On health issue, the gender inequality between women’s and men’s life expectancy and
women live compared to men in good health because of lots of violence, disease, or other
relevant factors.

Dowry: –
The dowry system in India contributes to gender inequalities by influencing the
perception that girls are a burden on families. Such belief limits the resources invested by parents in their girls and limit her bargaining power within the family.

Gender-based violence: –
Gender-based violence such as rape, sexual assault, insult to modesty, kidnapping,
abduction, cruelty by intimate partner or relatives, importation or trafficking of girls, persecution
for dowry, indecency and all other crimes are practiced on women. These crimes show the high
degree of inequality in India.

According to the Constitution of India, both men and women are equal in the eyes of the
laws and hence they have equal rights. But, unfortunately, legal & political bias has prevented
the law to attain the success of equality in gender. This is another reason for inequality in gender.

Since independence, India has made significant strides in addressing gender inequalities,
especially in the areas of political participation, education, and legal rights. Policies and legal
reforms to address gender inequalities have been pursued by the government of India. For
instance, the Constitution of India contains a clause guaranteeing the right of equality and
freedom from sexual discrimination. India is also signatory to the Convention for the Elimination
of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

India must take concrete steps needs to reduce the gender inequality. As persistent gender
inequalities continue, there is need to rethink the concepts and strategies for promoting women’s dignity and rights. There is need for new kinds of institutions, incorporating new norms and rules that support equal and just relations between women and men. Man and woman are like two wheels of a carriage. The life of one without the other is incomplete. The only fool proof method to stop gender inequality is to bring about change in the mind sets of people. This problem can’t be solved by few but everyone must join hands to eradicate this inequality.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

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