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Euro School, Airoli

What’s the goal here?

To achieve gender equality

and empower all

women and girls.

Introduction INDIA

How does gender

inequality affect
Gender equality

Understanding the term

Disadvantages in
education translate
What is it?
Gender equality, also known as sexual equality, is the state of equal into lack of access to
ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, skills and limited
including economic participation and decision-making; and the opportunities in the
state of valuing different behaviors, aspirations and needs equally, labor market.
regardless of gender. Women’s and girls’
UNICEF says gender equality "means that women and men, and girls
empowerment is
and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and essential to expand
protections. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and economic growth
men, be the same, or that they be treated exactly alike." and promote social
development. The full
participation of
Why? women in labor
Women and girls represent half of the world’s population and forces would add
therefore also half of its potential. But, today gender inequality percentage points to
persists everywhere and stagnates social progress. As of 2014, 143 most national growth
countries have guaranteed equality between men and women in rates— double digits
their Constitutions but 52 have yet to take this step.
in many cases.

What happens if gender equality is not ensured?

Inequalities faced by girls can begin right at birth and follow them all
their lives. In some countries, girls are deprived of access to health
care or proper nutrition, leading to a higher mortality rate. As girls
move into adolescence, gender disparities widen. Child marriage
affects girls far more than boys. Globally, nearly 15 million girls under
age 18 are married every year— or 37,000 each day.

Marrying young also affects girls’ education. About one third of

developing countries have not achieved gender parity in primary
education. In sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania and Western Asia, girls still
face barriers to entering both primary and secondary school.
Introduction INDIA


INEQUALITY IN INDIA "When God created man and

The root cause of gender inequality in Indian society lies in its woman, he was thinking, 'Who
patriarchy system. According to the famous sociologists Sylvia Walby,
patriarchy is “a system of social structure and practices in which men shall I give the power to, to
dominate, oppress and exploit women”. Women’s exploitation is an
age old cultural phenomenon of Indian society. The system of give birth to the next human
patriarchy finds its validity and sanction in our religious beliefs, whether
it is Hindu, Muslim or any other religion. being?' And God chose

The unfortunate part of gender inequality in our society is that the woman. And this is the big
women too, though, continued socio-cultural conditioning, have
accepted their subordinate position to men. And they are also part and evidence that women are
parcel of same patriarchal system.
powerful." - Malala
Extreme poverty and lack of education are also some of the reasons
for women’s low status in society. Poverty and lack of education
derives countless women to work in low paying domestic service,
organized prostitution or as migrant laborers. Women are not only
getting unequal pay for equal or more work but also they are being
offered only low skill jobs for which lower wages are paid. This has
become a major form of inequality on the basis of gender.

Educating girl child is still seen as a bad investment because she is

bound to get married and leave her paternal home one day. Thus,
without having good education women are found lacking in present
day’s demanding job skills; whereas, each year’s High School and "A gender-equal society
10+2 standard results show that girls are always doing better than boys.
This shows that parents are not spending much after 10+2 standard on would be one where the word
girl child and that’s why they lack in job market.
'gender' does not exist: where

Not only in education, in case of family food habits, it is the male child everyone can be themselves."
who gets all the nutritious and choicest foods while the girl child gets
whatever is left behind after the male members have taken their meals
or the food which is low in both quality and nutrition. And this becomes — Gloria Steinem
major health issue in her later years. One of the main reasons for the
high incidences of difficult births and anemia in women is the poor
quality of food which a girl always gets either in her paternal home or
in her in-laws as also is the excessive workload that they are made to
bear from their early childhood.

So the inequality or discrimination against women is at various levels in

the society, either in home or outside home.

Introduction INDIA


- Global Indices:
- Gender Inequality is also reflected in India’s poor ranking in various global gender indices.
- UNDP’s Gender Inequality Index- 2014: India’s ranking is 127 out of 152 countries in the List.
This ranking is only above Afghanistan as far as SAARC countries are concerned.
- World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index- 2014: India’s ranks at 114 in the list of
142 countries of the world. This Index examines gender gap in four major areas:
- India’s position on these indicators was as follows:
o Economic participation and opportunity: 134th
o Educational achievements: 126th
o Health and Life expectancy: 141st
o Political empowerment: 15th

These two important Global Indices show the sorry state of affairs in India as far as gender
equality is concerned. Only in case of ‘Political Empowerment’ India is doing fine which is a
welcome sign. But other indices are very poor and a lot need to be done to improve the


Gender inequality manifests in varied ways. And as far as India is concerned the major
indicators are as follows:

- Female Feticide
- Female Infanticide
- Female literacy: 46%
- Maternal Mortality Rate: 178 deaths per 100000 live births.

These above mentioned indicators are some of the important indices which show the status of
women in our country.

Introduction INDIA

What Went Wrong In The Fight For Gender Equality?

Women live by the rape schedule – No, I did not just come up with it randomly, and we have
let the fear of rape govern our lives. We design our lives around a safety measure, we always
think about being safe all the time. We learn martial arts because we want to learn the art of
self-defense; we don’t go out late because we think we aren’t safe. The problem is that the
fear is so deeply embedded in our minds that we feel that if god forbid anything happens
then we will have absolutely no control over it. We are a victim even without actually being

Reservations – Equality doesn’t mean having reservations in buses, trains, queues or anywhere
for that matter. Just to clarify, if we are looking to be equal to men, then why can’t we travel
in the general compartment of a local train? Why do women ask for reservations which only
prove that they are the weaker sex?

Outburst of emotions – Sick of the obligations set by the society; we have started seeing this
outburst of emotions when anybody even touches the topic of gender equality. The men
today are as clueless about those obligations as you, so I don’t think men should be blamed
for every little thing. Just because you want to prove your worth, it doesn’t mean you start
degrading the efforts or actions of the other sex.

Achieving Gender Equality in India: What Works, and What Doesn’t

Discrimination against women and girls is a pervasive and long-running phenomenon that
characterizes Indian society at every level.

Crimes against women show an upward trend, in particular brutal crimes such as rapes, dowry
deaths, and honor killings. These trends are disturbing, as a natural prediction would be that
with growth come education and prosperity, and a possible decline in adherence to
traditional institutions and socially prescribed gender roles that hold women back.

A preference for sons

Cultural institutions in India, particularly those of patrilineality (inheritance through male

descendants) and patrilocality (married couples living with or near the husband’s parents),
play a central role in perpetuating gender inequality and ideas about gender-appropriate

A culturally ingrained parental preference for sons — emanating from their importance as
caregivers for parents in old age — is linked to poorer consequences for daughters.

Introduction INDIA

The dowry system, involving a cash or in-kind payment from the bride’s family to the groom’s
at the time of marriage, is another institution that disempowers women. The incidence of
dowry payment, which is often a substantial part of a household’s income, has been steadily
rising over time across all regions and socioeconomic classes.

This often results in dowry-related violence against women by their husbands and in-laws if the
dowry is considered insufficient or as a way to demand more payments.

These practices create incentives for parents not to have girl children or to invest less in girls’
health and education. Such parental preferences are reflected in increasingly masculine sex
ratios in India. In 2011, there were 919 girls under age six per 1000 boys, despite sex
determination being outlawed in India.

This reinforces the inferior status of Indian women and puts them at risk of violence in their
marital households. According to the National Family and Health Survey of 2005-06, 37% of
married women have been victims of physical or sexual violence perpetrated by their spouse.

Affirmative action

There is clearly a need for policy initiatives to empower women as gender disparities in India
persist even against the backdrop of economic growth.

Current literature provides pointers from policy changes that have worked so far. One unique
policy experiment in village-level governance that mandated one-third representation for
women in positions of local leadership has shown promising results.

Evaluations of this affirmative action policy have found that in villages led by women, the
preferences of female residents are better represented, and women are more confident in
reporting crimes that earlier they may have considered too stigmatizing to bring to attention.

Female leaders also serve as role models and raise educational and career aspirations for
adolescent girls and their parents.

Getting to parity

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.