1. Summary

From the moment a female child is “allowed” to be born she was discriminated against in India. Discrimination happens at every socioeconomic level and is widespread throughout India. The birth of a female child brings thoughts of a dowry that will need to be paid and the financial burden it brings. Boys are brought into the world with fanfare and excitement and girls are seen as a financial burden. Females are far less likely to be literate, far more likely to be the victim of violence and historically have very little chances of inheriting wealth. While the economy is growing rapidly, 79.9 percent still live on less than $2 each day. Although there are many laws that are meant to protect women very few are followed not only because of the rampant corruption in India but because the honor code that is culturally inherent in society.

2. Maps areas of policy Geographic summary how does geography affect gender inequality?


Map http://www.geocurrents.info/population-geography/indias-plummeting-birthrate-a-television-induced-transformation


Map Wikipedia 2016


Map Wikipedia 2016



Map Wikipedia 2015 Poverty rates India

These maps show the vast poverty in India. Some of the poorest areas of India are closest to the largest most wealthy cities. Women do poorly across the board in India but the poorest women fair far worse in terms of propensity to be a victim of violence in rural areas. The amount of poverty in India is staggering. 80% of society lives on less than $78 a month. In families female children are often pulled out of school at a very young age to help bring money to the family while male children are allowed to continue. Even in the wealthiest families women are often uneducated because they are meant to be nothing more than wives and mothers so why bother? India is a large country and there are large areas where the rural population does very little to increase the standard of living for women. Women are far less likely to receive healthcare and nutrition. Looking at the maps you can see that the more children women have the more likely they are to be extremely poor. Because there is so little healthcare women rarely are able to regulate the amount of children that they have. The only time some woman sees a doctor is to get an abortion to get rid of a female child in some places. Women and female children are the last in a family. Female children and women literally receive the scraps after the men are done eating. In this patriarchal society, women fair less than dogs. Women are far more likely to be illiterate, and live in poverty.

3. Stakeholders-Women

Participants 1.252 billion people a little less than half are women. Less than half are women because so many female fetuses are aborted. The stakeholders of course want equal footing with men in society but there were deep held we the just and cultural problems that hold them back. There are many laws that attempt to help women but women across the entire caste system face incredible gender inequality. The women from the lowest castes have the most difficult time in India because they are women. The most obvious problem with the caste system was that under its rigidity, the lower castes were prevented from aspiring to climb higher, and, therefore, economic progress is restricted, especially for women. There are many reasons for this including cultural history and the caste system. Women are held by a strict honor code. Women are not allowed to be alone with men for example and because all of the teachers in India are generally men just sending a girl to school is enough reason for her virginity to be questioned so in rural populations people keep their female children home so no one can question their virginity. Forced marriages also hold women back from an education. The caste system makes increasing the income of a household even more difficult.

Historical Background

Women in India seek gender equality including equal wages, the right to health care, education and where political rights in general. Indian women are faced with even more problems because of the historical patriarchal society. The arcane inheritance laws and violence against women have gained notoriety recently but in rural India women simply do not use their voices

Gandhi started a women's movement in 1915. More recently laws have been changed focusing on the fair treatment of women in the workplace and at home.

Despite laws on the books to protect women the honor system and a lack of voice have caused women to accept abuse and even rape without saying a word. Women from the lowest caste has seen the greatest incidences of abuse although women from every socioeconomic group in India have seen increases over the years and violence.

  • http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0306/feature1/ National Geographic Magazine Tom O'Neill To be born a Hindu in India is to enter the caste system, one of the world's longest surviving forms of social stratification.

  • Embedded in Indian culture for the past 1,500 years, the caste system follows a basic precept: All men are created unequal.

  • The ranks in Hindu society come from a legend in which the main groupings, or varnas, emerge from a primordial being. From the mouth come the Brahmans — the priests and teachers. From the arms come the Kshatriyas — the rulers and soldiers. From the thighs come the Vaisyas — merchants and traders. From the feet come the Sudras — laborers.

  • Each varna in turn contains hundreds of hereditary castes and subcastes with their own pecking orders. A fifth group describes the people who are achuta, or untouchable. The primordial being does not claim them. Untouchables are outcasts — people considered too impure, too polluted, to rank as worthy beings.

  • Prejudice defines their lives, particularly in the rural areas, where nearly three-quarters of India's people live. Untouchables are shunned, insulted, banned from temples and higher caste homes, made to eat and drink from separate utensils in public places, and, in extreme but not uncommon cases, are raped, burned, lynched, and gunned down.

  • Caste Sysyem for Dummies: India's caste system has four main classes (also called varnas ) based originally on personality, profession, and birth. In descending order, the classes are as follows: Brahmana (now more commonly spelled Brahmin): Consist of those engaged in scriptural education and teaching, essential for the continuation of knowledge. Kshatriya:

  • Take on all forms of public service, including administration, maintenance of law and order, and defense. Vaishya: Engage in commercial activity as businessmen. Shudra: Work as semi-skilled and unskilled laborers. Untouchables.

  • http://www.indiacelebrating.com/social-issues/gender-inequality-in-india/ The root cause of gender inequality in Indian society lies in its patriarchy system. According to the famous sociologists Sylvia Walby, patriarchy is “a system of social structure and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women”. Women’s exploitation is an age old cultural phenomenon of Indian society. The system of patriarchy finds its validity and sanction in our religious beliefs, whether it is Hindu, Muslim or any other religion.

  • For instance, as per ancient Hindu law giver Manu: “Women are supposed to be in the custody of their father when they are children, they must be under the custody of their husband when married and under the custody of her son in old age or as widows. In no circumstances she should be allowed to assert herself independently”.

  • The above described position of women as per Manu is still the case in present modern day social structure. Barring few exceptions here and there, women have no power to take independent decisions either inside their homes or in outside world.

  • In Muslims also the situation is same and there too sanction for discrimination or subordination is provided by religious texts and Islamic traditions. Similarly in other religious beliefs also women are being discriminated against in one way or other.

  • The unfortunate part of gender inequality in our society is that the women too, through, continued socio-cultural conditioning, have accepted their subordinate position to men. And they are also part and parcel of same patriarchal system.

Current situation violence against women, dowry’s and antiquated laws, poverty

Violence against women

The current situation in India is little better than it has been in the past because of international spotlight shone on the country. The caste system although illegals still exists although some people in India have said that because of laws entry into universities is difficult because so many in the lower castes are allowed to enter is shutting out the upper castes ability to get into a school. If you were to believe them then things must be getting better, but not for women. Women still hold the lowest place in society. Women's place is to take care of the home if they are wealthy and are often married young inside of the marriage that the parents have arranged and must follows cultural norms where males are always in charge. Women are not even really in charge of their home. Women who do get divorced, which is incredibly rare, are often separated from their children because men are believed to be able to raise children better than women. Courts often allow children to live with women until they are about five and then they go live with their fathers. Violence against women especially domestic life was his quite common. Domestic violence is rarely reported to authorities because the justice system simply does not work in women's favor. The current justice system works so slowly that by the time it gets to court literally years have gone by. And those are just the cases that actually make it to court those cases don't make it to court because women choose not to press charges in the first place. But even if you follow the numbers you will see that violence against women is a huge problem in India. When you consider that about 1% of crimes or even reported in the first place violence against women is a catastrophic problem in India.

Facts about women in India

  • http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/12/2012122991735307545.html Sudha G Tilak |11 Mar 201309:02 GMT|India, Singapore “The conflict of accepting women entering bars or dressing in non traditional Indian clothing, making independent choices, and refusing male attention are all seen as threats and provocation that need to be contained in big cities in India, says Asavari Singh, a gender and media studies professional.” “While the reasons for rape in villages and tribal areas are attributed to caste, honour, family wars and repressive attitudes, India's big cities are also grappling with more women entering the public space, thanks to education or jobs and the influx of migrants from villages who come seeking work.”

  • The problem of gender-based violence is getting worse. National Crime Record Bureau statistics show crimes against women increased by 7.1percent nationwidesince 2010. There has been a rise in the number of incidents of rape recorded too. In 2011, 24,206 incidents were recorded, a rise of 9 percentfrom the previous year. More than half of the victimsare between 18 and 30 years of age.

  • The number of rapes in India is credible when you consider that so few people actually report the rape because it is considered a family disgrace


Map Mindthenews.com 2012

Cultural Issues

Social norms, dowrys inheritance gender biased laws and violence against women

Social Norms:

http://www.cwsnglobal.org/home_page2.html “The traits of good women doesn’t allow to disclose the pain and turmoil’s to anyone, hence every women wanted to be the obedient, tolerant, sacrificing and hardworking women who had their life’s purpose is to live for the goodness of the family and to protect the family honor at any cost.”

Crime rate against women in India - 2012

Map from http://www.cwsnglobal.org/home_page2.html

Social Norms: Infanticide of female babies

  • http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/12/world/asia/india-women-challenge/ By Sumnima Udas, CNN January 12, 2013 “"They would cry and yell, 'What are you doing giving birth to a girl? Push her off the roof of the building, kill her! Why are you keeping her?'" the 25-year-old mother says. Sumanjeet says people kept telling her to get an ultrasound check and abort all four of her daughters. They told her she wouldn't have enough money for a suitable dowry.“ “A Thomson Reuters Foundation expert poll last year ranked India as the world's fourth most dangerous country for a woman, behind only Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan.

  • Even though the practice is outlawed, 300,000 to 600,000 female fetuses are aborted every year in India because of the preference for boys, according to a 2011 study by The Lancet. And the discrimination that begins while in the womb continues throughout a girl's life.

  • Women's rights activist and Supreme Court lawyer Kirti Singh says there is a marked difference between how many parents treat their daughters and their sons. She says girls aren't given the same kind of food, they're not educated in the same manner, and they're only raised to become someone's wife. From the time they are born -- or not born -- and continuing till late in life when they become wives or mothers, it's a vicious cycle of discrimination, and violence keeps on continuing.

  • "Sumanjeet says she sees it all the time. "They send boys to good schools, they give them good food, nice clothes to wear. They treat them well. They say, 'Oh, it's my son.' To the daughter they say, 'Get the cow dung, sweep the floors. What will you do with an education?'"

  • Nearly half of India's girls are married off before the age of 18. Sumanjeet herself was forced to marry a man 15 years older than her when she was just 12 years old. She says she didn't object to the marriage, as she had barely understood what was going on. Girls are also seen as a financial liability. Once they get married, they leave the house and are often required to take hefty dowries along with them which sometimes can cost a family's entire savings. The practice is banned by the government, but it's still as common as ever.

  • http://global_india1.tripod.com/current.htm Although the country’s constitution says women have equal status to men, women are powerless and are mistreated inside and outside the home.

  • India is a society where the male is greatly revered. Therefore women, especially the young girls, get very little respect and standing in this country. The women of the household are required to prepare the meal for the men, who eat most of the food.

  • Only after the males are finished eating, can the females eat. Typically the leftover food is meager, considering the families are poor and have little to begin with. This creates a major problem with malnutrition, especially for pregnant or nursing women.

  • Very few women seek medical care while pregnant because it is thought of as a temporary condition. This is one main reason why India’s maternal and infant mortality rates are so high. Starting from birth, girls do not receive as much care and commitment from their parents and society as a boy would.

  • For example a new baby girl would only be breast fed for a short period of time, barely supplying her with the nutrients she needs. This is so that the mother can get pregnant as soon as possible in hopes of a son the next time

  • Another reason girls are not educated is because families are required to supply a chaste daughter to the family of her future husband.

  • With over two-thirds of teachers in India being men and students predominately male, putting daughters in school, where males surround them all day could pose a possible threat to their virginity

  • A typical day for a woman in an agricultural position lasts from 4am to 8pm with only an hour break in the middle. Compared to a man’s day, which is from 5am to 10am and then from 3pm to 5pm. Most women are overworked with no maternity leave or special breaks for those who are pregnant.

  • Plus women do the majority of the manual labor that uses a lot of energy compared to the men who do mostly machine operating (Coonrod). Even though women work twice as many hours as men, the men say that “women eat food and do nothing.” This is mainly because the work the women perform does not require a lot of skill and are smaller tasks

Violence & Dowrys

  • http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Dowry-deaths-One-woman-dies-every-hour/articleshow/22201659.cms One woman dies every hour due to dowry related reasons on an average in the country, which has seen a steady rise in such cases between 2007 and 2011, according to official data “National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures state that 8,233 dowry deaths were reported in 2012 from various states. The statistics work out to one death per hour.”National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) figures state that 8,233 dowry deaths were reported in 2012 from various states.

  • The statistics work out to one death per hour.The number of deaths under this category of crime against women were 8,618 in 2011 but the overall conviction rate was 35.8 per cent, slightly above the 32 per cent conviction rate recorded in the latest data for 2012. The number of dowry deaths in the country has seen a steady growth during the period between 2007 and 2011.

  • While in 2007, 8,093 such deaths were reported, the numbers rose to 8,172 and 8,383 in 2008 and 2009 respectively. In 2010, 8,391 such deaths were reported, according to the NCRB. The agency is the central nodal department to collect and process crime statistics at the national level. Suman Nalwa, additional deputy commissioner of Delhi Police (Special Unit for Women and Children), said the problem is not only limited to the lower or middle class. Higher socio-economic strata is equally involved in such practices.

  • The dowry Prohibition act is meant to protect women but no one follows it

  • Even the highly educated class of society do not say no to dowry. It runs deep into the social system," she said. The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry, "as consideration for the marriage" and dowry here is defined as a gift demanded or given as a pre-condition for a marriage.


Map from http://topyaps.com/saadi-com-anti-dowry-message

Gender Biased Inheritance Laws


  • http://qz.com/224632/indian-women-will-never-be-equal-as-long-as-these-9-laws-remain-on-the-books/ June 25, 2014 written by Diksha Madhok “Hindu laws of inheritance: Right now different religions have different personal laws that regulate inheritance, marriage, separation and guardianship in India. In the case of Hindus, the property of a woman who dies without a will is handled differently from that of a man. In the absence of spouse and children, the husband’s heirs inherit the woman’s estate.

    “Even if the deceased woman was ill treated in her marital home, her husband’s mother or father will get her property instead of her own mother or father,” says Kirti Singh, the family and property lawyer who authored the UN report .

    Parsi laws of inheritance: Despite shrinking numbers, Parsis still penalize those who marry outside their community — and it’s allowed. A non-Parsi woman who is either a wife or widow of a Parsi cannot inherit. Their children still can, although those born to a Parsi woman married to a non-Parsi man are not considered part of the community.

    No right to marital property: Upon separation or divorce, an Indian woman is the entitled only to maintenance from her husband. She has no right on the assets, such as house or commercial property, bought in her husband’s name during the marriage. So if she leaves him or gets divorced, even years after the marriage, she is potentially without assets. Indian government policies do not consider the work done at home by a woman as having an economic value.

  • http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/03/02/the-right-to-inherit-isnt-working-for-indian-women-says-u-n-study/ Mar 2, 2014 By Ashok Sircar and Diana Fletschner

  • “In 2005, the government of India amended its inheritance laws to ensure daughters enjoyed equal rights to inherit their parent’s land and property.

    But the law seems to be having little impact.

    The survey of more than 1,400 women and 360 men in agricultural districts with large numbers of women farmers in three Indian states, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh, found that just one in eight women whose parents own agricultural land inherit any of it.

  • Simply, if women farm the land but don’t own it, they are little more than migrant laborers tilling fields owned by others.

  • Without legal control over the land, or any documentation that they have rights to the ground they farm, they can’t access institutional credit, such as bank loans.

  • The 2005, Hindu Succession Amendment Act giving sons and daughters equal rights to inheriting family land and property was heralded as an important step forward for India’s women.

  • The study published Sunday, is the first substantial evaluation of the impact of that amendment and indicates that many women have yet to benefit from the legal changes.


  • In India tradition dictates that sons inherit family property.

  • To ask for her share, many women fear, would cause conflict within the family.

  • That fear is well founded given that about half of men surveyed considered it wrong for women to inherit their parents’ land.

Projected Outcomes

1 Outcome 1 Women achieve equality the likelihood of this happening is very small and the short-term.

Pro: it would be amazing if the deep cultural traditions of India could be changed. Perhaps the inner net and other social media will help Indian women discover that women in other countries live a very different way and will help women rise above their current status. The impact would be significant. The birth rate would decline because women no longer have to have four or five children in an attempt to have a male child.

Con: the men would have to give up some of their power.

2 Outcomes 2 nothing changes and women are still the underclass in India

Pro: a cheap labor source is available in India for other nations to exploit continually and unfairly. Long-standing cultures are followed and the cultural influence of a patriarchal society of India continue. Who is the national community to dictate how women are treated in this country? There is a cultural tradition that spans generations that has a validity that an outsider simply cannot understand.

Con: women's rights are trounced upon for another generation or two. Women live like indentured servants and are raped and tortured by men. Women are not educated at the same rate as men and the cycle of poverty in India continues. Female babies are continually aborted to the point where India has no women laughed because they have murdered so many.

3 Outcome 3 the international community comes in and tells India that they simply have to change their ways

Pro: more laws are changed and women have more rights. The gross domestic product of India goes up because so many more women have jobs. When you do not utilize the work of 50% of the population your GDP will never be high. Women make great strides in every aspect of their lives take control and become on equal footing with men in all areas Erie it women are educated at a higher rate and achieve great things. Medical facilities treat women equally and more more women survive. Because female fetuses are not aborted any more women will be 50% of the population again.

Con: the international community has no right to go into India and tell them how to live their lives. Is the height of gull to assume that your way is the right way. The country of India starts a war against those who would try to change their ways and because they out number other countries they are successful and many people die.

4 Outcome 4 the women of India rise up and demand their rights

Pro: if, like in the United States, the women of India demand their own rights it will mean more because they fought for it themselves. Everything will change and women will realize the control they have over men based on nothing else but their sheer numbers. If it becomes the social norm eventually men will simply back off and leave them alone.

Con: because India is such a corrupt place women attempt to retrieve their rights only to be knocked down by a corrupt police force and government that doesn't care about what they want. Because so many of the higher-ups in India are male their little rebellion is knocked down and millions of women die.

Possible solutions/ Obstacles to the solution

people are arguing that India is changing slowly and women are slowly gaining their rights back. There are high profile women in the political parties in India that are women and some women have public offices even in rural areas.

  • http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/12/2012122991735307545.html Activists argue that the rising number of women parliamentarians and the presence of many high profile women in India's political parties and public offices will remain only cosmetic if effective laws and mindsets are not altered to safeguard ordinary women. "While our Western sisters burned bras in the 1960s for equality, India's women are now taking to the streets to demand their right to walk freely without fear from men," says Shweta Andrews, a researcher based in Delhi.

  • http://www.cwsnglobal.org/home_page2.html It was noticed that in 2000s and aftermath the gender based violence was made more visible and women continued their protest and legislations were enacted favoring women’s rights such as “the Protection Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, Protection of Sexual Harassment at Workplace 2013 and the resent Anti-Rape law 2013”.

  • http://www.indiacelebrating.com/social-issues/gender-inequality-in-india/ Though every year government starts various schemes and programs apart from existing ones for the benefit and empowerment of women but on the ground there are not enough visible changes.

  • The change will appear only when the mind set of Indian society would change; when the society would start treating male and female on equal footing and when a girl would not be considered as a burden.

  • Legal and Constitutional Safeguards against Gender Inequality

  • Indian Constitution provides for positive efforts to eliminate gender inequality; the Preamble to the Constitution talks about goals of achieving social, economic and political justice to everyone and to provide equality of status and of opportunity to all its citizens. Further, women have equal right to vote in our political system.

  • Article 15 of the Constitution provides for prohibition of discrimination on grounds of sex also apart from other grounds such as religion, race, caste or place of birth. Article 15(3) authorizes the Sate to make any special provision for women and children.

  • Other than these Constitutional safeguards, various protective Legislations have also been passed by the Parliament to eliminate exploitation of women and to give them equal status in society.

  • Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987 was enacted to abolish and make punishable the inhuman custom of Sati;

  • the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 to eliminate the practice of dowry;

  • the Special Marriage Act, 1954 to give rightful status to married couples who marry inter-caste or inter-religion;

  • Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Bill (introduced in Parliament in 1991, passed in 1994 to stop female infanticide and many more such Acts. Furthermore, the Parliament time to time brings out amendments to existing laws in order to give protection to women according to the changing needs of the society

  • Section 304-B was added to the Indian Penal Code, 1860 to make dowry-death or bride-burning a specific offence punishable with maximum punishment of life imprisonment.

  • So there are varied legislative safeguards and protection mechanisms for women but the ground reality is very different.

  • Despite all these provisions women are still being treated as second rate citizens in our country; men are treating them as an object to fulfill their carnal desires; crimes against women are at alarming stage; the practice of dowry is still widely prevalent; female infanticide is a norm in homes.

  • How to Eliminate Gender Inequality

  • The list of legislations as well as types of discriminations or inequalities may go on but the real change will only come when the mentality of men will change; when the male species of human beings would start treating women as equal and not subordinate or weaker to them.

  • In fact not only men but women also need to change their mindset as through cultural conditioning they have also become part of the same exploitative system of patriarchy and are playing a supportive role in furthering men’s agenda of dominating women.

  • Therefore, what is needed is the movement for Women’s empowerment where women can become economically independent and self-reliant; where they can fight their own fears and go out in the world fearless; where they can snatch their rights from the clutches of men and they don’t have to ask for them; where women have good education, good career, ownership of property and above all where they have freedom of choice and also the freedom to make their own decisions without the bondages of age old saying of Manu.

  • Let’s hope and wish that our participative democracy, in times to come, and with the efforts of both women and men, would be able to found solutions to the problem of gender inequality and would take us all towards our cherished dream of a truly modern society in both thought and action.

Possible Obstacles

realistically there are far more obstacles and solutions in India. There is a very long tradition of a patriarchal society. Men are simply charge of everything. From the time a woman is born they are under their father's care and then their husbands care. Women never truly owned them selves

  • Obstacles: http://www.fsdinternational.org/country/india/weissues Gender Equity Issues in India

  • Gender discrimination continues to be an enormous problem within Indian society. Traditional patriarchal norms have relegated women to secondary status within the household and workplace. This drastically affects women's health, financial status, education, and political involvement.

  • Women are commonly married young, quickly become mothers, and are then burdened by stringent domestic and financial responsibilities.

  • They are frequently malnourished since women typically are the last member of a household to eat and the last to receive medical attention. Additionally, only 54 percent of Indian women are literate as compared to 76 percent of men.

  • Women receive little schooling, and suffer from unfair and biased inheritance and divorce laws.

  • These laws prevent women from accumulating substantial financial assets, making it difficult for women to establish their own security and autonomy.

  • In Rajasthan, all of these problems are aggravated by high levels of seasonal migration. For many men in Rajasthan, migration is required since rural parts of Rajasthan often lack a sufficient economy to provide income for a family year-round. Women are commonly left behind to care and provide for the entire household.

  • This is increasingly difficult because it is estimated that an average woman's wage is 30 percent lower than a man's wage working in a similar position. While these mothers work, they must also tend to domestic responsibilities.

  • This formula for supporting Rajasthani families leaves little resource for the growth and development of women's rights and education levels.

  • A strong "son preference" exists in the region, as it does throughout the country, and high rates of female infanticide and female feticide plague the area.

  • In 2001, for every 1,000 males living in Rajasthan there were only 922 women (Marthur et. al., 2004). Having sons is economically advantageous to families due to cultural institutions; these institutions serve to drastically devalue the roles women play in the traditional society. Women continue to struggle to achieve equal status to men, making gender equity an issue of particular importance for Rajasthan.

  • Obstacle Poverty: While the economy is growing rapidly, almost 800 million citizens (79.9 percent) still live on less than $2 each day.

  • Obstacle Health: Water tables throughout the country have collapsed, public education is floundering, and HIV infects more people than any other nation in the world. With 30 percent of the population classified as malnourished, common human rights violations, and the rural sectors becoming increasingly poor, India is in need of community-level support.

Controversies related and other important info:

interesting facts to use in the paper to highlight gender inequality in India

  • http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/more-gender-inequality-in-india-than-pak-bangla-un/ India ranks130 out of 155 countries in the Gender Inequality Index (GII) for 2014, way behind Bangladesh and Pakistan that rank 111 and 121 respectively, according to data in the United National Development Programme’s latest Human Development Report (HDR) 2015.

  • Among South Asian countries, India fares better than only Afghanistan which is at 152.

  • The index captures inequalities in gender-specific indicators: reproductive health measured by maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates, empowerment quantified by share of parliamentary seats and attainment in education, and economic activity measured by labour market participation rate.

  • Pakistan and Bangladesh have a lower Human Development Index (HDI) than India and yet perform better on gender equality as measured by GII. India is placed 130 out of 188 on the Human Development Index (HDI) with Bangladesh at 142 and Pakistan at 147.

  • But with respect to each parameter on the gender index, India lags behind both its neighbours. Consider this:

  • *Merely 12.2 per cent of parliamentary seats are held by women in India as against 19.7 in Pakistan and 20 in Bangladesh.

  • * India is also beset with a high maternal mortality rate of 190 deaths per 100,000 live births as compared to 170 pregnancy-related deaths per 100,000 births in both Bangladesh and Pakistan.

  • * In percentage of women receiving secondary education, Bangladesh at 34 per cent far outperforms India at 27 per cent.

  • * On labour force participation rate for women, Bangladesh is at 57 per cent, India is at 27 per cent.

  • * In all the above indexes, India’s performance is way below the South Asian average.

  • The only parameter where India fares slightly better is the adolescent birth rate, which is the number of births per 1000 women aged 15 to 19 years. A lower adolescent birth rate indicates a female population that is more in control of its choices when it comes to marrying and conceiving late. On this scale, India’s figures are much better than that of Bangladesh as well as the South Asian average, though Pakistan’s record is marginally better than India’s.

  • UNDP officials state that over the last couple of years, India’s GII values have improved slightly from 0.61 to 0.563. This is mainly due to improvements in maternal mortality rate and women’s representation in parliaments in this period though other indicators have remained stagnant.

  • The HDR 2015, which is focused on the issue of work, also documents a global drop in female labour force participation rate, which is the proportion of working-age population in paid employment or looking for paid work. “This is owing mainly to the steep reduction for India, from 35 per cent women in 1990 to 27 per cent in 2013, and China from 73 per cent to 64 per cent in the same period,” said Yuri Afanasiev, UNDP resident representative in India.

  • According to Renana Jhabwala, national coordinator, Self-Employed Women’s Association, women’s workforce participation, by virtue of its invisibility, is largely under-counted in much of the government surveys.“For instance, these surveys fail to capture details on large number of women in agriculture since land is in the name of the man. Due to this invisibility in official data, such women are often bereft of benefits such loans or seeds which the land-holding men are eligible for. This creates in India what we call a ‘sticky floor’ situation where a majority of women cannot rise above a certain level of earnings, skills and benefits. It is the opposite of the what the West refers to as ‘glass ceiling’,” said Jhabwala.

  • http://www.indiacelebrating.com/social-issues/gender-inequality-in-india/ The unfortunate part of gender inequality in our society is that the women too, through, continued socio-cultural conditioning, have accepted their subordinate position to men. And they are also part and parcel of same patriarchal system.

  • 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 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 girl child and that’s why they lack in job market.

  • Not only in education, in case of family food habits, it is the male child 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 a 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.

  • 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:

    Economic participation and opportunity:134th

    Educational achievements:126th

    Health and Life expectancy:141st

    Political empowerment:15th

  • The data shows that despite the law in place viz Prenatal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 sex selective abortion is still on the rise. One estimate done by MacPherson shows that more than 100000 illegal abortions are being performed every year in India mainly for the reason that the featus is of girl child. Due to this, there is an alarming trend which has come to the notice in 2011 census report; the report shows Child Sex-Ratio (i.e. sex-ratio of children between the age group 0 to 6) at 919 which is 8 points lesser than the 2001 data of 927. The data indicates that sex-selective abortion is increasing in our country.

  • http://www.fsdinternational.org/country/india/weissues The exploitation of immigrant and child labor, the caste system, and a lack of education and healthcare are just a few of the human rights issues that deeply affect India today.

  • In Rajasthan, the Indian government lacks the infrastructure and resources to eliminate the overwhelming rights abuses levied on lower castes who live in extreme poverty as agricultural workers, miners, and servants. India is an entire world on its own. Its combination of spiritual depth, unparalleled physical beauty, and cultural diversity makes the country one of the most alluring destinations on the planet. India's development is another story.

  • While the economy is growing rapidly, almost 800 million citizens (79.9 percent) still live on less than $2 each day.

  • Grassroots and government efforts are making great strides to rectify poverty-related issues; however, the severity of the problem is astonishing.

  • Water tables throughout the country have collapsed, public education is floundering, and HIV infects more people than any other nation in the world.

  • With 30 percent of the population classified as malnourished, common human rights violations, and the rural sectors becoming increasingly poor, India is in need of community-level support.

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