Thoughts, Women Corner

Why Gender Gap is Still an Issue in India?

Do you think Gender Gap Still Exists? 

Every day we see A new trending topic or meme on Instagram or Twitter. And no wonder why there is so much meme on Pseudo Feminism nowadays. But, can you deny the importance of Feminism? If you think there is nothing like Gender Inequality, here is recent news. India ranks 140 out of 156 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap index! And the worst part is, India slipped 28 places this year. Despite all the Government Plans and schemes, India is not improving much in gender bias, and According to researches, it will take almost 135 years to close the Global Gender gap. 

More or less, we all know the reason for the existing gender gap. But how the factors are affecting the Final Outcome is still confusing. 

Gender Gap Report:

We already mentioned India’s rank in this Report. If you don’t know about it, here are the full details. Concisely, this report indexes the countries based on some factors. The main four are economic participation and opportunities, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival, and Political Empowerment.

Any person concerned about these facts and figures knows the Route causes of Existing Gender Inequality in India. There is discrimination everywhere, for every gender.  But some issues are related to Women, and the COVID pandemic also affected the gap. 

Indian Society on Gender Gap:

Gender Inequality is not a new thing in Our Society. The Status of Women in the Ancient Vedic Period was high. But, from the Medieval Time, some Customs Purdah System, Satidah, Dowry started making a gap between men and women. And the e rift does not vanish to date.

There are different reasons why this inequality is prevalent. Poverty, Patriarchy, Customs, Education are factors that are responsible for Gender Inequality. But no factors can alone justify the causes. The gender gap is a worldwide issue, and the picture is different in Every Country. Even in India, you can’t explain Gender Inequality with Simple factors, as each factor affects the Gap differently for every community or region. 

NITI Ayog declared the SDG report for 2020-21, and we can look at Gender Inequality in Recent time. 

Gender Gap In Indian States
SDG 5: Gender Inequality

Gender Gap Factors: 

 Traditional Customs and Beliefs:

In many parts of India, people assume the girl child is a financial liability and inferior. Various Social Institutions like patrilineality (inheritance through male descendants) and patrilocality (married couple living with or near the male spouse’s parents) leads to a preference for sons in Various Communities. Again dowry and the need for the safety of a Girl Child also give rise to inferiority to daughters. People tend to kill the female faetus, which create a lower sex ratio in many areas. Not only this, but this inferiority makes a woman’s life miserable. 

Lake of Nutrition, Child Marriage, Dowry, Less education is an offshoot of Preferences of Son. This Patriarchal system also refuses Girl children to inherit property from Parents. It gives Women more financial dependency and further discrimination like Domestic Violence.

Can Patriarchal Society explain Gender Inequality? If we look into the data of Recent SDG, despite having more or less common social customs, the Gender Gap is different in every state. Assam performs worst in Gender Inequality in SDG report. But the dowry or Purdah system was not so notable in that region. 

In history, we witnessed more cases of Satidah in West Bengal. By that time, Dayabhaga law was there, which allows a widow to inherit Late Spouse’s property. Next, the factor is Poverty that Plays a Role in Gender Inequality. 

Poverty:

It’s a general opinion that girls from an inadequate family are less likely to have educational opportunities and financial freedom. Dowry, child marriage is also common. Though it’s not a whole misconception, it can’t explain discrimination against women. Punjab and Haryana are among the wealthiest states of India but, gender equality is far away. Chandigarh came first in the list of States on the SDG gender gap.  But it also scores very low in the poverty index. 

But why is this happening after all? If we go for the Root level, the Economic State of a Family or State can’t imply that of Women proportionally. Many times, women from Rich families are restricted to go outside for work. It decreases the labour force participation, and hence the economic independence of women. Poverty and Traditional limits also put women in backgrounds, often restricting educational opportunities. The assumed role of Women is another factor that is responsible for the Gap.

Poverty in Indian States
SDG goal Poverty

Assumed role of Women:

Due to the traditions or the way civilization developed, people framed a concrete structure of professions. In Indian society, people think taking care of family and children is the responsibility of women only. Studies show that women are likely to spend 2.4 hours more than men in unpaid labour. Many married women quit their jobs due to these reasons. 

This assumption is not limited to this. There is a Term Pink Colourization of Jobs.  Teachers, Nurses, lecturers, and babysitters are assumed to be Safe jobs for women.  This assumption creates narrow economic opportunities. 

There are some other things also affecting this labour force participation of women. Less Educational chances are also responsible for lower economic opportunities. Less qualified women get a lesser possibility to participate in high scaled jobs. It furthermore affects the stand of women in the decision making of family and society. Women are themselves not aware of their rights. Menstrual Hygiene and Maternity health is not getting much interest. Though Feminism is now rising in India, the Urban Centric and Unrealistic Demands are lowering the voice. You can see very few feminist raise a say against the Real Factors causing Gender Gap. This assumed role also narrows the leadership opportunities in women. The main factor why India slipped 28 positions in Gender Gap Report is the Decline number of Female Participants in Parliaments.

The wage Pay Gap is also a concern in the economic participation of women. The ratio of female to male wages for paid workers is still 0.74. 

So Women are comparatively getting less exposure in the education and economic sectors. Another major factor for this is Discrimination and Violence Against Women. 

Violence Against Women: 

The increasing Rape, kidnapping, Molestation at work is another thread for women. It is not only risking the survival of women in society. Many families restrict women from going outside because of this.  

Crime Against Women: Gender Gap Factor
Crime Against Women in India

Conclusion:

A single Factor can’t describe why the Gender Gap still exists. But in different regions of the world one or more factors together holding the Gender Inequality. 

Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Meghalaya, Kerala are doing well in eliminating the Gender gap than most other states. But that is also not sufficient enough. More or less, women are facing several inequalities. This Pandemic also worsens the State. The World Economic forum says women’s jobs are at 19% greater risk than men’s. 

Gender Gap Goals of NITI ayog
Goals of NITI Ayog for Elimination of Gender Gap

Niti Ayog has set several goals to meet the expected Gender Equality. But, with the government Indian society also needs to come over the stereotypes and against the Crimes.