Gender Gap in India 11
GenderImparity in India
GenderGap in India
Genderimparity prevails in any particular society. Even so, gender is acomplex concept involving several aspects including gender, genderroles, and sex. Each of the mentioned elements plays significantroles as far as the differentiated social problems faced by women andmen are concerned. For instance, sex constitutes the differences inbiology associated with females and males. Therefore, as stated byArora (2012), gender is mainly the behaviors and roles assigned tofemales and males in any particular society and serves as a powerfunction with males considered superior to their female counterparts.On the other hand, gender roles make up the mannerisms and attitudesanticipated of females and males found in a particular culturalsociety. Therefore, these gender roles often influence the genderimparity concept that exists among the female and male sex.Consequently, gender inequality has attracted some definitions butfrom a social perspective, it is the discrimination against womenbecause of their sex. Women discrimination often goes beyond thehomes where these women experience degradation, exploitation,discrimination and violation that occurs in many societies around theworld. In this paper I will discuss the gender disparities issues inIndia and highlight the causes and types of gap mainly experienced bywomen in the country. I will also outline ways in which India canreduce gender disparities within the country.
India`sGender Gap Overview
Indiaserves as a fast-growing nation regarding its economy but remainsbackward socially due to issues like gender disparity. Even though,India`s Constitution grants both women and men equal rights, genderinequality remains deeply rooted in the society resulting from thecountries religious and socio-economic practices. Due to this, manywomen in this society wish to conceive only sons because thesefactors presented a complete mismatch between the men`s and women`sposition in the society. Furthermore, having female child adds to afamily`s financial burden because they attract excessive demandsregarding dowry and contribute minimally to the family`s finances.Besides, gender imparity amongst the Indians present complexities andoccur in diverse fields. These areas relate to the employmentopportunities, health, education, and politics where men are givenpreference compared to women. In agreement with Arif (2011), theIndian society clearly presents expectation distinctions as far asthe gender roles are concerned. Under this culture, women areexpected to carry out domestic chores like nurturing their childrenand taking care of the elderly. However, some of the women in theIndian society are allowed to work but happen to be concentrated inlow-paying jobs having minimal skills. Consequently, the women`scontribution to the country`s economy is frail.
Typesof Gender Gap in India
Inagreement with Rao, Horton & Raguram (2012), India has sevenforms of gender disparities that influence its societies. These typestend to manifest in different areas of the communities. These formsinclude ownership disparity, mortality disparity, employmentdisparity, special opportunity disparity, natality disparity,household disparity, and basic-facility disparity.
Innumerous societies, property ownership is unequal since they mainlyfavor men in several Indian cities (Rao, Horton & Raguram, 2012).The claim property absence may not just reduce women voice but alsopresent difficulties in women trying to enter and succeed in theeconomic, commercial, and social activities.
InIndia, the disparity between men and women directly includes life anddeath taking hard extraordinarily high rates of mortality amongwomen. Additionally, the male prevalence in the society is highcompared to females due to nutrition and health care biases withinsocieties.
Regardingemployment promotions, women face great handicap compared to men.According to Rahi (2015), this is evident where men are given moretop priorities when improved pay scales and work opportunities arise.
Evenwith little differences in basic amenities that include schooling,women still encounter fewer opportunities when compared to the men.Certainly, gender prejudice regarding professional training andhigher education in India is observed.
Boysin this form of a gap are given more preference over the girls.Evidently, numerous male subjugated societies practiced it with theparents want newborns to be males instead of females. With improvedmodern techniques of sex determination of a fetus, sex-basedabortions increased in the Indian societies.
Thehousehold offers a fair amount of discriminations relating to genderthat can take several different forms. They range from sonpreferences even in education and family arrangements related tounequal sharing of household burdens inclined more towards the girlchild.
Evenif the Indian demographic factors fail to present much or any form ofanti-female prejudice, ways still exist to ensure women receive anunfair share of any deal.
Factorsof Gender Gap in India
Indiahas a prevailing sense of gender disparity despite efforts to ensurethat both women and men enjoy similar rights. Some causes lead to awider gender gap in the Indian society. These causes includeilliteracy, social beliefs, practices, and customs, poverty, socialattitudes, unemployment, and women ignorance.
TheIndian girl`s educational backwardness has contributed significantlyto gender discrimination. The mismatch became evident between therate of literacy in males and females in the country in the year 2001(Rahi, 2015). The male literacy levels experienced an increase fromfifty-six percent in the year 1981 to approximately seventy-sixpercent in the year 2001. On the other hand, the women`s literacylevels underwent a change from thirty to fifty-four percent. Inanother survey carried out in 2011, the literacy levels of womenregistered at 65.46% while that of men recorded at 82.14% (Rahi,2015). India`s interstate literacy rate variation as indicated Arora(2012) remains much lower in males when compared to females. However,at India`s state level, the female rate of literacy varies fromeighty-eight percent in Kerala to thirty-five percent in Bihar (Arif,2011). In states such as Assam, Jammu, Arunachal Pradesh, Kashmir,and Rajasthan the female rates of literacy lie below fifty percent.
Theprogress that girls have made towards education in India is extremelyslow and gender gaps continue to persist at the secondary, upperprimary and primary levels of education (Rahi, 2015). The girlchild`s enrollment at the primary level account for approximately43.7 %, 40.9% enrolled at the upper primary stage, 38.6% in thesecondary phase, and 36.9% at the levels of degree and beyond (Arora,2012). With this statistics, it is evident that the number of girlsaiming for higher standards of education is minimal. Furthermore, theparticipation of girls in education still falls below the fiftypercent mark. Therefore, gender distinctions as far as enrollment isconcerned are common amongst all states and at every level. Due tothis, girls are unable to realize their full power and identity inevery sphere life offers because of illiteracy.
Socialbeliefs, practices, and customs
Womenare often bound by social practices, beliefs, and customs. Theconventional family systems in India confines its women to thehousehold sphere, awarding them authority, subordinate status, andpower when related to men. In this society, men are alleged to be theprimary family protectors and providers while the women playsupportive roles, authority, and status. Historically, in the Indianculture, men have long dominated women ensuring that the womensituation remains small within the family domain and society.
Additionally,Indian culture tends to prefer sons to daughters making it acomplicated phenomenon, which remains practiced in several places.Sons, particularly in societies are said to be ritual, economic, andpolitical assets while daughters attain the liability status. Therefore, anti-female regimes form primary causes contributing tothe Indian gender gap. Subsequently, the boy child receivesceremonial welcomes upon his arrival to earth but the opposite istrue where a girl is concerned. According to Rao, Horton &Raguram (2012), male child preference is mainly attributed to theminimal labor force participation of women and dowry payments amongothers. The customary practice still prevails in the 21st centurythat has resulted in tests that determine sex and illegal abortion offemale child fetus. Lastly, the Indian society see kitchen dutiesmore significant compare to school education since they eventuallyshift to another family.
Atotal number of thirty percent of people in India live below the lineof poverty where seventy percent are women. Poverty of women in theIndian society is directly proportional to the autonomy and economicopportunity absence, inaccessible financial resources, minimaldecision-making participation, and lack of support services andeducation (Ackerson & Subramanian, 2008). Even presently, theparticipation of women in the economic sectors remains minimal sincemen still hold a bigger proportion of opportunities in the sector.Therefore, poverty forms the foundation for gender gap in the Indiansociety and economic dependency on men further intensifies thedisparity.
Despitethe participation of numerous social reformers and activists torestore dignity and honor to the Indian women, attitudinal gaps stillinfluence the country`s rural population. The ever increasingtechnological modification and social development experienced todayhave not made women discrimination any better because they continueto suffer from exploitation, social atrocities, illiteracy, andsuperstition. According to Rahi (2015), social stigma relating to theconfinement of women in the house is another primary gender disparitycause since men enjoy a significant proportion of voice in thesociety. Subsequently, male family members are required to eatnutritious and fresh food when compared to women thus this helpsmaintain a high gender discrimination rate among the two genders.
Womenhave failed to find answers to the existing conflict between olddomestic and economic responsibilities. In both India`s urban andrural areas, women spend a great time proportion on home sustainingtasks that go unpaid (Rao, Horton & Raguram, 2012). Therefore,these women lack the proper channels to respond to emergingopportunities shifting occupation due to their low mobility trendsresulting from household responsibility allocations. Subsequently,household obligations and rights within the Indian families tend tobe unevenly distributed. Asset ownership by makes and traditionallabor division reduce the women incentives in participating in newactivities. Additionally, childbearing offers clear influencesregarding women participation in the labor force. Time allocated forchild bearing and rearing often leads to de-skilling and long termcontract terminations. Due to this, women participation in theeconomic front becomes minimal because of unemployment along withtheir over dependence on men.
Mostof the Indian women are ignorant in matters relating to their basiccapabilities and rights evident in not knowing the manners by whichpolitical and socio-economic forces influence their lives. Inagreement with Ackerson & Subramanian (2008), they tend to acceptany form of discriminations around them because of unawareness andignorance. The Indian constitution`s Article 15 explicitly advocatesagainst discrimination related to sex but women today experience anpowerful form of discrimination (Arora, 2012).
ReducingGender Gap in India
Itis true that every situation that any given society faces can havesolutions. In a bid to reduce the gender gap presented in India, thesociety should embrace educating the girl child. Through education,the girls will become more aware of their situation hence ensure thattheir rights are not breached. Furthermore, Arif (2011) points outeducating the girl child will guarantee the increase of womenempowerment, which will see many of the perceived women roles in theIndian society change. Additionally, the Indian society shouldprovide women opportunities to explore social and politicalactivities. Rahi (2015) claims this will result in social integrationand through their participation, women can bring about powerful ideasthat will benefit India as a nation. As stated by Rao, Horton &Raguram (2012), the Indian government should ensure that strategiesand policies are established regarding abortions and the effectsresulting from child-sex identification. Besides, politicians withinthe country should frame policies that increase social welfareconcerning the issue. Aside from the administrative roles,non-governmental organizations can also have significant roles toensue the eradication of gender inequality.
Insummary, gender gap or disparity is not a new phenomenon, and ittakes the dedication of a society to eradicate it. The phenomenon hasaffected many lives in the Indian community, particularly women. Thegender gap in India is stirred by certain types of disparitiesincluding ownership, mortality, employment, special opportunity,natality, household, and basic-facility disparities. Subsequentlythese types are mainly found in the social, economic, legal,cultural, and political factors of the country. Therefore, thesefactors promote gender disparity causes such as illiteracy, socialbeliefs, practices, and customs, poverty, social attitudes,unemployment, and women ignorance. It is time India deactivatesgender inequality in it societies breaking its women out of thestereotypes molded by the factors promoting disparity. Furthermeasures should be taken to achieve equality among genders in theIndian society since both the male and female existence is needed forsurvival in the world.
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