Every child deserves to reach their full potential, but gender inequalities in their lives hinder this reality. Gender inequality results in unequal opportunities and has been impacting the lives of all the genders-men, women or transgender. Statistically, it is girls that face the most disadvantages.
Gender Inequality has been a social issue in India since ages. In some parts of the country, discrimination starts even before the girl child is born and sometimes is killed as a foetus. This is clear from the census wherein 2001 the child sex ratio of India was 927 that further declined to 919 in the census 2011.
According to patriarchal norms, women are considered inferior to men. The girl child is often considered a burden and is not even allowed to see the light of the world. This is happening even in the 21st Century, where women have proved that they can be strong leaders in every field possible. Whether we talk about Boxing or Business, the world has been revolutionised by exceptional female leaders in fields that were until recently completely dominated by men.
No matter how hard they try, women and girls are still discriminated against in most households in India. And this discrimination has an impact on each aspect of their lives. Be it education, health, professional front, women and girls are treated unequally. We as a nation still hasn’t been awakened to the necessity of empowering women. The statistics still narrate a harsh story of female foeticide, girl child discrimination and gender bias in India.
According to the District Information System for Education, 42% of married women in India were married when they were children. According to UNICEF, 1 in every 3rd child brides in the world is an Indian girl. According to Census 2011, India has more than 45 lakh girls under the age of 15 that are married and have children. Out of these, 70% have two children.
Importance of Gender Equality
Gender Inequality doesn’t only affect an individual, rather it can change the entire economy. Hence, it is necessary to overcome this obstacle for the growth of the nation. It benefits everyone and that is why it is one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Sustainable development has a direct relationship with discrimination. It relies on ending discrimination towards women and providing equal opportunities to them. It helps in stimulating economic growth, which is very crucial for a developing country.
UN Women Organisation reported that in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries, half of the economic growth over the past 50 years is because of the girls, as now they are having better access to education.
Despite the progress in some nations, there are still a lot of countries around the globe where women still face barriers in the labour market. The World Bank reported that a lot of women around the world are still legally prevented from working in certain fields. In some countries, men can legally forbid their wives from working. Besides, women face various obstacles like sexual harassment, unequal pay, etc. Globally, women only earn 77 cents to the dollar when compared to men. These barriers cause 160$ trillion in lost income potential, according to research done by the World Bank.
According to research done by Clinton Global Initiative on Empowering Girls & Women, Working women invest almost 90% of their income into their families. While men invest only 35%. This is the reason when women earn more they intend to spend more on their children’s health and education.
All these statistics about gender inequality tell the same story that the only way towards sustainable development is to focus on women empowerment and gender equity and equality. The main factors to be considered for empowering women are education, health and employment.
The need of the hour is to change the mindset of people and destroy the prejudices that damage the future of our nation India. More strategic efforts are needed to sensitise our boys and men and educate them on gender biases that prevail in our society and how it hampers their well-being also. A concerted effort is required for sensitising the whole society too for overcoming the issue of gender inequality. Because, Until and unless women will have equal access to empowering opportunities, countries will struggle to develop.
This International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women & Girls let us pledge to take a step towards ending any form of violence and discrimination against women and girls. Let us come together for making our society safer and equal for everyone.
If you want to be a part of the change, join hands with Sathiya Pariwar. We believe in our idea of change and are willing to work hard for it, sooner or later the dream will become a reality.