WOMEN IN INDIA





INTRODUCTION

The issues and crisis of Gender inequality being a social issue in India revolves around spheres like health, education, economic and political inequalities between men and women in India and gender inequality deeply affects sex ratio, women’s health condition in their lifespan, attainment and access to education and economic conditions as well but issues and crisis of gender inequality concerns both men and women as the struggle against disparities continue to proceed without paying any heed to the existing laws reinforcing against gender based discrimination though men are in a more advantageous position as the existence of the curse of patriarchy which is majorly followed by the women considered to be as the "gatekeepers of patriarchy" which treats girls or women as burden, not providing the scope to witness the light of the world is very much existing in Indian pretext.



The birth of girl child is not welcomed and even situation turns out to be miserable with the increase number of foeticide or infanticide which reflects a disastrous picture of child sex ratio where for every 1000 boys there are 908 girls in India so in a country like India attainment of education becomes really difficult which encourages more dropout rates. Patriarchal norms label Indian women as inferior in comparison to men which contrasts the image and representation of women in global map from successful wrestler to business expert to global leaders but India experiences lowest child sex ratio with 914 girls for every 1000 boys (census 2011). According to the statistical report by the District Information System for Education, 42 percent of married women marry when they are child and 1 in every 3 child brides in the world is a girl from India shown by UNICEF. The curse of gender abuse, discrimination and violence spread through all spheres such as household level as women were tied up with household chores and activities as if women were meant for managing domestic spheres, at workplace where women experience limited job opportunities and even proved to be paid less in comparison to a male staff and according to the census of 2011 showing effective literacy rates for age 7 and above is 65.46% for women in comparison to 82.14% for men reveals the serious implication of the mind-set of the people behind negligence of girls that germinates the seeds of gender based violence accompanied by gender based discrimination. Poverty, illiteracy and patriarchal set up in our Indian society can be cited as primordial factors behind the concerning implications which is fostered from our very childhood through certain conducts of behaviour such as appropriates ways to sit, lie, dress, talk following the strict normative patterns of gender roles which is term first used by John Money during the study of intersex individuals in the year 1954 and gender stereotypes which are sheer examples of social construction based on biological sex identity which also have serious implications in case of pursuing a profession or having personal relationships and the process through which person acquires these gender role practices is widely regarded as gender socialisation as according to Judith Butler in works of "Gender Trouble" or “Undoing Gender” vividly articulates on being female through repetitive modes of behaviour is what is to be regarded as "Natural" and the colour pink is for girls, blue for boys, cars for boys and dollhouse or Barbie for girls from the very childhood instils the mind of the children with gender roles as the subtle advertisements of kinder joy packet colours such as blue for boys and pink for girls also promotes the idea of gender roles. Women’s economic participation and opportunity is in worst condition in India as rightfully proposed by Economic adviser “Despite recent economic advances ,India’s gender balance for entrepreneurship remains among the lowest in the world .Improving this balance is an important step for India’s development and its achievement of greater economic growth and gender equality.”A new study report indicates that 239,000 girls under the age of five is killed due to ignorance and negligence in India and even the figure which counts to 2.4 million deaths per decade rejects the issue of pre-natal mortality rate .The researchers also stated that twenty nine out thirty five Indian states witness excess mortality in girls under the age five and every Indian states barring two experience atleast one district with excess mortality thus the alarming situation of gender bias and discrimination prevails in India prominent especially in Northern India such as states like Uttar Pradesh ,Bihar Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh and particularly rural region to be specific experiencing low education coupled with population explosion and the primary cause of this huge death rate is because of the unwanted female child and preference for sons thus ensuring survival should be focused at first coupled with socio-economic development of Indian women .Recent reports have focused on that Women were literally harassed and made to feel inferior even in their work places by asking duration of their marriage and about having kids in interviews, the ideation or opinion given by a woman employee tends to get ignored and thus made to feel excluded even gender based discrimination often affects the pay scale. According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4) thirty percent of women between age group fifteen to forty nine experience physical violence at the age of fifteen and the report also involves that six percent of women belonging to same age group suffers from sexual violence atleast once in their life span whereas thirty one percent married women suffers from physical ,sexual or emotional violence from their life partners with average rate of reported rape cases is 6.3 per 100,000 of the population which differs in case of Sikkim and Delhi with rates of 30.3 and 22.5 ,Tamilnadu ,securing the lowest position. Apart from that domestic violence continues to rise and is one of the prevalent forms existing in India coupled with wife beating ,often threatened and suspected of being unfaithful. Report shows that there is a sharp increase in domestic violence rates during the pandemic lockdown period .The brutal rape incident of Nirbhaya to Kamduni and even highlights the rising rate of gender based violence and degrading condition of women even literature like “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini reflects on domestic abuse, recent films like Bulbbul and Thappad also revolves around physical abuse and gender-based discrimination coupled with music like “Choot” involves outright of violence which traced back to that mindset perfectly represented in the Oscar winning film by “Pather Panchali” where Sarbajaya Ray tells “You’ll educate the boy, give him his sacred thread, teach him to worship the gods. Durga will find a good husband. Two meals a day, new clothes twice a year – what more could we want?”, and for that mindset talented girls like “Sanjhli “---the protagonist character in the poem “Tej “by debabrata Singha have to attain and progress in educational sector by listening “Ami Jambonir Shibu Kuinrir biti Sanjhli /Jokhon thake hunsh hoichhe tokhon thake shune ashchhi biti na mati /thakuma bolthok porer ghore hishal thelbek tar abar lekhapora” proving that "Betti Bachao Beti Padhao" though have positive message but implementation and installation of that ideation is a faraway goal though recent Bengali films like "Brahma janen gopon kommoti" provides impetus for breaking gender based stereotypes. “Amidst the coronavirus pandemic it is shown by several reports that rate of women participation is evidenced to be very less with Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) declining from 42.7 percent in 2004 -5 to 23.3 percent in 2017-18 in contrast to the increase in nation’s GDP which enables a very contradictory and opposite scenario in Indian context as the rate of Indian education has risen with lower fertility rates which affects Indian economy and the nation’s GDP as well and with the eradication of women’s barriers and obstacles to workforce ensures more participation of women in the workforce with the implantation and intervention of Governmental policies as well but the reports suggest that due to pandemic with the rise of domestic violence and other form of violence coupled with unemployment situation of women workforce worsened. The case of Minu reflected on how she lost her work amidst lockdown and her family suffered due to immense economic crisis being the sole breadwinners whereas case studies of women in Sundarbans portrays their devastated condition and huge loss being harshly stricken by not only pandemic but the super cyclone Amphan and also reflects on how their solo occupation of catching small prawns got absolutely disrupted due to the threat of tiger in Sonaga region of Sundarban. Incidents were also traced that even women from urban backgrounds lost their jobs and there was a complete shift in their work pattern due to the pandemic crisis.






CONCLUSION

It is also to be noted that the movement though are on a huge progress but the root of prejudices and violence are still relevant in Indian Chapter as Hathras Rape case in UP and rising rates of infanticide and foeticide. The Indian Skills Reform Report 2020 also highlights the gendered disparity with less woman workforce participation that reflects on the eradication of prejudices and existing mindsets of the people coupled with implementation of Governmental initiatives and initiatives undertaken by the non-profit organization is the need of the hour and sooner to be achieved for the development of the nation and Its Economic growth promoting a more sustainable world with lesser stances of Inequalities, disparities and discrimination.


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