Gender Inequality in India

Gender Inequality in India

Gender inequality in India:

Refers to health, education, economic and political inequalities between men andwomen in India.Various international gender inequality indices rank India differently on each of these factors, as well as on a composite basis, and these indices are controversial.

Gender inequalities, and its social causes, impact India's sex ratio, women's health over their lifetimes, their educational attainment, and economic conditions. Gender inequality in India is a multifaceted issue that concerns men and women alike. Some argue that some gender equality measures, place men at a disadvantage. However, when India's population is examined as a whole, women are at a disadvantage in several important ways.

Gender statistics in India and Global level:

Gender statistics measure / Female
(India) / Male
(India) / Female
(World) / Male
Account at a formal financial institution, (% of each gender, age 15+) / 26.5 / 43.7 / 46.6 / 54.5
Cause of death, by non-communicable diseases, ages 15–34, (%) / 32.3 / 33.0 / 29.5 / 27.5
Deposits in a typical month, (% with an account, age 15+) / 11.2 / 13.4 / 13.0 / 12.8
Employees in agriculture, (% of total labour) / 59.8 / 43 / - / -
Employees in industry, (% of total labour) / 20.7 / 26 / - / -
Expected years of schooling / 11.3 / 11.8 / 11.7 / 12.0
Infant mortality rate, (per 1,000 live births) / 44.3 / 43.5 / 32.6 / 37
Life expectancy at age 60, (years) / 18.0 / 15.9 / - / -
Life expectancy at birth, (years) / 68 / 64.5 / 72.9 / 68.7
Loan from a financial institution in the past year, (% age 15+) / 6.7 / 8.6 / 8.1 / 10.0
Lower secondary school completion rate, (%) / 76.0 / 77.9 / 70.2 / 70.5
Outstanding loan from banks for health or emergencies, (% age 15+) / 12.6 / 15.7 / 10.3 / 11.6
Outstanding loan from banks to purchase a home, (% age 15+) / 2.26 / 2.35 / 6.6 / 7.4
Primary school completion rate, (%) / 96.6 / 96.3 / - / -
Ratio to male youth unemployment rate (% ages 15–24, ILO method) / 1.13 / 1.0 / 1.14 / 1.0
Ratio to males in primary and secondary education (%) / 0.98 / 1.0 / 0.97 / 1.0
Secondary school education, gender of teachers (% ) / 41.1 / 58.9 / 51.9 / 48.1
Secondary school education, pupils (%) / 46 / 54 / 47.6 / 52.4
Self-employed, (% employed) / 85.5 / 80.6 / - / -
Unemployment, (% of labour force,ILOmethod) / 4 / 3.1 / - / -
Unemployment, youth (% of labour force ages 15–24, ILO
method) / 10.6 / 9.4 / 15.1 / 13.0
Withdrawals in a typical month, (% with an account, age 15+) / 18.6 / 12.7 / 15.5 / 12.8

Gender Global Rankings of India (2012)

Indicator / India’s
Global rank (2012) / Source
GII: Gender inequality index / 132/148(2012) / United nations development Programme (UNDP)
GGI: Gender gap index / 101/136(2013) / Worlds economic forum (WEF)

SIGI: Social institutions and Gender Index

/ 56/86(2012) / Organization for economic co-operation development (OECD)

Gender discrimination in India:

In India, discriminatory attitude towards men and women has existed for generations and affects the lives of both genders. Although the constitution of India has granted men and women equal rights, gender disparity still remains. Gender discrimination violates not only human rights but also fundamental rights. Rights are given to all human beings not only for men but also for women. These are mostly seen in family land sharing among sisters and brothers.

There is specific research on gender discrimination mostly in favour of men over women.[1]Women are perceived to be disadvantaged at work.[2]Indian laws on rape, dowry and adultery have women's safety at heart, but these highly discriminatory practices are still taking place at an alarming rate.

Reasons for gender inequalities:

Lorberstates that gender inequality has been historic worldwide phenomena, a human invention and based on gender assumptions. It is linked to kinship rules rooted in cultures andgender normsthat organizes human social life, human relations, as well as promotes subordination of women in a form of social strata.

AmartyaSenhighlighted the need to consider the socio-cultural influences that promote gender inequalities. In India, cultural influences favour the preference for sons for reasons related tokinship, lineage, inheritance, identity, status, and economic security. This preference cuts across class andcastelines, and it discriminates against girls.In extreme cases, the discrimination takes the form ofhonour killingswhere families kill daughters or daughters-in-law who fail to conform to gender expectations about marriage and sexuality. When a woman does not confirm to expectedgender normsshe is shamed and humiliated because it impacts both her and her family's honor, and perhaps her ability to marry. The causes of gender inequalities are complex, but a number of cultural factors in India can explain how son preference, a key driver of daughter neglect, is so prevalent.

Women farmers’ significant contribution to the Agriculture production and productivity, they benefit marginally from all the support services. This is due to lack of sensitivity at all levels, which includes policy level to the implementation level. Hence, it is required to create awareness on the gender needs, gender difference in gender relations etc., among all the functionaries.

Need for gender sensitization in Agriculture and allied sectors:

The word Agriculture covers various types of farming systems, single to multiple crops practiced under various agro-climatic conditions there by covering crop husbandry, animal husbandry, vegetable growing, floriculture, horticultiure, fisheries, poultry, goat rearing, piggery, rabbit rearing, sericulture, forestry and the like.

Indian Agriculture is symbiosis of various production systems, a way of life, a family enterprise and a tradition that for centuries has shaped the attitudes, way of thinking, the culture and the socio economic forces of rural life. Agriculture is well known for its multi-functionalities of providing employment, cultural heritage, livelihood, social security, family bondage, nutritional and food security. The contribution of both male and female farmers is substantial, complimentary and essential to agricultural development. However, rural women despite playing an important role in this sector as producers and processors of food and taking care of family responsibilities don’t get equal benefits as male farmer from extension services and programmes. Women farmers generally have less control over resources as land, machinery and technology. Achieving agricultural development goals of efficiency, sustainability and equity is hindered by the predominant practiced directing extension services primarily to men farmers based on the implicit assumption that the male farmers are the main participants. This results in exclusion of women as participants and beneficiaries of planned change in agriculture sector. Women farmers despite their significant contribution in agriculture sector receive only 2-10% of all agricultural extension services including involvement in decision making, training, exposure visits, credit, and subsidies.

Gender sensitization is needed from highest level of planning to the grass root level, involving various stake holders. This can be done through the following techniques/ tools/ methods.

  1. Looking at gender differences by identifying tasks, activities and rewards associated with the gender division of labour.
  2. Bridging agricultural technological gap between women and men farmers.
  3. Bridging agricultural information gap.
  4. Focusing on agricultural interventions from gender perspective.
  5. Examining budget from a gender perspective.
  6. Looking into programmes/ project activities from a gender lens.
  7. Developing action plans from a gender perspective.
  8. Mainstreaming gender into developmental activities including training, transfer of technology mechanism and other extension services.

In this regard Agriculture Extension Services (AES) plays an important role in gender equality.

Agriculture Extension Services mainly through KVK’s (KrishiVigyan Kendra’s) has a crucial role in imparting knowledge and also helps in changing the behavior, attitude and practices of women through various activities i.e. FLD’s (Front Line Demonstration), OFT’s (On- farm trials), on-campus trainings, off-campus trainings, FFs (Farmers field Schools’), exhibitions, field days and publicity or popularization of technologies by radio talks and television shows.

All the extension tools// channels has an important role in importing the knowledge on new and improved technologies over the traditional technologies in various aspects i.e. production, marketing, health, post harvest technologies and also helps to achieve food and nutrition security.

We have implemented several FLD’s through Chitrdurga KVK, Karnataka, India at several villages regarding Health and Nutrition education, some of the entrepreneurship activities and also post harvest and value addition techniques of both Agriculture and Horticultural crops. When we assess the impact of AES, definitely we could able to see the changes in their knowledge, ans socio-economic status before and after the intervention.

The main income generating activities generally popularized in village level is development of value added products from Agriculture/ Horti crops, preparation of bakery products, establishment of small scale nursery , small scale oil extraction unit, development of millets value added products, poultry, dairy, slippery and participatory seed production practices only by Self help groups (SHG’s).

Among all the interventions, FLD and off- campus trainings at their own farm level in their own village proven effective. Because, we the extension workers themselves go to the need based villages on demand basis it will increase the interest and participation of women, reduce transportation cost and also reduces their worries about the families and their will be flexibility in timings and venue of training at their own level.

Still there are lots of gaps in reaching the women in transferring technologies. By the pro-active participation / education of KVK Scientists / farm women / extension facilitators we may reduce the gap between them and it will certainly helps farm women to achieve social, economical and political life sustainability and also improves their living standards. We have to adopt new technologies of disseminating technologies through Whats app, Skype and other social Medias too.