Post Mortem

Need for a more gender balanced India

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 3/8/2020 12:10:42 PM IST

 Though data from Demographic and Health Surveys spanning the period 2005-06 to 2015-16 reveal improvements in women’s agency along some dimensions, India lags behind other countries at a similar level of development in indicators such as acceptance of wife beating, son preference, employment, and women’s control of their own earnings. It is evident that economic growth hasn’t been matched by social progress that ensures the rights and liberties of at least half of its citizenry.

Women make up 48 percent of the Indian population but have not benefitted equally from India’s rapid economic growth. Female child mortality is still a grave concern, with over 239,000 girls under the age of 5 dying each year. India has amongst the lowest female labour force participation rates in the world.

The work participation rates described by the NSSO show a stark pattern of decline. India comes under 10 countries of the world with the lowest Female Labour Force Participation rate i.e.23.3%. Despite more and more attaining higher education, social stigmas and dated attitudes are hindering the number of Indian women entering employment. While some of the greatest scientists and mathematicians have been women, they remain under-represented in comparison to their male counterparts in higher studies involving science, as well as among the top scientific achievers. UNESCO data from 2014-16 show that only around 30% of female students select STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics)-related fields in higher education. Female enrolment is particularly low in information technology (3%), natural science, mathematics and statistics (5%) and engineering and allied streams (8%)..A new study shows the effects of climate change are leading to an increase in violence against girls and women in many corners of the world.Lack of education, development, poverty, lack of enforcement of laws, and economic dependence of women etc., are the main reasons for gender inequality

Creating job opportunities is the need of the hour. However, encouraging more women to become entrepreneurs will provide a long-term solution. “By creating jobs, fuelling innovation and furthering investment in health and education, entrepreneurship among women could transform India’s economy and society

Prof Mithilesh H Kumar Sinha, NU Lumami   

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