Situation of women in India


India is ranked 105 amongst 128 countries in its Education for All Development Index. Among SAARC nations, India stands third behind Sri Lanka, and Maldives. India still has one of the lowest female literacy rate in Asia. As per the India’s last census in 2011, the female literacy stands at 65.46% compared to 82.14% of males. estimates show that for every 100 girls in rural India only a single one reaches class 12 and almost 40% of girls leave school even before reaching the fifth standard.

India’s poverty is one of the main reasons for low literacy among women. Only 13% of farm is owned by women across India, however, this figure is very low when it comes to Dalit women in India. About 41% women in India make their living by manual labour.

Being a non-earning member, it further expands women vulnerability and increases women dependability on their male counterparts.

Women in labour force

Women’s participation in the force is quite low, and has been falling over the last few years. The female to male ratio is only 0.36. This is worsened by lack of choices that women have to engage in paid work related to work type and location, patriarchal gender norms, and the undue burdens of unpaid care work that women bear.

Gender Wage Gap

The wage gap between Indian men and women is amongst the worst in the world, a report by international confederation of charitable organisations, Oxfam, said. The Monster salary Index (MSI) says, Indian men earn 25% more than women in the same kind of work done by both men and women. The average gender gap is 38.2%. However, Accenture research says that the gender gap in India is as high as 67%. More than 47% of women in India are involved in Agriculture related works, however the wage gap is beyond comprehension, because of non-uniformity in sectors, which is the same for other unorganized sectors in India.

Work and Life Balance

There is still the responsibility assigned to women of being primarily responsible for care in their home and the need to earn income to maintain their families.

Violence against Women

Given to India’s patriarchal nature, domestic violence remains as culturally accepted because of cultural and religious reasons. In a survey with young men and women in India, 57% of boys and 53% girls accept women beating by husbands is justified. In another recent survey between 2015-2016, it revealed, 80% of working women suffer domestic violence at the hands of their husbands.

Women in Media

Gender discrimination seems to be playing a major role when it comes to the selection of stories for printing or reporting in Media in India. The Global Media Monitoring Project 2015 has found that only 37 per cent of all stories, including in newspapers and television, were reported by women. This was the same figure a decade ago. Online, however, women’s representation was 42 per cent. Within the Asia-Pacific region, women reporters comprise of only 28.6%, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

Communities need crucial paradigm change from ‘Crime Against Women’ to We’re all part of the problem’. We have a problem of looking at issues such as rape or gender violence as isolated and affecting some ‘third’ person. Instead of looking at rape or dowry as isolated incidents, we need to look at regular, continuous outcomes of complex social and economic factors affecting every individual and the community.

Women in sports

One of the agreed reasons is that Gender bias holds back promoting sporting talents in India especially in bigger stage. Be it any sports in India, political support and economic background plays crucial role in gaining a birth in any sport event. Taking the national awards, less than one in 25 women got Dronacharya awards over the years, while one fourth of Arjuna awards were granted to women.

As Diana David, cricketer quotes: “Men are definitely treated better than women in cricket. For every Ranji game, we are paid extremely little, perhaps 10 per cent of what the men would be getting. Most of us continue to play only for the love of the game.”