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Women Issues

  • IASbaba
  • April 30, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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WOMEN/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-1: Women Issues
  • GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.

Women Issues

Context: India is amongst the most unequal countries in the world to be a woman according to the latest annual Global Gender Gap Index released by the World Economic Forum places India 17th from the bottom.

Issues

  • Missing Females: In India discrimination starts in the embryo with the misuse of ultrasound technology for sex-selective abortion.
  • Inadequate Political Representation: The share of women ministers has declined sharply from 23 to 9 per cent.
  • Poor Labour Participation: Indian women’s labour force participation has plummeted in the last decade to a mere 21 per cent.
  • Sexual Harassment at Workplaces: Before the pandemic, Indian boardrooms had only 15 per cent of women, even as the #MeToo movement exposed the iceberg of sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • Poor implementation of Policies: Workplace crèches, though legally mandatory in all offices with more than 50 employees and MNREGA worksites, are rare. Anganwadis, too, have yet to be expanded into crèches.
  • Child Marriages: Patriarchy is largely instilled at home. Preliminary population weighted averages from 17 states reveals that even before the pandemic, child marriages have marginally increased since the previous survey in 2015-16.
  • Higher Education: While education is now more inclusive, with three-fourths of women literate, only 37 per cent complete Class 10.
  • Financial Dependence: Less than a third of Indian women earn an income.
  • Domestic Violence: Compounded with the lack of economic independence, more than a quarter of married women also report spousal violence.
  • Rape: The National Crime Records Bureau enumerated nearly 88 rapes daily in 2019, with Dalit women in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh the most vulnerable.

Green Shoots

  • Financial Inclusion: Four out of every five women now operate their own bank accounts, 
  • Awareness about personal hygiene: More than two-thirds of young women use menstrual hygiene products, 
  • Reproductive Rights: More than half of married women use modern contraceptives that has helped women assert their reproductive rights
  • Access to Communication: almost half have a mobile phone, though less than a third have ever been on the internet.

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