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