Before getting into the core of this topic, one has to understand the meaning, concept and crux of the word Gender Equality . It primarily means to circumvent distinguishing roles according to people’s sex or gender to avoid discrimination. Globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks, and less political representation.
Guaranteeing the rights of women and giving them opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also for meeting a wide range of international development goals. Empowered women and girls contribute to the health and productivity of their families, communities and countries, creating a ripple effect that benefits everyone.
The Indian Penal Code was drafted in 1860 on the recommendations of first law commission of India that was established in 1834 under the Charter Act of 1833. It is the criminal code of India that prescribes punishment for various crimes. In my view, various sections of the IPC are female sensitive and this definitely leads to gender inequality.
We examine change in multiple indicators of gender inequality for the period of 1970 to 2018. The percentage of women who are employed rose continuously until 2000 when it reached its highest point to date of 75%. It was slightly lower at 73% in 2018. Women have surpassed men in receipt of baccalaureate and doctoral degrees. The degree of segregation of fields of study declined dramatically in the 1970’s and 1980’s but little since then. The desegregation of occupation continues but has showed its pace. Examining the hourly pay of those aged 25 to 54 who are employed full-time, we found that the ratio of women’s to men’s pay increased from 0.61 to 0.83 between 1970 and 2018, rising especially fast in 1980s but much shower since 1990. In sum, there has been dramatic progress in movement towards gender equality, but, in recent decades, change has slowed and on some indicators stalled entirely.
This trends in employment for men and women, giving the percentage of those aged 25 to 54 who were employed in the week of survey in each year from 1970 to 2018. Women’s employment rose almost steadily from 1970 to 2000, moving from 48% employed in 1970 to 75% employed in 2000. It then declined, plateaued, and declined more in the Great Recession, reaching a bottom of 69% and rebounding to 73% in 2018. Despite the rebound after the recession, in 2018 it was no higher than its level in 1996.
Men have higher level of employment than women at each year, and their employment has gone up and down more than women’s business cycles, including the Great recession. Unlike for women, the long-term trend for men has been slowly downward.
Work- Home Conflict and Gender
Individuals may experience conflict between their work and home roles between their work and home roles due to limited time, high levels of stress and competing behavioral expectations. Although most of the work home research has focused on how work variables affect home from the point of view of the conflict between two sphere, organizational psychology also begins to study how family variables affect job performance and satisfaction.
Some research has shown that role pressure in work and home domains generates negative consequences on the other one bidirectionally. So the degree of participation in the home role will create difficulties for participation in home role will create difficulties for participation in work, resulting in the home-work conflict; conversely the degree of participation in the work domain can hinder performance on the family role, producing an increase of strain-based, time-based or behavior-based work-home conflict(WHC). Gender roles are essential for understanding the work-home interface. They are shared beliefs that apply to individual on the basis of their socially identified sex which are the basis of the division of labor in most societies. In western societies, the home sphere, and the household chores as part of this sphere, it is assumed to be in charge of women, which could in turn affect more highly the home to work conflict of women than of men. In this study we will focus on the effect of the relationship between gender dedication to household chores on WFC among women.
Research has found differences in work-home conflict repeatedly, ranging from differences in the experience of WFC to the existence of different work and home background to women and men. However, most studies in the field of work-home interface do not consider gender as variable, identifying at most correlates and differential associations for men and women. This include gender as key variable due to the influence of gender ideology and gender-role orientation might have on the work-home relationship from cultural point of view.
This gender ideology is also reflected in the social discourse, as frequently the couple recreates the dominant social discourse in which is referred the essential characteristics in which men and women differ ignoring the sociopolitical context. This discourse states that difference between men and women in relation to home and work are the result of personal choice, that there are differences in innate abilities of men and women for household chores and work outside the home, and that these differences guide the choice for certain jobs.
Need For Gender Equality In IPC
Section 8 of the IPC defines the word ‘gender’ as “the pronoun ‘he’ and its derivatives are used of any person, whether male or female.” Section 10 of IPC defines the word ‘man’ and ‘woman’ as “ male and female human being of any age respectively.” But people are generally of the mindset that violence is generally male generated and women are always the victim, but it can and is also vice versa. This does not just create a gender divide in the society, but also create a shield to the crimes committed by women. When crimes are not gender sensitive, laws should also not be sensitive to gender.
Gender equality is to be brought in to entire IPC. But I majorly concentrate in Section 304B that deals with dowry death, Section 354 that deals with assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, Section 354A that deals sexual harassment, Section 354B that deals with assault or use of criminal force to woman with intent to disrobe, Section 354C that deal with voyeurism, Section 354D that deals with stalking. Section 375 and 376 that deals with Rape and punishment for rape, Section 497 that deals with adultery, Section 498A that deals with husband or relative of husband of woman subjecting her to cruelty, Section 509 that deals with word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of women, because these are the sections under which majorly men are punished and women are under a shield of protection.
We should come out of the view that victims are always women
Section 304B that deals with dowry death gives us the assumption that a woman was harassed by her husband and in laws for money and finally she has committed suicide or died in abnormal circumstances within seven years of marriage. Section 498A further extends shield to women which make cruelty by husband and in laws is punishable.
This has become weapon to the family of the victim that there are instances where they started using the death of victim or cruelty forced on her against the accused and his family to pull out monetary benefits. Bad investigation by the police in these cases is being another immense concern. There are no such provisions to investigate and punish, if a man has died within seven years of marriage in abnormal circumstances or is subjected to physical cruelty or mental harassment by his wife or his in laws. These two sections are non-bailable, non- compoundable and cognized offences in India.
Is Gender Equality a Concern for men?
The achievement of gender equality implies changes for both men and women. More equitable relationship will need to be based on redefinition of the rights and responsibilities of women and men in all spheres of life, including the family, the workplace and the society as large. This fact is, indeed, often overlooked because the tendency is to consider male characteristic and attributes as the norm, those of women as a variation of the norm. But the lives of men are just as strongly influenced by gender as those of women. Societal norms and conceptions of masculinity and expectations of men as leaders, husbands or sons create demands on men and shape their behaviour, Men are too often expected to concentrate on the material needs of their families and caring roles assigned to women. Socialization in the family and later in schools promotes risk-taking behaviour among young men, and this is often reinforced through peer pressure and media stereotypes. These risks include one relating to accidents, violence and alcohol consumption.
There is clearly a need for policy initiatives to empower women as gender disparities in India persist even against the backdrop of economic growth.
Currently literature provides pointers from policy changes that have worked so far. One unique policy experiment in village-level governance that mandates one-third representation for women in positions of local leadership has shown promising results.
Evaluations of this affirmative action policy have found that in village led by women, the preference of female residents are better represented, and women are more confident in reporting crimes that earlier they may have considered too stigmatizing to bring into the attention. Female leaders also serve as role models and raise educational and career aspiration for adolescent girls and their parents.
Another policy change aimed at equalizing land inheritance rights between sons and daughters has been met with more mixed response. While on the one hand, it led to an increase in educational attainment and age at marriage for daughter, on the other hand, it increased spousal conflict leading to more domestic violence.
Getting to parity
For India to maintain its position as global growth leader, more concerted efforts at local and national levels, and by the private sector are needed to bring women to parity with men.
While increasing representation of women in the public spheres is important and can potentially be attained through some form of affirmative action, an attitudinal shift is essential for women to be considered as equal within their home and in broader society.
The panel presents what is known about the following questions and explores their policy implications: in what sectors are female Ph.D.s employed? What salary disparities exict between men and women in the field. How is marital status associated with career attainment? Does it help a career to have postdoctoral appointment? How well are female scientists and engineers represented in the management?
Within the broader context of education and the labour market, the books provided detailed comparison between men and women Ph.D.s in a number of measures: financial support for education, academic rank achieved , salary, and others. The study cov