Gender means women and men. Inequality means discrimination between two things. Gender is socially constructed. Gender Inequality means no equal treatment between men and women.
In India we can easily find gender inequality at every place, women have to face more gender inequality. People are not happy when girls born because people things that girls are burden on family they cannot give returns to them because they have to go one day in another family. Many families things that girls are bad omen. People are happy when boy born in there family because they will gives return to them. In old age they will help us, girls don’t helps us in old age.
Socially, historically and culturally, gender is a function of power relationship between men and women where men are considered superior to women.
Society play a very important role in Gender Inequality because society divides the works between men and women like women only have to do household work they cannot go outsider for earn money, Men’s go outside and earn money they cannot do house hold works, if girl is born they only wear pink color dress. If boy is born they only wear blue color dress, etc this types of difference was given by the society.
Causes of Gender Inequality
Uneven access to education:-
Women’s are less educated as compare to men’s. In many society girls are not allowed to go school they have to do household works because household works will help them in future Education are not help them in future. They will send boys to school because they will give them returns, they will help them in old age. They will things that if we spend money on girls that money was waste because one day they will have to go in another family.
In rural area women are less educated as compare to urban area women. Around the world, women still have less access to education than men. ¼ of young women between 15-25 will not finish primary school. Of all the illiterate people in the world, ⅔ are women.
Lack of employment equality:-
In employment also women are treated unequally. In many jobs men are prefer first after that if vacancy is there then they will heirs women because they things that women are less efficient compare to men. Men can do works very effectively compare to women.
In society there is also a thinking that mans can do dangerous works like doctors, mechanic, drivers, etc and women can only do clean works like nurse, teacher, etc.
Only 6 countries in the world give women the same legal work rights as men. In fact, most economies give women only ¾ the rights of men.
Unequal treatment in employment also play a very important role in Gender inequality.
Lack of independent:-
Women’s are not independent. “Women are supposed to be in the custody of their father when they are children, they must be under the custody of their husband when married and under the custody of her son in old age or as widows. In no circumstances she should be allowed to assert herself independently”.
Women’s are not allowed to take decision independently, women are not allowed to take part in any decision making in their family. In many families only male are allow to take decision for every aspect. Women are only allowed to follow the instruction of husband, father-in-law, etc.
Women’s have no power to take independent decision either in their home or outside world.
Lack of independent is also play important role in gender inequality.
Unequal wages (salary):-
Women’s are also discriminate in wages. Women’s get lower wages compare to men’s. If women and men have same work, same hours then also women gets lower wages as compared to men’s because they things that men’s do fast work as compared to women and men’s are more accurate in their works. Women are not only getting unequal pay for equal or more work but also they are being offered only low skill jobs for which lower wages are paid. This has become a major form of inequality on the basis of gender.
The main reason of gender inequality is society mindset. If society mindset will change then fifty percentage of gender inequality was reduces. The difference between men and women was created by society in every aspect. There is fix mindset that if girl was born then they will give toys like Barbie doll, etc and if boy is born then they will give toys like remote control cars, trucks, etc. In many society Girls only do household work, boy go outside and earn money. If people don’t follow this then they will be get out from the society. If we want to live in society then we have to follow the rules. It is the pressure from the society. In many villages girls are even not allow to talk with boys. The discrimination was mainly begin through society. Society was not flexible it cannot change with time easily.
In case of family food habits, it is the male child who gets all the nutritious and choicest foods while the girl child gets whatever is left behind after the male members have taken their meals or the food which is low in both quality and nutrition. This becomes a major health issue in her later year. One of the main reasons for the high incidences of difficult birth and anemia in women is the poor quality of food which a girl always gets either in her paternal home or in her in-law as also is the excessive workload that they are made to bear from their early childhood.
Lack of Awareness of Women:-
Most of the women are unaware of their basic right and capability. They even do not have the understanding as to how the socio-economic and political forces affect them. They accept all type of discrimination practices that persist in our family and society largely due to their ignorance and unawareness.
Gender Inequality in India
Gender Inequality was social issue in India from centuries. In many part in India if girl was born then family members are not happy it is well known facts. Most of the times girls are kill in mother wombs. There Right to life was violated by these people. Abortion is illegal in India but people give extra money to doctors for abortion. Prenatal gender screening is illegal in India. In India Gender Inequality was seen in education also many girls are not complete their primary schools. The girls are do only household work people thinks that spend money on girls is waste because that money was they spend was not help them in future. People are selfish. They think that girls are burden on them. If girls was born then it is bad omen for that. In many villages in India female foeticide was practice through this they will find out sex of the foetus and undergoing abortion if it is a girl in spite of the Prenatal Diagnostic Technique Act of 1994.
Apart from this female infanticide are also practices by many people (Female Infanticide means killing of girls child after they born). In India the child sex ratio is at the lowest it has ever been with just 900 girls for every 1000 boys (Census, 2013-15). India’s ranks at 140 in the list of 152 countries in the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Report 2021, becoming the third-worst performer in south Asia. This index examines gender gap in four major areas:
Economic participation and opportunity
Health and life expectancy.
In case of ‘political empowerment’ India is doing fine which is a welcoming sign, but other indices are very poor and a lot need to be done to improve the same.
Discrimination is done in every aspect. Be it education, health, job, etc. The girl child always treated unequally. The society cannot empower the women. The society mindset is the main reason for gender inequality.
If we want to reduce gender inequality then we have to change the societal mindset about the gender differences. We have to stop compare between girls and boys.
Indian constitution provides positive efforts to prevent Gender Inequality
Indian constitution provides positive efforts to eliminate gender inequality.
The preamble of the constitution talks about goals of achieving social, economical and political justice to everyone and to provide equality of status and opportunity to all its citizens.
Further, women have equal rights to vote in our political system.
Article 15 of the constitution provides for prohibition of discrimination on ground of sex also apart from other ground such s religion, race, caste or place of birth.
Article 15(3) authorizes the state to make any special provision for women and children.
Moreover, the directive principle of state policy also provides various provisions which are the benefits of women and provide safeguards against discrimination.
Various protective legislation have also been passed by the parliament to eliminate exploitation of women and to give them equal status in society.
For instances the sati (Prevention) act, 1987 was enacted to abolish and make punishment the inhuman custom of sati.
The dowry prohibition act, 1961 to eliminate the practice of dowry, the special marriage act, 1954 to give rightful status to married couple who marry inter-caste or inter-religion.
Pre-natal diagnostic techniques (regulation and preventives of misuse) bill ( introduce in Parliament in 1991, passed in 1994 to stop female infanticide and many more such acts).
Furthermore, the parliament time to time brings out amendments to existing laws in order to give protection to high women according to the changing needs of the society, for instance, Section 304-B was added to Indian Penal Code, 1860 to make dowry-death or bride-burning a specific offence punishable with maximum punishment of the life imprisonment.
Suggestion for preventing Gender Inequality
If people are educated more, then gender inequality was reduces because they cannot bias or discriminate between girls and boys they will give equal opportunity to both of them.
The government has to start workshops or seminar for prevention of Gender inequality. Even not only government colleges, schools, NGO are also do seminar for this. They will go at nearest places and provide all information to them, educate them.
In India there is need to make more new law to prevent Gender Inequality and many acts are in India for preventing Gender Inequality like The sati (prevention) act, 1987, The dowry prohibition act, 1961, Pre-natal diagnostic techniques (regulation and prevention of misuse) bill (introduced in parliament in 1991, passed in 1994, etc but there is a need for amend these acts.
The list of legislations as well as types of discriminations or inequalities may go on but the real change will only come when the mentality of men will change; when the male species of human beings would start treating women as equal and not subordinate or weaker to them.
In fact not only men but women also need to change their mindset as through cultural conditioning they have also become part of the same exploitative system of patriarchy and are playing a supportive role in furthering men’s agenda of dominating women.
Therefore, what is needed is the movement for women’s empowerment where women can become economically independent and self-reliant, where they can fight their own fears and go out in the world fearless, where they can snatch their right from the clutches of men and they don’t have to ask for them, where women have good education, good career, ownership of property and above all where they have freedom of choice and also the freedom to make their own decision.
Name: Harshit Jain
Course: BA+LLB (Hons.) (2nd Year Student)
College name: GLS Law College, Ahmedabad, Gujarat