“Behind every successful man there is a woman”
Very famous proverb right? All great men in their autobiographies have acknowledged this fact. But how practical is it in India? Well, as long as the statistics goes India is a very biased state where very unfortunately, men and women don’t share equal rights.
Indeed it is inconceivable to deny women equal rights in the society. Before all spheres of life was dominated by men. But this realization dawned on us after two centuries of revolutionary social and political struggle. Great revolutionaries like-
- Karl Marx
- And our own Mahatma Gandhi
Inspired the masses with their ideology of freedom, justice and equality. Their ideology paved the way for a more equitable and socially benevolent political order, eventually leading to democracy.
Under this political dispensation equal right including the right to adult franchise was guaranteed to all irrespective of sex, religion, caste or creed. Thus in this age of enlightenment to women , would be like adopting an ostrich like approach, oblivious of the present realities and their contribution to society.
While glancing over a few statistics we get to know that:-
- Total population of India- 1.324 billion
- Percentage of men in India- 51.5%
- Percentage of women in India- 48.6%
- This gender population gap begins at birth. For every 100 boys born nationally, 89 girls are born. If in their homes the girls are treated this what can we expect from the society at large?
- Percentage of educated men in India(out of 100)- 82.14%
- Percentage of educated women in India(out of 100)- 65.46% (which is much less than men)
- The census provided a positive indication that growth in female literacy rates (11.8%) was substantially faster than in male literacy rates (6.9%) in the 2001–2011 decadal period, which means the gender gap appears to be narrowing.
- Less Than Half of Indians in their twenties Have Completed Secondary Education! 6% of women and 81.3% of men over age 15 are literate.
Women are reducing the higher education gap- 46.8% of all enrolled undergraduate students in India are women.
40.7% of all enrolled PhD students are women
- On the whole, labour force participation rate for women is falling: from 37% in 2004-05 to 28% in 2016.
- 4% of Indian working women have a regular salaried job (2013) compared to 21.2% (2011-2012) of working men (aged 15–59
The state of Haryana has the distinction of having the worst male-female ratio among all the states. On the other hand, Kerala fares the best.
The 2011 Census tells us, the number of females per 1000 males in Haryana in 2011 is a shameless 879 followed by Jammu and Kashmir (889 female) and Punjab (895 females).
The other two worst-performing states in terms of skewed sex ration are Uttar Pradesh (912 females) and Bihar (918 females).
Five top performing states in terms of sex ratio were Kerala (1,084 females), Tamil Nadu (996), Andhra Pradesh (993), Chhattisgarh (991), Odisha (979).
What are the difficulties that a working woman faces in daily life?
Women have to go through a lot of difficulties and hardships while competing with men to establish a place-
- Working late at night- night shifts, or returning late at night are some very dangerous ventures for women. Security factors doesn’t allow them to take up jobs according to their liking.
- On field jobs- mechanical engineers, civil engineers, mining and metallurgy engineer mostly comprises of men as women are considered unfit for on field jobs physically and mentally. They are thought to be dainty darlings who are fit to be presented as showpieces behind a furnished and air conditioned office.
- Unequal pay- women with higher education often find themselves to be paid less than their male counterparts having the same degree of education or even less.
- Security in office- a woman can never keep her guard down. Even in office she has to be careful of her security and also keep her boss happy. There have been cases where women had been asked to compromise their self respect just to get a promotion.
- What the society thinks- the contemporary thoughts still prevails in the society that a girl should get married as soon as she reaches her adolescence. Returning home late at night from job? Questions are raised on the girl’s character. But that’s not the case with the men. They are said to be hard-working if they return home late from office.
- Your dressing says it all- traditional clothes equals a good girl, whereas a girl in shirt and skirt is considered otherwise. People still judge a girls character through her clothes. Be it in office or the society, it’s the same everywhere.
- Does social backwardness of the women really have effect on country’s economy?
- Quantitatively women comprise about fifty percent of the human population and also contribute the same percentage to the GDP of the country.
- How will a country survive in the field of rapid development if 50% of its population remains backward, cast in a shadow of illiteracy?
- Taking note of the women’s invaluable contribution, the developed and some developing countries have accorded women their rightful place in society, by giving them equal rights in all respects.
- But on the other hand some countries do not allow their women the right to vote, right to property, right to education and work as enjoyed by their male counterparts.
- But on the other have developed countries have incorporated such changes in their legislation and sociology resulting in upgradation of their economy and status. This also has resulted in their emancipation and consequently a renaissance in the society, making it more progressive and modern.
- On the contrary, countries which have denied equal right to women continue to be backward in all spheres, including technological and social.
- We therefore find women in most Muslim countries suffering from oppressive customs like purdah and polygamy, with no right to vote or inheritance.
This is how we see women do form a key to the country’s economy in every sphere be it – scientific, financial or political.
So now the question is not whether men and women should have gender equality or not, but rather it is why men and women do not have equality?
Women have been underprivileged for ages, and now it’s high time to ameliorate them. “the best time to do anything is now”- keeping this quote in mind, we should give them proper freedom, amenities, educational and vocational facilities so that this nourishment can enrich them and craft the best out of them.
This would not only enrich the society at large, but also lead to the growth and development of the country on the whole.