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Gender inequality in India, the significance of being born as woman. Presented by : P.SONAIMUTHU Executive Director, SAADOW Natham - 624401, Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, India,, E-mail :

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gender inequality in india the significance of being born as woman
Gender inequality in India, the significance of being born as woman

Presented by :


Executive Director, SAADOW

Natham - 624401, Dindigul District, Tamil Nadu, India,, E-mail :

It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved

-Swami Vivekananda

  • India's social structure is a unique blend of diverse religions, cultures and racial groups.
  • All the great religion of the world, viz, the Hindus, the Muslims, the Christians, etc, are found here.
  • There are 18 major literary languages, apart from numerous other languages and dialects.
  • There is striking diversity between various communities and groups in kinships and marriages rites, customs, inheritance and modes of living.
  • Diversity is also seen in the pattern of rural as well as urban settlements, community life, cultural and social behaviour as also in the institutional framework.
  • The uniqueness of Indian social structure lies in its “unity amidst diversity”
gender disparity
Gender Disparity

From ancient to present

  • Women in ancient India were held in high esteem
  • The position of a woman in the Vedas and the Upanishads was that of a mother (maata) or goddess (Devi).
  • In the Manusmriti, woman was considered as a precious being
  • In the early Vedic age, girls were looked after with care.
  • The practice of polygamy deteriorated the status of woman
gender disparity4
Gender Disparity
  • In the medieval period, the practices of purdha system, dowry and sati came into being
  • With the passage of time, the status of woman was lowered.
  • After the development of science and technology, female foeticide is being practiced on a large scale. This has led to a drop in the female ratio.
  • According to the census 2001, the sex ratio in India is 927 females to 1,000 males. Dowry have become common.
  • Female infanticide practices in few areas
gender disparity5
Gender Disparity
  • In many parts of India, women are viewed as an economic liability despite contribution in several ways to our society and economy
  • The crime graph against women is increasing at an alarming rate.
  • The condition of an Indian widow is quite deplorable.
  • At home, the woman's contribution towards home as a housewife is not recognized..
  • Domestic Violence, Rape, Sexual Exploitation, molestation, eve-teasing, forced prostitution, Sexual harassment at work places etc are a common affair today
disparity at birth
Disparity at Birth

Infant mortality

  • Birth/growth/survival
  • Foeticide/sex ratio 972/1000 in 2001

Maternal mortality

  • 27% are mm
  • 40-50% receive antenatal care

Sex ratio

  • 972/1000


  • Male Heir for the family
  • Huge dowry
  • Continued financial support to girl child
  • Poverty
  • Domestic violence
  • Caste system
methods of infanticide
Methods of infanticide
  • Feeding with Calotropis Procera & Euphorbia Tricalli latex
  • Putting paddy in to the mouth
  • Not allowing to feed milk
  • Closing nose
  • More artificial feeding of milk
  • Covering with wet cloths
  • Live burial
maternal mortality
Maternal mortality
  • Health seeking behavior
  • Priority to male child than female child
  • Anemic fully growth potential


  • The UN estimates that 2.1 million Indian children die before reaching the age of 5 every year – four every minute
  • Mostly from preventable illnesses such as diarrhoea, typhoid, malaria, measles and pneumonia.
  • Every day 1,000 Indian children die because of diarrhoea alone.
at work
At work
  • Working environment
  • Unequal wages
  • Undignified treatment
  • Working in odd hours
  • Sexual harassment
  • Higher working hours
  • Engaged in harmful industries
  • Occupational hazards working roughly twice as many hours as men
  • Nearly 27 percentage are accounted by unpaid activities.
violence against women
Violence against women

Forced in to subordinate position

  • Every 42 minutes a sexual harassment occurs.
  • Every 43 minutes a woman kidnapped.
  • Every 93 minutes a woman is burnt a very dowry.
  • Pre quarter of reported rapes involve girls under the age of 16 years.

Restricted out-side participation

  • Trafficking / selling of girl child
  • Every 26 minutes women is molested.
  • Every 34 minutes a rape take place.
poor health care
Poor health care
  • Neglecting during illness
  • Recognition of illness by herself
  • Health services as a last resort
  • Reluctance to be examined by male doctors
lack of education
Lack of Education
  • 65.38% only, male 73.53% female 53.7
  • Poor literacy – gender gap in literacy rate
  • No higher education – up to Higher secondary
economic constraints
Economic Constraints
  • Kept as dependants
  • No equal property rights - As against law
  • Loans of men is paid back by women
  • Economic uncertainty
  • Denial in inheritance of properties to orphaned / deserted
discriminative socialization process
Discriminative socialization process
  • Customary practices
  • In household activities only (boys not allowed)
  • Restricted to play
  • Isolation / separation in schools/public places
  • Restricted to move freely
detrimental cultural practices
Detrimental cultural practices
  • After marriage – husbands are dominating
  • Dominance from In-laws family / members
  • Never / rarely considered for any decision making
  • Can not support her parents
  • Limitations in continuing relationships with brothers / sisters / relatives
  • Child / Early marriage
  • Patriarchal attitudes
  • Not able to continue girl/boy friends friendship after marriage
in governance
In Governance
  • After over sixty years of independence women are still exploited
  • The 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments have provided 33 percent reservation for women in the Panchayati Raj System
  • Panchayat / Parliament totally 790 seats by filling 6.6-8.4 percentage.
  • Women Reservation bill delayed
  • In PRI only in reserved seats (not in open Competition)/ cast disparity.
  • Men domination in administration
social advancement of women
Social Advancement of women

Self Advancement

  • Reflexive dimension of employment
  • Assert themselves what they thought
  • Self awareness
  • Capacity building.
social advancement of women contd
Social Advancement of women Contd…

Advancement as a group

  • Enough group members/meetings
  • Adequate support
  • Intimacy / involvement/resources
  • Decision making / problem solving ability/ leadership qualities enhancement/ participation
social advancement of women contd21
Social Advancement of women Contd…

Advancement of community

  • Planning / implementation/ evaluation /bias discrimination.

Economic advancement

  • Right to choice/savings
  • EDP skills/ marketing
  • Information /linkages/external, internal resource mobilization.
social advancement of women contd22
Social Advancement of women Contd…

Psychological advancement

  • Fulfill helplessness
  • Self respect/strong determination/ assertive nature / motivation / win self confidence.

Social advancement

  • Power distribution / Socio / equality dissemination of knowledge about health nutrition, literacy, education, freedom and opportunities/ adoption of new practices
social advancement of women contd23
Social Advancement of women Contd…

Political advancement

  • Decision making / political rights / participation in political Campaign
  • Ability to solve political issues
  • Solving health and social problems
  • Confronting exploitative power
  • Public life participation
  • Control over – their self confidence
social advancement of women contd24
Social Advancement of women Contd…

Educational Advancement

  • Prime avenue of women empowerment.
  • Break down of power stereotyping
  • Legal understanding / rights / gender sensitization / health education etc.
  • Strengthen own income generation activities.
  • Dalit empowerment / SHGs movement
social advancement of women contd25
Social Advancement of women Contd…

Technological advancement

  • Technical means and skills characteristic of particular civilization group or period.
  • Technology habitually designates the complex of information, skills methods and machinery required for the manufacture utilization and making of useful objects – UNO source.
  • Man - Mutual, Management, planning, organizing etc.
strategies for advancement of women
Strategies for advancement of women
  • Literacy

Formal Education

  • Give greater employment opportunity
  • Primary / secondary dropout of female child is high.
  • Territory education is appreciable
  • Reservation / expenditure or provision of services/ special provision like construction.
  • All rights, legal measures
strategies for advancement of women contd
Strategies for advancement of women contd..
  • Post literacy
  • Consolidate the basic literacy skills at speaking, reading, and writing and problem solving at the time.
  • Sustain the learning environment
strategies for advancement of women contd28
Strategies for advancement of women contd…
  • Continuing education
  • Establishing a responsible and alternative structure for life long learning, responding to the needs of all sections of the society.
  • Supports grass root community.
  • Women learners educate their children.
strategies for advancement of women contd29
Strategies for advancement of women contd..
  • Human rights education
  • To take control of their circumstances
  • Achieve their own goals, helping themselves, enhance their quality of life
  • Motivate them for lobbying / advocacy
strategies for advancement of women contd30
Strategies for advancement of women Contd..

Skills development

  • Availing skills through institutions/external sources.

Cultural emancipation

  • Motivate powerless/exploited
  • Poor/oppressed / marginalized/ unvoiced always by women culture of silence by Paulo Ferrier.
strategies for advancement of women contd31
Strategies for advancement of women contd..
  • Political participation
  • Slow process/ needs training
  • Knowledge on advocacy & lobbying
  • Knowledge on all development activities
strategies for advancement of women contd32
Strategies for advancement of women contd..
  • Health education
  • Health care / Nutrition
  • Problems of early marriage
  • Mother and child health care
  • Small family norms
  • Diseases / communicable and non communicable diseases /
  • RTI/STI/HIV and psychological issues
strategies for advancement of women contd33
Strategies for advancement of women contd..
  • Capacity building
  • SHGs approach / savings /credits / leadership / accounting etc.
  • Entrepreneurship development
  • Achieve women advancement improving income regularly
  • Expand their decision making, acquire assets
collaborators of social advancement of women
Collaborators of Social advancement of women
  • NGO/ INGOs / NPOs
  • SHGs / CBOs
  • Policy makers
  • Local leaders
  • Information disseminators
  • Health care providers
  • Teachers
  • Family members
thank you

A nation's progress and prosperity can be

judged by the way it treats its women folk

Men must recognize and accept the fact that

women are equal partners in life