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What are the major causes of gender inequality?

Despite various initiatives and policies taken by the Government of India to reduce gender inequality and schemes promoting women’s empowerment, there are significant challenges eW face. Even today, women are typically confined to household chores, child-rearing, and family care, regardless of their educational qualifications or professional achievements. In the workplace, women encounter limited job opportunities and are often paid less than their male counterparts for the same work.

What is Gender Discrimination?

Gender discrimination is the unequal or disadvantageous treatment inflicted on someone because they belong to a specific gender. It is usually the girl child or woman who have to face such a discrimination.

Education and learning opportunities: gender-wise literacy rates in India showcase the wide gap between men and women. As per 2011 census data, effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) were 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women. Parents are unwilling to spend on girls’ education because educating women is of no value as they will only serve their husbands and the in-laws in the future.

The Indian constitution provides equal rights and privileges for both men and women, but most women across India don’t enjoy these rights and opportunities guaranteed to them. This is because of a number of reasons.

Causes of Gender Inequality in India –

Poverty –

Poverty is one of the causes of gender inequality in India. It is the root cause of gender discrimination in the patriarchal Indian society, as the economic dependence on the male counterpart is itself a cause of gender disparity. A total of 30% of people live below the poverty line, and out of this 70% are women.

Illiteracy –

Gender discrimination In India had led to educational backwardness for girls. It’s a sad reality that despite educational reforms in the country, girls in India are still denied a chance at learning. The mindset needs to be changed, and people need to understand the benefits of educating girls. An educated, well-read woman ensures that other members, especially the children of the house, get a quality education.

Patriarchal setup in our Indian society –

Men dominate societal and family life in India. This has been the case in the past ages and continues to be practised in the majority of households. Though this mindset is changing with urbanization and education, there is still a long way to permanently change the scenario.

Social Customs, Beliefs and Practices –

To date, a lot of families have a preference for a male child and disfavour towards the daughter. Sons, especially in the business communities, are considered economic, political, and ritual assets where daughters are considered liabilities.

Lack of Awareness Among Women –

Most of the women are unaware of their fundamental rights and capabilities. They lack a basic understanding of how the socio-economic and political forces affect them. They accept all discriminatory practices that persist in families from generation in the name of tradition and societal norms primarily due to their ignorance and unawareness.

Gender-based discrimination across India can only be checked when girls are not denied their chance to learn and grow in life. Girls like boys should get a great start in life in terms of educational opportunities. This will help them attain economic independence and help them be rightly equipped to contribute towards their upliftment and that of the society they are part of.

NGOs like Bal Raksha Bharat are acting as catalysts to implement various government initiatives to uplift the status of the girl child in society by running programmes across India. If you want to bring hope to the lives of thousands of girls in India by ensuring they have the right environment and opportunities, you can support an NGO like Bal Raksha Bharat, and help in making a lasting impact!

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