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What is the progress of gender equality in India?

Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a key driver of social and economic development. It means that women and men have equal opportunities, rights, and responsibilities in all aspects of life. In the realm of gender equality, India does not only see this goal as a matter of justice but also a necessity for achieving the country’s vision of inclusive and sustainable growth.

Despite challenges in gender equality, India has made significant progress, thanks to the efforts of the government, civil society, and other stakeholders. Some of the notable achievements are:

Legal and policy reforms, such as the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005, the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, and the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, have strengthened the legal framework. They offer robust mechanisms to protect and promote the rights of women and girls.

Social and behavioural change campaigns, such as the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter) initiative, aim to address the declining child sex ratio and empower girls through education, health, and protection.

Women’s leadership and participation, especially at the local governance level, where India has reserved 33% of seats for women in panchayats (village councils) and urban local bodies. This has enabled more than 1.3 million women to enter public office and influence decision-making on issues affecting their lives and communities.

The crucial role that NGOs are playing in Gender Equality in India
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are playing a crucial role in advancing gender equality, by complementing and supplementing the efforts of the government and other actors. NGOs work at the grassroots level, reaching out to the most marginalised and vulnerable women and girls, and addressing their specific needs and challenges. NGOs also work at the national and global level, advocating for policy changes, raising awareness, and building partnerships and alliances.

Many NGOs are working tirelessly to promote girl child equality in India. They aim to empower girls from marginalised communities with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to pursue their dreams and become agents of change in their society. They also advocate for the rights of girls and challenge the social norms and practices that limit their potential.

These NGOs provide various services and support to girls and their families, such as:

  • Education: They ensure that girls have access to quality and inclusive education that meets their needs and aspirations. They provide academic support, school kits, scholarships, mentoring, and life skills training to girls. They also work with teachers, schools, and government authorities to improve the learning environment and outcomes for girls.
  • Health: They ensure that girls have access to adequate and affordable health care and nutrition that promotes their well-being and development. They provide health check-ups, immunisation, sanitation, and hygiene facilities to girls. They also raise awareness and prevent issues such as child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and gender-based violence that affect the health and safety of girls.
  • Empowerment: They ensure that girls have access to opportunities and resources that enable them to participate and contribute to their society. They provide leadership training, vocational skills, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy to girls. They also create platforms and networks for girls to voice their opinions and influence decisions that affect their lives.
  • These NGOs are making a positive difference in the lives of millions of girls in India. They are not only providing them with education, but also with hope, dignity, and empowerment. They are inspiring and supporting girls to realize their full potential and achieve their goals. They are creating a more equal and inclusive world for girls and everyone.

One of the leading NGOs working for gender equality in India is Bal Raksha Bharat (also known as Save the Children) which has been championing equal rights for every child for over 100 years. The NGO believes that every girl and boy deserves an equal chance to survive and thrive and that gender equality is essential for achieving this vision.

The organisation’s work on gender equality in India focuses on four key areas: ending child marriage, promoting girls’ education, preventing and responding to gender-based violence, and empowering adolescent girls. Bal Raksha Bharat believes that gender equality is not only a right, but also a smart investment, as it benefits not only individuals, but also families, communities, and the nation. By supporting Bal Raksha Bharat, you can join the movement to end gender discrimination and inequality and ensure that every child has a bright and hopeful future.

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