Gender Inequality Among Muslims In Jammu And Kashmir


Gender is a nebulous idea. It has several overlapping meaning. First, it refers to the social differentiation between masculinity and femininity. This disparity is socially constructed in social relations rather than on the basis of biological characteristics of males and females. The term gender is also occasionally used to refer an attribute of all human beings that is one of the male or female genders. In the second sense, it is used interchangeably with sex.

Gender indicates the socio-cultural alias of man and women and the way societies recognize them and disperse social role and responsibilities. Gender equality or parity indicates women having the same opportunities in life as men, including the ability to join in the public sphere i.e. equitable participation in education, the labour, health services, and politics etc. gender inequality therefore means unequal participation or the gap in the feats of men and women in these spheres of life. Gender inequality obstructs the largely wellbeing of society because hindering women from participating in social, political and economic activities can adversely affect the entire society.

In several countries, women are not given equivalent rights as men. In various countries women cannot vote they are categorized against in the work place, they are not permitted to hold office; they are not permissible to drive and are subjected to other inequalities. Gender inequality is the socially created practices that deprive women of having the same chances and rights as men. Gender is a categorical practice of inequality like race and it’s established on a person’s involvement in a specific social group or category of females or males (Ahmad 1987).

Concept on Gender

Gender is well-defined as’ the relation between men and women, mutually perceptual and material. Gender is not determined biologically, as an outcome of sexual characteristics of either for women, but is socially constructed. According to FAO, 1997, it is a crucial establishing principle of societies, and frequently manages the processes of production and reproduction, intake and spreading. However this definition, gender is frequently misjudged as being the promotion of women only. As per this FAO’s definition on the gender problems concentration on women and on the relation connection between men and women, their roles, access to and controller over resources, division of labor, welfares and wishes.

Gender relations affect household security, family well-being, planning, production and many other features of life (Bravo- Baumann, 2000). Gender’ is a socio-cultural word denoting socially well-defined roles and behaviors assigned to ‘males’ and ‘females’ in a particular society; although, the term ‘sex’ is a biological and physiological phenomenon which defines man and woman. In its social, historical and cultural aspects, gender is a task of power relationship between men and women where men are considered higher to women.

Therefore, gender may be understood as a man-made concept, while ‘sex’ is natural or biological characteristics of human beings. Inequality, in simple words, may be defined as inequality against women based on their sex. Women are traditionally considered by the society as weaker sex. She has been accorded a subsidiary position to men. She is oppressed, degraded, violated and discriminated both in our homes and in outside world. This strange type of discrimination against women is prevailing everywhere in the world and more so in Indian society (Bravo- Baumann, 2000).

History of gender

Gender past is a sub-field of history and gender studies, which looks at the past from the perspective of gender. It is in numerous ways, an outgrowth of women’s history. The discipline considers in what ways historical events and per iodization impact women differently from men. For instance, in a seminal article in 1977, ‘Did Women have a Renaissance’, Joan Kelly questioned whether the notion of a Renaissance was relevant to women.  Gender historians are also interested in how sexual difference has been perceived and configured at different times and places, usually with the assumption that such differences are socially constructed’ (Joan Kelly, 1928).

Despite its relatively short life, Gender History (and its forerunner Women’s History) has had a rather significant effect on the general study of history. Since the 1960s, when the initially small field first achieved a measure of acceptance, it has gone through a number of different phases, each with its own challenges and outcomes, but always making an impact of some kind on the historical discipline. Although some of the changes to the study of history have been quite obvious, such as increased numbers of books on famous women or simply the admission of greater numbers of women into the historical profession, other influences are more subtle, even though they may be more politically groundbreaking in the end.

According to historian Joan Scott, conflict occurred between Women’s History historians and other historians in a number of ways. In the American Historical Association, when feminists argued that female historians were treated unequally within the field and underrepresented in the association, they were essentially leveling charges of historical negligence by traditional historians. Notions of professionalism were not rejected outright, but they were accused of being biased. According to Scott, the construction of Women’s History as ‘supplementary’ to the rest of history had a similar effect. At first glance, a supplement simply adds information which has been missing from the greater story, but as Scott points out, it also questions why the information was left out in the first place.

Whenever it is noticed that a woman found to be missing from written history, Women’s History first describes her role, second, examines which mechanisms allowed her role to be omitted, and third, asks to what other information these mechanisms were blind Finally, the advent of gender theory once again challenged commonly held ideas of the discipline, including those scholars studying Women’s History. Post-modern criticism of essential sing socially constructed groups is they gender groups or otherwise, pointed out the weaknesses in various sorts of history. In the past, historians have attempted to describe the shared experience of large numbers of people, as though these people and their experiences were homogeneous and uniform. Women have multiple identities, influenced by any number of factors including race and class, and any examination of history which conflates their experiences, fails to provide an accurate picture’ (Joan Wallach Scott 2013).

Theories of Gender

Most of the dictionaries of the 21st century have defined Gender as the condition of being female or male (or sex), it also contains the psychological behavioral or cultural traits in general connected with one sex in to it meanings. To additional baffle the various terms to which can be put, gender may furthermore relate to individuals sexual identity, particularly in relation to culture or society. The misunderstanding concerning its particular reference, and sliding in to one other or the occasional convergence of its various meanings, cannot merely be reduced to linguistic issues. The diversity of meaning embodied by the concept of gender also points up the multifaceted interrelation among its variously constitutive gears, that is those of sexuality, gender and sex, as analytical concepts and as lived phenomena. It additionally reflect the contrary ways in which concepts have been interrelated diversely, and often theorized both within and outside feminist speech.

Analytical Origins

Despite the fact the term gender as equal word for sex has a history that back pedals to the fifteen century, before the 1960 it was once in a while utilized as a part of non-linguistic settings. As a logical term with reference to sex- related classes, gender was brought into present-day basic idea by method for sexologycal science. In 1955 psychologist and sexologist john money proposed the idea of a gender part to “connote each one of those things that a man says or does to reveal himself or herself as having the status of kid or man, young lady, separately” including yet not being confined to parts of sexuality, in the feeling of sensuality (Haig 2004).

As indicated by Money gender role is gained in early adolescence and may contrast from a man’s sex psychoanalyst Robert Stoller broadened the qualification between biological sex and social gender by presenting the idea of gender character, a term used to characterize “ones feeling of being an individual from a specific sex,” as unmistakable from the plain gendered conduct one shows in the public arena” Although Money himself trusted that gender part was especially impervious to change. It was specifically the likelihood to isolate natural parts of sex from educated or procured gender parts, and subsequently to refute the Freudian thought that life system is predetermination, which rendered the idea of gender alluring to women’s activists, and obviously supportive in their endeavors to challenge the regulating order of sexual affairs (Haig 2004).

Feminist views and gender theory

Though there is no extreme feminist accord about the importance of gender, its changeable uses share one thing in common, and that is the express dismissal of the confidence in gender as a natural marvel. A natural, and generally spread, common sense disposition to gender expects that contrasts amongst men and ladies are biologically or hereditarily given that gender is invariant that there are two and just two gender remaining contrary to each other, that genitals and reproductive limits shape the characterizing parts of gender, that the male/female polarity is a settled structure that can’t be adjusted and that decides the sort of lives individuals can live; what is more, that all individuals can and for sure, must be delegated either mannish or lady like, or else go into the domain of pathology.

Against such naturalist postulates about maleness and femaleness and about the decidedness of properly gendered selves, feminist in mid 1970s presented the term gender keeping in mind the end goal to raise doubt about any Universalist claims about what it is to a mean or women. Before the finish of 1980s, the utilization of the term gender was generally embraced, as well as offered ascend to an assortment of uses, and attending contestations of it significance. Early second wave feminist researchers utilized sex to dismiss natural determinism by showing proof of the gender and socially shifted manners by which womanliness and manliness might be spoken and understand(Mary Hawke’s worth 1997). As in 1997 he calls attention to the term has in this manner been utilized to an extensive variety of impacts, for example to examine the social association of sexual orientation relations, to investigate the routes in which body sex and sexuality attain and manufacture meaning, to clarify the un equal social advent ages of biological contrasts: to exhibit the tasks of social power in the lives of individuals, To understand the structure of consciousness and to account for individual personality and social coherence.

Various scholars use gender in strikingly different ways, depending on their ideological and theoretical commitments. Several see it as an character of individuals, as relation connection or as a method of social association. Others stress the gendered aspects of social status, sexual stereotypes and sex roles. However others think gender a structure of awareness, as internalized ideology or according to formative practice. the process of gender that is the manners by which individuals come to part in to male and female sorts and bit by bit get their gendered feeling of selves have furthermore been traced to an impact of dialect, a method of perception or a structural element of work and power relations. Gender has b been differently talked about as multifaceted wonder whose causes, purposes, and origins are neither as clear cut nor as easily identifiable as the still pervasively influential beliefs constituting the natural attitude propose(Mary Hawke’s worth 1997). 1.7. Late Twentieth century models: Inside the growing space of gender theory three aspects are generally understand to work simultaneously and interconnected conduct.

In the first place gender is an element of subjectivity , in other words , individuals consider and perceive themselves in gendered terms, both independently and collectively, second gender works as a social variable, In the first place, gender is an element of subjectivity, in other words, individuals consider and perceive themselves in gendered terms, both independently and by and large. Second, gender works as a social variable, structuring the way in which different types of individuals characterized in among others the double term of sex contrast have a tendency to accept distinctive social positions and pursue different and largely preordained life courses inside multiple stratified socio economic realm.

Third, gender set the cultural representations and significations of what it is to be classified as a man or women, inside the term of this overall conceptual agreement, it is likely to trace a number of broadly defined school of thoughts that have differently dominated theoretical debate on gender during the two final decades of the twentieth century and that keep on exert their impact in critical cultural studies and the social science in the early hours twenty first century. A provisional distinction can be made between naturalist, social constructionist postmodernist approaches to gender on the understanding the overlap exists among these general categories, and in addition, that such labels can only serve as umbrella term for realm of thought that can be further differentiated in to great many distinct theoretical models.

The introduction of the term gender in 1970s North American and European feminism in the first place served to free women from their marginalized and oppressed position in society and to uncover the idea of natural gender as a male biased ruse that served to keep women in their subordinate place based on their reproductive capacity. Offering belief to Simone de Beauvoir’s 1908-1986 popular dictum, one isn’t born but rather becomes a women gender could be utilized as an emancipator device that would eventually permit women equal access to positions of power in society that had until now the benefit of men.

In the event that gender is a social and not a natural marvel, there is no inherent motivation behind why women ought to keep to the edges of culture on the grounds of their basic contrast from men. By gaining equity as their focal point, early second wave women’s activists in this manner utilized speculations of gender to be acclimatized in to a social scene in which biological sex contrast would never again include their feasibility connection to a universal standards of humanity (Simone de Beauvoir’s 1986).

Gender Difference Theories

With the beginning 1980s a focus on assemble contrast that is on a singular identity aspect or subjective classifications come to win inside different activities of critical socio cultural examination in the European and North American foundation. In feminist thought gender become the organizing term for a theoretical and political critique of hetero male centric social relations and was utilized to feature the extra esteem and legitimacy of a marginalized, in this case, feminine point of view.

Somewhat attempting to incorporate women in a gender unbiased universe in which all individuals are as the same proponents of gender difference theory defend an alternative worldwide that not only recognize but actually foregrounds gender difference as a positive value and as an ‘antidote to the andocentric organization of society” the assertion on the specific situating of women in the public eye in this setting does not really mean that gender moves toward becoming re naturalized, or that gender contrasts are imagined as fundamental or inherent, particularly inside the branch of women’s activist idea known as sexual contrast tanking, the controlling thought is that identities have no meaning or importance in and of themselves, other than the feminine signifies in cultural terms variation from the masculine rule.

As Australian political scientist Chris Beasley conserves, gender masculine and feminine is here not so much about the real characteristics of men and women as the exemplary symbolic record for supremacy and hierarchy in society (Beasley 2005). Gender contrast theories find different equivalents in basic sexuality studies in which a strong focus on lesbian identities similarly led to the stress and privileging of marginalized perspectives were proposed to offer all the more edifying bits of knowledge into the tasks of hetero centric culture and its underlying system of power relations. It is in any case incompletely as the aftereffect of evaluates from lesbians, as well as from nonwhite women, that gender contrast theories came most seriously under attack, testing its emphasis on the solitary of gender, characterized in term of the masculine polarity, lesbians and women of shading, from the mid-1980s ahead began to challenge any type of gender theorizing that included the concealment of different differences, for example, differences of sexuality, ethnic, racial, and cultural differences.

As indicated by these critics gender classifications essentially work diversely inside various socio cultural areas and are in addition, dependably unpredictably curved with ethnic, racial and sexual meanings. Rather than just including such differences, nonetheless, to any overall method of gender analysis, later researcher managing sexuality, as well as ethnicity, race, and imperialism, seek to understand the ways in which gender and other differences function in mutually constitutive ways. As no aspect of any persons gendered self can be disconnected from additional aspects of her/ his subjectivity and social positional, such theories identify that gender, in its various forms and permutations, is always race, as well as socially and sexually, specific (Robert Stoller 1965).

Evolving Theories of Gender into the Twenty First Century

The acknowledgment of the mutually constitutive character of multiple differences in the processes by which individuals produce their gendered selves is similarly fundamental to theories of gender moving past the equality versus distinction debate and that can be arranged inside the worldview of social construction ism, a more broad trend of critical thought that become important in the course of 1980s.Social constructionist theorist of gender don’t view contrast as something that is an intrinsic part or basic part of identity/ subjectivity, at the same time, rather the result of power relations.

Adopting a view on power roused by the French philosopher and historian Michel Foucault, they consider power to be both a harsh and constraining structure, and as the producing power of meaning and knowledge. Criticizing any notion of identity as settled or genuine, social constructions deny the existence of a prior Centre to the self and rather state that characters are made differently by the organizing tasks of power and knowledge frameworks a procedure in which digressive power supposedly plays a preeminent role. Their equivocal position in relation to human quintessence involves that such scholars dismiss the accentuation on or featuring of gathering personalities, be they defined regarding gender, sexuality, or some other part of separation. They don’t be that as it may, go so far as to dismiss personality classes all in all.

Acknowledging the potential sedimentation and security of such classifications after some time, social constructionist thinkers keep on paying consideration regarding the solid activities and elements of various identity categories in historically and cultural specific material actuality (Michel Foucault, 1972). The most radical theories of gender come out of postmodern schools of idea that come to pre command both women’s activist and basic sexuality contemplates in the 1990s and 2000s. With a general focus on the variety and unstableness of contrasts, postmodern scholars of gender oppose any thought of firm or settled personality categories. On the contrary their most important point is to in general sense destabilize and denaturalize the thought of identity itself whether considered in gathering or individual terms. In general, except by no means exclusively encouraged by such queer thinkers as Judith butler and eve kosofsky Sedgwick, postmodernists propound a mostly discursive account of gender creation, emphasizing differences and within all human beings.

The central issue, be that as it may, isn’t the numerous nature or mutually constitutive aspects of categories of dissimilarity but rather the quizzical of the status of difference as such. Conceiving of human beings as the products of both material and verbose power, postmodernist thinkers dismiss the idea of self-lying behind the expression and act of separated personalities, regarding sex not as much as an obligatory masquerade. Following Friedrich Nietzsche’s aphorism that “the practitioner’ is just a fiction added to the deed” 1995, they deny the likelihood and presence of an earlier, genuine, or valid self underneath the encapsulated practices of gender. considering power to be various, constitutive force that works in a variety of ways to produce what in this way comes to be seen as an inside Centre or prior identity, postmodernist conceive of gender as close to the impact of power and as such as a per formative do something that seemingly calls into being what it is supposed to articulate.

Formulated in thoroughly anti essentialist terms, postmodern ideas of gender not only refute any ulterior truth behind identity they also implicitly discard the supposition of subjective organization on which the initial dissimilarity between biological sex and cultural gender was founded (Friedrich Nietzsche 1995). Certainly, the extensive acceptance in feminist discourse from the 1980s ahead the concept of gender as a scientific term for the socially constructed aspects of femininity and masculinity as separate from biologically determined differences between men and women has ironically to extra general adoption of gender as a simple synonym for that from which it was made-up to mark itself off. This is partially the result of the truth that it has proved hard to maintain such a distinction particularly in situations in which processes of gender appeared to involve an interaction between biology and culture .another reason the calculated distinction between the two terms has turned out to be progressively obscured might be that given the relative semantic indeterminacy of gender researchers who were not all that comfortable with the dissimilar accentuations in women’s activist civil arguments about its meanings “translated sex as a basic equivalent word for sex and received it thusly in their own works’ (Haig 2004).

Following Butler’s preventative perception that ”being’ a sex or a sex is on a very basic level unimaginable’ postmodernist scholars understand sex not as a thing or an arrangement of properties of a formerly sexed, pre social body however, rather, as a progression of acts, rehashed after some time, that constitutes the physical character that it indicates to be. Rather than seeing the sexed body as a content whereupon culture records its gendered meanings, Butler characterizes sex as the procedure that builds the inward intelligence of sex, (hetero) sexual want, and (hetero) sexual practice in the subject: ‘Sex is the social means by which ‘sexed nature’ or ‘regular sex’ is created and built up as ‘pre digressive,’ before culture, a politically unbiased surface on which culture acts’ (The adapted redundancy of sexual orientation curved activities, words, and motions through time bit by bit give the on-screen character the sentiment expectation of the body and of heterosexuality that is required in modern societies (Butler 1990).

Functioning as a regulatory administration, gender in butlers work turns into the casual power of what is ventured to be characteristic sex so what was accepted to be sex in prior methods of gender theory in postmodern talks is set up as the product of the tasks of gender. Inside this system gender it is imagined as the impact of power structures organizations practices, and talks that direct and setup its different shapes and meanings. the most important destinations at which gender itself is delivered as indicated by butler, are the commonly strengthening frame works of from one viewpoint, phallogo anti extremism a neologism authored by French logician Jacques Derrida alluding to the apparent propensity of Europe and northern American idea to find the focal point of any content or talk inside the logos Greek for word, reason or soul and the phallus, a portrayal of male genitalia and the again obligatory heterosexuality.

The taboo not in favor of homosexuality thus finally comes to account for the naturalization of the body in common terms, whereas gender as the recurrence of a series of stylized acts, at the same time becomes the cultural force that generates the faith in the naturalness of heterosexuality. As the central organizing principle of gender, heterosexuality in butlers thought constitutes the epistemic command that drives the division of humans into male and female and that structures our understanding of the body as biological Although butler has procured a focal position in contemporary gender theory, her work has neither been obviously embraced nor stayed unchallenged.

Specially as to the political effectiveness of her model which leaves close to nothing, assuming any space for the contestation of gender administrations and also the place of the body in her work this outrages type anti essentialist and anti-humanist theorizing has asked different masterminds to point up the need to supplement her record to endeavor to weave these strands together in talks of sexuality, the body, trans gendering, and the politics of identity. However, the influence of butlers per formative replica of gender supplemented with the destabilization of the associations between sex and gender by queer theorists has opened up possibilities for such numerous and vague sex, gender, sexual situating that consequent theories of gender cannot yet bring about the future deconstruction of what were for quite a while accepted to be steady universal certainties of nature (Alsop et al. 2002).

Gender inequality

The gender inequality is a universal trouble facing by each and every country of the world. The only difference lies in the degree of experiencing it. In the same way India is also facing it on an alarming rate. The gender inequality occurs in a number of ways like basic facility inequality, natality inequality, educational inequality, professional inequality, ownership inequality, basic opportunity, house hold inequality etc. the mere fact that women hold up half the sky but still societies are not ready to give them a position of dignity and equality. This is revealed through a number of works already done by a number of sociologists. According to Jackson, 2011, true, that over the years, women have made great strides in many areas with notable progress in reducing some gender gaps. Yet, the afflicted world in which we live is characterized by deeply unequal sharing of the burden of adversities between men and women. Sprawling inequalities persist in their access to education, health care, physical and financial resources and opportunities in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres (Jackson 2011).

Thus, Gender inequality refers to unequal treatment or perception of individuals based on their gender which arises from differences in socially constructed gender roles. Gender systems are often dichotomous and hierarchical gender binary systems may reflect the inequalities that manifest in numerous dimensions of daily life (wood, Julia 2005). As such gender inequality is a dynamic process which varies with culture, social group, family, socio- economic conditions, employment and earning, and stage of growth over time and space as well as at crisis or at disaster. In its most general sense, gender inequality refers to the broad range of conditions by which women have been disadvantaged, including their economic opportunities, political standing, legal status, personal freedom, familial obligations, access to education, and cultural representation. Thus, gender inequality refers to the obvious or hidden disparity between individuals due to gender (Jackson 2011).

Gender Inequality Index

Gender inequality remains a major barrier to human development. Girls and women have made major strides since 1990, but still they are not at par with gender equity. In addition to this women and girls are discriminated against in health, education, political representation, labour market, etc. leading to negative consequences for development of their capabilities and their freedom of choice. The global inequality index measures gender inequalities in three important aspects of human development like reproductive health, measured by maternal mortality ratio and adolescent birth rates; empowerment, measured by proportion of parliamentary seats occupied by females and proportion of adult females and males aged 25 years and older with at least some secondary education; and economic status, expressed as labour market participation and measured by labour force participation rate of female and male population aged 15 years and older.

It is based on the same framework as the inequality adjusted human development index to better expose differences in the distribution of achievements between women and men. It measures the human development costs of gender inequality. Thus the higher the gender inequality index values the more disparities between females and males and more loss to human development. The gender inequality index sheds new light on the position of women in 159 countries; it yields insight in gender gaps in major areas of human development. The component indicators highlight areas in need of critical policy intervention and it stimulates proactive thinking and public policy to overcome systematic disadvantages of women (human Development Report 2016).

Indictors of Gender Inequality in world and India

Sex ratio in world

In the human species the natal sex ratio is slightly biased towards the male sex, considered as 105. This means that at birth on average, there are 105 males for every 100 females. Nature provides that the number of newborn males slightly outnumber newborn females because as they grow up, men are at a high risk of dying than women not only due to natural death rates, but also due to higher risk from external causes (accidents, injuries, violence, war casualties). Thus, the sex ratio of total population is expected to equalize. Instead if a country’s population sex ratio does not equalize or rather exceeds the 105- threshold, it means societies with a dominating preference for male child tend to intervene in nature and reduce the number of born girl child by sex-selective abortion and infanticide. As women account for one- half of a country’s potential, balanced sex ratio is desirable. Besides, gender imbalances have been known in human history to cause serious negative consequences for the society in the long run (World Health Organization 2017).

Sex ratio in India

India is known for its highly skewed sex ratio, which is attributed to sex- selective abortion and female infanticide affecting approximately one million female babies per year (Rupee news 2009). In, 2011, government stated India was missing three million girls and there are now 48 less girls per 1,000 boys (DPTI 2012). Despite this the government has taken further steps to improve the ratio, and the ratio is reported to have been improved in recent years (Faiz 2013).

Mortality rate in world

Mortality rate of males is higher than a female which is clearly depicted by a number of works. It has been analysed that 93% of workplace deaths (fatal occupational injuries) in the US between 1980 and 1997 were of men (97,053 deaths), indicating that male fatality rate (8.6 per 100,000 workers) was 11 times greater than the female death rate during this tenure. This accounts for the other 7% of work place deaths (6,886 deaths), CDR 2001).

Mortality Rate in India

India is not lagging behind in such a case but is showing a faster decline than the global target. Also regarding this government working to bring it down to 100 by 2020 According to maternity mortality rate (MMR), five women die every hour in India due to child birth complications. 2011 remain ad year of great revolution towards women empowerment and they were given dignified posts like the president of India, the speaker of the Lok Sabha and the leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha ( Lower House of the parliament) etc. However, women in India continue to face numerous problems, including violent victimization through rape, acid throwing, dowry killings, marital rape, and the forced prostitution of young girls (Tilak, Sudha 2013).

Professional education and careers in world

The gender gap also appeared to narrow considerably beginning in the mid- 1960s. Where some 5% of first year students in professional programs were female in 1965, by 1985 this number had jumped to 40% in law and medicine, war and over 30% in dentistry and business school. (Goldin 2001).Before the highly effective birth control pill was available, women planning professional careers, which required a long term, expensive commitment, had to “pay the penalty of abstinence or cope with considerable uncertainty regarding pregnancy.”(Goldin Claudia Katz 2002).This control over their reproductive decisions allowed women to more easily make long term decisions about their education and professional opportunities. Women are highly under represented on boards of directors and in senior position in the private sector (Way back Machine 2011). Additionally, with reliable birth control, young men and women had more reason to delay marriage. This meant that the marriage market available to any one women who “delayed marriage to pursue a career would not be as depleted. Thus the pill could have influenced women’s college majors, professional degrees, and the age at marriage (Goldin, Claudia 2006).

Education Inequalities in India

India is on target to meet its millennium Development Goal of gender parity in education by 2015. UNICEF’s measures of attendance rate and gender equality in education index (GEEI) capture the quality of education (Unterhalther, E 2006).

Despite some gains, gains, India needs to triple its rate of improvement to reach GEEI score of 95% by 2015 under the millennium development goals. In rural India girls continue to be less educated than the boys. According to 1998 report by U.S. Department of commerce, the chief barriers to female education in India are inadequate school facilities (such as sanitary facilities), shortage of female teachers and gender bias in curriculum(majority of the female characters being depicted as weak and helpless vs. strong, adventurous, and intelligent men with high prestige jobs(Vatoria A. Velkoff 1998).


Though it is gradually rising, the female literacy rate in India is lower than the male literacy rate. According to census of India 2011, literacy rate of females is 65.46% compared to males which are 82.14%. Compared to boys, far fewer girls are enrolled in the schools, and many of them drop out. According to the national sample survey data of 1997, only the states of Kerala and Mizoram have approached universal female literacy rates. According to majority of the scholars, the major factor behind the improved social and economic status of women in Kerala is literacy (A. K Shiva 2001) from 2006- 2010, the percent of females who completed at least a secondary education was almost half than of men,26,6% compared to 50.4%( united nations Development Project 2014). In the current generation of youth, the gap seems to be closing at the primary level and increasing in the secondary level. In rural Punjab, the gap between girls and boys in school enrollment increases dramatically with age as demonstrated in National Health Survey-3 Where girls age 15-17 in Punjab are 10% more likely than boys to drop out of school.(India Country report 2011) Although this gap has been reduced significantly, problems still remain in the quality of education for girls where boys in the same family will be sent to higher quality private schools and girls sent to the government school in the village (Geeta Gandhi 2007).

Income inequality linked to job stratification in world

The gender pay gap is the average difference between men’s and women’s aggregate wages or salaries. The gap is due to a variety of factors, including differences in education choices, differences in preferred job and industry, differences in the types of positions held by men and women, differences in the type of jobs men typically go into as opposed to women (especially highly paid high risk jobs), differences in amount of work experiences, difference in length of the work week, and breaks in employment. These factors resolve 60% to 75% of the pay gap, depending on the source. Various explanations for the remaining 25% to 40% have been suggested, including women’s lower willingness and ability to negotiate salaries and sexual discrimination.(CONSAD Research Corporation 2013)Furthermore, the increased risk taking men are biologically predisposed to plays an important role in the pay gap (Nicholas G 2011). In the United States, the average female’s unadjusted annual salary has been cited as 78% of that of the average male (O’Brien 2015). 

However, multiple studies from OECD, AAUW, and the US Department of Labor have found that pay rates between males and females varied by 5–6.6% or, females earning 94 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts, when wages were adjusted to different individual choices made by male and female workers in college major, occupation, working hours, and maternal/paternal leave. (Jackson brooks 2012). Statistical discrimination is also cited as a cause for income disparities and gendered inequality in the workplace. Statistical discrimination indicates the likelihood of employers to deny women access to certain occupational tracks because women are more likely than men to leave their job or the labor force when they become married or pregnant. Women are instead given positions that dead-end or jobs that have very little mobility.(Burstein, Paul 1994) In Third World countries such as the Dominican Republic, female entrepreneurs are statistically more prone to failure in business. In the event of a business failure women often return to their domestic lifestyle despite the absence of income.

On the other hand, men tend to search for other employment as the household is not a priority (Edison NJ1994). The gendered wage gap varies in its width among different races. Whites comparatively have the greatest wage gap between the genders. With whites, women earn 78% of the wages that white men do. With African Americans, women earn 90% of the wages that African American men do. There are some exceptions where women earn more than men: According to a survey on gender pay inequality by the International Trade Union Confederation, female workers in the Gulf state of Bahrain earn 40 per cent more than male workers (vedior 2008). A report by the International Labor Organization (ILO 2014) reveals the wage gap between Cambodian women factory workers and other male counterparts. There was a $25 USD monthly pay difference conveying that women have a much lower power and being devalued not only at home but also in the workplace (Open Democracy 2015).

Economic Inequalities in India

Labour participation and wages: The labour force participation rate of women was 80.7 in 2013(Human Development Report 2012). Nancy Lockwood of Society for Human Resource Management, the world’s largest human resources association with members in 140 countries, in a 2009 report wrote that female labour participation is lower than men, but has been rapidly increasing since the 1990s. Out of India’s 397 million workers in 2001, 124 million were women, states Lockwood. (Nancy Lockwood 2009) . Over 50% of Indian labor is employed in agriculture. A majority of rural men work as cultivators, while a majority of women work in livestock maintenance, egg and milk production. Rao states that about 78 percent of rural women are engaged in agriculture, compared to 63 percent of men. About 37% of women are cultivators, but they are more active in the irrigation, weeding, winnowing, transplanting, and harvesting stages of agriculture. About 70 percent of farm work was performed by women in India in 2004 ( Rao E Krishna2006).

Women’s labor participation rate is about 47% in India’s tea plantations, 46% in cotton cultivation, 45% growing oil seeds and 39% in horticulture (Roopam singh and Ranja Sengupta 2009). There is wage inequality between men and women in India. The largest wage gap was in manual ploughing operations in 2009, where men were paid 103 per day, while women were paid 55, a wage gap ratio of 1.87. For sowing the wage gap ratio reduced to 1.38 and for weeding 1.18. For other agriculture operations such as winnowing, threshing and transplanting, the men to female wage ratio varied from 1.16 to 1.28. For sweeping, the 2009 wages were statistically same for men and women in all states of India (Labor bureau Govt. of India 2010).

Occupational inequalities in India

Military services; Women are not allowed to have combat roles in the armed forces. According to a study carried out on this issue, a recommendation was made that female officers be excluded from induction in close combat arms. The study also held that a permanent commission could not be granted to female officers since they have neither been trained for command nor have they been given the responsibility so far.( Times of India) Property Rights: Women have equal rights under the law to own property and receive equal inheritance rights, but in practice, women are at a disadvantage. This is evidenced in the fact that 70% of rural land is owned by men. Laws, such as the Married Women Property Rights Act of 1974 protect women, but few seek legal redress (India report 2005).Although the Hindu Succession Act of 2005 provides equal inheritance rights to ancestral and jointly owned property, the law is weakly enforced, especially in Northern India (Government of India 2014).

Gender based Violence in World

Gender based violence is, collectively, violent acts that are primarily or exclusively committed against women. Sometimes considered a hate crime, (Russo, Nancy Felipe and Angles Pirloot 2006).this type of violence targets a specific group with the victim’s gender as a primary motive. This type of violence is gender-based, meaning that the acts of violence are committed against women expressly because they are women (Gerstenfeld, Phyllis B 2013). The UN Declaration on the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women states that:” violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women” and that “violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men (UN Declaration on the elimination of violence against women) Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, declared in a 2006 report posted on the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) website that: Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions.

At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her (Moradian, Azad 2010). Violence against women can fit into several broad categories. These include violence carried out by “individuals” as well as “states”. Some of the forms of violence perpetrated by individuals are rape; domestic violence; sexual harassment; coercive use of contraceptives; female infanticide; prenatal sex selection; obstetric violence and mob violence; as well as harmful customary or traditional practices such as honor killings, dowry violence, female genital mutilation, marriage by abduction and forced marriage. Some forms of violence are perpetrated or condoned by the state such as war rape; sexual violence and sexual slavery during conflict; forced sterilization; forced abortion; violence by the police and authoritative personnel; stoning and flogging. Many forms of VAW, such as trafficking in women and forced prostitution are often perpetrated by organized criminal networks (Prugl, E 2013).

Gender- based Violence in India

Domestic violence, rape and dowry-related violence are sources of gender violence. According to the National Crime Records Bureau 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012 (Statistics Archived 2014). Other sources of gender violence include those that are dowry-related and honor killings. NCRB report 2013 states 8,233 dowry deaths in the country in 2012. Honor killings  is violence where the woman’s behavior is linked to the honor of her whole family; in extreme cases, family member(s) kill her. Honor killings are difficult to verify, and there is dispute whether social activists are inflating numbers. In most cases, honor killings are linked to the woman marrying someone that the family strongly disapproves of. Some honor killings are the result of extrajudicial decisions made by traditional community elders such as “khap Panchayats,” unelected village assemblies that have no legal authority. Estimates place 900 deaths per year (or about 1 per million people). Honor killings are found the Northern states of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh (Department of state 2011).

Traditional Practices Crimes against women under the Garb of Custom and Tradition

Due to some social structures, traditions, stereotypes and attitudes about women and their role in society, they become particularly vulnerable to certain crimes. Fundamentalist groups often center on controlling women, using cultural arguments against women’s rights. Moreover, most women in developing countries are unaware of their basic human rights. It is this state of ignorance which ensures their acceptance and, consequently, the perpetuation of harmful traditional practices affecting their well-being and that of their children. Even when women acquire a degree of economic and political awareness, they often feel powerless to bring about the change necessary to eliminate gender inequality. Therefore, empowering women is vital to any process of change and to the elimination of these harmful traditional practices (Sonakshi 2015).

Political Inequality in world

Overall, politics in the United States are dominated by men, which can pose many challenges to women who decide to enter the political sphere. As the number of women participants in politics continue to increase around the world, the gender of female candidates serves as both a benefit and a hindrance within their campaign themes and advertising practices. Lee, yu kang 2014) the overarching challenge seems to be that-no matter their actions-women are unable to win in the political sphere as different standards are used to judge them when compared to their male counterparts (Parry-Giles, Shawn 2014). One area in particular that exemplifies varying perceptions between male and female candidates is the way female candidates decide to dress and how their choice is evaluated. When women decide to dress more masculine, they are perceived as being “conspicuous.” When they decide to dress more feminine, they are perceived as “deficient.”(Flicker Eva 2013) At the same time, however, women in politics are generally expected to adhere to the masculine standard, thereby validating the idea that gender is binary and that power is associated with masculinity (Charles, Nickie 2014). A

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