Day 18 – Q 2.Examine the role of structural discrimination prevalent in the society leading to increasing vulnerability of women in India. Also discuss the steps taken by the government to address the same.
2. Examine the role of structural discrimination prevalent in the society leading to increasing vulnerability of women in India. Also discuss the steps taken by the government to address the same.
समाज में प्रचलित संरचनात्मक भेदभाव की भूमिका की जांच करें जिससे भारत में महिलाओं की भेद्यता बढ़ती जा रही है। इस सन्दर्भ में सरकार द्वारा उठाए गए कदमों पर भी चर्चा करें।
- Structural discrimination and increasing vulnerability of Indian women
- Steps taken by the government
- Conclusion- Way ahead
Structural discrimination in the context of gender issues occurs when our society’s major ‘structures’ – such as the family, government, labour market, education system, etc – consistently disadvantage a particular group through norms, policies and behaviour. These structural discriminations have existed against women since medieval times.
Role of structural discrimination:
Female feoticide is still high resulting into skewed sex ratio. Preference for male child exists not only in rural regions but also in urban regions and in highly educated families too. Women are last to eat, last one to sleep. In case of medical need visits to doctors/hopsitals are delayed as much as possible.
- Public and private institutions: For example, banks base their lending decisions on factors such as income, length of time in a job and other expenses and debts. Females are more likely than males to be outside of the labour force, to be paid less as compared to male counterpart, and to take career breaks. Due to these factors, banks are less likely to lend to females than to males.
Similarly work places are yet to be gender neutral.
- Political institutions: Despite 33% reservation for women in Panchayati raj institutions women in local bodies, in many cases, remain a mere proxy for their male counterpart. Percentage of women in Indian parliament is dismally low.
- Educational institutions: Drop-out rate among girls is much more than that among boys. This is because of lack of infrastructure like toilets within schools, lack of gender sensitisation etc.
Steps taken by the government:
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao to improve the sex ratio in the country.
- Promotion of women SHGs and platforms like Mahila-Haat. These ensures financial independence of women.
- Uddan scheme for girls to enroll themselves in higher educational institutions.
- Ujjwala Scheme to provide LPG connections in the name of women.
While the above-mentioned steps are in right direction, given the increasing vulnerability of women much more needs to be done. Strict implementation of laws like Criminal law, sexual harassment at work place, PCPNDT, compensation for acid-attack victims etc will help. Structural discrimination, however, is related more to our culture, how boys and girls and men and women, are valued and how the society is organised. Education should be used as the most important tool for ending structural discrimination by breaking stereotypes and prejudices.
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