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Day 43 – Q 5.What are some of the key insights derived out of India’s gender demographics? What lessons can be learnt from these insights? Explain.

5. What are some of the key insights derived out of India’s gender demographics? What lessons can be learnt from these insights? Explain. 

भारत के लिंग जनसांख्यिकी से निकली कुछ प्रमुख अंतर्दृष्टि क्या हैं? इन जानकारियों से क्या सीखा जा सकता है? समझाएं।


India is set to be the most populous country by 20207 as per UN population report. Indian population median age is 27 years and forms a strong demographics. An ideal demographical utility for a country would be equal participation and development level of both the genders. However, the fact that India ranks 108th in WEF gender gap index depicts the improvement still needed in gender equality.


Key insights out of India’s gender demographics:

  • Sex ratio: is 1.08(male to females) which has increased from 933:1000 in 2001 to 943 in 2011. Though, this is a good sign of decreased female foeticide and infanticide, there are still concerns on discriminated nutrition among girl child and also among women (50% of female are anemic).
  • Age group: Below 65 years age group India has more males than females. However, above 65 years, females are more. This is because of the more life expectancy of females than males (71.8 for female and is 69.2 for male). It indicates that, as the country ages, the number of females would increase.
  • Dependency ratio: is around 48% of the total population. However, the dependency ratio if women alone is concerned is around 70% of the total women population. 
  • Labour force participation: Though the participation of females is increasing, there is a gender gap and low female labour force participation (which is around 25%). Also, Gender pay gap is around 30% which shows discriminatory treatment of women at workplace (also inferred from the fact that only around 20% of top-level posts are occupied by women).
  • Population pyramid: Increasing narrow base suggests an ageing population with decreasing fertility rate (which is 2.3 as per the latest government data).  
  • Urban population of women is less than men mainly owing to the migration pattern wherein the male would migrate to towns in search of marriage and female would stay behind in village.
  • Demography is skewed in terms of its utility in entrepreneurship and participation in innovation. E.g. Only 14% of Indian women are entrepreneur. Only 24% of data scientists on India are women etc.,

Lessons Learnt:

  • Importance of sex ratio and women nutrition: which also impacts the infant/ new born child nutrition. Hence, the government is giving more importance to through schemes like PM Matru vandhana yojana, Mission Indradhanush etc., Delivery is being institutionalized through schmes like Janani suraksha yojana and criminalizing sex selection, registration of births are being conducted to improve sex ratio.
  • Importance of Women education: The schemes like Sukanya samruddhi, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao etc., shows that the government and the society has recognized the importance of women participation in education. 
  • Promotion to women employment: promotion to SHG, reservation in several government jobs etc., show that the lesson is learnt on productively using gender dynamics. Government has also recognized the problems faced by women at work place and came up with steps like Sexual harassment at work place act, SHE box, working women hostel etc., to promote employment.
  • Recognition of inadequate safety to women: schemes like One stop centre, Swadhar Greh and so on aiming at providing secure environment to women so that they can develop to their potential which would help India to reap its demographic dividend.
  • Women participation in science and technology, higher education is being recognized as important and is being promoted through various schemes like KIRAN scheme, Women scientist scheme and so on.


When women move forward, the family moves, the village moves and then ultimately the Nation moves forward. We have learnt the lesson that the country cannot progress with half its resources lagging behind and taking proactive steps to actively reap demographic benefits. Transformatory reforms are needed to bridge the gender gap and effectively reap the gender demography.

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