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Day 44 – Q 1.How do instruments of social discrimination lead to poverty? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples.

1. How do instruments of social discrimination lead to poverty? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples. 

सामाजिक भेदभाव के साधन कैसे गरीबी की ओर ले जाते हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की सहायता से चित्रण करें।


Social discrimination is sustained inequality and unfairness present between individuals in the society mainly due to hierarchal social structure. Inequality leads resources stratification in the society which becomes main cause for poverty. 


SC/ST, women, elderlies etc are often denied access to market, public places and economic activity. Women are not given right to property. Only 8% women own immovable property. There are stereotyping against women in different sectors. Girls are trained to develop a low profile and learn home based works. Female literacy is 65% as compared to male literacy of 80% (2011 census). Males get more medical care compared to girls. Child marriage is rampant among girls (27% as per UNICEF).

All this has resulted in poor socio-economic conditions and poverty among women –   

  • Female labour force participation rate ~ 26% (Niti Aayog)
  • Gender pay gap ~ 34% (ILO)
  • Glass ceiling
  • Feminization of informal sector and de-feminization of formal sector.   
  • female representation in Parliament ~ 99th in the world
  • Lok Sabha ~ 12%; Rajya Sabha ~ 11%.

If economy is not engendered, it is endangered. WEF said gender parity can not only fight poverty but boost India`s GDP by 27%.

Caste in India has often played lead to poverty as economic activity was inherently link to caste. Dominate caste still holds major stake in regional economy and land. They deny other caste from entering in these avenues. Land owned by SC/STs is still very less so they are reduced to economic labourer. Often they are presumably linked to marginalised work like manual scavenging.

Disabilities have also provided unequal opportunity to them leading to poverty. There is not only denial of physical infrastructure but denial of social respect. Proper transportation, unavailability of ramp in buildings etc often disinterest them to take part in economic activity. They have also no representation in political institution.

Transgender and civil partnership often face worse form of discrimination. They are not accepted as part of society and often denied job opportunity. Even after Supreme court decision to treat transgender as third gender, they face huge discrimination at work places.

Elderly population are often faced discrimination, due to early retirement, decline of health abandonment by their children. They even cannot get new job at this age, leading them to poverty.


Social discrimination have often aroused from socials taboos, religious cults, rites and social beliefs. So they are still strong. It needs good laws, political will, and above all behavioural change to reduce this discrimination. As India cannot become superpower leaving out important section of its society.

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