[Answered] How the removal of gender issues and women empowerment can reduce the economic inequalities in India? Discuss.

Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Link between gender and economic inequalities. Why women empowerment is important to reduce economic inequalities?
Conclusion. Way forward.

Despite progress, wide gaps between women and men’s economic empowerment and opportunity remain, which policymakers need to tackle urgently. In most countries, more men than women work, and they get paid more for similar work. Also, there are considerable gender gaps in access to education, health and finance in a number of countries. There is mounting evidence that the lack of gender equity imposes large economic costs as it hampers productivity and weighs on growth. Thus removal of gender issues and women empowerment can help in reducing economic inequalities in India.

Link between gender and economic inequalities:

There are at least 3 reasons why higher gender inequality is associated with higher income inequality:

  1. Gender wage gaps directly contribute to income inequality, and higher gaps in labor force participation rates between men and women result in inequality of earnings between sexes, thus creating and exacerbating income inequality.
  2. Women are more likely to work in the informal sector, in which earnings are lower, which widens the gender earnings gap and exacerbates income inequality.
  3. Inequality of opportunities, such as unequal access to education, health services, and finance are prevalent between men and women, and are strongly associated with income inequality.
  4. Inequality of opportunity, in particular in gender gaps in education and health, pose an obstacle to a more equal income distribution.

Why women empowerment is important to reduce economic inequalities?

  1. The evidence suggests that greater gender equity and increasing female economic participation are associated with higher growth, more favourable development outcomes, and lower income inequality.
  2. A more level playing field would give women the option to become economically active should they so choose. This in turn would have beneficial macroeconomic effects.
  3. Women empowerment is important for reducing pay gap among gender, that would pave the way for overall decrease in economic inequalities.
  4. Equalising laws boosts female labour force participation. Specifically, granting gender equity under the constitution could increase the female labour force participation by as much as 5%.
  5. Better infrastructure in rural areas and more access to water and improved transportation systems can reduce the time women spend on domestic tasks and enable them to seek work outside the home. This further would lead to reduced economic inequalities.
  6. Women empowerment would also lead to savings in the house that is important for economic progress and also help poor to tackle bad situations in their life, thereby reducing their dependence on debts and loans which lead to further economic stress and economic inequalities.

In order to combat deeper inequality of opportunities, such as unequal access to the labor force, health, education and financial access between men and women, policy markers should focus on more targeted policy interventions. It is important that women need to be empowered so as to make India an inclusive economy.

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