Bridging the gap-India needs to help women get greater access to jobs and resources

Source: The post is based on the article “Bridging the gap-India needs to help women get greater access to jobs and resources” published in The Hindu on 15th July 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of these vulnerable sections.

Relevance: To understand India’s gender gap.

News: Recently, World Economic Forum released Global Gender Gap Index for 2022.

What are the findings of the Global Gender Gap Index?
Read more: Explained: How gender equal is India as per the 2022 Global Gender Gap Index?
About the global gender gap

The global gender gap has been closed by 68.1%, which means at the current rate of progress it will take 132 years to reach full parity.

Due to broad stagnation in gender parity scores, it will take the longest (197 years) for South Asia to close the gender gap.

What is the status of India on the Global Gender Gap Index 2022?

India ranks poorly among its neighbours and is behind Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Bhutan. Only Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan perform worse than India in the region.

India has fared the worst in at least one of the parameters — ‘health and survival’ — in which it took the last spot.

What is the status of Indian women on various parameters?

In the pandemic years, as incomes shrank, Indian women faced hurdles on every front, from food, health, and education for the girl child to jobs.

The latest NFHS data (2019-2021) show that 57% of women (15-49 age bracket) are anaemic (up from 53% in 2015-16).

Though, women using a bank account or savings account have increased to 78.6%, with schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, their participation in the labour force has shrunk.

According to Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) data, in 2016-17 about 15% of women were employed or looking for jobs; this further reduced to 9.2% in 2021-22.

Read more: What does NFHS-5 data tell us about state of women empowerment in India
How to achieve gender parity?

It is imperative to increase the representation of women in leadership positions at all levels so that women get greater access to jobs and resources. Hence, the government has to move beyond tokenism and help women overcome staggering economic and social barriers.

Read more: [Yojana September Summary] SHG-led Women Empowerment – Explained, pointwise
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