Towards an India where women lead

Source: The post is based on an article “Towards an India where women lead” published in the Indian Express on 16th August 2022.

Syllabus: GS 1 Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India.

Relevance: Gender Disparities; Prejudices and Discrimination

News: Recently, the 2022 World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index was released, which confirmed a number of gender-based inequalities in India.

The Findings

In 2021, India’s overall score has improved from 0.625 to 0.629. This is the seventh-highest score in the last 16 years.

India will now take 132 years to reach gender parity.

What are the causes of concern related to the inclusion of women in India, even after 75 years of Independence?

The Indian women have not been able to secure for themselves equality and equity in various spheres of life.

(1) Women’s leadership in higher education and education-related decision-making bodies at the government level is largely absent. For example, only seven of India’s 54 central universities have women vice-chancellors. This is despite girls outnumbering boys in higher education admissions and women constituting more than 50% of the entry-level university teaching positions.

There are several reasons for this:

Indian women have to perform multiple tasks. For example, marriage and family are still considered responsibilities of women.

There are various social ills like entrenched patriarchy and male hegemony in various spheres of life. Most women have to fight these social evils. Therefore, they choose not to fight as it can get dirty and time-consuming. For example, a woman’s assertiveness is seen as aggressiveness.

In history, the valor of men who conquered cities with violence has been sung and the women’s side of the story has been forgotten.

What are the measures needed to realize the ambition?

(1) Making higher education more Indo-centric:  India should make an intellectual journey towards the creation of knowledge that is original and goes back to its roots. India must emancipate and empower the Indian mind by breaking the glass ceiling of intellectual slavery, i.e., the belief that all Western ideas are good, and anything Indian is seen as being regressive and therefore bad.

(2) In history, the stories have been told from the male perspective. Therefore, they must be re-told from a feminine perspective.

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