Discrimination is the state when all individuals are not treated equally and not given equal rights. Every individual in the community yearns for equal status, opportunities, and equal rights. People generally say these days that everyone is treated equally but they are not. Discrimination usually exists because of cultural differences, geographical differences, and gender. Inequality on the basis of gender is something that is not appreciated, but it is seen many times in many companies. There are many areas where equal opportunities are not provided to women.
We are in the 21st century, and even now, women are not treated equally as men. It is generally believed that women are more talented than men, and it has been proved many times, but society is not yet ready to accept this fact. Gender equality is the term used when equal opportunities in the fields of politics, economics, education, and health are provided to both men and women.
As per the World Economic Forum’s gender gap ranking, India holds the rank 108 out of 149 countries. The rank should be a major concern in the country as it signifies the immense gap between the opportunities given to women when compared to men. The structure in India is such that women are neglected in many fields like education, health, finance, etc. They are just limited to household chores which should not be the scene here. There are many places in India where women are considered as a burden and they are not allowed to go to school and study as well. Also, a preference for sons prevails in many areas in India.
The seven important forms of gender inequality :
1 . Women works Longer than Men :
In most of the societies the male – stream is the main stream who argues that women have comparative advantage in household non- market production, like cooking and cleaning for the family that cant be called emotional and personal caring work. Based on this thinking, household jobs are then asymmetrically distributed. Women are more valued in home. Men are specialised in market- baesd production. Thus, being the bread- earners, males enjoy both power and status.
2. Inequality in Employment and Earnings :
Historically, men have greater participation in work outside home than women. But women ( particularly of poor households) share unequally household duties in addition to economic production. Thus they work longer than males. This kind of ‘ division of labour’ may be seen as the ‘ accumulation of labour’ on women, as described by Amartya sen. Household activites are often viewed as ‘ sedentary activites’ which require less ‘ calore’ to gain energy.
3. Ownership Inequality :
A case of social inequality. Let us turn to another kind of inequality, called ownership inequality a classic case of social inequality. In most of the societies, ownership over property and means of production rests mainly on male members . The law of inheritance provides such ownership rights on male child. Such denial coming out of hierarchical dualism within the family not only reduces the voice of women but also prevents them from participating in commerial, economic and social activites.
This kind of social deprivation means absence or lack of capability or because of ‘capability deprivation’, women are subject to various kinds of exploitation and unfreedoms. Social inequality distorts the process of development. Unfortunately, ownership inequality in any country is not of recent origin. In her earlier life, a woman comes under the influence of her father, then husband as she enters a married life and finally, under sons ownership right over property is skilfully avoided. A telugu proverbs corraborates this understanding: ” Bringing up a daughter is like watering a plant in anothers courtyard.”
4. Survival Inequality :
Another crudest from of gender disparity is the unusally high mortality rates of women , though biologically, women live longer than men! Thus more boys than girls are born evrywhere leading to a ‘ deficit’ of women and a ‘ surplus’ of men. In developed countries beacuse of absence of gender bias in health care and nutrition, women outnumber men. In Europe and in north America, 105 or more girls are born per 100 boys. Such high female- male genderd survival rate in different age groups.
5. Gender Bias in the Distribution of Education and Health :
Health and education are the major forms of human capital are realted to economic development . Human capital gets accumulated as a society advances in education . The contribution of human capital towards Japan’s remarkable economic progress attracts our attention . Improvement in health capital also improves the return to investments in education .
However, one finds a huge education and health gaps between developed and developing countries. In recent times, despite a large increase in econoc advancement on times, despite a large increase in economic advancement in asia and africa, these countries lag far behind the developed countries in terms of educational attainment particularly in respect of women’s education. Gender disparity not only hindrrs economic progress but also exacerbates social inequality.
6. Gender Inequality in Freedom Expression :
Let us talk about gender inequality beyond economic issues or factors. Women are not only subject to income or asset inequality but also in terms of freedom and power deprivation of women goes beyond one’s imagination. They lack not only economic freedom at home because of absence of autonomy in house hold decisions, limited or poor wages earned but also lack any freedom in airing opinions over education of children.
In some backward poor societies the right of women giving options is completely denied. Such un – freedoms, however, are not uncommon even among the educated elites who enjoy enormous power and authority in the male domined society. Historically , this sort of law socioeconomic status of women has been continuing nowasdays.
7. Gender Inequality in Respect of viloence and victimisation :
Finally, anti – female bias starts before the girl child is born and this attitide of the society a female member carries throughout her life. It is because of the unequal sharing of income, property, household benefits . Women are subject to both physical and sexual violence – the oppsite of freedom, and an extreme form of coercion. This is common for both poor and not too much uncommon in rich countries as well as among rich people. One in three women in the word is beaten or raped during her life times.
Dowry harassement is considered as an ‘ instrumental use’ of violence. Dowry death is the most serious form of domestic violenece. Wife beating is not uncommon. Sexual violence is an obnoxious form of human rights violation.
Specifically, public health can contribute to reducing health inequities by integrating health equity considerations into policy and programs, collebrating with other sectors to address inequities engaging with communities to support their efforts to adress inequities, identifying the reduction of health inequities.
Reducing inequality requires transformative change. Greater efforts are needed to eradicate ectreme poverty and hunger and invest more in health, education, social protection and decent jobs especially for young people, migrants and other vulnerable communities.
We should understand that women are the part and parcel of any family. When it comes to flexibility, they can manage their home and offices at the same time. If equal opportunities are not given to them, they will be led down and won’t be able to achieve big milestones which they are obviously capable of.