Gender Discrimination in India : Women Status and Society

Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society

Last updated: November 19, 2019


  • Gender issues have become the Central policy arena.
  • The issues of gender equality added significance in the context of the interface.
  • Gender equity becomes part of the country’s strategy for eradicating poverty and human misery.
  • A lot of debate is going on women and development for the last few decades.
  • The importance of feminism has been steadily growing and gaining intellectual legitimacy.

Development at Global Level:

  • There has been a global effort with strong support from the UN since 1975 to understand the discrimination and restore the status of women through equality, development, and peace.
  • It organized 4 world conferences on Mexico in 1975, one at Copan Hagen in 1980, one at Nairobi in 1985 and one at Beijing in 1995.
  • The world summit for children in 1990 set goals for health, education, and nutrition for women and their children.
  • The international conference on nutrition in 1992 held in Rome, emphasized the elimination of malnutrition among women and children.
  • The international conference on population and development in 1994 brought out a link between demographic issues advancement of women through education, health, and nutrition.
  • The 1994 international conference on population and development placed issues of gender at the center of discussion.
  • Thus, several international organizations are trying to promote the advancement of women and their full participation in the developmental process and trying to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women.

Developments in India:


  • Through gender inequality exist a large measure in society under different dimensions for a long time, its importance has grown in recent times only.
  • In traditional society, the inequality between males and females existed to a large extent.
  • Women are the last person in the family to eat.
  • She is the person who does all types of menial jobs.
  • There is no respect for her work.


  • The census of India did not consider their work while counting the number of economically active persons in the country for quite a long time.
  • The government of India has taken several measures and also making an endeavor to hoist the status of women in society in order to promote equality of men and women.
  • The different plans, programs, health, and political policies have laid emphasis on women empowerment and raising the economic, educational, health and political participation of women to match with that of men.
  • The draught national policy on the empowerment of women envisages:-
    • a) To set up councils at the national and state levels to review the implementation of the recommendation of the national and state commission for women.
    • b) The center and state to draw up a time-bound action plan to translate this- policy into concrete action in consultation with the central and state commissions for women.
    • c) Every ministry at the center and the state is obliged to ensure the equal flow of benefits in physical and financial terms too.
  • Article 15 of the constitution prohibits any discrimination on grounds and of sex.
  • The directive principles of state policy also urge that the state shall direct this policy towards securing and adequate means of livelihood for women and ensuring equal pay for equal work for both men and women.

          The five years plans:

  • Since seventy’s the objective of raising the status of women and also been included and different five-year plans.
  • In the sixth five-year plan emphasis was laid on raising the empowerment status of women.
  • The seventh five-year plan emphasized the need for human resource development in women.
  • The eighth plan aims at enabling women to function as equal partners and implement social legislation for women effectively.
  • The Ninth plan has identified the empowerment of women as an objective.
  • The Tenth plan also an emphasis on women’s development.
  • The formulation of the national commission for women (NCM) and also the idea of setting a national council for the empowerment of women are encouraging steps in this direction.
  • Also, the different state government is also implementing several development measures for women’s health in general and reproductive health in particular.
  • The lack of sex education among adult girls and reproductive health education among married women are also cause of many preventable diseases.
  • Empowering women regarding their own reproductive health care and affecting the accountability of men towards women’s reproductive health is important for promoting women’s health status in the society.

Objective and DataBase: Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society

  • The main objective of the present article is to examine the gender discrimination in India in the demographic social, economic and political context.
  • In a male-dominated society like ours, one has to accept that women are at the receiving end.
  • The sex ratio is unfavorable to women and it has declined over time.
  • The literacy rates are low among women.
  • The expectations of life are low for women in India up to recent times.
  • Women mostly spend their time in household maintenance.
  • There were also gender differences access and control over resources, which were important elements to consider in development, program especially where interventions may change the value of a resource and reduce women’s access.

a) Gender Ratio:


  • Sex is the easily identifiable characteristic and its dichotomous nature presents a few problems of classification.
  • The sex structure of any population can be measured through the percentage of males in the population are the sex ratio.
  • Sex and age are the basic characteristics of the biological attribute, of any demographic group and affect not only its demographic but also its social economic and political structure, for  the influence birth and death rate, internal and international migration, marital status composition, manpower, the gross national product, planning, regarding educational and medical services and housing etc.
  • Sex and age are also very important because they are visible, disputable inconvenient indicators of social status.


  • Each individual has ascribed a certain status in society on the basis of sex and age.
  • Even within the same culture, they may undergo changes over time.
  • Men are more important than women and older persons are more important than younger persons.
  • The city-state should have 5040  citizens Android did not include women, children, and slaves in this ideal number.
  • In general, the overall sex ratio of the developing countries is on the higher side while those of developed countries are below 1000.

b) Factors affecting overall sex ratio:

  • The overall sex ratio is the result of the factors such as the sex ratio of the newborn babies are: –
    • Sex  ratio at birth
    • The sex ratio of the deceased persons
    • The sex ratio of the net migrants

Sex Ratio at Birth:

  • There is a number 1:1 ratio of male and female births.
  • The sex ratio of birth is above thousand.
  • There are 105 male babies per thousand female babies.
  • The sex ratio of birth is determined biologically.
  • Nature is slightly more favorable to males at birth.
  • the sex ratio of birth depends upon the sex ratio of two biological antecedents events that is sex ratio at the time conception and sex ratio of fetal losses of deaths.
  • The sex of the fetus is determined at the time of fertilization but there are direct means of observing this ratio at conception.
  • the indirect estimates suggest that the sex ratio at conception known as the primary sex ratio is much higher than the sex ratio of live birth or fetal deaths.


  • The sex ratio of fetal death (gestation period of 20 weeks or more).
  • In the United States during 1940-44 was higher i.e, 119.8 as compared to that of live birth i.e, 105.2.
  • This appears to be an inverse relationship between the age of the mother and the birth order of the child on the one hand and the sex ratio at birth on the other.
  • Among the lower order birth, especially the first and second-order both the sex ratio are higher, which means more male babies are born among the first and second bond.
  • A large number of couples practice induced abortions of the female fetus and hence sex ratio at birth is increasingly favorable to male babies.

Sex Ratio of Deceased Persons:

  • Differential mortality of males and females is an important factor affecting the overall sex ratio and the sex ratio at various wages.
  • Data and sex ratio of the dead in various countries indicate that with the exception of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh the value of sex ratios of diseased much above 1000.
  • The male fetus is biological, more delicate than the female fetus.
  • It means that even after the birth the male baby continues to be biologically disadvantaged.
  • The fact is reflected in the higher male mortality rates not only on the first day, in the first week and the first month and the first year but throughout life.
  • In fact, in most countries, the crude death rate for males is higher than those of females.
  • It has also been observed that the expectations of life at birth for females are almost universally higher than that for females including India.
  • As age advances the sex ratio exhibit and increasingly numerical access of females according to the 1959 census in the Soviet Union there are 21 million more females than males.
  • Wars widen the gap between males and females observe during the second world war period.
  • The holy Quran permitted, “Polygamy” (allowing a male to marry a maximum of four females).
  • Because females are accessing in number and they should not remain unmarried because of the shortage of males.

Sex Ratio at Net Migrants:

  • The third factor affecting the overall sex ratio of any population is the sex ratio of the net migrants which essentially socio-economic in nature.
  • Migration is ordinarily sex-selective but it cannot have a significant impact on the sex structure of the population.
  • In India, the sex ratio in urban areas is favorable to males because of male domination internal migration.
  • Sex ratio is a crucial indicator of development in a population.
  • The analysis is mostly used in the sociological analysis.
  • India is an exceptional country where females are less in number as compared to males, up to the last century.
  • Women are fewer than men in almost all the states in India, except Kerala. However, the expectation of life for females crossed males and in recent years.
  • In India, discrimination against female sex is prevailing centuries together and the situation has deteriorated over time.
  • The sex ratio in India was presented in table number 1.

Table no. 1, Gender Ratio in India, 1901-2001

Sr. no. Year Gender Ratio F/M per 1000 Gender Ratio M/F per 1000
(1) (2) (3) (4)
1 1901 972 1029
2 1911 964 1038
3 1921 955 1047
4 1931 950 1053
5 1941 945 1058
6 1951 946 1057
7 1961 941 1063
8 1971 930 1075
9 1981 934 1071
10 1991 927 1079
11 2001 933 1072
12 2011 940 ——-
  • The table reveals that this has declined to 927 in 1991, and increased slightly to 933 in 2001.
  • This is a peculiar manifestation of continuing gender inequality and its accentuations clearly observed in the Indian scenario.


  • Table number 1 and 2 clearly show sex discrimination existing in India and among states during 1901 and 2001.
  • Most of the states in India registered a decline in sex ratio during the last century.
  • The highest decline was observed in Bihar, Orissa, M.P, Maharashtra, TamilNadu, and Gujrat.
  • The states that have registered an important in the sex ratio are Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, and Punjab.
  • However, the deductive in sex ratio is low among Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Assam and West Bengal.
  • The highest sex ratio is noticed in Kerala and lowest in Haryana in 2001.
  • Sex discrimination is more pronounced among young age groups which is called the Jovialitive sex ratio.
  • Sex discrimination exists in specific age groups especially at the young ages and in childhood ages.
  • The childhood sex ratio was 945 in 1991, and 927 in 2001 in India.
  • A similar situation was observed among the different states in India.
  • In Andhra Pradesh in 1991 and it declined to 939 in 2001 and in Kerala, the childhood sex ratio was 958 in 1991 and it increased to 963 in 2001.

c) Factors for the paucity of females in India:

    • Higher mortality of females (young girls, maternal mortality, female infanticide)
    • Change in sex ratio at birth ( because of sex selectivity induced abortions ) is becoming more and more favorable to men.
    • To a certain extent differential undercounting (however differential undercounting of girls cannot explain the decline in child sex ratio during 1981-91 and 1991-2001).
  • About the census history of India till 1991 the main factor responsible for numerical deficit females was accessing female mortality.
  • Praveen Visaria observed that excess of males is due to unusually high mortality among females compared to that of males in India.
  • Amartya Sen felt that there are 37 million women missing in India.
  • Of more concerned was increasing in the sex ratio of child population from 1004 males per 1000 females 1981 to 1058 males per 1000 females in 1991.
  • The Census of India 1991, probe survey noticed that 6 million live births that occurred during 1981-91, the sex ratio at birth worked out to be 1120 boys per 1000 girls.
  • The results of the 2001 census indicated that altogether the overall sex ratio has declined 1079 males per 1000 females to 1072 in 2001.
  • The sex ratio of the child population has suddenly increased from 1058 in 1991 to 1078 in 2001.
  • Thus, the proportion of boys among newborn babies is increasing sharply and it is commonly assumed to be the result of the rapid spread of the use of ultrasound and amniocentesis for sex determination and subsequent sex-selective induced abortions.

Sex Ratios in India and Major States (F/M/F) 1901 and 2001

Sr. no. State F/M 1901 F/M 2001 Change 2001 M/F
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
1 India 972 933 -39 1072
2 Andhra Pradesh 985 978 -7 1022
3 Assam 919 932 -13 1073
4 Bihar 1054 920 -134 1086
5 Gujrat 954 921 -33 1086
6 Himachal Pradesh 884 970 +86 1131
7 Haryana 867 861 -6 1161
8 Kerala 1004 1058 +54 945
9 Karnataka 983 963 -20 1037
10 Orissa 1037 972 -65 1029
11 Maharashtra 978 922 -56 1085
12 Madhya Pradesh 990 920 -70 1087
13 Punjab 832 847 +42 1144
14 Rajasthan 905 922 -17 1085
15 Uttar Pradesh 937 898 -39 1114
16 Tamil Nadu 1044 986 -58 1014
17 West Bengal 945 919 -26 1071


  • Amartya Sen refers to abortions of a female fetus after the determination of the sex of the fetus at natality inequality.
  • He designated the use of ultrasound as hi-tech sexism.
  • The census finding of the high sex ratio of young children is confined in the result of the national family health survey-2 (1998-99) and NFHS (2006).
  • These surveys also showed that ultrasound amniocentesis is often used for sex determination leading to selective sex abortions consistently over the decade.
  • It is observed by Arnold, Kishore, and Roy that the legislation protecting the test of pre-sex determination has failed.
  • What is needed is a change in the basic conditions such as strong and persistent son preferences, the generally lower status of women, widespread practice of dowry and considerable acceptance of sex-selective abortion.
  • It is well known that both the structure of the Indian economy, polity and society and path of development pursued so far have served exuberant inequality among dimensions.
  • One such important dimension is gender inequality.
  • Reproduction of an becomes a determinant of the status of women in our society.
  • Today there is a need to give out health care systems from curative to preventive.
  • The health problems of adolescents and young adults of both sexes vary widely.


  • “Catch them young” is a slogan widely recommended to bring about desired attitudinal changes for gender equality.
  • The world Bank in its recent report pointed out that maternal mortality is very high in India.
  • The world Bank in its report further revealed that there is excess matter mortality resulting from physical assault such as rape, burning, beating, etc.
  • The abortions related mortality seems to be high especially in rural areas.
  • The preponderance of illegal unscientific traditional methods of abortion in rural areas caused a lot of damage to women’s health in general and reproductive health and particular.
  • The document on a national perspective plan for women (1993-2000) and of the government of India summarises the health situation of women as was characterized by Malnutrition, disease, disability and even death at critical stages of their lives, namely, early childhood.
  • Adolescence and reproductive phase.
  • Neglect of women’s health and nutrition is so serious that it weighs women’s natural biological tendency to live longer than men.
  • Hundred million women are missing every year.
  • Use investment in the field of health has great importance as far as maintenance of human capital is concerned.
  • Table number 3 provides information for life expectancy at birth for both males and females.

Life Expectancy at Birth in India 1951-93

Sr. no. Year Life Expectancy at Birth (Year) Males Life Expectancy at Birth (Year) Females Life Expectancy at Birth (Year) M+F Abs. Differences
1 1950-51 32.4 31.7 32.1 -0.7
2 1960-61 41.9 40.6 41.3 -1.3
3 1970-71 46.4 44.7 45.6 -1.7
4 1980-81 50.9 50.0 50.4 -0.9
5 1990-91 58.1 58.6 58.3 +0.5
6 1992-93 60.4 61.2 60.8 +0.8
7 1996-01 62.3 65.3 65.6 +1.6
8 2001-06 63.8 66.9 65.6 +1.6
  • The table clearly shows that life expectancy is higher for males as compared to females.
  • However, in recent times the expectation of life is higher for females as compared to males.
  • During the period 1986-2001, the expectancy of life is 62.3 years for males whose as 65.3 years for females.
  • The females have 1.6 years of more life than males and as per the projections, for the period 2001-2006, the male expectancy will be 63.8 years and for females 66.9 years.

d) Maternal Mortalityality rate:

  • It refers to deaths due to pregnancy-related to causes.
  • The maternal mortality rate is very high in India that is 437 in 1994.
  • It shows an increasing tendency.
  • The high rated attributed to unwanted, unplanned pregnancy, malnutrition, lack of regular medical consultation, lack of knowledge of healthcare, illiteracy, poverty less access to medical care in proper time women’s health in India states that India’s account for almost 25% of world maternal death and number of pregnancy-related death in rural areas are still highest in the world.
  • Nutrition survey in India indicates that the maturity of women in India suffers from anemia and other nutrition deficiency.
  • A number of children are suffering from health diseases.
  • Maternal mortality is high in India because of social and economic factors.
  • Most of this death is preventable because it is the only reflection of women’s nutrition, poor health states and high fertility of poor access to utilization of health seminars, etc.
  • The accessibility and availability of health providers is one of the important factors that determine maternal mortality. Since prodders must take special care to pregnant adolescents as a high.

e) Age at marriage:

  • The age of marriage is very low in India.
  • The universality of marriage and child marriage is very much prevalent in India.
  • Table number 4 provides information on age at marriage in India.

Age of Marriage in India 1951-1991

Sr. no. Year Mean age at Marriage (Male) Mean age at Marriage (Female) Absolute increase (Years) – Male Absolute increase (Years) – Female
1 1961 21.6 16.1 1.7 0.7
2 1971 22.4 17.2 0.8 1.1
3 1981 23.3 18.3 0.9 1.1
4 1991 23.8 18.7 0.5 0.4
5 1992 25.0 20.0 1.4 1.5
  • The marriage is low for females as compared to males.
  • The real purpose of marriage was the procreation of children.
  • Celibacy was punishable by law and denounced in public.
  • Athenian customs and laws childbearing.
  • When overpopulation occurs greeks encouraged abortion and exposure to do newborn babies leading to infanticide.


  • Traditionally the Hindu religion has laid stress on marriage and begetting of children.
  • Even today marriage is universal.
  • A man after Brahmacharyam (period of pursuit of knowledge as a student) enters Grihasthasharam by getting married.
  • The aims of a Hindu marriage are Dharma, Praja(progeny) and Rathi(Pleasure).
  • For the women, marriage is essential because though a man goes through several sacraments throughout life, marriage is the only sacrament that she is allowed.
  • Procreation is the second aim of Hindu and bringing forth a son is necessary since Putra is needed to save parents from Punnaminaraka (Hell).
  • Daughter is only desired because Kanyadanam adds to the Punya of the parents.
  • The newly married Hindu couples have therefore received blessings from their elders “May you have eight sons and five daughters “.
  • Then itself there is a lot of discrimination between in the possession of getting children.
  • Till recently the Hindu could legally have more than one wife, one of the main reasons for securing the second wife being childlessness.

f) Early Child Bearing and Other Social Factors:

  • The prevalence of primary sterility is also very high among women marrying below 18 years of age.
  • Early child wearing is one of the reasons for high maternal mortality in the country.
  • Fertility is very high in India, as compared to other developing countries.
  • Greater frequency of birth will lead to higher maternal mortality. Several studies show that maternal mortality is high among women having high parity.


  • More the spacing less the risk of maternal mortality and vice versa.
  • The postpartum amenorrhea is also very low in India. the tradition of breastfeeding the child is slowly disappearing and more children nowadays a bottle feed rather than breastfeed.
  • Most of the deliveries are attended by local Mantrasaani or relative rather than a  doctor or a  nurse.
  • The umbilical cord is being cut on why traditional life and do not buy any sterilized material.
  • There is proper prenatal and antenatal care. since female literacy is very low many women do not have the knowledge of conception, childbearing, and rearing.
  • They do not know how many children born.
  • The human anatomy and physiology are not at all known too many women in the country.
  • The majority of the women in the country still believe that children are god-given and they are only instrumental.
  • They believe in the concept “Naru Posina Vaadu Neerupoyyada?”.
  • Instead of taking proper prenatal and antenatal care they depend on God for everything so all these factors lead to high maternal mortality in the country which in turn reflected in the low and declining sex ratio.

g) Foeticide:

  • A number of factors including neglect of female infants and child and greater male rather than female access to improve health care and education are responsible for a decline in sex ratio.
  • The decline in sex ratio at birth due to the practice of female foeticide and practice of female infanticide that killing an infant because it is a female.
  • Foeticide is a recent development, female infanticide is much longer history in India.

h) Abortion:

  • Abortion is as old as man.
  • Both spontaneous and induced abortion was prevalent for a long time in India.

i) Female infanticide:

  • Even though a female fetus is a biological stronger than male fetus in practice they are fewer girl children than male children.
  • Female infanticide has spread widely in rural areas.
  • The practice of female infanticide cannot be tackled in isolation.
  • It is an extreme and particularly reprehensible form of violence against women in our society.
  • In the long run only abroad and successful movement to transform the structure and policies of our economy and society in a democratic direction can eliminate all forms of violence against women.
  • To tackle the problem of overpopulation, Plato recommended infanticide, exposer, and abandonment of deformed infants on grounds of eugenics.

j) Infant Mortality:

  • It is considered to be a fairly sensitive index of the health condition of the population in a society.
  • It is affected by both biological and environmental factors.
  • Apart from genetic factors, the age of the mother, order of birth, the spacing of children plays a very crucial role in determining the level of infant mortality in society.
  • Infant mortality in India has declined over time.
  • The rate was 146 in 1951 and 1961, 129 in 1971, 110 in 1981, 80 in 1991, and 70 in 2001.
  • The infant mortality rate is very high among female children as compared to male children.
  • Healthcare is very poor among female children as compared to male children leading to high infant mortality among female children.
  • Infant mortality is a precondition for the acceptance of small family norms in the country.

k) Child mortality:

  • Child mortality refers to mortality in less than 5 years of age for 1000 live birth.
  • Childhood diseases, child malnutrition, lack of safe drinking water, are some reasons for child mortality in India.
  • The child mortality rate is very high among females as compared to male children.
  • During the period 1979 to 1981, the male child mortality was 41 as against female mortality of 44.8.
  • Similarly, from 1989 to 1991, the male child mortality was 26.3 as against 26.9 among females in India.
  • There exist create discrimination in child mortality between male and female children and there is every need to curb the same.

l) Son Preference:

  • In a patriarchal society, there is a strong son preference.
  • The desire is in line with aspiration emerging from an increasingly consumerist culture leading to the practice of female foeticide.
  • Strong preference for male child reflected in health care. the birth of a male child is a cause for celebration, while the birth of a female child is a state of commensuration.
  • Thus, son preference leads to low sex ratio in India

m) Family planning acceptance:

  • Women bare gigantic share of family planning burden, especially in rural India.
  • The complication arising after tubectomy and IUD and side effects or oral pills have further shacked the health of rural women.
  • Male members are not coming forward to share the burden of family planning.
  • There is a myth and fear among people that man will become impotent by undergoing vasectomy operation.
  • That is most of the women along with their undergoing family planning operation.
  • Due to poverty, some women are becoming victims of STD, TB, Goiter, etc.

n) Under Counting of Women:

  • One of the main reasons for gender inequality in India may be undercounting of women in India.
  • There is a lot of bias under-reporting about women due to cultural factors.
  • In a family where there are only daughters the possibility of under-reporting is very high.
  • Thus, undercounting is one of the main reasons for the enumeration of low females in the country.
  • Thus, all these factors put together have led to gender inequality in India.
  • There is a need to empower women in India by bringing changes in the reproductive health of women.
  • Also, there is a need to empower women through social, economic and political measures.

o) Social Inequalities:

  • Education plays a crucial role in improving the possibilities for personal growth.
  • Similarly, cultural norms, values, and customs are no less important in determining women’s life choices and physical and mental well being.
  • The linkages between the culture, women’s education and health are important to improve the status of women in society.

p) Literacy:

  • Illiteracy is a root cause of all other types of discrimination.
  • The female literacy rate was less than 10% before attaining independence in India.
  • The rate was 0.69 percent in 1901, 1.05 percent in 1911, 1.81 percent in 1921, 2.93 percent in 1931, 7.3% in 1941 and 8.86 percent in 1951.
  • In 1961 hardly 15.34 percent of women are literate.
  • As per the 2001 census, 54.16 percent of women are literate.
  • Table number 5 provides information on literacy throughout the century in India.

Literacy Rate in India – 1951-2001 Year  The Literacy Population in Percentage (Male) Literacy Population in Percentage (Female)  The Literacy Population in Percentage (Total)
1 1951 27.2 8.9 18.4
2 1961 40.2 22.0 28.3
3 1971 46.0 28.5 34.5
4 1981 53.4 28.5 41.4
5 1991 64.2 39.2 52.2
6 2001 75.9 54.2 65.4
  • Similarly, table number 6 provides information in enrollment of students in India at the primary, middle and high school levels.
  • The table clearly shows that the enrollment hates you are much lower for girls as compared to boys from primary to the high school level.
  • Number 6 provides information on the enrollment of students at the secondary level in the ruler and urban areas.
  • Gender inequalities exist not only in rural areas but in urban areas too.
  • Even though female literacy has grown over the past century, the number of females who remained as illiterate increased over time.
  • There were hardly about 10 crores women who were illiterate (0.69 percent) in 1901.
  • But there are about 23 crores of women who are illiterate in 2001.
  • The directive principles of the Constitution of India exhorts the state to endeavor to provide free and compulsory education to all the children up to the age of 14 years.


  • The 83rd amendment bill fulfills the need for more compelling and stringent action on the part of the government.
  • Article 15 of the constitution prohibited any discrimination on the ground of sex.
  • In  1958 the government of India appointed as a committee on women’s education in order to recommend special measures to bridge the gap between boys and girls at the primary and secondary levels.
  • The national policy on education 1968 also laid emphasis on removal disparities in educational opportunities to women.
  • The education of women can be effective tool for women’s empowerment.
  • There is a need to implement measures to develop education standards, taught the basics of primary health care, environmental sanitation, use of safe drinking water and reproductive health care.
  • There is every need to build a positive attitude among women.
  • Separate schools, colleges, and other higher education institutions may be started exclusively for women, for educational purposes.
  • These measures will help to increase literacy and education among women in the country.

Women and work participation: Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society

  • But, today the situation has changed and many women gainful employment, though a man has not taken housekeeping.
  • The roles and status of individuals affect the demographic situations.
  • As per the ILO report, women constitute roughly 50% of the total population, 33 percent of the labor force and perform 66.6% of total works hours.
  • They earn only 10% of total income and less than 1% of world property.
  • Lack of ownership rights insecurity in employment, underemployment; extended hours of work is the common stick characters of the Indian women.
  • They work in the organized sector and paid very less.


  • Table -8 provides information on women working in the organized sector in India from 1971-91.

Women in Organized Sector in India

Sr. No. Year Public sectors (Male) Public sectors (Female) Private sectors (Male) Private sectors (Female) Total of Males Total of Females
1 1971 98.9 (92.0) 8.6 (8.0) 56.8 (84.0) 10.8 (84.0) 155.6 (89.0) 19.3 (11.0)
2 1981 139.8 (90.3) 14.9 (9.7) 61.0 (82.5) 12.9 (17.5) 200.5 (87.8) 27.93 (12.2)
3 1991 167.1 (87.7) 23.4 (12.3) 62.4 (81.3) 14.3 (18.7) 229.5 (85.9) 37.8 (14.1)
  • The table shows that there exists clear discrimination in the empowerment of men and women both in public and private sectors during 1971-91.
  • As a compared public sector, private sectors provide better employment opportunities in India.
  • Table number 9 provides information on work participation rates in India, during 1971-2001 both the rural and urban areas.
  • The table reveals that there exist, clear discrimination in work participation rates between males and females. The female participation rates are much lower as compared to males.
  • There is a strong relationship between women’s health we need to consider the totality of women’s work, whether paid or unpaid or working in an organized or unorganized sector.

Women and Political Participation: Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society

  • The universal declaration of Human rights declares that everyone has the right to take part in the government of his or her country.
  • The United Nations Economic and social commission endorsed a target of 30 percent of women at all levels of decision making by 1995.
  • The women who are going to participate did not improve.
  • Globally, women constitute 10 percent of legislative bodies and less in parliament positions.

Gender Empowerment Measure – 1997

Sr. no. Indicator


India Low Human Development Economics All Developing Countries South Asia
1 Seats in parliament % age of women 7.3 7.2 12.7 6.9
2 Administrators & Managers % age of Women 2.3 3.5 10.0 2.9
3 Professional & Technical Workers % age 20.5 21.1 36.7 21.3
4 GEM Value 0.228 0.223 0.367 0.231

    Summary: Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society

  • The paper has broadly discussed the issue of Gender Equality, women empowerment and reproductive health among women in India.
  • There is a good correlation between gender inequality and the reproductive health of women.
  • The sex ratio is very low in India as compared to many developing countries and most of the advanced countries.
  • Empowerment through the expansion of the civil, political and social rights of citizenship in a laborious and unexciting process.
  • Empowerment is the only effective answer to oppression, exploitation, injustice, and other melodies of society.
  • The idea of an empowerment contains exciting possibilities.
  • It is a wide term with no specific meaning.
  • It is about social transformation.
  • About people rather than politicians.

          Conclusion: Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society

  • Empowerment appears to be an alternative path for dismantling the old structure and putting the new one in this place.
  • Empowerment is to change society through the rearrangement of power.
  • So there is a need for empowerment through civic, political and social rights of citizens.
  • Gender empowerment measure is a measure for women’s development.
  • It measures gender inequality in society.
  • India ranks 86 out of 175 countries in the world, as far as gender empowerment is concerned.
  • The measure indicates whether women are able to actively participate in economic and political life.
  • It measures gender inequality in the basic capabilities of women.
  • It focuses on gender inequality in the key areas of social-economic political scenarios.
  • The lack of access to land, credit, better employment opportunities, handicaps women’s ability to free from poverty.
  • Poverty is more among women as compared to men.

Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society

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Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society Introduction to Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society Development in Global Level in Gender Discrimination in India: Women Status and Society The five-year plans Objective and database Gender ratio Factors affecting overall Sex ratio at birth Sex ratio to a deceased person Sex ratio at migrants Factors for paucity of females in India Maternal mortality rate Age of marriage Early childbearing and other social factors Foeticide Abortion Female Infanticide Infant mortality Child mortality Son preference Family planning acceptance Under counting of women Social inequalities Literacy Women and work participation Women and political participation Summary and Conclusion