Gender Stereotypes – UPSC GS1

  • Women make up only a fifth of ISRO’s workforce.
  • Women form 0.56% of our army, 1.08% of the air force and 6.5% of the navy
  • In the Indian judiciary, only 11 (or 4.2%) of Supreme Court judges over the past 71 years have been women, and not a single woman has headed it since 1950.
Gender Stereotypes:
  • Perceptions and stereotypes: Perceptions that boys are naturally more talented contribute to women’s under-representation in fields like computer science and physics.
  • Socio-cultural myths: A World Bank study shows that socio-cultural myths have induced “nearly four in ten people, globally to believe “that when jobs are scarce, men should have more right to jobs than women“.
  • Gender-sorting of jobs: A International Labour Organization study states that gender sorting of jobs by educational streaming, stereotypes and biased expectations often relegates women to less-productive enterprises and lower-paid jobs.
  • Low self-esteem: Even if women have the skills and talent to succeed in the STEM fields, they shy away from such a career, because of weak self-confidence and poor self-belief.
  • Role of the educational and domestic environment have a huge role in shaping a student’s professional interests. For example-male preference for the masculinised and realistic occupations and females “choosing the social and artistic occupations such as teachers.
  • The sole responsibility of child-rearing rests on a woman, which reduces a woman’s labour supply by almost two years during her reproductive years.
  • Discrimination and harassment: Women are treated differently at every level and remain vulnerable to sexual harassment.
What are some examples that things are changing in India? 
  • Increase in enrolment: India now has more female graduates (43% of all) in STEM subjects than the developed nations like US (34%), UK (38%), etc
  • Supreme court in 2020 ruled in favour of women holding commanding roles in the armed forces.
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