Women : Facts and Issues – UPSC GS1

  • UN report  ” Cyber violence against women and girls” – 73% women reported facing violence online.
  • Stalkers and abusers online take advantage of anonymity and are encouraged by viral nature of the online medium which provides instant fame.
  • Gender Development Index: 132ndrank
  • Gender Equality Index: 127th rank
  • Suffers from one of the lowest sex ratios (940 in 2011) in South Asia
  • Gender ratio on the electoral rolls: 800 (almost)
  • Women representation increased from 4.4% in first Lok Sabha election in 1952 to 11.9% in the 16th Lok Sabha in 2014. Global average is 22.9%.
  • On average, women are paid 34% less than men in India. This gender wage gap is highest in world.
  • The gender pay gap is still high in India and women in the country earn 19 per cent less than men.
  • The agricultural census reveals that 73.2% of rural women are engaged in farming activities but only 12.8% own landholdings.
  • Women’s representation has marginally increased in police, prisons and the judiciary.Women now accounts for
    • 10% of all police personnel up from 7% in 2017;
    • 13% prison staff (10% in 2016) and
    • 3% of judges (26.5% in 2017-18).
The obstacles to political empowerment are mainly in three areas :
  1. Registration as voter,
  2. Actual participation in voting,
  3. Contesting as candidate
General elections of 2014 :
  • Women’s turnout shot up from 55.82 to 65.63 per cent — a jump of nearly 20 per cent
  • 16 states- Outnumbered their male counterparts
  • Gender gap- Used to be higher than 10 per cent, came down to an all-time low of 1.46 per cent
Participation of women as candidates :
India is way behind more backward countries of South Asia; even conservative Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh have higher female representation
Breakthrough: The enactment of the 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution in 1992
2009: The Union cabinet approved an increase in reservation for women from 33 to 50 per cent in Panchayati raj institutions
Bill for women’s reservation in legislatures: Been pending in Parliament
Government Initiatives:
  • NARI Portal: The NARI portal will provide information to women on issues affecting their lives.
  • e-Samvad Portal: The MWCD also launched the portal to provide platform for NGOs and Civil Societies to interact with the ministry.

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