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The recently released Gender Gap Index shows India in a terrible light and shows that a few women at the top does not make a great country for all women.
I just noticed the World Economic Forum’s latest release which has pushed India to the 108th position in its Gender Gap index. That is awful, as our country (where the most sanskaari ladies are manufactured) has jumped down 21 places from the last release of the World Economic Forum in this regard.
The next thing I found pegged into my mind is the Gender Vulnerability Index released by an NGO named Plan India. With no wonder, we have Bihar at the lowest or I better say, the most vulnerable place for women in India, followed by Uttar Pradesh. Delhi is third lowest in the index.
Goa, which I can call the most westernized state of our country is the at the top of the vulnerability index. Time to admit now that liquor, late night parties, and wearing Western outfits is no reason at all to make a place unsafe for women in India.
With no surprise to me, Kerala has secured the rank of being the second best place for gender equality in our country and the point to keep bold and underlined here is that Kerala is and has been for years, the state with the most educated people in our country. So, education is the solution to the harrowing issue of the gender gap faced by all of us.
Mizoram is the third best place that supports gender equality in India, and the note I am taking here is that it is the people and their mindset and not the facilities or proximity to central policy makers that results in the deteriorating position of women in our culturally nourished environment.
The reasoning behind the Gender Gap index of the World Economic Forum is primarily based on equal opportunities and equal pay for males and females in a country. We all know how much to expect when a vacancy post states ‘only females can apply’. In most jobs, women are not a fit as they are not supposed to be out at work at late hours or are hardly expected to keep their spouses waiting at home when in an urgent meeting. In short, we in India have an unwritten statement in every job description as to whether it is a fit for a woman or not. The more harsh facts are taken from where a girl is born and parents need to console themselves as well as others by stating that there is no difference and also from a typical Indian wedding where the bride’s side, despite bearing the maximum burden of sacrifice is considered as the ‘lower’ or less respectable side.
The few who have fought the discrimination in the air and have been fortunate enough to rise to the top are those who are being named every time to show how well we are doing for the women in the country. Sadly, the actual figures include all women, not just the few at the top while showing the entire world how good India is managing its gender liabilities.
Nevertheless, the figures are alarming and we cannot wait for the policy makers to come out with a policy that addresses the troubled equations between men and women in our country.
Time to take charge. Breed gender equality in the mind. Education is the best tool for it and the questions like ‘what she was wearing’ or ‘what was she doing out so late in the night’ need to be declared pointless.
The Central ministers have not missed a chance to pat themselves on their backs for making India a better place in terms of doing business in the world. Who now is going to take the responsibility of this worsening gender issue in India is what I am waiting and watching.
First published here.
Image via Pixabay