Gender inequality refers to health, education, economic and political inequalities between men and women. Gender inequalities and its social causes impact India’s sex ratio, women’s health over their lifetimes, their educational attainment, and economic conditions. Gender inequality in India is a multifaceted issue that concerns men and women alike. However, when India’s population is examined as a whole, women are at a disadvantage in several important ways. In India, discriminatory attitudes towards either sex have existed for generations and affect the lives of both sexes. The reasons for gender inequalities predominantly are patriarchal society, preference for sons, discrimination against girls, dowry and marriage laws.
Although the constitution of India has granted men and women equal rights, gender disparity still remains. Gender inequality is a highly debilitating stigma and leads to detriments of women’s psychology of their worth and dignity to themselves and to society. Indian laws on rape, dowry and adultery have women’s safety at heart, but these highly discriminatory practices are still taking place at an alarming rate.
The remedy would have to emanate from the cultural tradition of society; accordingly, the collaboration of local communities, institutions and national authorities is essential to influence change and promoting the value of women. All must act in concert with respect to communication, education, leadership, and cultural norms and traditional values in order to shift the attitude and mindset of the population in favour of gender equality – respecting mothers, daughters, sisters who are equal partners in this global Diaspora.
AWAG has participated in various activities and forums to present its views on gender equality and voicing its dissent on gender discrimination and disparity. The struggle for gender parity continues to be a cornerstone in AWAG’s interventions. To accept that the Human Rights of women and men are essentially equal is a very difficult proposition in the Indian milieu.