Gender inequality in socio-political scenario across the globe and in India
Gender has been a major discriminatory factor for a long time and women have been suppressed and constantly made to feel inferior and exploited. They make up a large section of society (about half) but have been systematically subjugated to abuse and ill treatment weakening their social, economic, political status and rendering them unable to be free and on equal term/standing of men.
Throughout history due to many social norms and perceptions and the role of women in household has led to the misconception that women are only fit to take care of the house and childcare. Religions, cultures, traditions also reflect this ideology and across various countries and societies women are treated as secondary/second class citizens or are objectified and denied basic right that a man gets.
This has further strengthened and led to patriarchal societies were men are dominant and even if women are well educated, qualified and working are discriminated and paid less (though this is the best case scenario). However reality is far more grave/dire and female children are seen as a burden and killed (feticide/ infanticide), denied access to education, health care, nutritious food and made to look after the household and children.
Though in recent times it is slowly changing and women are slowly through a lot of struggle and hardships coming forward and taking up leadership roles and representing themselves and displaying their abilities and competing with men on equal footing. But there is still a long way to go before women are truly equal and not discriminated based on their gender.
Taking a few examples of some countries we can see the disparity and plight of women and their struggles to achieve equality in social, economic and political fields. USA which is the most developed country and progressive society till date has still not had a single female President (even though the feminist movement started here long back in the 1980’s) while India a developing country and the largest democracy not only had a female President (Pratibha Patil) but also a Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) and several Chief Ministers (Sucheta Kriplani, Jayalalitha, Uma Bharati, Mayawati and Vasundhara Raje) as well.
Indian women also were given the right to vote (fraternity) after we got our freedom from British rule and there is also a 33% reservation of seats for women in parliament (both Rajya Shaba and Lok Sabah) and state legislative assemblies. There is reservation or job quota of 35% for women and 50% seat reservations in local self government or Panchayati raj system.
Other countries like Sweden which is known as the first feminist government has 45% seats filled by women and aims for complete equality and representation of women in politics. Sweden is a gender-egalitarian leader and other than provision of education and healthcare to women has a great welfare policy of maternal leave to both parents which entitles them to share 480 days, or around 16 months, of paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted.
In India we have the Right to Education act which guarantees education and makes it compulsory for all children of ages 5-14 years to go to school. This ensures that women get educated and know of their rights and improve their lives.