In Focus

Women fight social bias, work on par with men

By Sonal Aggarwal

India has come a long way, since independence, in framing laws and policies to protect and empower women. More importantly, now more women are in the public sphere, catalysing change and creating spaces for women to be part of growing India.

Image for representational purpose only
Positive discrimination or affirmative action has been provided in the Indian Constitution for weaker sections of the society, such as women. Constitutional provisions, government schemes and local laws have helped reduce the gender gap. Also, the increased enrolment of girl child in primary and secondary schools, improved maternity benefits and maternal health have helped incorporate more women in the work force. Processes have now been put in place to prevent violence against women, reduce pay parity and prevent sexual harassment at workplace.

However, poor implementation of the law, insensitivity of the authorities and awry perception among the society and enforcement agents pose hurdles. Female foeticide is still rampant in several pockets across the country, dowry deaths and brutality are commonplace till date, women are at risk at workplaces, girl children and women are vulnerable to predators even within the confines of their homes and public apathy makes women prone to risks in public spaces.

Gender bias pervades all aspect of a woman’s existence, even before they are born. Bias affects their right to education, healthcare, vaccination, nutrition, employment, representation, justice and life.
Women are an untapped resource that can fight illiteracy, poverty, violence and other ills that plague modern societies. The potential of the fairer gender has been revealed throughout history in literature, science, even war. Women have come a long way fighting all biases and now work at par with the men. The world today needs to recognise it.