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  • Samikaa Bansal

Removing Gender Inequality by Empowering Women

Even today, in India, there are many families who prefer a housewife rather than a working woman. This is seen mainly in arranged marriages, where most parents and even the groom express their desire to have a non-working girl for marriage, who would stay at home, take care of the house, and raise the kids.

79% of Indian women (aged 15 years and above) do not even seek work. Countries with which Indians typically compare themselves — such as China, the US, Indonesia, and Bangladesh — have two-to-three times higher participation rates for women.

No matter which cluster of countries one compares with — high income or low, highly indebted or least developed — India comes off worse. India’s 21% female Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) is not even half the global average (47%).

It is extremely important for all women - be it married, single, separated, widowed or divorced to be financially independent. At a basic level, financial independence makes women feel more secure and respected irrespective of their socio-economic background. Thus, women should be financially independent before starting a family and that is the main motive of this change.

This is where the government steps in. Apart from many other women empowerment schemes, the government has raised the age of marriage of women from 18-21 years during the winter session of the parliament this year. The movement is based on the principle of equality and aims to bring more women into the country’s workforce allowing them an opportunity to pursue their professional goals.

On 12th January, 2022 while addressing the virtual session of ‘National Youth Festival’ in Puducherry, Prime Minister Modi said, “Daughters can also make their career, they get more time, this is a very important step in this direction.” He then added, “The government believes that sons and daughters are equal. With this thinking, it has been decided to raise the age of marriage from 18 to 21 years for the betterment of daughters.”

This is a big step in the right direction towards making India a country where women getting opportunities with regards to higher education, vocational training and skill sets to enter employment and making themselves self-reliant is supported and not frowned upon

Sources:

  1. Times of India

  2. NDTV


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