Gender Discrimination and Women’s Development in India

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Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gender Discrimination and Women’s Development in India
Sivakumar, Marimuthu Chikkaiah Naicker College, Erode, Tamilnadu, India

07. September 2008

Online at MPRA Paper No. 10901, posted 05. October 2008 / 11:06

GENDER DISCRIMINATION AND WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA M.SIVAKUMAR Ph.D Scholar in Economics, Chikkaiah Naicker College, Erode-4. T.N. INDIA 05.09.2008


Gender is a common term where as gender discrimination is meant only for women, because females are the only victims of gender discrimination. Females are nearly 50 percent of the total population but their representation in public life is very low. Recognizing women’s right and believing their ability are essential for women’s empowerment and development. This study deals with gender discrimination in India, its various forms and its causes. Importance of women in development, legislation for women and solution for gender discrimination are also discussed in this paper.

Key Words: gender discrimination, women’s development, legislation for women, education, employment, economic independence, empowerment, decision making and self confidence.


Gender is a common term where as gender discrimination is meant only for women, because females are the only victims of gender discrimination. Gender discrimination is not biologically determined but it is determined by socially and the discrimination can be changed by the proper and perpetuate efforts. Denial of equality, rights and opportunity and suppresment in any form on the basis of gender is gender discrimination.

Half of the world’s population is females. They are doing two-third of work of the total work in the world but received only one-tenth of the world’s total income. Nearly two-third of the women is illiterates and they have possessed only one percent of the total world’s assets. In the world only one-fourth of the families are headed by female. India is a male dominant society and gender discrimination is customised habitually.


From web to death females are facing lots of discrimination against them. Some of them are

Abortion of female gravida with the help of scanning. Feoticide (By giving liquid extract from cactus / opuntia, giving raw paddy to new born female baby, by pressing the face by pillow or by breaking the female baby’s neck) Not giving enough and nutritious food Not allowing to go to school (Denial of education) Not giving needy health care while in ill health Early marriage Eve teasing, Rape and Sexual harassment Dowry Divorce, Destitution even for silly or without any reason.

Causes of Gender Discrimination

The causes of gender discrimination are

Educational backwardness Caste Religious beliefs Culture On the name of family history Customs and beliefs Races

Low income Unemployment Society Family situation and Attitudes Like male or even above them female plays important role in the family and national development. But her contribution is not recognized by the male dominant society.

Review of Literature

Sonalde Desai (1994) observed that parents reluctance to educate daughters has its roots in the situation of women. Parents have several incentives for not educating their daughters. Foremost is the view that education of girls brings no returns to parents and that their future roles, being mainly reproductive and perhaps including agricultural labor, require no formal education.

Kalyani Menon Sen and A.K.Shivakumar (2001) found that girls in India are discriminated against in several ways – fewer months of breastfeeding less of nurturing and play, less care or medical treatment if they fall ill, less of “special” food, less of parental attention. As a result, girls are far more susceptible than boys to disease and infections, leading to...
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