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Changing Role of Women

By KanodiaNupur1 Jul 30, 2013 918 Words
Compare the status of woman of your state with that at the national level for the last ten years on the basis of education level, employment etc.

Whereas the sex of an individual is a biological phenomenon, gender is a social construct, defined by societal norms that attribute different roles and values to men and women. Moreover, these sex-specific roles, rights, and obligations are not just different, they also tend to be unequal (Kishor, 1999). Unequal gender relations -- existing to varying degrees in most if not all countries of the world-- feed directly into the status accorded to women and girls in society.

Women's status is a term that describes women's situation in both absolute terms and in terms relative to men. The focus of women's status measurement has typically been on women's access to, and utilization of, information and resources (e.g., access to education, access to cash employment). Women's empowerment is a related term that focuses on attention to women's degree of control over their own lives and environments and over the lives of those in their care, such as their children. "Autonomy" is a related concept that also reflects women's control over their lives and environment, as well as status. Status and empowerment are intended to reflect the extent to which egalitarian gender relations are achieved.

Gender equity is an end in itself. Research from economics, law, demography, sociology, and other disciplines demonstrates widespread gender gaps in access and control of resources, economic opportunities, power, and political voice. These gender inequalities not only impose costs on the health and well-being of men, women, and children, but also diminish a country's prospects for development. In addition to these personal costs, societies that discriminate by gender pay a high price in terms of their ability to govern effectively, to reduce poverty, and to pursue economic progress (World Bank, 2001).

The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women for neutralizing the cumulative socio economic, education and political disadvantages faced by them. Fundamental Rights, among others, ensure equality before the law and equal protection of law; prohibits discrimination against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth, and guarantee equality of opportunity to all citizens in matters relating to employment. Articles 14, 15, 15(3), 16, 39(a), 39(b), 39(c) and 42 of the Constitution are of specific importance in this regard. India has also ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights of women. Key among them is the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993. However, the constitution dream of gender equality is miles away from becoming a reality.unfortunately the denial of equal socio-economic opportunities nd strong traditional bias against women have resulted in low human development over years.even 2day,dere is inequality between men nd women in access to education,health care,employment oppportunities nd opportunities in political, social, nd cultural spheres.

Treatment of Gender in this Database
Because gender plays such a complex and pervasive role in all aspects of human life, it is challenging to define an exhaustive set of "gender indicators" (for reasons described below). Rather, the issue of gender is treated in four different ways in this database.

1. Population-based Indicators of Women's Status and Empowerment

Evaluators can use selected population-based indicators of women's status and empowerment that are available from the DHS and other large-scale national surveys in one of three ways. First, the simple tracking of the indicator can document progress (e.g., increasing levels of female education). Second, indicators can serve to document gender differentials in male/female comparisons. And third, indicators can serve to demonstrate the effect of women's status on other behaviors or phenomena (e.g., women with less education have lower decision- making power).

2. Gender in Managerial Structures and in Service Delivery

Gender affects two aspects of the supply environment for RH services in measurable ways: the managerial structure and the service delivery system. For example, men generally make higher salaries than do women for comparable work; women often hold the lowest paying jobs in an organization. In terms of service delivery, women of lower status may get treatment inferior to that of their higher status counterparts, even in the same facility. Providers may inadvertently reinforce gender stereotypes through messages they communicate to clients.

3. A "Gender Interpretation" of Other Indicators

Because of the far-reaching influence of gender in all aspects of service delivery, several of the indicators contain gender implications that indicate how to analyze the results from a gender perspective. Often by disaggregating data by sex (e.g., males versus females), one can identify the effects of gender inequity in a system.

4. Indicators for Gender-Relevant Programs

In the wake of the Cairo ICPD, programs worldwide have attempted to incorporate men into RH programming to a greater extent, both to support health-seeking behaviors in their partners and to participate directly by adopting practices that foster improved RH, hence the Male Engagement in RH Programs indicators. Sexual and Gender-based Violence constitutes one of the most harmful physical expressions of gender inequity and is also included in this database, pertaining to both men and women.

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