The Roots of Gender Inequality in India

8 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2017

See all articles by D. Amutha

D. Amutha

St.Mary's College, Tuticorin

Date Written: January 27, 2017


Man and woman both are equal and play a paramount role in the creation and development of their families in a particular and the society in general. Indeed, the struggle for equality has been one of the major concerns of the women’s movement all over the world. The difference in sex and physical form denotes no difference in status. Woman is the complement of man, and not inferior. In India, since long back, women were considered as an oppressed section of the society and they were neglected for centuries. The birth of the son is being celebrated while the birth of a daughter is filled with pain. Boys are encouraged to be tough and outgoing but girls are encouraged to be homebound and shy. All these differences are gender differences and they are created by society. It has adverse impact on development goals and consequently reduces economic growth. It hampers the overall well-being because blocking women from participation in social, political and economic activities can adversely affect the whole society. Gender inequality is, therefore, a form of inequality which is distinct from other forms of socioeconomic inequalities. Gender inequality in India is a crucial reality. In modern times, women are performing exceptionally well in different spheres of activities. Still majority of Indian women are facing the problem of gender inequality and discrimination. As per UNDP report, India ranks 132 out of 187 countries on gender inequality index (GII). India ranks low partly because of its skewed ratio, with only 914 females for every 1000 males, according to Indian government data. As per UNDP report, only 29% of Indian women above the age of 15 in 2011 were part of labour force, as compared to 80.7% men. In parliament, only 10.9% of law makers are women, while in Pakistan it is 21%. In India, 200 women died for every 100,000 child births and 80% of Indian women didn’t have bank account in 2016 as per UNDP report Every day 39000 girls are forced for early marriage i.e. 27 girls are married a minute. This paper is trying to bring out the factors that are responsible for gender inequality and suggests measures to eradicate this problem.

Keywords: gender differences, infanticide, undignified treatment, sexual harassment, occupational hazards

Suggested Citation

Amutha, D., The Roots of Gender Inequality in India (January 27, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

D. Amutha (Contact Author)

St.Mary's College, Tuticorin ( email )

Associate Professor of Economics, St. Mary's Coll
Thoothukudi, Tamilnadu 628001
9442091588 (Phone)

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