Thursday, March 08, 2018

Why do we need a Women's Day?

This Women's Day, for the children's paper, I decided to take a question head on - Do we need a Women's Day? The first Women's Day was celebrated in 1909. Have we travelled far enough now to make the day redundant?
This is the cover story that appeared in the children's paper today.

Should people be paid different salaries for the same job, if they are doing it equally well? As Monster India found out, for the same job, women are usually paid only 80 rs where their male colleagues are paid 100 rs. At senior levels (more than 11 years experience) this gap was even more
stark – if a man is being paid 100 rs, a woman doing the same job would be paid only 75 rs.

Not only that, according to a report released by the World Bank, Unemployment rate is much higher among women.

School enrolment (sending children to school), both primary school (Junior school) and senior/secondary school, is almost on par, at 91.7% for girls and 92.9% for boys. 

The other good number is Life Expectancy.
Life expectancy means, if a child is born in a place today, how long that child can hope to live. The life expectancy for India is 68.5. It is 66.9 for males and 69.9 for females. While this is nowhere near the World No. 1 Rank – Japan (Females: 86.8; Males: 80.5, overall, 83.7), it is still steady progress over the last few decades.

Another important ratio that we need to look at is the gender ratio. Ideally, there should be equal number of men and women in a population. But India and China are 2 countries where there are much fewer girls than boys. There are many reasons for this. Most of those reasons are social in nature.
In 1951, India had 946 girls for every 1000 boys. In 2011, that number was 943 girls per 1000 boys. The last census was conducted in 2011.
However, a government report was released in 2017, which takes data from registered births. This report puts the gender ratio at 881 per 1000 boys in 2015. Registered births are births that are registered with the government and a birth certificate is issued to the child. Even though it is necessary, not everyone gets a birth certificate for their child.

Now, let’s take a look at the decision making power of women. A very good measurement used by the World Bank is the number of women in parliament – the highest law making body in India.

This value went from 9% in 2000 to 12% in 2016. For every 100 men, there are 90 women in the country. Which means that 47% of the country is women. But their representation in the parliament is only 12%.

Do women own property?
Let’s come back to that earlier number – 47% of all people in India are women. But only 24% of the property in villages, and only 19% of the property in cities, is owned by women. 

Do you think that more women are now working to earn money? You may want to think again. Since 2005, the number of women who are working outside the house to earn money, has been going down consistently.

I started creating this post with a simple question in mind – Is it really that different, being a woman and a man, in a progressive country like India? In making this report, I have read at least 50 indicators (and shared some of them with you). So here is the conclusion: Whether you will live to see your 5th birthday, whether you will be sent to school, whether you will get enough food to eat, whether you will grow up to work and earn money, and how much money you will earn for doing the same job – EVERYTHING depends on whether you are a man or a woman. It is everyone’s business to ensure that we create a country where these differences do not exist. And we look up to the children to make the change that sadly, our generation could not make.

h3. ttp://


Z said...

In Britain, it's been illegal for many years to pay less to women for the same job, but analysis repeatedly shows that, in a company, on average women are usually paid less than men. This can be because women tend to do the jobs for which the hourly rate is less, that women are less likely to go for promotion (or get it) because they've taken time out to have children or don't want the extra hours involved in a managerial role. Or it can be that women don't push for a pay rise because they find it hard to fight their corner, lots of reasons, including the Old Boys Network.

My experience of employment has nearly all been in schools, where there is absolutely no difference in rates of pay between men and women, nor is there any discrimination in interviews. However, though applications for teaching posts are fairly equally divided between men and women, among office staff there's a clear line - nearly all secretarial staff applicants are women, all IT and caretaking jobs are men. Most cleaners are women, most cooks are women too, though the supervisor is at present a man. The pay scales make sure that similar skills are paid at the same level. Where the big difference, in my experience, in in applications to be a Headteacher. At high school level, they're virtually all men. And of course, that's the highest paid job in a school.

kj said...

so interesting and well documented. in in America, it is the same. there is now a 'me too' movement that is determined to change this imbalance. it amazes me always that men have held on to such power after being raised by Mothers.....