Gender Equality In India, Do You Feel So?

The Article 15 of the Indian Constitution says, “No citizen shall be discriminated on the grounds of religion, caste, sex, etc.” The Indian constitution ensures equal treatment to all its citizens regardless of their diversities; still India is suffering from the issue of Gender Inequality

The section of society that suffers the most is the females. This is mainly because of the cultural and traditional barriers; the fact that girls are trained on how an ideal woman should be. In many parts of the country, the role of women is just to do the household chores and look after the family. This is reflected in the reports of the survey which stated that women’s workforce is just 28.5% in the urban employment sector. Though literacy rate in Kerala is the highest, still women’s employment rate is less. Not only in terms of employment but in terms of living, the condition of women is bad. For instance, marital rape has been an issue in India for decades. Some people want it to get criminalized while others believe that marital rape cannot be proved. This issue like every other has two sides; in some cases, women may falsely accuse men of marital rape and in the other, men may take advantage of their female counterparts. The Former CJI, Dipak Misra in April 2019, said that “I don’t think that marital rape should be regarded as an offense in India, because it will create absolute anarchy in families and our country is sustaining itself because of the family platform which upholds family values.” 

Some measures have been taken by the government to ensure women get equal rights. One such right given to them is an equal share of the property of the father between daughters and sons. Hence, women too can now demand the property of their fathers even after marriage.  Not only women but men too are sometimes harassed and violated. For instance, The MeToo movement that got famous on various social media handles as a tool for women to raise voice against harassment was misused by many women. Men were falsely accused of crimes they didn’t do, which in turn led to their downfall in every division of their lives. Cases of harassment against men are also coming in the light now. The fact that men too can be raped is ignored even by the constitution of India. Therefore, equality lacks here too.

The LGBTQ+ Community in India faces discrimination almost every day and in all fields & ways possible. Even after the removal of section 377, the citizens of India are not accepting this community. Workplace discrimination and exploitation are very high. Firstly, LGBTQ+ community people don’t get a job easily, when they do, they are discriminated against and exploited to such an extent that they are forced to leave their jobs or sometimes, commit suicide. A case in Bengaluru where a homosexual got a blue-collar job in a five-star hotel had to leave his job only after 10 months of being employed there due to exploitation and humiliation by his colleagues. It is evident from this case that the biggest hurdle in the path of equal rights of the LGBTQ+ community in India is the lack of social acceptance. Even the Transgender Bill passed by the Government of India, instead of providing equal rights to the community has posed a bigger factor of exploitation by asking for a certificate of being a Transgender. There is a long way to go in achieving equality in the case of sexual minorities.

 In essence, despite the Government’s initiatives and efforts of various NGOs, India still doesn’t see each gender as equal. Social acceptance is the biggest barrier that will only be removed when people will start understanding and accepting the fact that each and every human should be treated equally.