TomorrowMakers

Why men are paid more than women? Here are some primary reasons behind this widening gender pay gap in India

4 Reasons why India ranks so low on the gender gap

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, India has slipped 21 places and moved to 108 on the Gender Gap Index, behind neighbours China and Bangladesh. This is primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages.

Let’s look at the main reasons why India has been lagging behind in the effort to close the gender gap for many years now.

1) Lack of women’s participation in the Indian economy

India is ranked 139th when it comes to economic participation of women, which makes it sixth lowest country in the sub-index.

Wondering what the reasons are behind the poor participation of Indian women in the economy? As per the report, they are: 

Indian women are often bound by social obligations they need to fulfil while playing different roles viz. that of a mother, wife, daughter-in-law etc. With such responsibilities, they are not able to focus on anything else.
Indian women rarely have access to technical education. Thanks to this, they often cannot take up leadership or managerial roles, or those of legislators and technical experts. 
In most cases, women are not able to resume their job after maternity/childbirth as they are burdened with additional responsibilities of raising the child, at least in the early stages of child development. 


2) Lack of women’s representation in politics

A report released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women in 2017 says, “The percentage of women legislators in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha was as low as 11% and 11.8%, respectively.”

Clearly, there is a lack of women’s participation in politics. There is a definite need for strong female political leadership in India so that the country can maintain its ranking in the realm of political empowerment.

Unfortunately, there’s sustained opposition to the Bill for providing reservation to women in Parliament. 


3) Discriminatory wage policy against women workers

This is a major reason holding women workers back from opting for jobs in different fields of their interests. The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 states, “On an average, 66% of women’s work in India is unpaid, compared to 12% of men’s.”

Whether it’s skilled or unskilled jobs, there are several examples where women workers are paid less or marginally lower than their male counterparts. 

4) Inadequate and inaccessible health facilities

India ranks at the fourth-lowest position (141) in the gender health gap and has not shown any signs of improvement in this area for the past 10 years.

The ugly picture of health and survival chances in India is apparent from the above statistic. It becomes quite challenging for a country's women to usher in a new era of growth with increased participation in the crucial sectors continuously in a situation such as this. 

Besides, illiteracy and the absence of stringent laws to address gender disparity are other issues that increase the gender gap in a country. 

To conclude, the widening gender gap due to various reasons and low ranking of India in the world is a clear warning signal that corrective action is required – and required very soon. 

It is high time we took measures that are not only stringent but guided by a long-term vision to improve and accelerate the growth path. 

According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, India has slipped 21 places and moved to 108 on the Gender Gap Index, behind neighbours China and Bangladesh. This is primarily due to less participation of women in the economy and low wages.

Let’s look at the main reasons why India has been lagging behind in the effort to close the gender gap for many years now.

1) Lack of women’s participation in the Indian economy

India is ranked 139th when it comes to economic participation of women, which makes it sixth lowest country in the sub-index.

Wondering what the reasons are behind the poor participation of Indian women in the economy? As per the report, they are: 

Indian women are often bound by social obligations they need to fulfil while playing different roles viz. that of a mother, wife, daughter-in-law etc. With such responsibilities, they are not able to focus on anything else.
Indian women rarely have access to technical education. Thanks to this, they often cannot take up leadership or managerial roles, or those of legislators and technical experts. 
In most cases, women are not able to resume their job after maternity/childbirth as they are burdened with additional responsibilities of raising the child, at least in the early stages of child development. 


2) Lack of women’s representation in politics

A report released by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UN Women in 2017 says, “The percentage of women legislators in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha was as low as 11% and 11.8%, respectively.”

Clearly, there is a lack of women’s participation in politics. There is a definite need for strong female political leadership in India so that the country can maintain its ranking in the realm of political empowerment.

Unfortunately, there’s sustained opposition to the Bill for providing reservation to women in Parliament. 


3) Discriminatory wage policy against women workers

This is a major reason holding women workers back from opting for jobs in different fields of their interests. The Global Gender Gap Report 2017 states, “On an average, 66% of women’s work in India is unpaid, compared to 12% of men’s.”

Whether it’s skilled or unskilled jobs, there are several examples where women workers are paid less or marginally lower than their male counterparts. 

4) Inadequate and inaccessible health facilities

India ranks at the fourth-lowest position (141) in the gender health gap and has not shown any signs of improvement in this area for the past 10 years.

The ugly picture of health and survival chances in India is apparent from the above statistic. It becomes quite challenging for a country's women to usher in a new era of growth with increased participation in the crucial sectors continuously in a situation such as this. 

Besides, illiteracy and the absence of stringent laws to address gender disparity are other issues that increase the gender gap in a country. 

To conclude, the widening gender gap due to various reasons and low ranking of India in the world is a clear warning signal that corrective action is required – and required very soon. 

It is high time we took measures that are not only stringent but guided by a long-term vision to improve and accelerate the growth path.