S R Dalvi (I) Foundation

Gender Equality

Every child deserves to be able to reach his or her full potential, but gender inequalities in the way they are treated and the people who care for them often prevent this from happening. Girls and boys in India see gender inequality everywhere they look – in textbooks, in movies, in the media and among the people who provide their care and support.

Across India, gender inequality creates unequal opportunities and although it affects the lives of both sexes, statistically girls are most disadvantaged. Girls around the world typically have better survival rates at childbirth, are more likely to reach their developmental milestones, and are just as likely to enroll in early childhood programs, but in India, girls die more often than boys. Girls are also more likely to drop out of school.

There are important differences between the way boys and girls experience adolescence in India. Girls face more restrictions than boys when it comes to their ability to move freely and make decisions affecting their work, education, marriage, and social relationships. As girls and boys age, the gender barriers continue to grow, and they continue into adulthood, where only a quarter of women are in the formal workforce.

here are many Indian women who are leading successful and influential lives in diverse fields, but this is not the norm for most Indian women. Many women and girls in India are not able to fully enjoy their rights due to deeply entrenched patriarchal views, norms, traditions, and structures.

If India is to fully develop, both boys and girls must be given the same opportunities and support. There are many risks and dangers that girls face simply because they are women. Many of these risks are directly related to the disadvantages girls face in their everyday lives, including economic, political, social, and cultural factors. Crisis and disasters can cause an increased need for social support. The prevalence of gender discrimination has a damaging effect on girls, as they are exposed to a number of negative outcomes such as teenage pregnancy, child domestic work, poor education and health, sexual abuse, exploitation and violence. If girls are not valued more, many of these manifestations will not change.

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