India good place for living, but not for raising children or safety of women

A total of 10 pc of women face sexual harassment at workplace in India

Society

January 24, 2020

/ By / Kolkata



Financial difficulties and marriage are among the top reasons for Indian women discontinuing education

Financial difficulties and marriage are among the top reasons for Indian women discontinuing education

Though India has made a place in the best 25 countries to live in 2020, it seems it is not good enough for raising children or safety of women. Also it has not been working enough to promote equality and social mobility as it ranks seventh lowest in the Global Social Mobility index.

A recent survey conducted by US News and the World Report in association with Wharton School of the US has said that India is among the best 25 countries to live in 2020 but not good for raising children or safety of women. It seems the perceptions about India in these regards are not good as it secured 59th position among 73 countries in the list of best countries to raise children, while in the list of best countries for women, India was ranked 58 among 73 countries. Even UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and even neighbouring countries China and Sri Lanka were placed to be better for women.

It is said that the reason behind labelling India not good for raising children can be attributed to a report released by Indian Railways which said that 16,457 children were rescued from railway stations from across the country in 2019. But raising a child also includes education and health which have been suffering for a while. While infant mortality rate has significantly decreased, the number of children below the age of five suffering from acute malnutrition has gone up.

Also, though India has made progress in their initiative of providing education to all children, yet nearly 20.2 pc which is more than one in five children (8-16 years) were still out of school as of 2018 according to the Global Childhood Report 2019. Also the number of children engaged in child labour was still high at 11.8 pc. These children are deprived of education and exposed to unsafe and toxic work environments which affect their health.

Situation of women in India

Dristi Stree Adhyayan Kendra (women’s study centre), in Pune district of west-Indian state of Maharashtra, which studies the condition of women and prepares reports and recommendations on women published a report titled Status of Women in India. According to the report, a total of 10 pc of working women face sexual harassment at workplace while 37.14 pc of women face issues related to health. At the publication of the report, Maneesha Kothekar, project director of the report said, “Through this report, it was found that 44.8 pc women are employed in different fields and 10 pc women face sexual harassment at the workplace. The issues which they face is that there is no crèche, no canteen, no transportation, no restroom and washroom facilities provided to them. While 37.14 pc of women have various health issues in which the highest is of 44 pc of women has arthritis health problem.”

The report also focussed on the issue that how participation of women in the curriculum committee is quite non-significant. The report observed that only about 28 pc of the content in textbooks of classes six to eight are authored by women. It also stated that while female literacy rate has increased from 64.6 pc (Census 2011) to 79.62 pc, the gender gap in education is still a major issue. Financial difficulties and marriage are among the top reasons for Indian women discontinuing education.

India has also been ranked seventh lowest country at 76th position out of 82 countries on a Social Mobility index compiled by World Economic Forum (WEF). The report also lists India among the five countries that will gain the most from a better social mobility score that seeks to measure parameters necessary for creating societies where every person gets the same opportunity to fulfil his potential in life irrespective of socio-economic background.

“The social and economic consequences of inequality are profound and far-reaching: a growing sense of unfairness, precarity, perceived loss of identity and dignity, weakening social fabric, eroding trust in institutions, disenchantment with political processes, and an erosion of the social contract. The response by business and government must include a concerted effort to create new pathways to socioeconomic mobility, ensuring everyone has fair opportunities for success,” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

The index was measured on five dimensions like health, education (access, quality and equity), technology, work (opportunities, wages, conditions) and protections and institutions (social protection and inclusive institutions) amongst which fair wages, social protection and lifelong learning are the biggest factors determining social mobility globally.

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