Discrimination against girls in India has been going on for ages now. Even today, there are several sections of the Indian society where the girl child is treated as a burden. While several privileges are given to the boys; girls are often restricted to the confines of the house and given very little or no opportunities to learn and grow in life.
With time, a lot has changed since those dark ages of the 1950s for the women. Women, who now represent 48.2% of the population, are getting access to education, and then employment. From 5.4 million girls enrolled at the primary level in 1950-51 to 61.1 million girls in 2004-05. At the upper primary level, the enrolment increased from 0.5 million girls to 22.7 million girls.
Woman in India has slowly started recognizing her true potential. She has started questioning the rules laid down for her by society. As a result, she has started breaking barriers and stereotypes and has earned a respectable position in the world. Today, Indian women have excelled in every field from social work to visit the space station. There is no arena, which remains unconquered by Indian women. Whether it is politics, sports, entertainment, literature, technology everywhere, its women power all along.
Today India has the world’s largest number of professionally qualified women. India has the largest population of working women in the world and more number of doctors, surgeons, scientists, professors than the United States.
The modern Indian woman is so deft and self-sufficient that she can be easily called a superwoman, juggling many fronts single-handedly. Women are now fiercely ambitious and are proving their metal not only on the home front but also in their respective professions. Women in India are coming up in all spheres of life. They are joining the universities and colleges in large numbers. They are entering into all kinds of professions like engineering, medicine, politics, teaching, etc.
A nation’s progress and prosperity can be judged by the way it treats its womenfolk. While there is a slow and steady awareness regarding giving the women their dues, not mistreating them, or seeing them as objects of possession. However, despite some progress, the subjugation of women in all areas of operations, be it home or work continues. Gender stereotyping continues to plague our society, which deters women from realizing their true potential.
It is a hard fact that without women getting equal participation in society and economy, our progress shall remain skewed and truncated. Women are born empowered; our society does not give them a chance to show their true potential. The problem lies in not letting the women come forward. This is damaging the society and the nation and denying access to half of the potential of India’s demographic dividend.
There is an absolutely urgent need to change the archaic mindset of the patriarchal Indian societies which views girls as liabilities or commodities. It needs to be established that girls are in no way less than boys.
When given the right opportunities to nurture their talent and skills, they have it in them to excel in all areas of life. It is, therefore, imperative that both government and non-government organizations work in cohesion to spread the message of saving and educating the girl child.
In such a scenario, the role of the government, NGOs and every citizen become all the more important to ensure that girls are allowed to be born and flourish in life.
Views of the author are personal and do not necessarily represent the website’s views.
Dr Neelam Gupta is the Founder President and CEO of AROH Foundation. Her contribution to social development has been recognized across the globe and she has been conferred with
numerous national and international awards including the prestigious ‘Asia Pacific International Award’ for her
contribution for International Integration & for Individual Excellence in Recognition of Sterling Merit Excellent Performance & Outstanding Contribution for the Progress of the Nation & Worldwide.
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The CSR Journal Team