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Globalizations and Gender Inequality – Do we live in an engendered society?

Globalizations and Gender Inequality – Do we live in an engendered society?

Relevance:

  • GS 3 || Indian Society || Globalization || Impact on Sections

Why in the news?

Globalization is increasingly linked to inequality, but with often divergent and polarized findings

What is globalization?

  • Globalization can be defined as” the increased interconnectedness and interdependence of peoples and countries.
  • It is generally understood to include two inter-related elements: the opening of international borders to increasingly fast flows of goods, services, finance, people and ideas; and the changes in institutions and policies at national and international levels that facilitate or promote such flows
  • Globalization is increasingly linked to inequality, but with often divergent and polarized results

Globalization and gender discrimination:

Globalization’s Impact on gender inequality:

  • India has some of the highest levels of sex discrimination at birth.
  • India will continue to have the worst sex ratio in south Asia even in 2050. The 950 girls for 1000 boys’ ratio (2019) have urged the government to take action in the form of ‘beti bachao, beti padhao’ programme to provide survival, safety & education to the girl child.

India:

  • Indian women now find that the patrilocal and patrilineal context of their lives has been changed irrevocably, with new paradigms in social sphere becoming dominant. Women can now work, compete with males.
  • Their position in society is becoming equal to that of males and similar levels of expectations and duties on both genders becoming the new normal, for eg. decrease in dowry
  • Increase in economic empowerment and yet not similar social empowerment exists. Feudal mentality exists to large extent.
  • Gross inequity in spatial distribution exists. While the condition of a tribal/rural/poor woman has reminded the same despite the changes, the upwardly mobile and urban woman has been able to leverage the advantages

Positive impact of globalization on women:

  • Economic upliftment – Globalization has given economic opportunity to women, who are becoming a larger part of the workforce. With higher pay women are gaining self-confidence and independence. eg: Globalization has aided the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to establish a Women’s Cooperative Bank with 125,000 members.
  • BPO and service sector worldwide gives huge opportunity of women. Women are also being inducted in army
  • Strong international opinion for women empowerment – has been created. Gender equality as one of the SDG targets, Beijing declaration, most country having a women commission, and world leader encouraging for law against marital rape are results of globalization.
  • Psychological boost – IMF having a female head, Indian actresses taking leap in Hollywood and talented women being known to the world due to globalization give psychological strength to women all over the world.
  • Social empowerment – Working women, single women, divorced, different sexual orientation of women are increasing being acceptable worldwide.

Negative impact of globalization on women:

  • Women double responsibilities – long working hours at work place along with attending household chores like cooking, baby care hinders their performance and came in the way of success. Globalization has promoted equality between the sexes, something that Indian women have been struggling with their entire life but still it has many negative consequences
  • The rising trend of globalization has not lifted everybody. Gender differences in endowments, time use patterns, access to productive inputs and agency have muted positive impacts for some and added to inequalities between men and women.
  • Gender differences in endowments: The rising trend of globalization has not lifted everybody. Gender differences in endowments, time use patterns, access to productive inputs and agency have muted positive impacts for some and added to inequalities between men and women.
  • Skilled job: Women who are skilled are getting employment. Majority of the women are not skilled thus they are continuing in perpetual
  • Class difference among women: Women who are getting jobs are the same demanding for equal Rights of the poor unemployed women are being neglected. This has created a class difference among the women.
  • Double jeopardy: Working women are facing the double jeopardy where they have to work in office as well at home. This is putting them in more mental stres.
  • Increasing violence against women – Societal development hasn’t been commensurate to economic development. Sexual violence, domestic violence against women are on rise.
  • In the rural area:
    • Women farmers are adversely impacted because of rise in input costs ( MNC’s supply seeds, fertilizers and other inputs at high prices ), and less share of the value addtion( maximum profit is retained by MNC retailers, wholesalers, reason for price wedge).
    • Further, women workers are given low wages and subjected to unsafe working conditions.
    • Many traditional industries like handcrafts, puppetry, cottage based industries which are mainly women labour intensive are declining because of unequal competition with MNC’s
  • Advance technology and associated trouble:
    • Commercial surrogacy: exploitation
    • Abuse of technology: indecent representation of women, pornography, voyeurism, anonymous sexist comments, defamation of women etc.
    • Globalisation of terrorism: it is women who are suffer most in violant conflicts. In this case serious crimes like rape, torture, etc. are committed. eg. ISIS, Nigeria, Somalia

Data representation of gender discrimination:

  • Women and health- Female mortality is higher among infants where “every sixth infant death is specifically due to sex discrimination, among girls under 5 years of age where the rate is 18% higher than among boys. Calcutta, Hyderabad and New Delhi, the percentage of anaemic women is 95%, 67% and 73% respectively. With the unavailability of accessible maternity facilities in most areas of the country, “300 Indian women die every day during childbirth or of pregnancy-related causes.
  • Education: The situation is no better in education. The literacy rate for women is 45% compared to 68% for men
  • Employment: Nationally, women only make up 18% of the formal sector and only 9.2% of employed women hold full-time positions, compared to 18% of employed men. Unemployment and underemployment rates are higher among women than among men. The same is true of educated women. Among tertiary education graduates “the rate of unemployment was less than 9% for men but 27% for women
  • Women in politics: political empowerment of women by broadening women’s leadership and giving them statutory powers of decision-making at local levels.In the Lok Sabha (House of the People) there are only 45 women out of 543 parliamentarians, approximately 8.3%. Out of a total of 242 Rajya sabha (Council of States) members, only 28 are women, a mere 11.6%.

Conclusion

Gender inequality springs from many sources, and it is often difficult to determine which forms of inequality are being eliminated by effects of globalization and which are exacerbated. Gender inequality has more costs in an integrated world. Women have to work so much harder to get equal status in society. So globalization proves more bad than good for women. In several cases women are breadwinners for the family but society does not want to accept this truth. The culture of India is like that most of people thought that if a woman chooses to be a working women, it will adversely affect their family and children

Mains oriented question:

Examine how globalization has affected the lives of women in India and around the world. What is role of globalization in gender discrimination? (200 words)