The Indian government is reportedly planning a 'gender equality' unit

  • The Indian government is reportedly going to introduce a separate unit dedicated to improve the status of women in different states.
  • The unit is likely to be set up under the Women and Child Development Ministry and its state counterpart.
The Indian government is reportedly working on developing a dedicated unit to track the progress of women status in different states across the country, reported Economic Times.

The government is planning to set up the unit under Women and Child Development Ministry and its state-level counterparts. It will reportedly join hands with the government’s think tank, NITI Aayog and introduce a gender based index that will rank states considering various parameters, said a senior official to Economic Times.

Women in India continue to struggle given the widened gender equality gap and discrimination against women

According to the Economic Survey 2018, Over 63 million women are “missing” whereas 21 million girls fall in the category of “unwanted” because of a traditional preference for a boy child.

Moreover, more and more girls are dropping out from secondary and higher secondary school than before. Most women have to spend ten times the working hours of men in doing household chores.

And despite the education, only 23.3% of the female were a part of labour workforce in 2017-2018, according to National Sample Survey Office (NSSO)

Many other countries including Finland have a separate unit that is responsible for promoting gender equality. The same idea was suggested earlier this year by NITI Aayog in its Strategy for New India @ 75’ document, however the progress was halted because of the general election that were due to take place in April- May. The new government is now planning to re-look at all the pending proposals, especially those focusing on women.

The unit, once developed, will gather data and conduct regular reviews from other ministries and define gender targets to be achieved in that state. Reportedly, some of the targets may include reducing anaemia rate in adolescent girls and mortality rate in pregnant women.

Since women are dealing with multiple issues, the key parameter that will help assess the status of women in different states can include, sex ratio, number girls completing secondary school, maternal mortality rate, crime against women and labour participation rate.
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