THE SITUATION OF WOMENTHE SITUATION OF WOMEN
THE SITUATION OF THE MARGINALIZEDTHE SITUATION OF THE MARGINALIZED
COMMUNITIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TOCOMMUNITIES WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO
SOUTH INDIASOUTH INDIA
- Prof. Fatima Ali Khan, Center for Women Studies (Retd director),
Earlier with Dept. of Geog., Osmania University, Hyderabad
Good morning to all of you, I am happy to be here today. It is always pleasure to talk to
audience working in the field. I am grateful to Mr. Satya Bhoopal Reddy for giving this
When we talk of status of women, the very fact that we need to talk
the status of women. How many interventions we are making? There
had been such a vibrant voluntary sector, some change is coming
about. Some issues which never talked about are being discussed now.
It is complex issue to discuss the status of women, we really have to
go a long way. Legal support is coming up. The changing attitude is a slow process. The whole
picture is far more complex.
The under-valuation of women is reflected in the under valuation of their work
Women work longer hours than men in nearly every country.
Invisible contribution of women is about 11 trillion dollars every year.
The UNDP’s Gender Development Index was developed.
Women’s contribution was never an issue. Their contribution should be accounted. It has
nothing to do with the level of development in any country.
Gender Development Index is a mile stone. The economic growth rate of a country is high,
everything is not fine. Literacy rate is 60% -----------everything should be broken down.
Countries with higher GDI than HDI include – Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cuba and Jamaica
of the world 1.3 billion population 70% are women.
In developing countries ¾ no of men’s work is paid while women’s work is unpaid and
Women work longer hours:
Women’s work time is more in both developed and developing countries. In urban areas
relatively the work time is comparatively less as compared to the rural areas where it is very
high. Even in countries like Italy etc.
Women’s work remains unaccounted and under valued.
Does women’s work get into GDP or not, the fire wood collection does it get accounted.
Therefore the women’s work is under valued. Only 35% of the women’s work get accounted
into the national income. The status of the women remains low. 76% of the mens work gets
represented into the national income. In industrial countries also the situation is similar.
Karnataka Kerala Tamil Nadu Harayana Punjab
Graph 1 Employment - Workers
Even in the non-agricultural sector the women are paid less for the same amount of work.
Level of development doesn’t automatically translate into better status of women. More
variation in the developed countries too.
PROGRESS IN GENDER INEQUALITY - INDIA
Primary, Secondary and
Labor forceSeats in Parliament
Seats in parliament only 10% represented. Women’s political participation why it is important.
Policies are all made by men.
Women are totally absent from mainstream of social focus
Committee to the report of 1974 in India. GoI set up national Committee on the status of
women which gave their report –
The sex ratio is one hard statistics to know the status of women. The sex ratio is declining. 1n
2001 the sex ratio is 927.
Human Development Index
Gender Development Index
female literacy as
Female as % of
EC activity % of
EC activity %
Female share of
The most developed states have very low sex ratio, like Punjab, haryana.
Another alarming thing is child sex ratio: In some states the child sex ratio is lower than the
overall sex ratio. They are eliminating the girl child. The four southern states also the situation
is becoming bad to worse.
Literacy rate and sex ratio: there is gap between rural and urban. In Kerala it is high. In Rajas
than in one of the districts there is only 8% literacy (Barmer Dist). In MP it is only 26%. We have
districts with less than 25%, 25 to 55% and
Map of India with sex ratio. Best sex ratio is in parts of Orissa, AP, TN and Kerala about 971
Urban sex ratio, is lower. The men migrate to urban centers.
The higher the level of development, the more the imbalance.
Detailed data on enrolment etc was not taken.
Data / tables
The sex ratio in India
Sex ratio in AP
Karnataka Sex ratio
In Punjab and Haryana the status is very poor the sex ratio Is very less for both
Similarly the female literacy is also very less as compared to male.
In AP also slightly better than the national average.
Karnataka began worst than AP but now slightly better than AP.
The difference in the rural is more.
Total workers by sex
Change in the definition of the work. Among the urban areas women workers are single digit. In
rural areas women workers are more. In AP and Karnataka there is decline in the female
workers. In Haryana and Punjab very few urban women workers are there. All women should
be paid workers, which will make them independent and empower them.
Q: To interpret this data, because there is less job opportunities in Punjab and Haryana or any
Q: atrocities on women increasing and sex ratio decreasing
Q: Attitude is not changing according to development , they want only male child
Q: Any information on dalit and tribal and sex ratio compared to general category
Q:Is womens status is like that in all communities or different
Q: Did you discuss with women and any suggestions on the sex ratio, literacy etc
Q: Application of under valuation of women in national income.
Q: In GDI what more things need to consider to arrive
Q: Globalisation and status of women
Q: Poor countries gender inequality
Q: Work of women not being counted in national income
Q: Dalit movement was inclusive, whether women’s movement was also inclusive in nature
When we look at sex ratio and literacy levels it is not by itself. The status of women is lower,
how do we explain it, we need to show in some way. We are trying to use some sort of
statistical anlsysis to show the status of women, increasing or decreasing. Most of the women
don’t have anything in their name. Spatial pattern is observed and most of the resources are
not in womens hand. Children sent to school, there are ways and means to measure, but census
data is comparable as it is done with rigidity. It is possible to do a comparative study. Even the
employment data. There are many ways of doing it.
Sex ratio it is conducted on the same day all over the country. Women are disappearing. Even
at birth it is becoming abnormal. There are lots of technologies to prevent the girl child birth
because they think they are not economical. Women are not given that much freedom. With in
dalits the women have greater freedom although their overall status is backward. We can have
laws, rules – like china 1 child – girls are killed before they are born.
Womens movements – they come with lots of efforts, part of 1970 international movement.
Dowry deaths were taking place at that time. The same momentum cannot be sustained. If it
has achieved something, we can slightly do it differently.
SHGs strength is in numbers, tied it up with credit. The strength is minimized, by giving some
amount as Revolving Fund. We are not giving time for change, with targets etc.
Literacy movement – Children working there. If a child not in school we should question.
Education compulsory for both girls and boys. Some dignity and equality will hold the gril child.
Not allowing her to take birth, schooling etc many hurdles are there.
In market economy, everything need to be paid in money, anyone gets money will have higher
status. The labor charges paid to some people to do all the domestic work. Women are
performing roles which are invaluable.
A lot of effort is put in to account what is the status of Women status.
Globalization is looking for cheap labor, womens work is supplementary. Womens work is
getting worse. Trying to eliminate child labor. Globalisation is bad for all the weaker sections.
It is only good for those accumulating wealth.
In community has its own cultural barrage. Caste is specific to India. In the overall context. All
upper caste women need not have a better status. They don’t have freedom of movement, the
resources are nominally in the name. There are broad pictures and trends.
The womens movement is much more defused, the womens reservation and things are not
Materialism and access to higher level of affluence, if there is nothing there is equality. But
the larger material things we possess, for sake of law. Status of women in public domain and
domestic domain, the domestic domain is really a weak point, it is like the tip of an iceberg. In
public domain we could bring in some laws and question them.
SHGs and empowerment – SHG a group coming together, not giving time to take off. How
sustainable the change is? The money is spent but not much change. The groups will collapse if
the govt support gets withdrawn.
Womens control over their income, somethings get surfaced. So they are treated like slaves.
Women look after the sick, old people, care of children etc. Men also network, their power,
spend more time outside.
Sex ratio will be in favor of women if not equal.
Transcript by Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy, email@example.com