Gender equality — a distant dream in India?

We are born unique individuals with our own set of talents and gifts given to us by God. However, there remains a stereotype that women are not capable of many things. Unfortunately, even after years of education, guidance, perseverance, this deep-rooted, misplaced fallacy is hard to eradicate. Women in India have been Prime Ministers, President, Defence Ministers, have gone to space, joined the defence forces, were awarded the Ashok Chakra for bravery, and yet complete gender equality in India remains a distant dream. While we have made progress, more needs to be done to achieve gender equality in India.
Anika Rikhye (12)
St Francis de Sales School, Janakpuri, New Delhi

Yes, gender equality is a distant dream in India. Though constitutional rights and legislative measures have helped women make remarkable contributions in many fields, a large number of women are yet to emerge from their limiting circumstances to achieve their full potential. It is shameful that even now social evils like female infanticide, child marriage, dowry and crimes against women exist in India. Unless the government, civil society, local communities and women themselves work in coordination, total empowerment of women is not possible.
Pavani Gupta (13)
Jeevan Marg Sophia Sec. School, Deoria

Indian women have been facing gender disparity for a very long time. Now, we can see women fighting for their rights and representing themselves in almost all the fields, be it sports, politics, technology, space, science or entertainment. The progress towards gender equality seems to moving at a snail’s pace, be it the women’s cricket team being paid less than a ‘C lister’ male cricketer or less than 3 per cent women working in the corporate leadership position. Clearly, we need a ‘home-based movement’ where gender equality begins at home and spreads laterally from home to village to city and then to the entire nation.
Samridhi Jain (12)
St Anthony’s Jr College, Agra

For centuries, women have been fighting for equal representation across several fields. They have since then come a long way, so much so that there are now websites like “She The People” and “The Ladies Finger”, that solely focus on representing ‘sheroes’, covering important gender issues. Women are still considered to be a burden, and female infant mortality exceeds that of males. In India, gender equality is seen in movements and in write-ups but not in reality. Women must take a stand and realise their rights instead of following age-old myths and considering themselves inferior to men. This will never help in improving their position in the society.
Sakshi Jain
Sophia Girls’ Sr. Sec. School, Bhilwara

Our society can achieve progress only when women are given the chance, motivation and support to move forward. It’s sad to see that even in this modern age, women need to FIGHT for their rights, which are given to them at birth! But on the brighter side, women have finally decided to put an end to all the misogyny and emerge out of the mud like a lotus. Movements like MeToo, HeForShe and TimesUp have empowered women all over the world to speak up. But it will still take a lot of time for us to bridge the gap between the sexes but it’s a start.
Jill Shah (18)
Sophia College for Women, Mumbai

Although Indian women have proved themselves equal to men in various fields, still gender inequality is a cruel reality of India. The mentality of many Indians is still that females are somehow inferior to males which is the main cause of crimes like rape, physical assault and domestic violence. We worship women for 10 days and then put them down for the remaining 355 days. In schools and colleges, we often observe the male leader leading the procession while the female leader is simply asked to follow him. Until the girl is given a position beside the boy and not behind him and every girl stops underestimating herself, gender equality would remain a distant dream in India.
Piyonee Srivastava (13)
Jeevan Marg Sophia Sec. School, Deoria

To consider gender equality as a distant dream may not be totally correct. Yes, we see injustice towards women in the country but we can also see that women are given a chance to stand next to men and prove themselves. We have women who are outstanding in various fields such as corporate, defence, medical, engineering, sports and fashion. We just need to push the girls more forward and make them confident enough to stand next to the boys and then we will be able to see the dream of gender equality being accomplished. Every person in our society must be made aware that “a girl is not an opportunity but our responsibility”.
Senjuti Saibal Bhattacharya (18)
A. C. Patil College of Engineering, Kharghar, Navi Mumbai

The Global Gender Gap Report placed India at a dismal 108 rank out of 144 countries. With women’s participation in Parliament only 11% and the litany of harassment charges exposed through #MeToo movement, Indian women are still far behind their male peers. However as a silver lining, the likes of Mary Kom, Arundhatti Bhattacharya, Nirmala Sitharaman, Avani Chaturvedi have brought a change in paternalistic trends. This positive wave must be sustained by the proactive role of the government. Hillary Clinton said, “Women are the largest reservoir of untapped talent.”
Shailja Pandey
Nainital

The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world but in India this hand is often sold and the man is invariably in control. In the land of Bharat Mata the irony is that on the one side we worship goddesses and on the other hand we treat women brutally. In Indian society the status of women has always been less valued than men. Article 15 of the Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, yet crimes against women occur every seven minutes. The inequality will end when equality starts and the only way this will happen is when we all stand against gender inequality together.
Ayushi Mehta
Sophia Girls’ Sr. Sec. School, Bhilwara

Our society always acts as an advocate for boys, turning its back on girls. Boys think of themselves as heroes while the girls have an inferiority complex deeply rooted in their minds. Look around and you will see multiple situations and examples which prove the certitude of the above statement. But our focus should not be on using facts and figures to play the blame game but on how to turn this ‘distant dream’ into a reality.
Dhanya Jha
St Francis’ Convent Inter College, Jhansi

Since ancient times, women in India are regarded as inferior. Although a great change has occurred since independence, women are still regarded lower compared to men. Gender equality is and will be a distant dream in India until women realise that they are an integral part of society and that it cannot exist without them. It is rightly said that “a nation cannot progress if the women of that nation do not”.
Rohit Srivastava (14)
Jeevan Marg Sophia Sec. School, Deoria

Gender equality is defined as equal treatment of all the needs of both men and women. The aspirations, works and opinions of both sexes are regarded with the same respect and criticism. Even in our generation, there are remnants of gender inequality and stereotypes. Women are still expected to take care of the household, cook, clean, serve men, and are subjected to domestic violence, scoffed at. Though these circumstances are changing over time, India is far from attaining the level of Ram Rajya, Gandhiji’s vision of an ideal society.
Gouri B Indi (19)
KLE Society’s Lingaraj College of Arts & Commerce, Belgaum

In the Indian scenario, gender equality is a far-fetched dream. Declining sex ratio is a silent emergency. But the crisis is real, and its persistence has profound and frightening implications for society and the future of humankind. The census figures clearly show that sex ratio of the age group 0-6 has declined at a rather disturbing pace since 1981. It points towards deeply-rooted structures of gender inequality. Gender inequality is more social than legal.
Shrishti Baldwa
Sophia Girls’ Sr. Sec. School, Bhilwara

We should consider girls equal in every way to boys so that they can invent, develop and educate themselves. Girls should be taught to be equally independent in each aspect. There is a beautiful saying by Guru Nanak: “From her Kings are born”. Women can do everything. We all are the nation’s glory; let’s complete our duties equally.”
Kanika Muniyar (20)
Nanded Physiotherapy College, Nanded

India’s next generation of women is trapped in a cycle of inequality, with teenage girls condemned as second-best to boys, despite decades of campaigning for equality. Although they have greater expectations and ambitions than those of the previous generations, young women are destined to earn less, have smaller pensions, and be more likely to suffer violent abuse than their male counterparts. Any notion they have of getting the same treatment and opportunities as boys is a “distant dream”.
Krishna Tiwari (14)
Jeevan Marg Sophia Sec. School, Deoria