Gender Inequality in India – Causes & Solutions

Published on August 24, 2023

Gender Inequality in India - CRY

Gender inequality has been a crucial social issue in India for centuries. Census 2011 shows the child sex ratio among children of 0-6 years to be 918 girls for every 1000 boys in India. This statistic speaks for itself and demands urgent and efficient solutions to address the cause of gender inequalities. 

The discrimination starts even before the girl child is born. In many instances, she is prevented from being born. The girl child is considered a burden. She is often deprived of the basic rights and equal opportunities to lead a wholesome childhood and adult life. According to the 2011 Census, of the total child population in India, girls account for 48%, many of whom are engaged in child labor, child trafficking and child marriage. 

The future of innumerable girls looks grim, as shown by the following statistics:

  1. 12.15 million children are married in India - 8.9 million are girls; married girls are three times the number of boys. (Census 2011)
  2. 51% of all trafficking victims were children, of which more than 80% were girls. (NCRB 2018)
  3. There are 223 million child brides in India; 102 million were married before turning 15. (UNICEF)

Causes of Gender Inequality in India 

Undoubtedly, gender discrimination in the society is a grave concern, and a host of personal, societal and cultural aspects are at the core of this development. Our Experts have found several causes of gender inequality in India and some of them are discussed here. 

1. Poverty

Poverty stands as one of the primary drivers of gender inequalities. According to the World Bank, approximately 70% of the world's impoverished population is female. Poverty restricts access to education, healthcare, and economic opportunities, thereby reinforcing a vicious cycle.

2. Child Marriage

Child marriage is another alarming aspect of gender inequality, disproportionately affecting girls. UNICEF estimates that 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 every year. Such practices hinder their personal development and perpetuate gender disparity across generations.

Lack of education is one of the key causes of gender inequality that significantly exacerbates the problem. UNESCO reports that 132 million girls are out of school globally, with less access to learning opportunities than boys. Right to education is crucial in empowering girls to make informed choices, pursue careers, and challenge societal norms.

3. Poor Medical Health

Child health

Poor medical health also plays a pivotal role in maintaining gender discrimination in the society. In regions with inadequate healthcare facilities, girls face higher maternal mortality rates, limited access to family planning, and health-related biases.

4. Lack of Awareness & Patriarchal Norms

Lack of education and awareness

Lack of awareness and ingrained patriarchal norms further contribute to gender inequality. When societies perpetuate gender stereotypes and discrimination, it becomes challenging to break free from the shackles of inequality.

Patriarchal norms hold back many girls from striving for their dreams by receiving a quality education, medical facilities and overall awareness for their well-being.

To address gender inequality effectively, we must tackle these interconnected causes of gender inequality and work towards establishing sustainable change patterns that will successfully eradicate this vicious cycle of gender inequality.

Solutions To Avoid Gender Inequality in India

Raising awareness about child rights and gender biases is the stepping stone to challenge societal norms. Providing equal opportunities in education, employment, and leadership roles has the ultimate potential to empower underprivileged and socially-suppressed girl children to thrive in all aspects of their lives. Promoting girl education is vital for breaking the cycle of gender disparity. Additionally, stringent child protection measures must be enforced to combat discrimination and violence against girls. 

How CRY India is Working To Bring Change?

We, at CRY, have been working towards bridging the gap and ensuring that young girls across India receive essential resources that help improve their mental, physical, and emotional development. Discrimination issues in India are deep-rooted and practiced for generations, and that is why it requires long-term intervention, which we have been providing to underserved communities across India.

CRY aims to create a world where the girl child is celebrated and has access to equal opportunities to study, grow, and prosper as her male counterpart. 

CRY’s efforts to bring about a change in this situation include:

Be it education, health, protection, or participation, all girls deserve equal opportunities and an empowering environment to thrive. You can help CRY reach out to more girls and help make a difference in their lives to ensure they lead happier and healthier childhoods. Donate now to help promote the rights of young girls and address gender inequality in India.