Women still have long way to go | india | Hindustan Times
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Women still have long way to go

India’s growth is a now a global case study. But women are still far from being equal participants that change, a new government study has revealed. The study shows a four per cent improvement in Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) in a decade.

india Updated: Mar 11, 2009 01:52 IST
Chetan Chauhan

India’s growth is a now a global case study. But women are still far from being equal participants that change, a new government study has revealed. The study shows a four per cent improvement in Gender Empowerment Measure (GEM) in a decade.

GEM measures the ability of men’s and women to participate in economic and political life of a country. The GEM report released by the Women and Child Development Ministry on Sunday shows increased share of women’s participation in economic resources as compared to participation in politics.

The score in the economic front has increased by about 0.9 per cent between 1996 and 2006. This meant that Indian women were getting more bank loans and their financial position has improved. But with 0.319 on the scale of 0 to 1 (1 is the score for men), women are far behind in achieving comprehensive economic empowerment.

Women’s role has increased as far as political participation was concerned, but that was due to the 33 per cent reservation in Panchayati institutions. There are still less than 10 per cent women legislators in state assemblies and the Parliament. The score for political participation was 0.581 for the year 2006 — highest among the indices.

“Gender development index in most countries has still not kept pace with growth trends” Chandhi Joshi, programme officer at UNIFEM, said in a recent report on Progress of Women in South Asia.