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Why we still need a Women’s Day

There’s always that one person who can’t figure out why women are ‘still’ fighting. Here are some of the reasons...
Hindustan Times | By Rachel Lopez
PUBLISHED ON MAR 07, 2020 09:11 PM IST

• Because, of the 48 recipients of the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, only five have been women. The last woman awarded was Lata Mangeshkar, in 2001.

• Because married women are still asked their husband’s name on official paperwork; married men need only name their fathers.

• Because in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2020, which covered 153 economies, India fell from 108th to 112th. It will take an estimated 100 years to close the gender gap across politics, economics, health and education. 

• Because when it comes to hourly wages for labour, Indian women earn 19% less than men do. On average, women are paid 34% less than men, according to the International Labour Organization. India’s gender wage gap is the highest among the 73 countries in the ILO report.

• Because more than 700 million women alive today were forced into marriage before they were 18 — about 1 in 3 of them before they turned 15 — according to UNICEF.

• Because the UN declared marital rape a human-rights violation in 1993 but in India, it is still not a crime.

• Because India’s crime records show that ‘cruelty by husband and relatives’ continues to be the highest recorded crime against women (33%) followed by ‘assault on women with intent to outrage her modesty’ (25%).

• Because, at 17.1%, housewives make up the second largest proportion of suicides in India (after farmers).

• Because right this minute, someone in your city believes it’s all right to rape a woman to shut her up, show her her place, or teach her a lesson. And when that happens, several others will find excuses for his behaviour while pointing out “problems” with hers.

• Because families still boast that they “allow” daughters and wives to work or study or “go out”. They boast that they are still holding the leash; they’ve just made it longer.

• Because even with all the statistics, someone will still blame the women, most likely even in the responses to this story.

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