Gender Equality vs Gender Equity
How does the UNDP define these terms?
Gender attributes and characteristics, encompassing, inter alia, the roles that men and women play and the expectations placed upon them, vary widely among societies and change over time. Gender equity is the process of being fair to women and men. To ensure fairness, strategies and measures must often be available to compensate for women’s historical and social disadvantages that prevent women and men from otherwise operating on a level playing field. On the contrary, Equality is equal enjoyment by women and men of socially-valued goods, opportunities, resources and rewards.
Almost 5 decades have passed since women have been provided reservations, social welfare schemes and skill development projects, it is now argued that we’ve already made up for the power imbalances and lack of autonomy by providing women special status in almost all aspects.
So do we need to move from gender equity to gender equality? Are women systematically have equal representation and say in all matters? Have our past endeavours been successful in eliminating all kind of biases and mainstreaming gender?
The National Family Health Survey(NFHS-4) suggests that 30% of women in India in the age group of 15-49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15.
Female labour force participation is on a decline from 34% to 27% in the last decade.
27% gender pay gap in white-collar jobs.
India ranks 95 among 129 countries in global gender equality index.
Though women comprise more than 50% of the population, they own only 1% of the world’s wealth.
In legislatures around the world, women are outnumbered 4 to 1.
Globally, women’s earning power remains approximately 20% lower than men’s.
It is important to acknowledge that where gender inequality exists, it is generally women who are excluded or disadvantaged with decision-making and access to economic and social resources. More concerted efforts at local and national levels are needed to bring women to parity with men. For now, we still need to work on equity which will eventually lead to equality.