Budget 2019: What Modi government can do to reduce gender inequality; provide equitable environment to women

Published: July 4, 2019 11:19:42 PM

Union Budget 2019: Focus on empowering women with a safe, secure and equitable environment in society has gained policy momentum in the last 5 years.

Budet 2019: What Modi government can do to reduce gender inequalityUnion Budget 2019 India: There is a significant gap between men and women in literacy, labour force participation and employment rate.

Union Budget 2019: Focus on empowering women with a safe, secure and equitable environment in society has gained policy momentum in the last 5 years. This has led to the formulation of schemes like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana to name a few. While the safety for women has been a key focus area, the utilization of the flagship Nirbhaya Fund till end of 2018 calendar year has been only 22 since its rollout in 2015.

Budet 2019: What Modi government can do to reduce gender inequalityGender Budget over the past 5 years. Source: WCD website (up to 2016-17) and Union Budget (2017 onwards)
Budet 2019: What Modi government can do to reduce gender inequalityOverview of the Nirbhaya Fund. Source: Press Information Bureau, Government of India, Ministry of Woman and Child Development, December 2018.

There is significant gap between men and women in literacy, labour force participation and employment rate. India continues to be a laggard when it comes to reducing the gender inequality. Comparison with other countries indicate that we are behind other neighboring countries like China and Sri Lanka.

Budet 2019: What Modi government can do to reduce gender inequalitySource: Women and Men in India: A statistical compilation of Gender related indicators in India, 2018, 20th issue, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation

India also falls in the last group (Group -5) of countries under the Gender Development Index, thus indicating a need for increased focus on education, skilling, employment generation and safety of women.

Budet 2019: What Modi government can do to reduce gender inequalityPerformance on gender equality. Source: Human Development Reports, United Nations Development Programme

Some recent initiatives like Nari a portal to make women aware about government scheme, SHe-boxto report complaints of sexual harassment and e-Samvad for civil society convergence, are commendable and would help in further reducing the gender inequality and help around 50% female population to contribute positively to the prosperity and growth of the nation.

By Ashok Varma, Leader Social Sector – PwC

Do you know What is Wholesale Price Index (WPI), Public Debt, Finance Commission Grants & Other Transfers, Economic Survey, State Finance Commission? FE Knowledge Desk explains each of these and more in detail at Financial Express Explained. Also get Live BSE/NSE Stock Prices, latest NAV of Mutual Funds, Best equity funds, Top Gainers, Top Losers on Financial Express. Don’t forget to try our free Income Tax Calculator tool.