An AgeWell report show how gender inequality, prevalent in India for centuries, continues to perpetuate health, education, economic and political inequalities between men and women even today – this hits elderly women especially as they are deprived from availing benefits of development and marginalizes them from the mainstream.
Gender inequalities and its social causes impact elderly women’s health and economic conditions. Gender inequality in India is a multifaceted issue that concerns younger and older women alike. Elderly women remain at receiving end due to gender discrimination.
According to the Global Gender Gap Report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2011, India was ranked 113 on the Gender Gap Index (GGI) among 135 countries polled. By 2013 India has improved its rankings on the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index (GGI) to 105th, which is still shameful for the largest democracy in the world. (Read Full India Report)
Though on paper women in India have equal rights under the various laws to own property and receive equal inheritance rights, but in practice, women are disadvantaged. There are many laws, such as the Married Women Property Rights Act of 1974, Hindu Succession Act of 2005, etc. to protect rights and interests of women but these laws are weakly enforced, across the country. (Read Full Delhi Report)
As per National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) data of the 55th (1999-2000) and the 64th (2007-2008) rounds on household consumer expenditure indicate males being placed higher than that of their female counterparts. Changing pattern of gender disparity in health and food expenditure among the elderly in India is also in favor of elderly men.