Women in India consistently lag behind the men in terms of access to education, health care, jobs etc. Apart from the economic and social inequality, women in India are victims of heinous crimes such as, dowry deaths, rape, molestation and immoral trafficking. As per the latest statistics;
- The female child sex ratio (0-6 years) is 914 per 1000 males.
- Rural female literacy rate only 58% while rural male 78%.
- Women employment in urban areas is only 13.9% while in rural areas is 29.9%. With the rise in poverty, many women are forced to work in very low end and low paid jobs.
- Employment of women in organized sector is less than 8%.
- Women especially in the child bearing age often deficient in nutrition due to poverty. As a result the number of maternal deaths in India is one of the highest in the world and 87% of all pregnant women in India are anemic.
Unless drastic measures are taken to improve female literacy, create skills and capability among women for enabling them to stand on their own feet and care for themselves and family, it will be difficult for India to prosper as a nation. Many NGOs are working at the grass root level to empower women to attain economic participation in order to overcome poverty and inequality.