Women Equality Day falls on 26th August and this day marks the freedom from prolonged law in US that denied women the right to vote. For so long, women have been suffering discriminations of various sorts. Till today in many parts women are denied proper education, the right to speak their mind, and they are treated as objects, harassed, bullied and considered as a materialistic object restricted to the four walls of the house.
World Economic Forum, It surveys economies in order to measure gender disparity by collating and analyzing data that falls under four indices – economic participation, educational attainment, health and political empowerment.
It says, “Among the 153 countries studied, India is the only country where the economic gender gap is larger than the political gender gap. Only one-quarter of women, compared with 82% of men, engage actively in the labour market (i.e. working or looking for work)—one of the lowest participation rates in the world (145th). Furthermore, female estimated earned income is a mere one-fifth of male income, which is also among the world’s lowest (144th).”
In the category of health and survival, India ranks at 150. The Global Gender Gap report states that violence, forced marriage and discrimination are the major reasons why healthcare facilities are inaccessible to women. For education, there has been a more positive change as compared to earlier reports. However, as the report points out, “But a large difference persists for literacy rate; only two-thirds of women are literate compared with 82% of men.” In political empowerment – which was seen as the section with the most disparity across the world – India ranks quite high, at 18. Sadly, this doesn’t stand for much – currently female political representation is at a measly 14.4 percent.
Women are the front runners of the house and the roles they play in lives of each family member add to their value and thus, it’s unviable to imagine life without them. But if we go by statistics and research studies, women are more prone to some ailments compared to man like anaemia, eating disorders, multiple sclerosis, urological problem, anxiety, depression, osteoarthritis among many other and there are many reasons for this such as difference in physiological, conditions, hormonal changes, changes accompanying menopause, they are more exposed to emotional and physical abuse.
A quarter of women of reproductive age in India are undernourished, with a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 kg/m (Source: NFHS 4 2015-16 ). It is well known that an undernourished mother inevitably gives birth to an undernourished baby, perpetuating an intergenerational cycle of undernutrition.
Undernourished girls have a greater likelihood of becoming undernourished mothers who in turn have a greater chance of giving birth to low birth weight babies , perpetuating an intergenerational cycle.
A good nutrition comprises a balanced diet and regular physical activity, poor nutrition leads to loss of immunity, increases susceptibility to diseases and affects our daily life. As a society we should all unite and make sure that women don’t lag behind their male counterparts in any field as they are capable of accomplishing anything if they get support from immediate society.
Men should also lend a helping hand in household chores as they are not only a women’s responsibility and women should be allowed some time for focussing on their health as they often neglect their health and makes family and work their priority.
India needs to strategically utilise the large cohorts of women’s collectives, to transform women into “good nutrition” practitioners.
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source- who, wef, namami