The condition of women in throughout India can be characterized as a systemic pattern of gross gender inequity. This condition is only worse when one tries to consider the plight of rural women. We consider the following facts:
• The illiteracy rate among females is nearly twice the illiteracy rate of males. A staggering 62% of females in India are illiterate. The disparity only rises in the rural areas, where nearly 80% of women are illiterate.
• For minimal wage tasks, the men receive is between Rs.35-45 a day. However, women doing the same work over the same period receive only Rs.20-30 per day.
One problem that has become of increasing concern to the doers at GWA is the lack of educational inputs which denies rural women any chance at receiving a focused human resource education including technical education. This leaves rural women at an absolute disadvantage. Those that need the opportunities the most are the ones least likely to get it.
Further, women make up more than 50% of the population in rural parts of India, yet this is not reflected in their participation in public life and civil society, particularly in the areas of socio-economic and political empowerment. Women’s participation at all levels of society is essential in order to take into account women’s needs and to ensure that women’s perspectives are incorporated into every level of the decision-making process.
For millions of women throughout India, the course of their lives is largely out of their control. For these women, decisions of when to get married, when to have children, or how many children to have, are not autonomous choices. Instead, they are often dictated by family, husband or society’s customs. Women are rarely educated or receive any vocational training and they are therefore completely dependent, both financially and socially, on their husband or family. Lacking control over such crucial life decisions, it is easy for many women to feel powerless.
India's population has recently surpassed the one billion mark out of which 84 million are considered to be very poor. In the past years, the number of women living in poverty has increased disproportionately to the number of men living in poverty due to women’s limited access to power, education, training and productive resources, and the rigidity of socially ascribed roles.
Hence, the principal challenges lies ahead of GWA is the Socio-Economic Empowerment of Deprived Community, Especially Women, through building their Grass-Root Organizations, Creation of Opportunity & Enhancing the Human Resource Capacity in A Sustainable Manner. The broader question of what sort of opportunities these women ought to have is rarely considered.
The condition of women in throughout much of India can be characterized as a systemic pattern of gross gender inequity. This condition is only worse when one tries to consider the plight of rural women . The notion of empowering women to break with the perceived role may be alive in the cities. However, reflecting the vast rural-urban divide present throughout India, it is never discussed at the rural level. Clearly, until these attitudes are challenged at an institutional level, and opportunities are made available, such conditions will not begin to change.