Importance and need of sustainable development in India.

Gender equality and sustainable development are two important things that have received a lot of focus in India recently. Gender equality means fair rights, chances, and treatment for everyone, irrespective of gender. Sustainable development on the other hand means progressing in a way that fulfils the current needs without harming future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. At TRRAIN, our constant endeavour is to create sustainable livelihood opportunities for everyone in the community, so that gender equality and sustainable development go hand in hand.

Let’s explore the current status of gender equality and sustainable development in India.

Gender Equality Status in India

India has made substantial progress in terms of gender equality in recent years, but there is still a long way to go. Let’s begin with a few numbers. Here are a few statistics that you need to read – 

  • Status of gender equality in India – According to the Gender Inequality Index (GII) 2022, India ranks 103rd out of 193 countries, with a score of 0.44. The GII considers factors such as reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity to measure gender inequality.

  • Status of gender equality in education – Education is one of the key areas where gender inequality is prevalent in India. According to a recent report, the literacy rate for women in India is about 65.5%, while for men it is 82%. This reflects a significant gender gap in education, which hinders women from accessing better job opportunities and achieving economic empowerment.
  • Gender inequality in India in terms of pay -The gender pay gap is another major issue in India, with women earning 19% less than men in the same positions, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022. This gap is even wider in rural areas. This disparity not only affects women’s economic independence but also perpetuates gender inequality in society.
  • Gender equality in employment – Employment is another area where gender inequality is prevalent in India. Women’s labour force participation rate is less than 40%. This could be due to factors such as lack of access to education, societal norms, and discrimination in the workplace.

Status of gender equality related sustainable development in India

The United Nations SGD – 5, Gender Equality aims at bringing men and women to the same level in terms of empowerment, and they intend to achieve this goal by the end of 2030. All the nations in the world are working towards making this goal a reality. In India, efforts have been made to align with these goals, and some progress has also been seen. 

For example – 

  • Under the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act 2017, the paid maternity leave is increased from 12 to 26 weeks, and a woman is given additional time to take care of the newborn child. 
  • The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program is an idea that will help India improve the declining ratio of women and emphasize the need to educate them.
  • The Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana is a savings scheme that aims at encouraging parents to save for their daughter’s future.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana aims at providing clean and safe cooking fuel to every woman in the economically challenged sections.
  • The Women’s Reservation Bill was put forward by the government in order to safeguard one-third of seats in the parliament.  

These are just a few examples that India is on the right path, however, the fact that the road towards achievement of the SDGs is really long and difficult should also be acknowledged. 

Need for sustainable development in India

Sustainable development is crucial for India’s overall growth and development. It promotes not only economic prosperity but also social justice and environmental sustainability. Gender equality is an integral part of sustainable development, without which the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be fulfilled. If we have to be at par with the rest of the world, we have to work towards achieving this goal.

The a need to strongly pursue sustainable development in India, especially in terms of women’s empowerment, in order to address the gender inequality prevalent in different sectors. This includes – 

  • Providing equal access to education
  • Improving the status of women in the workforce
  • Promoting gender-sensitive policies and programs. 

Sustainable development also includes environmental sustainability, and it is important to involve women in decision-making processes related to environmental conservation and management.

Importance of sustainable development in India

Sustainable development is important for India’s future, as the country faces various challenges such as poverty, gender inequality, and environmental damage. By promoting sustainable development the country will be able to address these issues and achieve inclusive and equitable development. Also, sustainable development can contribute to a country’s economic growth by fostering sustainable and inclusive infrastructure. This will not only create job opportunities but create a more equitable and sustainable society. 

At this juncture, let’s accept and acknowledge that gender equality and sustainable development are interlinked and both are essential for India’s growth. While the country has taken great steps in recent years, there is still a long way to go. The government, society, and individuals must promote gender equality and sustainable development to ensure a just and sustainable environment for all. 

We as individuals also can contribute to achieving sustainable development by partnering with organizations that share the same value – to provide equal opportunities to all and provide them with respectable lives. You can do this by donating to sustainable livelihood creation programmes, and being a part of the larger good.

Author

  • TRRAIN

    Founded in 2011 by B.S. Nagesh, Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN) is a 12A, 80G, public charitable trust that aims to catalyse a change in the retail industry by empowering people through retail and allied sectors in creating sustainable livelihoods for Persons with Disabilities and Young Women from marginalised backgrounds.

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