Poverty Among Women

Seva as an organization has a mission to empower Tribal women of the National Sanjay Gandhi Park by making teaching them different vocational skills. Seva also provides them the opportunity to earn through their skills so that they can be self-sufficient and self-empowered. Through this blog, we would like to draw your attention towards the issue of poverty among women. Because we believe in making the change. The change will only come when everyone knows about the issue then only they will work towards the direction of changing it.

So, What is Poverty?

According to a common man, Poverty is a state in which one is unable to fulfill his/her basic needs. Lack of proper food and water, absence of a proper shelter, and lack of money, and lack of proper medical facilities can be called Poverty. But there are various standards through which organizations like The World Bank defines poverty.

“The World Bank defines poverty in absolute terms. The bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US$1.90 per day and moderatepoverty as less than $3.10 a day.”

According to World Poverty Clock, about 7% of people of India’s population are living in extreme poverty and 53% of people who face poverty are women.

The above-mentioned data shows that there are more women than men suffering from Poverty. More than 50% of these women live in villages and rural areas.

But Why is it so? What are the reasons behind poverty among women?
  • And the answer is quite simple. The main reason behind the issue of Poverty among Women is ‘Gender Inequality’. Most of the women of poor families are working. Still, they are poor because they don’t get equal salaries as their fellow male workers. These women work harder on lower wages. Indian society is male-dominated and according to the norms of this patriarchal society, it’s the duty of men to earn the bread for the family. While women are considered as the caretakers of the home and their main duty should be doing household activities like cooking and taking care of children. And when these women go out to earn bread it is very hard for so-called patriarchs to digest the fact that they are working in an equal position to the men. Therefore, they pay lesser salaries to these working women. As these labor women are often uneducated they never raise their voice against this.
  • Studies have shown that women suffer more from poverty than men because of the lack of education and skills. Most of the time, poor families don’t have enough money to send their children to school. In this scenario, they send their boys to government schools and they don’t even send their girls to schools. Girls stay at home and help in the household chores, while the parents go out for work. Therefore, girls remain deprived of the education and the skills which later in their lives lead them to be not able to work or working on lower wages.
  • Most of the time, these women have some skills and proper education but because of their domestic responsibilities, they couldn’t get enough working hours. Less working hours lead to lesser salaries. Because of gender inequalities, these working women don’t get equal opportunities and same facilities as of their fellow male workers at their workplace.

Now the question arises that what are the effects and implications of this issue?

  • There are numerous implications of this particular issue. First of all, If the poverty among women keeps increasing then the gap between the two genders (men and women) will keep widening.
  • There is an old saying that if the woman of a family is empowered then she will surely empower her family member. Similarly, if a woman remains poor, the coming generation will also be poor. Due to poverty, most women don’t get the proper nutritional values and health facilities during their pregnancy and this will affect their child. Reports have shown that the main cause behind the increasing rate of malnutrition among children is poverty.
  • Seva believes that like men, women too have an equal amount of share in contributing to the      Economy. If women remain poor then it will affect the nation’s economic growth.
  • Poor women face exploitation and harassment in their workplace and because of their financial needs   they don’t raise their voice against this exploitation.
  • Sometimes the poverty can have adverse implications. Sometimes due to poverty and unemployment, these women shift to prostitution or they got trapped in human trafficking.

Now we have discussed the causes and effects of the issue. It’s time for discussing ways to reduce poverty among women.

  • The issue of poverty is severe not only for society but for the entire nation. Governments of many nations are working to reduce the poverty among women. Indian The Government has been running numerous campaigns like Beti Padhao Beti Bachao Yojana to educate girl children so that they can empower themselves. But it is the responsibility of parents to send their girl child to schools so that she can be educated and skilled. Indian Government has also reserved seats for women in government jobs.
  • These women should be given equal opportunities and proper facilities at their workplace. Families should acknowledge women’s contribution to household activities. Instead of restricting them from working, they should encourage their girls to go out for the job and appreciates them as bread-earner.
  • There are lots of Non-profit organizations like Seva that have been working for the empowerment of women by teaching them skills and providing them with opportunities for earning.

Seva believes that a woman has the ability to do anything. A woman is no lesser than a man. She can do anything. She can manage all the household chores, she can take care of the entire family, she can earn money and she can run her own business and she has the ability to work in the Government. All she needs is equal opportunities and a bit of acknowledgment and respect.

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