India’s government is expected to roll out a gender equality agenda on Tuesday, but critics have warned that the plan could leave many women at the mercy of men.
Gender equality campaigners say the country’s progress on gender equality is slowly improving, but the government has yet to make clear which policies will apply to women, or what they mean.
There are still a lot of unanswered questions and we hope that the government will come out with a clear policy soon, said a senior official from a women-focused NGO, who did not want to be named for fear of retribution.
India’s government has not yet published a draft gender equality strategy, and experts believe that the draft is incomplete.
According to the 2017 Gender in Government report, India’s female-headed household population is estimated at 1.4 billion people, and gender equality activists say that many women still face barriers in accessing health care, education, and employment.
The report estimated that up to 80 per cent of women in India have faced gender-based violence.