Topic: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues
3. India’s Global Gender Gap Index rating, 2021 indicates that the phenomena of ‘motherhood penalty’ strongly prevails in the employment sector. Examine the causes for the same and suggest some measures to address this issue. (250 words)
Difficulty level: Moderate
Reference: Live Mint
Why the question:
India’s 2021 Global Gender Gap Index ranking, wherein it has slipped 28 places since 2020 to No. 140 out of 156 nations ranked.
Key Demand of the question:
To understand the term ‘motherhood penalty’ and also to give suggestions to resolve the issue.
Examine – When asked to ‘Examine’, we must investigate the topic (content words) in detail, inspect it, investigate it and establish the key facts and issues related to the topic in question. While doing so we should explain why these facts and issues are important and their implications.
Structure of the answer:
Begin by defining motherhood penalty.
First, mentioning some ground reality of hiring trend, pay structure and promotion trend of women and especially mothers in India. mention the gender disparity prevalent in workspace in terms of women especially mothers being considered as Care givers, to be less talented and participating in their duties assigned.
Next, indicate the lacunae in the Maternity Benefit Act in terms of extending paid leaves only for the mothers and keeping paternity benefits and leaves at a minimal low.
Next, suggest measures such as day care benefits in work space, acknowledging care duties of men in the household and ensuring equal pay in workspace etc.
Conclude by saying that the gender gap actually leads to a loss of GDP especially when the scenario is grim in the post covid situation and this calls for swift action.