Double Burden Syndrome and UNESCO's Report - Seeker's Thoughts

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Double Burden Syndrome and UNESCO's Report

According to the 2018 UNESCO Institute of Statistics  report on women in science, 44% Bachelor students and 41 percent  of doctoral students in India are female. The report says that Indian women face 'Double Burden Syndrome".

What is Double Burden Syndrome?
A cultural factor where both men and women feel the family and household duties are primarily the woman's responsibility. Therefore, women have to work efficiently in both places without support of male members - that hampers their career and growth as an individual. 

A survey was done about women  and the results were shocking. More women have been enrolling in Universities, yet 50% numbers of total studies should be women, has not been achieved.
Women don't participate at senior most administrative and policy making position in scientific institutions. 
Even fields like Science, Technology,  Engineering, and Medicine, collectively called as STEM remain a place away from the reach of women. While when school results are observed, girls are often outshone boys, but not in research. 

Impact on India

Brilliant minds are forced into marriages and responsibilities while they have more potential to serve the entire humanity and achieving different milestones. 

India needs more researchers, and the world also needs them. Women participation remains a cause of concern in various part of the globe, not only in India except a few locations. 
When qualified minds drop out of the work force, it results in considerable depletion of national resources in science and technology. 

Reasons for Women to be behind

Stereotype encounters by girls where being good is associated with leaving career and doing household chores. The Indian crowd still find women to be raised for marriage, as everything a girl does, at every step she is told, to be perfect and to please in laws so that her marriage survives. 

Somehow marriage centric society forced both men and women being into relationships which are forced. 

Patriarchal society is another reason where society considers that being woman means incapable of living life alone. Women are given difficult choices when it comes to their careers. 
Women continue to face discrimination on the work place, where men domination does not come out of the sexist ideologies. 

Government's Initiatives
 Government has started various programs so that women participation increases, and some of them are as follow- 
Vigyan Jyoti Scheme- It was announced in the 2017 budget for the Ministry of Science and Technology. The scheme aim to arrange for girl students of classes 9, 10 and 11 meet women scientists, with the IITs and the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.  
Inspire-MANAK (Million Minds Augmenting National Aspiration and Knowledge) It was to attract talented young boys and girls to study science and pursue research as a career. 
Unnat Bharat Abhiyan programme - It was launched by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2014. b. Connect India’s elite institutes with local communities and address their developmental challenges with appropriate technological interventions. Indo-US fellowship for women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine to participate in international collaborative research in premier institutions in America  Women-centric programmes under the Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN) initiative  Bio-technology Career Advancement and Reorientation (Bio-Care) scheme. 

A way ahead
 India will have the world's youngest population by 2022 and the women of the country will play a definitive role in devising the country’s future.  It takes a multi-pronged approach to create meaningful, lasting changes in the retention of women in STEM fields.  Women’s participation in STEM should be encouraged from primary school level rather only in higher studies.
 Awareness about gender inequality and its outcome has to be increased. The community should be supportive and understanding of career prospects for women as this needs a drastic social change. 
Companies can provide more internship opportunities for women and give STEM scholarships to meritorious yet economically backward girls as corporate social responsibility.  
Initiating a well-planned role model programme with successful women scientists will certainly help.  Special fellowships for girl students securing top positions in university exams.Reintegrate women who have taken mid-career breaks. The government has to work in closing the pay gap. 