The Republic of India is a developing nation which boasts to be the second in line to the most populated country. Being the seventh largest country by area, India has a democratic governance.
India may be a developing nation growing by leaps and bounds, but contrary to common belief, the nation is still prey to ill practices such as gender discrimination, class discrimination, age discrimination and so on.
Like all nations, there are a few prevalent practices India follows because of the cultural diversity.
The last Census survey revealed that sex ratio is 940 females to every 1000 males. Women are often viewed as the weaker sex and have to face discrimination in various verticles of their life. It is a fact that a country can only progress if every section of the society has access to equal benefits, opportunities, and rights. Although the government is trying to support the concept of women empowerment, it just ends up being a sensitive subject at the present.
At present, females are faced with discrimination at every step of the way. There is a huge difference between the literacy rate, employment opportunities, career opportunities, equal pay, growth options for females.
Various noticeable discrimination for females are listed below-
- The literacy rate for women in the previous census was recorded to be 65.46% as opposed to the14% for males.
- The employment rate for females in both rural and urban population fluctuates rapidly due to various external and internal stimuli such as less efficiency, lesser opportunities, incompetence, added mental pressures, family pressures, pregnancy, child care and so on.
- The female mortality rate is 139 for every 1000 females, as opposed to 212 for every 1000 males.
- Life expectancy for the male population has been calculated to be 66.9 years while that of the female population is 69.9 years.
- Gender pay gap in India is 24.81%. This means that for every INR 100 earned by a working male, a working female makes INR 75.19.
- Women are by nature said to be more focused on the present and men are prone to have a futuristic approach. Thus, when most females are fighting for basic rights like equal payouts, handling households, managing children and so on, males tend to be more prepared for stimuli in the environment.
One of the most crucial stage to plan for in a person’s life is the retirement stage. Age is a natural phenomenon and with each passing day, the utility, as well as the capabilities of a person, depreciate.
Retirement planning should be a quintessential requirement for a secure future. Men and women retire at different stages in their lives and thus need separate plans for their retirements.
Women tend to retire earlier than men because of the following reasons–
- Literacy rate in India is higher for males, thus males have more opportunities to expand their knowledge.
- Like in most cultures, women are mostly expected to take care of the household and not be very focused on their job/ work opportunities.
- Women are given less preference over men while being selected for an available job opportunity as they are considered.
- Women take early retirement to take care of their household affairs.
- Due to unavailability of equal opportunities at work, women often feel mentally restrained and despite fighting all odds, retire due to frustration.
- Unequal and unfair remuneration is also a reason that some females choose to sit at home than work in an unfair system.
- More often than not, when a woman is pregnant she takes leave from her work. After the birth of the child, she then continues with her duty to fend for the child and take care of the child’s interests over her own professional job.
- Direct and indirect sexual harassment in the workplace is also an aid to motivate women to feel safer at home than at the workplace.
- As age increases and due to factors like pregnancy and menopause, women are more susceptible to various underlying diseases.
- As a general remark, women are also victims of layoffs due to gender-based
All the above-mentioned reasons are why it is very important for every female individual to take care of their personal interests and plan well in advance for a secured future.
By nature, females are taught to be dependent on their male counterparts for finances. Before they are married, their fathers support their basic needs while prior to their marriage, their husband’s handle their financial matters.
It Is also noticed that most financial investments are done by males as they are more future-oriented.
Why is it important for females to invest in retirement plans?
- It gives them financial independence and security for the future.
- Reliance on male counterparts ie father, husband or son for money is eliminated or reduced marginally.
- Women tend to outlive men, ie their life expectancy of females is higher than that of the males. Thus, they will have a reliant source of finances in case of the unfortunate death of their partner.
- By investing in retirement plans, females can actually consider early retirement by estimation of their needs and probable returns.
- As increasing age is also a factor of attracting many diseases, it is important that all individuals have health benefits in their retirement plans to cover the exorbitant expenses in the time of need.
In the nutshell-
Women empowerment is a major highlight in the government’s play in the current times. Because of this, the situation and exposure for women is changing slowly. But it should not be considered in any way that the progressive process of providing equal opportunities and rights for women shall be a quick one. It is going to take a lot of effort and fight from the women as well as a lot of acceptance of change by males and change in social norms prevalent in the country at present.
Till then, women will have to live with an unfair discrimination based on sex and protect their interests by planning well in advance for their future. Thus making retirement planning an essential inclusion in their future plans.