What is the fertility rate for Sikhs

The employment of women in India and its influence on economic development

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 The country of India
2.1 The development of the country
2.2 The political situation
2.3 Economic development
2.3.1 Agricultural sector
2.3.2 Service and industrial sectors
2.4 The recognition of women in society

3 The level of education of the population
3.1 The education system
3.2 Comparison of educational levels between men and women
3.3 The level of education in rural and urban areas

4 culture, tradition, religions
4.1 Hinduism
4.2 Influence of religions on women's employment

5 Importance of women in economic development

6 Conclusion


1 Introduction

The importance of women in the world continues to grow. Especially in developing countries, where women suffer a great inequality compared to the male sex, a change is attempted to minimize the discrimination and to offer women a chance of equality. When it comes to developing countries, India stands out from the crowd. Due to the economic growth that India has achieved through its various sectors over the years and gained a place in the international trading market, the importance of the country is becoming more and more important.

Women, who are an important factor, are very difficult to integrate into the labor market at the legal level. Despite this, they play an important role in the development of the country in view of the social and employable life.

The following bachelor thesis is intended to address the question of how important women are in the various sectors for the economic development of India. For this purpose, the main part first presents the country India, with its political situation and economic growth. The individual different sectors are explained below, also referring to the employability of women. Then the social position of women in the country is discussed and their recognition in society is made more explicit.

After the country and its other important components have been discussed, the level of education of the population is examined more closely. The Indian education system and the reasons for the different levels of education in rural and urban areas are explained in more detail. With regard to women, the level of education is compared with that of men and the reasons for the differences are described. In the penultimate part, the cultures, traditions and religions are described in more detail. Above all, Hinduism and the influence of different religions on the working life of women are examined in more depth.

The last part of the bachelor thesis deals with the main topic, namely the importance of women in economic development. This is followed by a conclusion in which the essential points are summarized again. Furthermore, the initial question of the bachelor thesis is addressed and answered.

The aim of the work should be to show the reader what influence women in India have on economic development. Here the different sectors in India are considered in relation to women.

Furthermore, the work should also clarify the situation of women in India for the reader.1

2 The country of India

With 1.2 billion people, India is one of the countries with the largest population after China and accounts for around 18% of the population growth. It is the seventh largest country in the world and covers an area of ​​3.2 million. The origin of the name India can be derived from the Greek and means "the river"2. The capital is called New Delhi. India is located in South Asia and has exactly eight neighboring countries: Pakistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar and Afghanistan3.

India has 22 languages ​​and hundreds of dialects and has two official languages, English and Hindi4.

A special feature of the country is the highest mountain range in the Himalayas5. In addition, India has a lot of natural resources, especially mineral resources. The most important resource is coal, because India is one of the largest coal producers in the world. Furthermore, India is one of the countries that does not have to worry about the birth rate of society. Because the number of young people makes up a large part of the population6.

The form of rule in which it is governed is democracy. Likewise, the country is characterized by its high population, as the largest democracy in the world7.

In addition, the state signs a strong growth in the economic sector. The gross domestic product has assumed a rising course for a long time8.

But despite economic successes, the poverty rate and inequality in society are increasing9. India is currently classified as an emerging market10because they have essential prerequisites such as a good education and health system11, for a categorization as an industrialized country do not meet.

The health system needs large investments and a number of renovations. The death rate among women during pregnancy is still very high. One of the main reasons why the high death rates occur is the lack of childbirth assistance12.

Compared to other countries, India stands out with its numerous ethnicities, religions and language groups13. In addition, the subcontinent has a significant past as a colonial country and a history of its independence14.

2.1 The development of the country

The development of India extends over centuries and is still happening today. India gained independence in 1947 from a colonial country under the government of the British. In the years around 1500 the Portuguese found the sea route to India, which led to various effects. On the one hand, they were traders whose presence posed no threat to a group. On the other hand, the Muslim traders felt threatened by the Portuguese traders as they were seen as a competitor.

These situations sparked great conflicts, which started the struggle for conquest in the Indian Ocean. After the Portuguese successfully conquered what is now the state of Goa, Portuguese rule began in the country. The appropriation of the coast was very crucial to trade with Europe15. The goods that were initially traded were mainly pepper and many other spices16.

At the end of the 16th century, the Portuguese lost their rule. The reasons why it came to a decline were once the wrong religious policy that was practiced and the lack of equity, which made them dependent on other countries17. The trading power lost by the Portuguese was taken over by the British.

In 1857, with the dissolution of the Mughal Empire, the English gained complete control of India. A major factor in the colonial era was the "East India Company". The "East India Company" was a private trading company that was primarily concerned with its own interests and less concerned with the welfare of the country. The company had a very high degree of control over the country thanks to its own military and well-thought-out administrative structure. The "East India Company" primarily traded in goods such as silk, spices, tea and cotton. India's economy gained momentum, but it was not on purpose and did not count as a Company interest. The British treated the Indian population as second class people. During the period when advanced machinery was used in the UK due to the processing of Bengali cotton, no machinery was developed or introduced in India.

The large number of cheap labor was a major reason why there was no innovation or introduction to machinery. The company lost its power through repeated uprisings carried out by Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs and disintegrated over the years. During the time of Queen Victoria, the situation of the Indian people was supposed to improve, but this idea was not fulfilled. Strong disputes arose again and again in the country and the desire to end the occupation of the British increased.

At the same time, the conflict between the two largest religious groups, the Hindus and the Muslim woman, grew bigger and bigger. The idea of ​​dividing India and founding a state for the Indian Muslims became more attractive for many Muslims in the past. India achieved independence on August 15, 1947, but the country did not split off. The day before independence, the state of Pakistan was established. But even independence and the partition of India did not lead to peace. The other problems arose because of the Kashmir region.

The dispute over the area continues to this day18. Although India had to struggle with a very long and complicated history and much would have to rebuild itself as a new independent and independent country, the country made great progress in social and especially in economic situations.

2.2 The political situation

After the colonial rule of the British, a political change began in India. The country has managed to introduce democracy with three starting points, executive, legislative and judicial19. Despite poverty, major conflicts, inequalities and discrimination between the population groups, India managed to maintain the democratic system20.

The first parliamentary election took place in 1951. In total, India had sixteen successful parliamentary elections. The country is divided into 29 states and seven union territories, which designate their own prime ministers and elect state parliaments, and are heavily controlled by the central government21. The electoral system is quite simple.

It is elected according to the majority of votes in which the representatives are determined by the majority vote. The democratic government achieved very decisive and positive results such as the establishment of language groups or the introduction of rights for women and caste people.

Nonetheless, a lot of changes need to be made. There are very large deficiencies in the education and health systems, but corruption is also a problem with which the country has to struggle very hard. The government’s greatest challenge is poverty and inequality.

The majority of the population still lives in poverty22. Other conflicts, such as the language of the state or disputes between the different religious groups, have not yet been resolved. The disagreement between Muslims and Hindus has not yet been resolved23. One conflict that cannot be ended is the fight for Kashmir. Kashmiri affiliation has been a big issue since its inception in 1947.

Because the battle for Kashmir led to three wars and prevents the improvement of the relationship between the countries India and Pakistan24.

Regardless of the many conflicts that politics must deal with, India is one of the most important countries for world trade and on the way to becoming a great power25.

2.3 Economic development

After a long colonial rule, India achieves an economic development that is worth mentioning. Since 1991, India has experienced strong growth in economy26. The economic success was so great that the country grew faster than China27.

The importance of the economic situation is not only decisive for one's own country, but also for many other countries. A big reason India plays an important role is that it is seen as an economic powerhouse in the future28. India belongs to the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) states and, in contrast to the other members such as Brazil, does not achieve a decline in gross domestic product.

In this way it is noticeable that India has not lost any of its economic power in recent years29. The strengthening of the economy increases the incomes of individuals and thus also the state revenues30.

This leads to multiple investments in the various sectors31. Although investments are made in the country, most investors choose to invest abroad because of poor infrastructure and industrial policy32.

The advances India is making in terms of infrastructure are not enough to keep people safe. For example, it comes from poor road quality33that sales of commercial vehicles are falling34.

Another impact of rising incomes is private consumption. In addition, India draws very great advantages from many different areas, such as IT, textiles, gem processing, consumer goods and services, as the products can be offered inexpensively on the world market35.

The service sector accounts for the largest share of the sectors in the gross domestic product. The agricultural part of the country has very little effect on the gross domestic product and still does not achieve any growth compared to the service sector36. One problem with the Indian economy is that the state has enormous power over the markets. Many of the markets can be regulated by the state37. Despite sustained economic growth, the majority of the population suffers from poverty. There is also extreme inequality in society. The unemployment rate has held up for years, despite increasing population growth38, stable and has a rate of 3.5%39. Most of the individuals most affected by poverty and inequality live in rural areas40. Furthermore, India is known for its corruption41Likewise, entrepreneurs and politicians see corruption as inevitable and imperative to achieve something42. India is known for many different sectors. The industrial and service sectors are fundamental to economic development. But the country is still an agricultural country and employs more than half of the population.

2.3.1 Agricultural sector

The agricultural sector is of great importance to many people in India. Around 68% of the population works in this sector43. India is a food exporter in the grain sector44.

Besides tea and cotton, rice is the most important commodity45. However, agriculture is in crisis as it is growing very slowly.

The participation of the agricultural sector in GDP has fallen sharply46. One of the reasons why the crises arise and growth such as agricultural production is hindered are natural disasters such as drought. The country suffers from a lack of water and so does agriculture. The “green revolution” was introduced to prevent the drought catastrophe and unfortunate situations47. The “green revolution” was used in developing countries to increase the productivity of goods such as rice, corn and flour through new technologies and to reduce rural poverty. But this did not lead to long-term success; on the contrary, it resulted in environmental pollution and indebtedness of the smallholders48.

For a short period of time, the “green revolution” produced positive results. Income grew rapidly and poverty decreased49.

However, agriculture was severely damaged by the chemicals used, such as fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, there were very high costs for the small farmers because they could not always afford the necessary goods50.

Because of these effects and crises in rural areas, small farmers, but also a large proportion of the workforce, want a carefree life in the city51. The urbanization in India and the desire for city life is very evident in India. The proportion of the rural population has fallen sharply in recent years52.

With regard to women who work in the agricultural sector, the tasks differ in terms of caste affiliation. The majority of working women are employed in rural areas. Their activities include general agricultural production, as well as processing such as drying, grinding and cleaning the products53.

Even if women play an important role in the sector and perform many services, they do not contain any real consideration. When it comes to remuneration, it is not the quality of the worker that is taken into account, but rather which caste she is in. Caste-less people are not rewarded with money, but rather with a meal54. Women who belong to a caste and have medium-sized land holdings have completely different duties. Their occupations include more demanding jobs, such as taking part in production decisions. Women are particularly important in the areas where rice and wheat are grown. Because in this area very labor-intensive activities such as transplanting and harvesting are carried out55. The women who do such extensive and physical labor are indispensable in the agricultural sector.The situation of the agricultural sector with its employees is always an important point in the country, but India is also very well known in other areas, such as industry and services56.

2.3.2 Service and industrial sectors

One of the crucial sectors in India is the service sector. India achieves over 50% of its gross national product through the service sector alone57. Especially in the context of IT, as well as software development or finance58, - and services59 very high economic growth is achieved. Computer software is one of the most important export goods60, with which India made itself known internationally61.

The developed software that brings success are organizational software and software that controls production processes for each individual customer. As a result, many IT experts decided to do their work abroad or started their own business.

The employees in the IT sector are highly qualified and have very good language skills62. The industrial sector also plays a special role for India. The textile and diamond industry is just as crucial for India. Finally, India is showing positive effects in the diamond cutting sector. India was only responsible for processing the diamonds.

Because the country imported unfinished diamonds and exported the finished pieces of jewelry. Due to great creativity and low wages, India benefits greatly from diamond cutting63.

The most important export countries include the United States, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong64The nation is also making great strides in the textile sector. As in the other industrial sectors, production here is also very cheap and can therefore be made available to other countries at an advantageous rate65. The manufacture of clothing consists mainly of woven fabrics.

A high degree of speed and flexibility is required in the sector.

There is a predominance of men in the industry, but the number of women workers is increasing noticeably66. However, working conditions in the industrial sectors are catastrophic. There are no human working conditions. Many women and young girls work in the spinning mill all day under extreme pressure and terrible circumstances. The factory in which the activities are carried out employs more than hundreds of women workers who work in a hall with locked windows and an unbearable heat67.

Violence, humiliation, and no breaks are situations that Indian women struggle with in their daily work situations. Although the achievements of the female sex are not widely recognized, they carry out most of the work and have an important influence on the success of the export market68. Compared to the industrial sector, there are fewer employed women in the IT sector because, in the opinion of society, they are not suitable for these occupational fields69. Another important reason why more men work in this sector is that they have successfully completed school education and have evidence of high qualifications70. Because there is not only great inequality between the sexes in the labor market, but also in education71.

2.4 The recognition of women in society

As in many other developing countries, women in India have a lower social status than men. There is a clear division of roles in society. Men have power over women72.

Again and again India reaches the top five of the countries in which a great misogyny is recognizable73.

Discrimination between the sexes begins with the birth of a girl. Because giving birth to a girl is associated with unhappiness and very high costs74. There is still arranged marriage in India, in which the parents choose the suitable bridegroom for the daughter and organize the wedding rituals. With all the traditional and cultural customs, parents who want to marry off their daughter are under great pressure. Especially for families who live on the subsistence level, it is very difficult to marry off their daughters early75.

The reason a daughter is a great burden is because of the dowry that the bride's family gives to the groom76. Dowry includes not only money, but also assets that lead to lifelong debt. The wedding is by no means something private, on the contrary it is one of the most significant ceremonies for the people in the country.

As a result, a successful wedding with all requirements met ensures more recognition in society77. However, the dowry does not end with the end of the wedding, but only when all of the groom's demands have been met, which can also continue after the wedding. It becomes very brutal when the bride's family cannot satisfy these wishes. This leads to horrific dowry murders that happen every day in India. The wife is cruelly murdered by being burned.

In order for the murders to be classified as accidents, the horrific act is demonstrated as a kitchen accident or suicide.

Despite a dowry ban introduced in 1961, the woman's position as a bride has not improved78. But not only the greed for the dowry is responsible for death. The dissatisfaction of the in-laws is also a reason to get rid of the daughter-in-law forever79.

The next desperation among the parents arises when the daughter has a dark skin color, since in India women with lighter skin tone are preferred as wives and daughter-in-law. The daughter should leave the parental home as young as possible, with a good upbringing and as a virgin80.

After leaving home, the bride has a great responsibility towards her husband and in-laws. As a good wife and daughter-in-law, she is responsible for the well-being of the family.

It goes without saying that she renounces her professional training and dedicates herself to the duties in the house81. Complaining to the family is unacceptable behavior and leads to a greater crisis. In order not to weaken the relationship with family members, it is usually the case that the bride is silent and tolerates everything.

After all, she knows that her “disrespectful” behavior will have consequences82. There is no right to one's own opinion and decisions, instead there is oppression and violence83.

Even so, there is a very low divorce rate in India. The reason the divorce does not go through is a social issue84.

Women who cannot cope with the circumstances of their marriage and who choose to divorce are marginalized. In addition, they lose recognition and respect85.


1 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 7

2 See Piano (2004) p. 14

3 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 28

4 See Flierl / Brenner (2016), p. 17

5 See Rothermund (2008) p.14

6 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 8

7 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p. 268

8 See Statista (2018).

9 See Stockmann / Menzel / Nuscheler (2016) p.297

10 See Klein, Martin (2018).

11 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p.12

12 See Janowski / Leuenberger (2008) p. 79

13 See Rothermund (2008) p.14

14 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p.15 f.

15 See Lütt (2012) p. 3ff.

16 See Rothermund (2018) p. 50

17 See Lütt (2012) p. 5

18 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016): p. 21 ff.

19 See Federal Agency for Civic Education (2014).

20 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p. 267 f.

21 See Wagner (2016) p.29

22 See Federal Agency for Civic Education (2014).

23 See Wagner (2016) p.182 f.

24 See Wagner (2016) p. 201 f.

25 See Wagner (2016) p.265 f.

26 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 188

27 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 35

28 See Federal Agency for Civic Education (2014).

29 See Statista (2018).

30 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p. 33

31 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 36

32 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 188

33 See The global Economy (2015).

34 See The global Economy (2017).

35 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 36

36 See Statista (2017).

37 See Federal Agency for Civic Education (2014).

38 See The global Economy (2016).

39 See Statista (2017).

40 See The global Economy (2016).

41 See Statista (2018).

42 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 124

43 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 8

44 See Federal Agency for Civic Education (2014).

45 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 9

46 See The global Economy (2016).

47 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p. 42

48 See Hans-Dieter Haas (2018).

49 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p. 43

50 See Unger (2015) p. 116

51 See Rothermund (2008) p.153

52 See The global Economy (2016).

53 See Scheu (1995), p. 83

54 See Kakar (2015) p.136

55 See Sheu (1995), p. 83

56 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 125

57 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 46

58 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p. 49

59 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 46

60 See Rothermund (2008) p.133

61 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 117

62 See Rothermund (2008) p.131 ff.

63 See Rothermund (2008) p.124 ff.

64 See Statista (2017).

65 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p. 36

66 See Rothermund (2008) p.128 f.

67 See Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (2014).

68 See Tagesspiegel (2017).

69 See Statista (2016).

70 See Rothermund (2008) p.131 ff.

71 See Dreze / Sen (2014) p. 237 f.

72 See Kakar (2015) page 55

73 See Järvenpää / Riemhofer (2016) p. 70

74 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 113

75 See Kakar (2015) p.38

76 See Laux (2004) p. 4

77 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p.68

78 See Laux (2004) p. 72

79 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p.68

80 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 102 f.

81 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p.67

82 See Laux (2004) p. 4

83 See Vermeer / Neumann (2016) p.68

84 See Imhasyl (2015) p. 111

85 See Kakar (2015) p.54

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