There are four areas in which the Indian Government still needs to do a tremendous amount of work to ensure the emancipation of women. The first is with regard to Article 5 of CEDAW which states -
"States Parties shall take all appropriate measures:
(a) To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women;
Unfortunately even today social and cultural practices in India are highly patriarchal and reinforce the superiority of men over women and force women into doing most of the domestic work thus preventing them from participating freely in social and economic life. Consequently there have to be specific legislation and policy measures to reverse the adverse Gender Division of Labour for women. I am sorry to say that even in our social activist fold I have seen men shirking domestic work and it becomes the responsibility of the women activists to do the domestic work. This becomes an even more onerous burden for women with regard to the care of children. In poor households the care of children is the sole function of the women and elder girls, the latter having to give up on education to take care of their siblings. Due to the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan enrollment rates throughout India are close to 100% for both boys and girls at the primary school level. However, after this the dropout rate for girls is much more than that for boys and this is mainly the result of the inadequate implementation of Article 5 b above. There is a need for specific brainstorming to ensure that the provisions of this article are better implemented because it is the key to women's emancipation.(b) To ensure that family education includes a proper understanding of maternity as a social function and the recognition of the common responsibility of men and women in the upbringing and development of their children, it being understood that the interest of the children is the primordial consideration in all cases."