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Average Dalit Woman Dies Younger Than Women From Higher Castes: UN Report

Turning promises into action: gender equality in the 2030 Agenda by UN Women, a report released by the UN, has found out that the increase in exposure to mortality of lower-caste women primarily stems from poor sanitation, inadequate supply of water and healthcare.

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Updated:February 16, 2018, 10:42 AM IST
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Average Dalit Woman Dies Younger Than Women From Higher Castes: UN Report
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New Delhi: Being a Dalit woman in India means that she will die 14.6 years younger than women who belong to higher castes, a UN report has said.

Turning promises into action: gender equality in the 2030 Agenda by UN Women, a report released by the UN, has found out that the increase in exposure to mortality of lower-caste women primarily stems from poor sanitation, inadequate supply of water and healthcare.

According to the report, different forms of discrimination – caste, race, ethnicity, religion– further marginalizes women and girls from poor and deprived sections of the society.

“Those left furthest behind in society are often women and girls who experience multiple forms of disadvantage based on gender and other inequalities. This can lead to clustered deprivations where women and girls may be simultaneously disadvantaged in their access to quality education, decent work, health and well-being,” the report states.

The report, released after two years after the adoption of Agenda 2030, examines through a gender lens the progress and challenges in the implementation of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, adopted by different world leaders in 2015, from ending poverty and hunger to tackling climate change.

The report, which calls for strengthening transparency, accountability and participation, has stressed on ensuring that access to water is provided to all groups without discrimination.

“Manuals and guidelines for the design of water and sanitation infrastructure often urge those designing projects to consult with women and marginalized social groups, such as Dalits in India; involve them in community-based participatory mechanisms (such as water and sanitation user committees) and accountability drives (for example, village and ward citizens’ forums and citizens report cards) to make their voices heard; and increase women’s representation in management teams and the civil service,” the report says.

The report also says that in 89 countries with available data, women and girls account for 330 million of the poor. “This translates to 4 more women living on less than $1.90 a day for every 100 men. The gender gap is particularly wide during the reproductive years,” it states.


The report adds that the strategies to achieve the goal of ‘leave no one behind’ must be devised in ways that do not aggravate further social fragmentation or other forms of harm or abuse of vulnerable groups.

“The likelihood of being poor is greater if she is landless and from a scheduled caste. Her low level of education and status in the social hierarchy will almost guarantee that if she works for pay, it will be under exploitative working conditions,” the report states.
| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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