Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 53–70 | Cite as

Gender inequality in education and employment in the scheduled castes and tribes of India

  • Dana Dunn
Gender Issues


The complex stratification systems in India give rise to a multiplicity of social categories which often obscure the relative status of women and men within the more disadvantaged segments of the population. The focus of this study is on the situation of women in scheduled castes and tribes — groups which are referred to as ‘weaker sections of people’ and granted special safeguards and concessions under the Indian constitution. Women in these under-privileged groups are doubly disadvantaged: their minority group status interacts with India's patriarchal culture to produce deplorable living conditions. Drawing from both ethnographic and statistical sources, the paper presents a descriptive profile of scheduled caste and tribe women's status in Indian society. Using Indian Census data, the study documents extreme degrees of gender inequality among the scheduled groups. Findings indicate that relative to men, women in these groups have far more limited access to both educational and employment resources. This research also suggests that socioeconomic development serves to reduce the disadvantage of scheduled group women relative to men. Among the scheduled groups considered to be more developed according to standard indicators, findings indicate less gender inequality in education and employment.

Key words

Education Employment India 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dana Dunn
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA

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