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Indias Gender Inequality Index value of 0.

617 in 2011 places us at 129 out of 149 countries and is reflective of the high gender inequality that is prevalent in our country. The decline in child sex ratio by 13 points from 927 in 2001 to 914 in 2011 is a matter of grave concern despite an appreciable gain in the overall sex ratio of 7 points from 933 in 2001 to 940 in 2011. Demographers have projected that by the year 2020 there would be 28 to 31 million surplus males in the 15 35 age group and sociologists have drawn attention to the security implications of gender imbalance. On the health front, Infant Mortality Rate has reduced to 47 per 1,000 in 2010 but there are increasing concerns regarding the gap between male and female infant mortality rate of 49 for girls as compared to 46 for boys. Similarly, the under-five mortality rate for girls is very high at 64 per 1,000 live births compared to 55 per 1,000 live births for boys. There has been an increase in literacy amongst women from 53.67 per cent (2001) to 65.46 per cent (Census 2011). However, the gender gap which stands at 16.68 per cent is the real challenge. According to NSSO data, womens participation in the labour force between 199394 and 200910 has decreased substantially from 36.8 per cent to 26.1 per cent in rural areas and from 17 per cent to 13.8 per cent in urban areas. In addition, female hourly wage rates in agriculture vary from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of male rates and in no Indian state do women and men earn equal wages in agriculture. Data shows women occupy only 10.7% of the seats in Parliament; less than 10% seats in High Courts and Supreme Courts and only 2-3% senior administrators and managers are women. Violence against women is a major challenge. Data from National Crime Records Bureau indicates that the total number of crimes against women increased by 29.6 per cent between 2006 and 2010. The 200506 National Family Health Survey also reported that one-third of women aged 15 to 49 had experienced physical violence, and approximately one in 10 had been a victim of sexual violence. In 2012, the World Bank found that eliminating all forms of discrimination against women in employment could increase productivity per worker by up to 40 percent. The Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that giving women farmers the same access as men to fertilizers, seeds, tools and other types of support would raise agricultural outputs enough to feed 100-150 million hungry people. The Government has identified a plan of action in the 12th Five Year Plan under which gender equity issues will be addressed in seven specific areas: (i) Economic Empowerment; (ii) Social and Physical Infrastructure; (iii) Enabling Legislations; (iv) Womens Participation in Governance; (v) Inclusiveness of all categories of vulnerable women; (vi) Engendering National Policies/Programmes; and (viii) Mainstreaming gender through Gender Budgeting.