New Delhi: Historically disadvantaged groups including Dalits, tribals, and religious minorities like Muslims continue to encounter prejudice in India when trying to obtain jobs, livelihoods, and agricultural loans. This was revealed in the latest study on discrimination in India by the international charity organization, Oxfam.
The Oxfam India’s Discrimination Report 2022 blames “societal and employers’ prejudices” for women’s lower wages. . The report said Muslims experienced the most increase in unemployment during the early months of the Covid-19 outbreak, with a rate of 17%.
“During the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the sharpest increase in unemployment – at 17% – was for Muslims.”
The report noted that non-Muslims made 7,000 rupees more per month than Muslims, those from the lowest castes and tribes made 5,000 rupees less per month than others, and men made 4,000 rupees ($50; £44) more per month than women.
“The fall-out of discrimination in Indian society is not just social and moral but also economic, leading to adverse consequences to society,” Amitabh Behar, Oxfam India’s CEO, said.
Behar also underlined that “The inequality for women and other social categories is not just due to poor access to education or work experience but because of discrimination”.
By analyzing official data on employment, income, health, and access to agricultural finance for various social groups between 2004 and 2020, researchers from Oxfam used statistical models to quantify prejudice.
The CEO of Oxfam recommended that in order to create an India free from prejudice, the government, political parties, decision-makers, and civil society must work together.