This book refutes the rising general perception that the gender gap in India is decreasing. The argument is strengthened by calculating the gender gap index at two time periods and providing quantitative information along with information pertaining to numerous case studies. Selecting relevant welfare indicators and focusing on the neglected dimensions of gender equity, Bearing the Brunt: Impact of Rural Distress on Women discusses the gendered impact of rural economic distress with respect to employment, agricultural production, natural resource management and food security. It shows that women are bearing the brunt of the increase in rural economic distress at the turn of the century, with spillover effects on their physical and social wellbeing. The gender gap index shows a widening of the gender gap in welfare between mid-nineties and this decade. The discourse is based on official statistics obtained mainly from the National Sample Survey and the Census of India. This book will be an excellent reference source for researchers working in the fields of development economics, health, education and welfare economics and gender studies. It will also add value to the programmes of government departments, NGOs, and other institutions that are working in the fields of women and child welfare, rural development, equitable growth and gender parity.