Yojana Magazine September 2021: Nari Shakti

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Fighting Femicide

What is Female Femicide?

  • It represents the act of killing women because of their gender. Femicide, in general, is understood to be motivated by misogyny and prejudice against women.
  • Several forms of violence against women fit within the definition of femicide. This includes domestic violence, honour killings, dowry deaths, sex-selective abortions, infanticide, domestic violence, and witch-hunting.

Responses To Femicide

  • Legislative Actions
    • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 bans dowry in any form.
    • Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC/PNDT) Act, 1994 prohibits the use of prenatal technologies to determine the sex of a foetus.
    • There is no legislation directly addressing honour killings and currently, it is dealt with under the Indian Penal Code or the Criminal Procedure Code.

 Affirmative Actions

  • The reservation of 33% of seats for women in India’s local government.
  • Goa allocated nearly half of the state’s representative council seats for women.
  • The penalties outlined within the legislation are weak and the implementation of these laws remains limited. As a result, we are witnessing an increase in the cases of femicide.

Way Forward

  • Legislation for Violence against WomenStrong legislation is vital for holding the perpetrators accountable. Increased funding and strengthened infrastructure are also required.
  • Sensitisation of Police Personnel – Police have little understanding of violence against women legislation.
  • They are often influenced by social structures of gender bias. They often refuse to register First Information
  • Report in cases of domestic violence and dowry harassment or dowry death.
  • Protocols must be developed so that police officers know how to respond when women report crimes. Gender sensitisation training must become mandatory for all police personnel
  • Increase in Support Services for Women Support programmes can strengthen infrastructure by increasing shelter homes and improving medical facilities. It can also educate women on their rights and the legislation protecting them from violence.
  • Addressing Patriarchy – Engage with local communities and develop education programmes on women’s rights.

Conclusion

  • As India is becoming more gender-friendly, the rise in violence against women can be seen, in part, as a response to these changes and as an attempt to reassert traditional power structures. However, we should keep putting strong efforts till Indian women are empowered
SHG-Led Women Empowerment

What Are SHGs?

  • SHGs are voluntary associations of economically poor, usually drawn from the same socio-economic background and who resolve to come together for a common purpose of solving their issues and problems through self-help and community action.

How SHG As A Concept Gained Momentum In India?

  • In 1984, the concept of social mobilisation through the organising of SHGs was introduced based on Prof. Yunus’s Grameen Bank model.
  • Initially, NABARD along with empanelled NGOs designed and developed the promotional ecosystem, including the SHGs-Bank linkage programme.
  • In the year 1990, the RBI recognised SHGs as an alternate credit flow model.

DAY-NRLM & Women Empowerment

  • Twin Objective – Organising rural poor women into SHGs, and constantly nurturing and assisting them to take up economic activities.
  • Aim – to reduce poverty by enabling poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities, through building strong grassroots institutions for the poor.
  • The programme aims to ensure that at least one woman member from each rural poor household (about 9 crores) is brought into women SHGs.

Dashasutras Under DAY-NRLM

  • Earlier SHGs movements followed five principles. These were – Regular Meetings; Regular Savings; Regular Inter-Loaning; Timely Repayment of Loans; and Up-to-date books of Accounts.
  • Later five additional principles were started to be followed – Health, Nutrition, and Sanitation; Education; Active involvement in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs); Access to Entitlements and Schemes; and Creating Opportunities for Sustainable Livelihoods.
  • Taken together, these principles form Dashasutras under DAY-NRLM.
  • Women Entrepreneurship and Economic Progress
  • There are mainly three central aspects of entrepreneurship: 
    1. uncertainty and risk,
    2. managerial competence, and
    3. creative opportunism or innovation.
  • Hence, the promotion of entrepreneurship through SGs would require the empowerment of millions of SHGs.
  • If women SHGs are empowered they can ensure job opportunities by effectively utilising available resources into profitable products as per the local need and the acceptability of consumers.

DAY-NRLM & Empowering Process

  • The nucleus of DAY-NRLM has been built around a basic human nature of the feeling of self-worth and self-help. Following four pillars of the scheme ensure the empowerment process in DAY-NRLM –
  • Social Mobilisation, Formation And Promotion Of Sustainable Institutions Of Poor
  • These community-based organisations adhere to core principles of democratic governance and financial accountability.
  • It participates effectively in local governance and development, mediate livelihood concerns and social issues affecting the poor members, facilitates access of the poor to entitlements and public services.

Pillar Of Financial Inclusion

  • Here the focus is laid on both demand and supply-side interventions.
  • Demand-side interventions ensure the promotion of effective book-keeping: provision of capital support to SHGs; creating a culture of prompt repayments of loans etc.
  • Supply-side interventions confirm the formation of sub-committees of State-level Bankers Committee in all states; bankers’ sensitisation on the concept, practices, etc.
  • Livelihood: The focus is on strengthening existing and new income sources, promotion of opportunities. The scheme empowered women SHGs to take up non-farm livelihoods activities too.
  • Start-Up Village Entrepreneurship Programme (SVEP) promoted rural start-ups in the non-farm sector.

Social Inclusion and Convergence

  • Platforms established by SHGs are leveraged for better implementation of multiple public welfare schemes/programmes.

Issue & Challenges

  • The SHG movement traversed from the “thrift and saving” in the 1980s to the “livelihood” based economic empowerment method. Despite such progress, it is suffering from many challenges, as discussed below.
  • Universal social mobilization – Identification and inclusion of the poor remains a challenge. There is a need to develop community resource persons for participatory identification of the poor.
  • Training, Capacity Building & Skill Upgradation – There is a lack of appropriate training plans, quality training and availability of expert training institutions.
  • Universal Financial Inclusion – Lack of uniform financial management systems at all tiers of SHGs has impacted the growth in bank accounts, improvement in financial literacy, and absorption capacity of community members.
  • Multiple & Diversified Livelihoods – There is a lack of progressive leadership for the inclusiveness of small-sized enterprises at the federal level. Market/ forward linkages is largely missing.
  • Support Structure at the Community – Creation of business environment, enhancement of skills, and identification of value chains with proper clustering across the state along with positioning competent human resources in the SHGs ecosystem are required.

Schematic Convergence

  • Field level schematic convergence is the need of the hour to bring synergies directly or indirectly with the institutions of the poor.

Conclusion

  • Focus on the mobilisation of more SHGs and taking their support services for the creation and operation of rural farm and non-farm infrastructure would help improve rural livelihoods and income.
  • Spanning thousands of years, toy manufacturing in India is as old as civilisation itself. Some of the earliest evidence of terracotta toys being found in Harappa (2,500 BCE).
Women In India's Toy Industry

Toy Industries & Women Empowerment

  • Employment in the toy manufacturing sector offers its female-majority workforce avenues for socio-economic empowerment, financial security, and skill development.
  • It also offers opportunities for women to act as agents of change by preserving local toy forms, intrinsic to their regions.
  • Toy manufacturing also creates possibilities for men and women artisans to work together, thereby promoting equal task division and partnerships.
  • For instance, in Tamil Nadu, the manufacturing processes of ‘Vilachary' clay toys are divided between men and women.

Toy Industries: Statistics

  • According to a report by the National Productivity Council, India’s toy industry employs three million workers, of which 70 per cent are women.
  • India’s current toy industry is estimated to be valued at $1.5 billion and has the potential to grow to $2-3 billion by 2024.
  • India’s domestic toy demand is predicted to grow at 10-15% against the global average of 5%.
  • Challenges
    • It continues to be significantly fragmented, with 90 per cent of the market being unorganised.
    • 75 per cent of domestic manufacturing originates in micro-industries, while 22 per cent comes from MSMEs.
    • Less than 3 per cent of the domestic toy manufacturing processes come from large units.
    • The retail value of the Indian toy market is INR 16, 000 crores of which close to three-fourths are Chinese imports.

Govt Initiatives

  • In January 2021, it launched ‘Toycathon’, a hackathon to develop toys and games based on Indian culture and ethos.
  • To promote the indigenous toy manufacturing industry, this multi-Ministerial effort sought to create an ‘Aatmanirbhar’ eco-system for local manufactures by exploring their untapped potential.
  • Toy manufacturing clusters across the country have come to be formally recognised and supported by the govt.
  • State govt. are in the process of allocating spaces for toy parks. For instance, Koppal District in Karnataka has recently been recognised as the country's first toy manufacturing cluster.

Conclusion

  • As India looks to build its ‘toyoconomy – women workers will continue to play a significant role in fulfilling domestic demand, reducing imports and raising India’s share of toy manufacturing in the global marketplace.
Women at MSME Workplace

MSME Definition Revised

  • The distinction between the manufacturing and service sector was eliminated.
  • Revised MSME Classification – Composite Criteria using Investment in Plant & Machinery/equipment and Annual Turnover has been formulated.
  • Micro – Investment in P&M/ Equipment: Not more than Rs. 1 crore & annual turnover; not more than Rs 5 crore
  • Small – Investment in P&M/ Equipment: Not more than Rs. 10 crore & annual turnover; not more than Rs 50 crore
  • Medium – Investment in P&M/ Equipment: Not more than Rs. 50 crore & annual turnover; not more than Rs 250 crore

Government’s Focus Towards Women Entrepreneurship

  • The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) was launched on 8 March 2018 (on the occasion of International Women’s Day) as NITI Aayog’s flagship initiative.
  • Women entrepreneurship is being promoted in a big way in the Northeast and the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) came forward to provide a Viability Fund to new startups.

Women in the Handloom Sector

  • Different parts of India have produced distinct styles — muslin of Chanderi, Varanasi brocades, Rajasthan and Odisha have given tie and die products.
  • Patola sarees from Patan, Himroo of Hyderabad, phulkari and Khes from Punjab, Daccai and Jamdani from Bengal, traditional designs from Assam and Manipur like the Phenek and Tongam. Handloom Sector And Women’s Empowerment Through Financial Independence
  • The relevance of the handloom sector in the agrarian economy is massive because of its linkages with crucial and sensitive sectors like agriculture.
  • It uses agricultural products as raw materials and, therefore, provides an ever-ready market for agricultural produce.
  • As per WHO, breast cancer accounts for 2.09 million cases and 627000 deaths globally. In India, it accounts 14% of all cancers in women.
  • It is a sector that directly addresses women’s empowerment. As per the 2019-20 census, the sector engages over 23 lakhs female weavers and allied workers.
  • According to the Fourth All India Handloom Census, the total number of households in India engaged in handloom activities (weaving and allied activities) is 31.45 lakhs.
  • A higher number of females are involved in allied activities related to the handlooms. Female workforce participation rate in allied activities in this sector is twice as much higher than their male counterpart
Making Of The Administrators
  • Civil Servants always perform at the forefront, both at the cutting grassroots levels as well as in the highly complex and impactful policy formulation.
  • Hence, Capacity Building assumes immense importance for civil servants, the government, and the nation.

Origin of Civil Service in India

  • The present system of civil services was created by the British to serve their imperial interests.
  • It was established as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS) to perform regulatory functions like maintaining law and order and generating revenue.

Civil Services After Independence

  • In the democratic setup the political leadership was likely to change at periodic intervals. In such a scenario, the necessity of bureaucratic continuity and neutrality of civil servants was deemed essential.
  • Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel strongly advocated for continuing the civil service, calling it ‘the steel frame of India’.
  • Later, Constituent Assembly incorporated Article 312 to constitute All India Services.
  • Significant changes were also visualised in the role of the administrators. It was no longer seen to be limited to the colonial rale of revenue collection and enforcing law & order.
  • Welfare oriented Indian governments used the policy formulation and implementation capabilities of these administrators to design and roll out many schemes in all domains.
  • The institution of civil services has worked along with the political leadership for the overall socio-economic development of the country.
  • With its national character, it has also been a strong binding force to a Union of States.

Role of Civil Services

  • Service presence throughout the country and strong binding character,
  • The administrative and managerial capacity of the services,
  • Effective policy-making and regulation,
  • Effective coordination between institutions of governance,
  • Leadership at different levels of administration
  • Service delivery at the cutting-edge level
  • Providing ‘continuity and change’ to the administration

Need for Reform

  • The present system of the training of civil servants is very comprehensive, relevant and career-spanning. Yet, fact remains that it was designed decades ago and continues to foster the same mindsets, which were plagued by the shadows of colonial mistrust.
  • Also, new technologies are changing the governance landscape which necessitates Civil Services Reform.
  • Challenges Pertaining To Development Of Right Attitudes And Mindsets
  • Change in outlook and performance of administrators can come only by a transformation in their attitudes and mindsets from that of a ruler to a leader, collaborator and facilitator.
  • The strong value system, the courage of conviction and positive outlook must be deeply entrenched in the civil servants to cope with external pressures.
  • This leads to the question of altering and improving the intangible attitudes and mindsets of trainee civil servants. It is the area of attitudes, which is much more challenging and harder to be crystallised in simplistic determinants.

Recent Reforms in the Training of Administrators

Mission Karmayogi

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the adoption of the New National Architecture for Civil Services Capacity Building called “Mission Karmayogi” in September 2020.
  • It is a competency focussed training of officials using digital platforms that aims to transform the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional, and process levels.
  • The Programme will be delivered by setting up an Integrated Government Online Training-iGOT Karmayogi Platform.

Aarambh

  • Aarambh’ is an initiative to bring all the probationers of All India Service, Group-A Central Services and Foreign Service together for a Common Foundation Course (CFC).
  • It breaks the silos of services and departments from the very beginning of the career of a civil servant.
  • It aims at making the civil servants capable of leading the transformation and work seamlessly across departments and fields.

Common Mid-Career Training Programme (CMCTP)

  • A scheme, similar to Aarambh, has been envisaged to break the silos among different civil services at the mid-career level in the form of the Common Mid-Career Training Programme (CMCTP).
  • This programme aims at providing a common learning platform for officers belonging to different civil services. It will focus on the development of behavioural, functional, and domain level competencies
Gender Justice

Impact of Socialisation

  • In the mid-twentieth century, the French social philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote the magnum opus ‘Second Sex’.
  • Here she elaborated the secondary position of the women because of social-cultural factors. She has famously written that ‘one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.’
  • She mentions that the ‘sex’ (biological difference between male and female) in the course of time becomes ‘gender’ (a socio-cultural construct).
  • It happens due to primary (family peer groups, community) and secondary (school, college, club, public library, offices, sports, etc.) socialisation.

Recent Judicial Orders Ensuring Gender Justice

  • As per IFS Services Rules, married women were not allowed to join IFS. This was quashed by the SC.
  • In Joseph Shine v Union of India, Supreme Court struck down Section 497 of IPC (punishment for adultery) as unconstitutional, being violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21 and Section 497 which was based on gender stereotypes on the role of women.
  • Recently, SC declared Talaq-e-biddat (triple talaq at the same time) unconstitutional & arbitrary (violative of the fundamental right to equality).

Empowerment Parameters

  • The Fifth National Family Health Survey (2019-20) talks of the following factors for the empowerment of women:
  • ownership of physical assets-mobile phones, bank accounts, land & housing;
  • access to menstrual hygiene products (sanitary napkins etc);
  • participation in household decisions (healthcare for herself, household purchases, visits to family/ relatives);
  • employment status;
  • gender violence;
  • marriage under the age of 18 years; and
  • educational attainment of more than 10 years.
  • However, SDGs also take into account – (i) the time spent on domestic or unpaid work decisions; (ii) the decision on reproductive health; and (iii) the incidence of female genital mutilation. Progress of Indian Women as per NFHS (2019-20)
    • The sex ratio at birth in 2020 increased to 942,
    • Due to PMJDY, women's bank accounts increased by 28% (2015- 2020).
    • Participation in household decision making increased marginally to 85%.
    • The share of women marrying before 18 years is about 30% (both in 2015 and 2020).
  • Domestic violence stagnating but during the Covid-19 lockdown it surged to 60% Share of Union Budget spent on women-related schemes has stagnated at about 5.5% since 2009, and less than 30% of which is being spent on 100% women-focused schemes.
  • Spending of the budget of Ministry of Women and Child Development on women empowerment decreased to Rs 310 crores in 2019-2020,
  • Stunting of children rose in 11 states: Bihar has the highest prevalence of NMR (34), IMR (47), and under 5 MR (56) across 22 states/UTs surveyed.
  • IMR in India is 32, much higher than in developed countries.
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR) declined in most of the states replacement level (2.1) achieved in 19 out of 22 states/UTs surveyed;
  • only states like Manipur (2.2), Meghalaya (2.9), Bihar (3,2), and UP (2.9) have higher TFR than replacement level
  • Still, the average TFR in India is 2.2 per woman.
  • More than 2/3rds of children below 5 years are immunised fully in all states, except Meghalaya, Nagaland and Assam.

Conclusion

  • Sometimes economic development leads to gender equality but other times, empowerment (especially in decision-making) leads to gender equality, hence both are necessary.
Girl Child Protection
  • In 1989, an international agreement, ‘The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was adopted.
  • This agreement legally binds the govts to set out the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of every child. On 11 December 1992, India ratified UNCRC.

Steps Taken by Indian Govt

  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 – It protects children from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the use of pornographic material for sexual offences against children. Under the Act, special courts have been established to deal with these offences.
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 seeks to safeguard the rights of children in conflict with the law, and those in need of care and protection.
  • Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) was launched in 2009 to build a protective environment for children in difficult circumstances.
  • A National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children, State Child Protection Societies, Juvenile

Justice Boards are established across all States.

  • Other prominent laws are – Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 (Amendment Act, 2016); the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006; the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994.
  • In 2015, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme was launched to tackle the declining sex ratio at birth and to empower the girl child through education.
  • In 2020, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights launched Standard Operating Procedure for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations.

Intersection of Vulnerabilities

  • Multidimensional poverty poses a direct threat for girls’ safety in three major forms: discriminatory attitudes resulting in poor nutrition and health care; housework and care burden; and exposure to violence.
  • Poor girls are at greater risk of child marriage and trafficking. Girls in street situations, orphans, abandoned, and child labours are at high risk.
  • Girls with disabilities are more likely to face sexual exploitation, particularly if they are visually impaired or having mental conditions. A young girl child of migrant and informal workers is susceptible to harm, neglect, and abuse.

‘Covid-19 and Girls

  • Socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 are gendered, evident in the form of educational inequality, sexual violence and increased household burden.
  • In India, the National Commission for Women reported 2.5 times increase in domestic violence during the initial months of nationwide lockdown.
  • According to research by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the socio-economic consequences of Covid-19 have increased migrant smuggling and cross-border trafficking.
  • UNESCO's Global Education Monitoring Report (2021) throws light on increased educational inequalities for adolescent girls during the Covid-19 crisis. UNESCO estimates that around 11 million girls may not return to school.
  • The digital gender gap deters girls’ remote education and access to information.

Way Forward:

  • Educate families
  • Overcome gender bias in education
  • Launch stringent measures to eliminate child marriage
  • Ensure that girl safety is a collective responsibility by promoting child safeguarding practices in the community, neighbourhood, family, and school. Form community networks of whistleblowers.
  • Educate and Empower girl children on their rights.
  • Prioritise early childhood period.
  • Strong protection net for most vulnerable
  • Educate girls about cyber safety particularly adolescent girls
  • A gendered approach to disaster risk mitigation.
  • Empower young girls to act on climate change
  • Gender diversity continues to be low in the Central Public Sector Undertakings. Recent data indicates that even in Maharatna PSUs, the strength of women employees is very low, only 5% to 9% of the total employees.
  • Companies Act, 2013 made it mandatory to have at least one woman director on boards with effect from 2014. Data reveals that the number of women at below board level is also far from equitable.

Issues

  • There is a lack of focus on developing a female talent pipeline.
  • The number of women applicants at the entry-level is skewed as compared to men. This gets reflected at a higher level.
  • Men perceive women to be less enthusiastic to take up transfer postings or serve long at field site locations due to family responsibilities.
  • Men also felt that women are likely to lag in knowledge or skill development due to career breaks for maternity or child care.
  • Women also feel that they may get left out despite being meritorious as they do not socialise informally with seniors in the organisation.



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