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  • 1. An initiative by: Team Initiators. Sneha Pande, Saurabh Tomar, Anurag Amar, Nitin Chamoli, Shubham Naithani. From Graphic Era University, Dehradun. Uttarakhand, India. 1)Introduction stating the facts. 2)Policies already in action and the criticism. 3)The proposed model R.U. E.M.P.O.W.E.R.E. D.? A)Main areas of work. B)The Crux of the Model. C)How Much Does “It” Cost? D)What All Do We Need? 4)Conclusion!
  • 2. INTRODUCTION PORTRAYING SOME FACTS! The roles a woman plays in various aspects of life are many. At home, on job, in society, as mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, learners, workers, citizens and leaders. But are they being treated fairly and equally? Are they empowered enough by the society? Let’s have a look. If you think a lot has been done for women empowerment, think again!. Cases of female-infanticides are still on rise (both reported and un-reported). Certain section of the society does not send girls to schools once she attains puberty. Some are not sent to schools ever. Numbers of pre-age marriages are also significant. Dowry related harassment and deaths are still in news now and then. Harassment at work place, sexual or otherwise, though mainly unreported, is significant. Sati is still being practiced in many villages across the country. The legislative strength of women is still less than 15%. The crimes against women are on the rise. Sex Ratio 933! Literacy Male 75.85, Literacy Female 54.16! Only 22% of women in rural India were recorded as workers! 32% - with zero education, 42% - primary school education, 57%- high school and college education! 9 % of women in execute bodies of political parties, 3 % of women as Supreme Court Judges and 7 % of women in civil service!India also haw highest rate of violence during pregnancy - 50 percent were kicked, beaten or hit when pregnant!
  • 3.  Ladli Scheme has been implemented to encourage education of girls and the Kishori Scheme for providing adolescent girls a healthy and disease-free life.  The Constitution Framers were very much conscious of the problem of women empowerment hence they ensured that the Principle of Gender Equality is enshrined in the preamble to the constitution.  Various schemes like Indira Mahila Yojana, Rashtriya Mahila Kosh, Mahila Samridhi Yojana, Self help groups at Panchayat level etc are present.  The establishment of National Women’s Commission and State Women’s Commissions were important milestones in the direction of Women Empowerment in India.  The National Policy for the Empowerment of women (2001) was an important step taken by the Government of the time for accelerating the pace of women empowerment. The list is long. In its first ever gender gap study covering 58 nations, the World Economic Forum has ranked India a lowly 53. The report titled 'The Women's Empowerment: Measuring the Global Gender Gap' measures the gap between women and men in five critical areas like economic participation, economic opportunity, political empowerment, access to education and access to reproductive health care. The report is based on United Nations Development Fund for Women's findings on global patterns of inequality between men and women. The low ranking reflects the large disparity between men and women in all five areas of the index. We call ourselves the next super-power. But, can we be acknowledged as a super-power or as a matter of fact, a developed nation, when there is such discrimination in the society? No.
  • 4. The Proposed Model R. M. U. E. P. D. E. E. W. O. R. RURAL URBAN ECONOMICALLY MODELLED POLICY OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT via RESEARCH & ECONOMIC DEVELOPEMENT R.U. E.M.P.O.W.E.R.E.D.?
  • 5. The Model Would : 1. Strengthen opportunities for post-primary education for girls while simultaneously meeting commitments to universal primary education. 2. Guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights. 3. Invest in infrastructure to reduce women’s and girls’ time burdens. 4. Revised taxation for women. 5. Guarantee women’s and girls’ property and inheritance rights. 6. Eliminate gender inequality in employment by decreasing women’s reliance on informal employment, closing gender gaps in earnings, and reducing occupational segregation. 7. Increase women’s share of seats in national parliaments and local governmental bodies. 8. Combat violence against girls and women. 1)EDUCATION: Evidence suggests that among all levels of education, secondary and higher levels of education have the greatest payoff for women’s empowerment. Primary, secondary, and tertiary education are not separate components but are an integral part of an education system. This will be done by making schooling more affordable by : - reducing costs and offering targeted scholarships, - building secondary schools close to girls’ homes, and making schools girl-friendly, - the content, quality, and relevance of education must be improved through curriculum reform, teacher training, and other actions, - Education must serve as the vehicle for transforming attitudes, beliefs, and entrenched social norms that perpetuate discrimination and inequality. Let us now take a point wise look at all the mentioned methods covering their advantages!
  • 6. 2) HEALTH CARE : A large body of evidence shows that sexual and reproductive health and rights are central to women’s ability to build their capabilities, take advantage of economic and political opportunities, and control their destinies. For this reason, our model has identified guaranteeing sexual and reproductive health and rights as a strategic priority for achieving gender equality and empowering women. - At a minimum, national public health systems must provide quality family planning services, emergency obstetric care, safe abortion, post-abortion care, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), and interventions to reduce malnutrition and anaemia. - Outside the health system sexuality education programs are needed to lay the foundation for improved sexual and reproductive health outcomes. -Ultimately, these interventions must be supported by an enabling policy and political environment that guarantees women’s and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights. 3) PROPER INFRASTRUCTURE : Women’s and girls’ ability to participate in educational, productive, and civic activities and thus to empower themselves economically and politically is often limited by a household division of labour that assigns to women and girls the bulk of the responsibility for everyday household maintenance tasks. For poor women and girls this responsibility is made more onerous by the underinvestment in public infrastructure that characterizes most low-income countries. 3 types of infrastructure are particularly critical to reduce women’s time burden: transport, water and sanitation, and energy. - The time spent by women and girls on routine tasks can be reduced dramatically by the provision of accessible and affordable sources of transport systems, energy & water and sanitation systems. They can increase women’s chances of finding employment or training, thereby increasing income, accessing healthcare, and approaching town and district government headquarters to seek redress for their problems. The probability that girls will attend school also increases. These projects must also address safety and security needs. Providing adequate street lighting and ensuring that the location of bus stops and terminals are not remote or secluded are examples of ways to address these needs. - Alternative sources of energy should be encouraged like bio fuels, instead of coal and “chulhas”. - Women’s participation in the design and implementation of infrastructure projects can help to overcome many problems. For instance, let's take the sanitation and water sector, where women play key roles as users and managers. As primary collectors of water, women have key information about such issues as seasonal availability from various sources, water quality, and individual and communal rights to those sources. Now, if these women are incorporated in project design, the information that they will provide could also improve project outcomes.
  • 7. 4) TAXATION Higher tax exemption limits: The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976, guarantees equal pay for equal work, but ground realities are a bit different. A survey by the World Economic Forum in 2009 not only pointed out wage gaps between men and women, but also showed that most women employees were present only at the entry and middle levels of management. It was difficult for them to break the glass ceiling. Given the social pattern in India and the cultural ethos, a better tax treatment for women is justified. - Tax policies can provide for a standard deduction against the taxable salary income or professional/business income if the woman is self-employed. - A separate working mother's child relief can be made available to those earning less than Rs. 1 lac approx per year, as is already available in Singapore, it would be based on a percentage of the mother's income and this percentage increases with the number of children, restricting it to 2 children. This would encourage married women to remain in the workforce after having children. - When a woman re-joins after a gap of at least five years, it should be made possible that she can claim a tax credit of a certain amount of money, say upto 50k+, this would relieve her and also encourage mothers to join workforce again! - A higher deduction of tax should be given to those companies that employ greater amount of women in their workforce. - Delhi and some States like Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh offer a discounted rate of stamp duty if the property is registered in a women's name. For instance, the stamp duty charges in Delhi are 10% if the property is registered in the name of a male buyer, 8% for joint registration and 4% if the property is registered solely in the name of a woman. This practice should be made mandatory for all the states. 5) LAND OWNERSHIP : It can act as a protective factor for women against domestic violence. Research in Kerala, India, found that 49 percent of women with no property reported physical violence, whereas only 7 percent of women with property reported physical violence. Several types of changes are necessary within countries to ensure women’s property rights: amending and harmonizing statutory and customary laws, promoting legal literacy, supporting women’s organizations that can help women make land claims, and recording women’s share of land or property. 6) Gender inequalities exist in entry to work, conditions at work, and in exit from the labour market. -Another avenue for increasing income for poor women is through microenterprise development. Microfinance programs have been a popular economic strategy over the past two decades to assist poor and landless women to enter self- employment or start their own business. In order to have greater impact, however, microfinance programs need to be coupled with other types of products and services, including training, technology transfer, business development services, and marketing assistance, among others. More attention also needs to be given to innovative savings and insurance instruments for low-income women. -Women live longer than men and in most regions are more likely to spend time as widows, when they are more vulnerable to poverty than men. Because pension entitlements are predominantly through work, women’s responsibilities for unpaid care work, as well as their predominance in informal employment and seasonal and part-time jobs, restrict their access to the pension-covered sector. o protect retired women, it is important that the design of old age security systems is revised. E Q U A L I T Y
  • 8. 7)REPRESENTATION IN THE POLITICAL SCENARIO : Gender quotas and reservations are an effective policy tool to increase women’s representation in political bodies. -Women’s organizations can mobilize a political constituency and pressure governments to implement specific measures to ensure that women are well represented in political parties and national decision making bodies. 8)CRIME : Although no single intervention will eliminate violence against women, a combination of infrastructure, legal, judicial, enforcement, education, health, and other service-related actions can significantly reduce such violence and ameliorate its negative consequences. The Indicators of the Model. These shall record the growth and progress of our venture! • The ratio of girls to boys enrolled in primary and secondary education. • The ratio of literate females to males among 15- to 24-year- olds. • Hours per day (or year) women and men spend fetching water and collecting fuel. • Land ownership by male, female, or jointly held. • The share of women in wage employment in the non agricultural sector. • Share of women in employment, both wage and self- employment, by type. • The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments. • Prevalence of domestic violence. What we suggest is that this model should be implemented and given a time duration of 10 years to bring about a change. 10 years will certainly serve the purpose and the progress will be visible.
  • 9. The areas where basic economic help will be required are- • Providing care services (for children, the elderly, the sick, and people with disabilities) to allow women to work. • Providing training to female candidates in elections at the local, regional, and national level. • Preventing violence against women through awareness campaigns and education, hotlines, and neighbourhood support groups. • Strengthening national women’s arenas through increased fiscal allocation and staffing of ministries of women’s affairs and appointment of females in other ministries. • Undertaking comprehensive programs to train women judges, bureaucrats, land registration officers, and police officers. • Investing in data collection and monitoring activities to track gender outcomes. India is a developing country, so the rough estimates of costs will be : - effective education would be roughly Rs 1500 per capita annually. - setting up effective health care services would cost around Rs 2000 per capita annually. - Provision of water and sanitation will be around Rs 600 to 700 per capita annually. - The over-all cost of other steps/methods to curb violence, ensure social security and end gender bias would cost around Rs 3000 to 4000 per capita annually.
  • 10. Committed group of change makers from governmental as well as NGOs. Technical Assistance which is cost effective optimized as well as environment friendly. Financial help and co- operation from the government. Punishment for defaulters. Strict Monitoring and Accountability. Basic changes as well as revision of existing fundamental policy. What All Do We Need? Holistic progress of the model and hence bringing about “Women Empowerment”.
  • 11. You take one step and we, “The Team Initiators”, promises to cover the rest of the steps. Problems are many. But, together we can and we will. Much of what is said here has already been known for several decades, but it has been difficult to translate that knowledge into development policy and practice at the scale required to bring about fundamental transformation in the distribution of power, opportunity, and outcomes for both women and men. The next 10 years would provide a new window of opportunity to take action on a national scale to empower women. Society must take initiative to create a climate in which there is no gender discrimination and Women have full opportunities of Self decision making and participating in the Social, Political and Economic life of the Country with a sense of equality. Then only the Vedic verse: "Yartra naryastu pujyante ramante tatra devataha" , (Wherever Women is respected, God resides there) would come true. Thus, wishing for a better world and aiming to improve the condition of women we thank you, hoping that you would surely join our hands in this journey. Thank you for the opportunity : Team Initiators.