Sustaining & enhancing competitiveness coloured 19 2-2011 - copy

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Sustaining and Enhancing Competitiveness in Today's Business Scenario in Globalised India- A Gender Analysis
by
Dr. Vibhuti Patel, DIRECTOR, P.G.S. R.
Professor and Head, Post Graduate Department of Economics,
SNDT Women’s University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020
TelL91) (22) 22031879, Ext.243, Mobile-9321040048 E mail: vibhuti.np@gmail.com


No contemporary society has managed to achieve full gender equality, a concept not synonymous with women, and not a zero-sum game implying loss for men, but a socio-cultural variable referring to that stage of human development where simply being born female or male does not determine one’s rights, responsibilities, or the opportunity to develop one’s full human potential. However, the cause of gender equality has fared much better in some societies than in others. What does the data on economic and political participation, educational attainment and health say about the progress that has been made in closing the gender gap and, what are the ingredients that will be necessary to bring this noble ideal into concrete reality? Might gender equality be a key engine of rising productivity, competitiveness and sustainable economic growth?
Gender economists aver that gender mainstreaming creates a win-win scenario for gender, trade and development in every country. Pre-requisites for gender mainstreaming as a global strategy for the promotion of gender equality are: the generation and use of gender analysis, capacity-building, education and skill development of women. It also contributes to sustainable development and export competitiveness.

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Sustaining & enhancing competitiveness coloured 19 2-2011 - copy

  1. 1. Dr. Vibhuti Patel, DIRECTOR, P.G.S. R. Professor and Head, Post Graduate Department of Economics, SNDT Women’s University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020 Tel  91) (22) 22031879, Ext.243, Mobile-9321040048 E mail: [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>No contemporary society has managed to achieve full gender equality, a concept not synonymous with women, and not a zero-sum game implying loss for men, but a socio-cultural variable referring to that stage of human development where simply being born female or male does not determine one’s rights, responsibilities, or the opportunity to develop one’s full human potential. However, the cause of gender equality has fared much better in some societies than in others. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>What does the data on economic and political participation, educational attainment and health say about the progress that has been made in closing the gender gap and, what are the ingredients that will be necessary to bring this noble ideal into concrete reality? </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Gender economists aver that gender mainstreaming creates a win-win scenario for gender, trade and development in every country. </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-requisites for gender mainstreaming as a global strategy for the promotion of gender equality are: </li></ul><ul><li>the generation and use of gender analysis, </li></ul><ul><li>capacity-building, </li></ul><ul><li>education and skill development of women. </li></ul><ul><li>It also contributes to sustainable development and export competitiveness. </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Goal 3 of the Millennium Development Goals focuses on Gender Equality and Empowerment of women. </li></ul><ul><li>By 2020, women will have gained more rights and freedoms in terms of education, political participation, and work force equality in most parts of the world, but UN and World Health Organization data suggest that the gender gap will not have been closed even in the developed countries and still will be wide in developing regions.   </li></ul><ul><li>Although women’s share in the global work force will continue to rise, wage gaps and regional disparities will persist.   </li></ul><ul><li>Although the difference between women’s and men’s earnings narrowed during the past 10 years, women continue to receive less pay than men.  </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>A UN study in 2002 showed that in 27 of 39 countries surveyed both in OECD and developing countries’ women’s wages were 20 to 50 percent less than men’s for work in manufacturing. </li></ul><ul><li>Segmentation in factor, Labour and product markets </li></ul><ul><li>Certain factors will tend to work against gender equality while others will have a positive impact. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>In regions where high youth bulges intersect with historical patterns of patriarchal bias, the added pressure on infrastructure will mean intensified competition for limited public resources and an increased probability that women will not receive equal treatment.  </li></ul><ul><li>  For instance, if schools cannot educate all, boys are likely to be given first priority.   </li></ul><ul><li>Yet views are changing among the younger generation.   For example, many youngsters recognize the importance of educated wives as potential contributors to family income. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>where there is a pervasive son preference reinforced by government population control policies, women face increased risk not only of female infanticide or pre-birth elimination of daughters thro’ new reproductive technologies but also of kidnapping and smuggling from surrounding regions for the disproportionately greater number of unmarried males.   </li></ul><ul><li>Imposition of ‘one child norm’ by the state in 1978 resulted into the preference for male children in China that has led to an estimated shortfall of 30 million women in 2011. </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>A broader reform agenda that includes good governance and low unemployment levels is essential to raising the status of women in many countries.   </li></ul><ul><li>International development experts emphasize that while good governance need not fit a Western democratic mold, it must deliver stability through inclusiveness and accountability. </li></ul><ul><li>  Reducing unemployment levels is crucial because countries already unable to provide employment for male job-seekers are not likely to improve employment opportunities for women. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>I CTs offers great promise.  According to World Bank analysis, increases in the level of ICT infrastructure tend to improve gender equality in education and employment.  ICT also will enable women to form social and political networks.   </li></ul><ul><li>Women in developing regions often turn to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to provide basic services.  NGOs have become even more important to the status of women as shown by the microfinance movement. SEWA, Annapurna, Working Women’s Forum, MASUM, Mandeshi Mahila Sahakari Bank have provided emulating examples for women’s empowerment along with successful business models. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The stakes for achieving gender parity are high and not just for women.  A growing body of empirical literature suggests that gender equality in education </li></ul><ul><li>promotes economic growth, </li></ul><ul><li>reduces child mortality and malnutrition, </li></ul><ul><li>reduces child marriages and quality of life </li></ul><ul><li>Harmony in domestic and community life </li></ul><ul><li>Enhances  productivity and efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Reduces violence against women and children </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Although there is a large and growing body of research on women entrepreneurs, the results are far from conclusive. Let us face the research challenges in explaining gender differences in business ownership. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, gender differences in firm performance are explained in one of two ways: women face particular challenges because of their gender; or gender issues are the result of systemic effects related to the nature of women-owned firms. </li></ul><ul><li>Determining the validity of each explanation is not straightforward, for several reasons. First, there is a preponderance of descriptive surveys but few large, comparative studies about gender and firm ownership. Understanding gender barriers is impeded by a lack of </li></ul><ul><li>sex-segregated self-employment/business ownership data and </li></ul><ul><li>(b) in-depth research on the dynamics of women's business ownership. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>It is difficult to distinguish between the two explanations. There is a need to understand structural influences (e.g., access to credit, networks), firm characteristics (e.g., age, size, sector, capitalization) and owner differences as they are reflected in management competencies and decision making (e.g., growth intentions, operational strategies). </li></ul><ul><li>It is not easy to differentiate between historical and current practices. With few studies to draw on, there is a tendency to cite older, perhaps outdated work. Finally, policy makers and researchers are challenged by the lack of information about the participation of women in SME programs. As a result, little is known about the incremental impact of policies and programs aimed at helping women business owners. This knowledge gap can result in policies and programs based on perceptions rather than facts. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>The long-term policy measures for sustainable food security and income enhancement assumes critical importance and is a challenge to the policy makers.  The following major activities have been identified:  </li></ul><ul><li>i.  Framework study and strategies in relation to policy, gender analysis and market intelligence systems. </li></ul><ul><li>  ii.  Visioning and impact assessment. </li></ul><ul><li>iii.  Technology forecasting. </li></ul><ul><li>iv.  Interface with the State System. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Institutional reforms and technological breakthroughs, which triggered agricultural transformation in the past, need renewed attention.  While the problems of agriculture need to be addressed primarily at state level, the Central government’s role is no less important. </li></ul><ul><li>The Centre is particularly responsible for providing policy directions and resources for growth and development. In many cases, States do not provide the priority to agriculture it deserves.  </li></ul><ul><li>Diversion of funds to other areas besides poor monitoring and implementation of development schemes have led to poor growth rates in agriculture in the States. </li></ul>Framework Study and Strategies in Relation to Policy, Gender Analysis and Market Intelligence Systems :
  16. 16. <ul><li>One, what should be the role of the Centre and the states in different spheres of agriculture like: R&D, infrastructure development, forging PPPs, taxation, price intervention, etc. The second dimension relates to hardcore policy analysis like how performance of the agriculture sector in various states is affected by different policy and non-policy variables. </li></ul><ul><li>What are the linkages between agriculture and non-agriculture?  </li></ul><ul><li>Why is employment not growing at the required pace? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the tradeoff between subsidies and investments? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the prospects and possibilities of contract farming in various states? </li></ul><ul><li>And how to reverse degradation of natural resources and ensure their sustainable use? </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Rural women contribute to over 69% of farming operations and these project interventions should contribute to the analysis of gender issues and result in an increase in women’s participation in decision making.  </li></ul><ul><li>The specific activities may include creating a credible information base on the status of rural women’s contributions, gender-based impact assessment activities, capacity building of consortia members for conducting gender analysis and identifying opportunities for intervention promoting women groups. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>Visioning and research planning in the context of globalisation, and impact assessment of the ICAR schemes and the NAIP. The specific activities are: </li></ul><ul><li>Strengthening capacity for developing a shared vision for agriculture and agricultural science with all the stakeholders. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancing the ability to plan and implement research and education programmes to realize the vision </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity building for agricultural research, extension, monitoring and evaluation and impact assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Assessing impact of the ICAR/SAU schemes and frontline technologies under NAIP. </li></ul><ul><li>Policy and institutional support required to accelerate the impact of technologies. E mentoring has become popular . </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>The current trend toward decentralization and devolution of power in most states has increased opportunities for political participation of women.  Despite only modest gains in the number of women officeholders at the national level, women’s participation in local and provincial politics is steadily rising. </li></ul><ul><li>Now, it must translate into economic empowerment of women in the rural and urban areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Today’s changing economy requires visionary leadership. The best management practices and latest strategies for sustaining a competitive edge evolved by women entrepreneurs need to be replicated. Greater management expertise and the leadership skills provided by them to drive innovation and enhance synergies across the organization need serious examination. </li></ul><ul><li>Sustaining and Enhancing Competitiveness in Today's Business Scenario in Globalised India demands engendering of business ethos that recognize women’s economic worth and accept them as active agents of economic development. It goes beyond treating women as ‘beneficiaries’ of Corporate Social responsibilities (CRS). </li></ul>

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