Poverty & concept of ‘feminisation of poverty’ poverty & human capabilities 11-3-08


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Universalisatio n of Education (UE)
UE was launched in 2000 with the primary objective of achieving Universalization of elementary education before 2010 with time bound integrated approach in participation with the states. The project aimed at completion of five years of primary schooling for all children by 2007 and completion of eight years of schooling by 2010 along with reduction of gender and social gaps. The expenditure was to be shared in the basis of 85:15 in the ninth plan and 75:25 from the tenth plan onwards. The SSA wanted to bring about the change in the following areas: Teacher training, improvement in quality of education, provision of teacher training materials, establishment of cluster groups for support and education guarantee centers.

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Poverty & concept of ‘feminisation of poverty’ poverty & human capabilities 11-3-08

  1. 1. Poverty & Concept of ‘Feminisation of Poverty’- Poverty & Human Capabilities By Dr. Vibhuti Patel, Director, PGSR Head, University Department of Economics SNDT Women’s University, New Marine Lines, , Mumbai-400020 Phone-26770227®, 22052970 (O) Mobile-9321040048 [email_address]
  2. 2. Poverty <ul><li>The majority of the 1.5 billion people living on 1 dollar a day or less. </li></ul><ul><li>Reasons - Unemployment, underemployment </li></ul><ul><li>War, Conflict </li></ul><ul><li>non-rewarding work </li></ul><ul><li>Public policies-SAP </li></ul><ul><li>prejudices against minorities </li></ul><ul><li>casteism, racism </li></ul>
  3. 3. “ The Feminization of Poverty&quot; <ul><li>The gap between women and men caught in the cycle of poverty has continued to widen in the past decade. Worldwide, women earn on average slightly more than 50 per cent of what men earn. </li></ul><ul><li>Female Headed Households-the poorest of the poor </li></ul>
  4. 4. Consequences on women <ul><li>denied access to critical resources such as credit, land and inheritance. </li></ul><ul><li>Their labour goes unrewarded and unrecognized. </li></ul><ul><li>Their health care and nutritional needs are not given priority, </li></ul><ul><li>they lack sufficient access to education and support services, </li></ul><ul><li>and their participation in decision-making at home and in the community are minimal. </li></ul><ul><li>Caught in the cycle of poverty, women lack access to resources and services to change their situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Insecure housing and threat of displacement </li></ul><ul><li>Prone to violence-domestic and societal </li></ul>
  5. 5. Multifaceted Tragedies <ul><li>Rapid pace of globalization has brought massive uncertainties in women’s lives. Multi-faced tragedies due to </li></ul><ul><li>mercerization of poor economies and commercialization of human relations, </li></ul><ul><li>commodification of women’s bodies especially in sexual trafficking, </li></ul><ul><li>advertisements and beauty-contests promoted by the Trans-national corporations (TNCs) and Multi-national Corporations (MNCs), </li></ul><ul><li>starvation deaths in the rural areas, </li></ul><ul><li>havoc played by onslaught of new reproductive technologies, of both pro and anti-natalist varieties, racist population control policies, sex selective abortions of female fetuses, </li></ul><ul><li>violating dignity and bodily integrity of women, armed conflicts, </li></ul><ul><li>increasing economic disparity, the feminisation of poverty, </li></ul><ul><li>disasters in the name of mega development projects resulting into massive displacement of peoples, stressful life leading to increasing violence against women, - the pandemic of HIV and AIDS, </li></ul><ul><li>persistent racism, casteism, sexism, chauvinism and extremism </li></ul>
  6. 6. Gender Implications of Globalisation <ul><li>The negative impact of the globalization of the world economy is borne disproportionately by women. </li></ul><ul><li>As the economy becomes increasingly linked to global markets, it often leads to a reduction in public spending and social programmes, pushing the costs on to the family, where it is most often the women who shoulder the added burden. </li></ul>
  7. 7. The Asian Scenario <ul><li>South Asian (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Afghanistan), South East Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia) countries, Indochina (Laos, Kampuchea and Vietnam) and China is flooded with Sweatshops, ghetto labour markets and stigmatised migrant workers. </li></ul><ul><li>ASEAN countries have recently discussed establishment of Special Economic Zones that would ensure flexibalisation of the labour force to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). </li></ul>
  8. 8. Gender based market segmentation <ul><li>Segmentation begins in the rural areas where the asset-less poor in the margin of economy migrate to the cities. </li></ul><ul><li>Dual economy thrives on discrimination based on gender relations, caste, religion, language, parent’s education, family occupation, migration status and age. </li></ul><ul><li>1. Income differs widely between these segments. 2. Mobility between them is limited </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization Triangles-cheap labour from rural areas, manufacturing hub in towns and financial hub the metropolis </li></ul>
  9. 9. Female-headed Households <ul><li>In all developing countries, there has been an increase in the number of female-headed households. </li></ul><ul><li>Female-headed households that do not have access to remittances from male earners are poorer than male-headed households. </li></ul><ul><li>Female-headed households are more vulnerable to increased unemployment and reductions in social and welfare spending. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Poverty & Human Capabilities <ul><li>Empowering women is a critical factor in freeing the millions of people who are caught in the cycle of poverty and hunger. </li></ul><ul><li>By providing women with access to economic and educational opportunities, as well as the autonomy needed to take advantage of such opportunities, an important obstacle to poverty eradication would be overcome. </li></ul><ul><li>The provision of credit, especially micro-credit, has become a very popular and successful strategy for poverty eradication. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Question development paradigm <ul><li>the real aim of development is to improve the quality of human life. </li></ul><ul><li>process that enables human beings to realize their potential, build self-confidence and lead lives of dignity and fulfillment. </li></ul><ul><li>Economic growth is an important component of development, but it cannot be a goal in itself, nor can it go on indefinitely. </li></ul><ul><li>Although people differ in the goals that they would set for development, some are virtually universal. </li></ul><ul><li>These include a long and healthy life, education, access to the resources needed for a decent standard of living, political freedom, guaranteed human rights, and freedom from violence. Development is real only if it makes our lives better in all these respects </li></ul>
  12. 12. Development Alternatives with Women <ul><li>The critique of trickle down theory </li></ul><ul><li>Marginalization thesis popularized by the UN as WID (Women in Development) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Integration of Women’ Approach known as Women and Development (WAD) </li></ul><ul><li>Development Alternatives with Women (DAWN) at Nairobi Conference, 1985 </li></ul><ul><li>Gender and Development (GAD)- Women in Decision Making Process, 1990 </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption of CEDAW-Convention on all forms of Discrimination against Women </li></ul><ul><li>Human Development Index, Gender Empowerment Measure, 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>Women Empowerment Policy, GoI, 2001 </li></ul><ul><li>Gender Mainstreaming in planning, policy making and programme Implementation </li></ul>
  13. 13. Women in Decision Making <ul><li>an empowered woman is one who has the agency to formulate strategic choices and to control resources and decisions that affect important life outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s agency to use rights, capabilities, resources, and place in decision-making bodies (such as is provided through leadership opportunities and participation in political institutions). </li></ul>
  14. 14. Women’s Agency <ul><li>Globalization has enhanced patriarchal control over women’s sexuality, fertility and labour by superimposing commercial values on the conventional values throughout the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Feminist economists can play a crucial role in motivating the nation-states and the global decision-making bodies to be pro-active in furthering women’s entitlements in the households, economy and governance. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s groups are making global effort to change macro-policies, programmes of the nation-state and actions at the local level by the government and non-government bodies. </li></ul><ul><li>In response to imposition of structural adjustment programmes and stabilization policies at the behest of International Monitory fund & World Bank, women’s movements across the national boundaries have been debating various strategies and tactics of transforming the Neo-liberal Development Paradigm. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Ray of Hope <ul><li>World Social Forum and Regional Social Fora have provided democratic platforms for reflections on a just, sustainable & caring Global Economy. </li></ul><ul><li>These deliberations have convinced us that Another World is Possible and globalisation also bears the promise and possibilities of furthering women’s rights and well-being. </li></ul><ul><li>Gender sensitive strategic thinking can address practical and strategic gender needs of women. For example, more women in more areas of economic activities can be gainfully and justly employed. Information technology can enable women throughout the globe to share strategies, successes and stress-free and safe life. </li></ul><ul><li>We should not forget that there is North in the South and there is South in the North . So we must strive for global solidarity and sisterhood of all women who are oppressed and exploited, degraded and dehumanised by the patriarchal class structure. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Southern Women’s Perspectives <ul><li>Feminists wedded to safeguard the entitlements of women have been trying to convince the international financial, economic and commercial institutions, namely, World Bank, International Monitory Fund, World Trade Organization and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development </li></ul><ul><li>to withdraw existing conditionalities and rules of economic globalization, and </li></ul><ul><li>to stop covertly and overtly, promoting the interests of patriarchal class system, all over the globe, defending the interests of TNCs and MNCs and imposing unrestrained commodification, thereby resulting into concentration and centralization of economic, financial and political power in the hands of the few. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Measures to Enhance Capabilities of Poor Women <ul><ul><li>Law Reform (Maternity Benefit Act, Family Leave, Sexual Harassment at Workplace) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legal Protection for Informal Sector- Umbrella Legislation-Occupational Health & Safety </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Capacity Building and Training </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Audits of laws, rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special schemes & programmes for women’s development & empowerment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Gender Budgeting </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Social Audit of Women Workers rights <ul><li>The Employment Guarantee Scheme needs to be expanded and improved for urban workers. The focus of such employment schemes can be on building infrastructure, slum development and housing. </li></ul><ul><li>The National Renewal Fund should be extended to cover the unorganized sector and a substantial part should go into the retraining of workers. </li></ul><ul><li>Maternity Benefit for ALL working Mothers irrespective of the number of employees. Crèches should be provided for children of all workers and not merely women workers irrespective of the number of employees. There could be a common fund for each industry. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Recommendations for strengthening the SHGs <ul><ul><ul><li>Financial inclusion of poor women thro’ state policies, programmes and schemes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nurturing grants be released at regular intervals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pension-linked insurance scheme </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Banks to release loans thro’ women friendly support structures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>subsidy be replaced by revolving fund </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>state level agency to be appointed to train NGOs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>initiatives and training to bankers for improving programme delivery mechanism </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Property and Land Rights <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As per the UN </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Women constitute ½ of world’s population, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>do 2/3 of world’s work, in return get 1/10 of world’s income and 1/100 of world’s wealth. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1. Need for a global campaign </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. To confront gender bias in property laws. Need for gender-just family laws in matters such as marriage, divorce, custody and guardianship of child, maintenance, women’s right to stay in the parental or matrimonial home </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Social Audit of Budgets <ul><li>The Budget is an important tool in the hands of state for affirmative action for improvement of gender relations through reduction of gender gap in the development process. It can help to reduce economic inequalities, between men and women as well as between the rich and the poor. </li></ul><ul><li>Pro-poor budgeting, bottom-up budgeting, child budgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Green budgeting, local and global implications of pro-poor and pro-women budgeting </li></ul><ul><li>Alternative macro scenarios emerging out of alternative budgets and inter-linkages between gender-sensitive budgeting and women’s empowerment. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Component Plan to assure at least 30% of funds/benefits from all development sectors flow to women. </li></ul><ul><li>Capacity building workshops for women in governance </li></ul>
  22. 22. Affirmative Action by the State <ul><li>Strengthening of Public Distribution System (PDS)- Food Security </li></ul><ul><li>Access to critical resources ( fuel, fodder, water, health-care, nutritious diet) </li></ul><ul><li>Education, Health & Housing Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Safety nets for women in the subsistence sector of the economy in terms of loans, infrastructure, storage and transport and state subsidy and support price for agriculture, animal husbandry, dairy development, horticulture and floriculture. </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Issues : Natural resources, being humankind’s common heritage, must be preserved for the use of actual and future generation with the perspective that each human being has an access to water, air, energy, etc. according to her or his needs. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercialisation and privatisation of these resources must be stopped. Biological diversity (flora, fauna, forests, ecosystems) must be preserved and indigenous women’s collective wisdom must be recognised, respected and valued </li></ul>
  23. 23. Need for participatory Development <ul><li>To meet strategic and practical gender needs of women, all nations need high levels of participatory democracy in governance so that we can enhance capabilities of poor women and improve lives and freedoms of poor women. </li></ul><ul><li>Reservation of seats for Women in Local Self Government, legislature and parliament. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Thank you