Ishita Mukhopadhyay-The economics of gender equality and female empowerment

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GCL Event-Gender equality and female empowerment
1st November 2011

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Ishita Mukhopadhyay-The economics of gender equality and female empowerment

  1. 1. THE ECONOMICS OF GENDER • Content EQUALITY AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT Case Studies from India and Malawi by ISHITA MUKHOPADHYAYPROFESSOR,UNIVERSITY OF CALCUTTA,INDIA Global Community Links November 1, 2011 Edinburgh
  2. 2. Problem of Gender Equality• Wide consensus regarding existence of Gender Inequality with respect to access to education, health and work opportunities• Nature and Perception of the problem changed during the last two decades• Policy prescriptions to bring women in the Central position of leadership in terms of political representation was thought of Global Community Links
  3. 3. What is Economics of Gender Equality ?• “Economic Growth and Human Development do not always coincide”…..Human Development Report 2010• Correlation between Economic Growth of a country and attainment of MDG goals is practically zero• Inequality in Health, Education and Income is negatively related to Human development Index• Patriarchy reinforces Gender inequality through unequal access to Basic Resources• Gender Inequality is visible through unequal attainment in terms of Health, Education and Income of men and women Global Community Links
  4. 4. Gender Inequality: a barrier to Human Development• MDG 3: Dimensions are Reproductive Health(Maternal Mortality Ratio, Adoloscent Fertility Rates), Empowerment( Parliamentary Representation), Labour Market(Female Labour Force Participation)• There is variation of Gender Inequality in the world. Malawi is one of the high gender inequality countries. Reproductive health, Educational attainment, political empowerment are the reasons.• Poverty is adding to the disparity between men and women Global Community Links
  5. 5. Relationship between Poverty and Gender Inequality• Poverty reinforces gender inequality• Poor nations suffer from gender inequalities• Policies have to address both poverty and gender inequality• Political empowerment of women brings women into leadership and ability to influence policy decisions so that poverty can be addressed• Multidimensional measure of poverty measures inequality in access to health, education and living statndards• Attaining MDG 3 is one of the ways to address other goals of MDGs Global Community Links
  6. 6. Female empowerment and poverty• Female political empowerment makes women enter into decision making• Questions: – Does this imply an intervention into feminised poverty? – Does this mean better access of women to health and education facilities? – What are the perceptions of women in leadership towards economic inequality between men and women? Global Community Links
  7. 7. Evidence from Malawi and India• Malawi: Least Developed Country Category• Malawi: In Southern and Central rural, attainment of JCE, by adult males or females appears to have no impact on household welfare. In Northern rural, as well as in the urban areas of Malawi, completion of JCE by adult females has a positive and significant impact on household welfare of the order of 19.6% and 32%, respectively. The same variable for adult males is trivial in magnitude and not statistically significant in both regions(Results of IHS 1997-98).• Malawi: By sex of household head, 42 percent of female-headed households feels much worse compared to 36 percent of male- headed households. Only 1 percent of female-headed households feels much better compared to 3 percent of the male- headed households(Results of IHS 2004-05). Global Community Links
  8. 8. Evidence from Malawi and India• Malawi Case Studies (DelPhe Research): – 50-50 Campaign has achieved formation of women’s caucus, enactment of Domestic Violence Bill, penetrating male barriers. – Lack of training, advocacy, lobbying, communication and assertive skills – Socio-stereotypes still hold men as leaders – Lack of Gender budgeting trainings Global Community Links
  9. 9. Evidence from Malawi and India• India: Medium Developed Country• India: In 1992, India had 73rd Amendment to the constitution which provided for one-third of seats to Rural Local Governments (Panchayats)• India is still debating one-third reservation for wome in Parliaments Global Community Links
  10. 10. Evidence from Malawi and India• India: Findings from Case Studies – Many female headed parliamentary constituencies are not having gender aware development policies – Women representatives are often not aware of developmental schemes – Performance of women representatives vary from region to region, and depends on the agenda of the political party to which the representative belongs – Microfinance and Self-Help Groups have worked as an instrument to reduce poverty and women representatives actively give leadership for implementation og the schemes – Gender Budget Training not adequate Global Community Links
  11. 11. • “Regular meeting of mothers and health • “DM visited a GP pradhan on Sunday without workers are organized to discuses about health informing and demanded to know what has she related matters, thus awareness regarding health worked so far and how she is managing the GP. So had been increased.” the woman who is apparently illiterate said that today is a holiday, even your own secretary wont• “After introducing midday meal in every primary come to work today, then how dare you ask me to school the rate of drop out has decreased, but obey orders? I am a Pradhan of this Panchayat. we hope that one day there won’t be a single Please go back to your office and summon me on drop out even if children will go to school only a working day. for the food incentive. Since they are going everyday in school just for the sake of food they • In an open discussion a Panchayat pradhan from were at least studying for some time, which was said she cant work as she is not educated, just impossible to imagine before introduction of the literate, to which many jumped into the field to midday meal”. encourage her with examples that its about wisdom gained from life not degrees that matter. And women Panchayat of other GPs have worked beautifully in spite of being not so educated. • EVIDENCE FROM • INDIA • ( some quotes )
  12. 12. • ‘We are closer in sympathy and experience’• ‘We are more friendly to the community, we look after, we listen, we are open, so the people come to us.’• ‘Find it easier to approach a woman than a man, whom they might view as intimidating’• ‘People are very ignorant of the role of an MP; they bring all kinds of problems. They are presented and expect them to be solved; buying coffins, paying school fees for their children, giving them business loans’• ‘If they name a child for you, you are expected to pay the school fees’EVIDENCE FROMMALAWI( some quotes )
  13. 13. PROBLEMS REMAIN• ECONOMIC INEQUALITY, POVERTY IS THE ROOT OF OUR PROBLEM• WORLD IS NOT DIVIDED AS FAR AS GENDER – POVERTY TRAP IS CONCERNED• UNITY WILL BE THE SOURCE OF OUR STRUGGLE TOWARDS ENDING POVERTY, ACHIEVING GENDER EQUALITY• POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN IS ONE OF THE WAYS TO ACHIEVE THIS, BUT NOT THE ONLY ONE Global Community Links

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