Draft National Policy for Women 2016
Need for a new policy E Several things have changed since the last Policy of 2001 especially women's attitude towards themselves and their expectations from life. In view of this the new draft Policy shifts the focus from entitlements to rights and from empowerment to creating an enabling environment. Last policy was National Policy for Empowerment of Women, 2001
What has changed? i. Several paradoxical trends have been observed in the past few years a) The growing acknowledgement of gender rights and equality is coexists with increase in reporting of various forms of violence against women such as rape, trafficking, dowry etc. b) Expansion of new work opportunities for women alongside continued weak bargaining power in the labour market; c) increasing number of educated, aspiring career women entering the work place, while large sections of women are still in the low paid informal sector.
What has changed? ii. Feminization and gender segmentation of agriculture: Rural women in India are concentrated in agriculture to a much larger extent than men With around 60% of India's population engaged in farming, women contributes to almost 70-80% of farming activities. V However they are neither legally nor socially recognised as farmers. V Men predominates in activities such as ploughing and harvesting which has largely become mechanised these days, women predominates in activities like weeding, transplanting and inter-cropping that involve drudgery. Technological implements arte either not available or women have little access to them
What has changed? ii. Feminization and gender segmentation of agriculture: only 12.78% women have operational land holding according to agricultural census 2011-12. V They remain excluded from many government opportunities such as access to insurance, markets, credits etc V Efforts are required to support women farmers in their land ownership, livelihoods, visibility and identity, entitlements over agricultural services, social protection cover and equal participation in users associations and decision making
What has changed? ii. Growing state of art medical facilities has to be analysed against high Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), malnutrition and anaemia and lack of old age care and support
What has changed? iv. Growing urbanization and resultant migration of women in relation to the availability of safe spaces and social security net for vulnerable women, v. Though climate change has significant gendered impact, women have been sidelined in debates about managing climate change and environmental resources. vi. The misuse of rapid advances in Information Technology (IT) and telephony has resulted in new and varied forms of sexual abuse such as cyber crimes and harassment of women through mobiles and internet. The regulatory frameworks are not in pace with the growth in technology as yet.
What has changed? vii. The new millennium and the dynamics of a rapidly changing global and national scenario have ushered in new facets of development and growth giving rise to complex socio-economic and cultural challenges for women in a society with deep rooted cultural and social beliefs about gender roles. vii. The current status of women with respect to human development parameters, legal rights for women to life and freedom from violence, economic and social discrimination and their rights to equality and equity shows that a lot still remains to be done. It is necessary therefore, to reinforce the rights-based approach for creating an enabling environment in which women can enjoy their rights.
What has changed? ix. In the coming years, India is expected to gain significantly from it's 'demographic dividend' as the share of it's potential productive workforce will increase in numbers as compared to the aging population of other countries. To what extent the country can seize this dividend and benefit from it will largely depend on how women exercise their rights and entitlements and contribute to the development process. There is need therefore to formulate a new policy that can guide the transformative shift required for making gender rights a reality, addressing women's issues in all its facets, capturing emerging challenges and ultimately positioning women as equal partners of sustained development progress that the country is experiencing presently
An engineer from IIT Kharagpur with over 4 years of teaching experience in both IIT JEE & UPSC CSE.