Gist of Yojana September 2021: Nari Shakti

Yojana Magazine is an important source of material for the UPSC exam. The monthly magazine provides details of major government schemes and programmes in various domains. Moreover, coming from the government, it is an authentic source of information for the UPSC Exam. Here, we provide the Gist of Yojana, exclusively for the IAS Exam.

Gist of Yojana September 2021:- Download PDF Here

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Fighting Femicide
2. Menstruation – A Human Issue
3. Ground Experiences
4. SHG-led Women Empowerment
5. Women in India's Toy Industry
6. Woman at MSME Workplace
7. Woman Excelling in Sports: Psychological Aspects
8. Women in Uniform
9. Making of Administrators
10. Gender Justice
11. Girl Child Protection
12. TID-BITS

Chapter 1: Fighting Femicide

Gender inequality remains at large throughout India, the ongoing pandemic has affected women more than anything else, and be it in the rise of cases of Domestic Violence (DV), Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), withdrawal of girl children from educational institutions, rise in incidences of child/early marriage, economic seclusion, job losses, men entering women’s workspaces, balancing the double burden of extended work time with work-from-home, care and domestic work, etc.

Violence against Women (VAW):

  • Violence against Women (VAW) is a growing concern throughout the region and within South Asia, which is home to one-fifth of the world population, violence, or the risk of violence, permeates every aspect of women’s lives from birth to death.
  • It is estimated that one-third of South Asian women experience violence throughout their life and VAW is institutionalized through family structures, wider social and economic frameworks, and cultural and religious traditions. One in three women (35 per cent) has experienced some form of violence during their lifetime.

Definition of Femicide:

  • The term femicide was originally defined as the killing of women but has been adapted over time to represent the act of killing women because of their gender.
  • Several crimes against women that can be recognized as femicide include sexual murders, mortality resulting from domestic or family violence, and cultural or institutional violence that results in mortality.
  • A 53% rise is seen in crime against women in 2020 after the lockdown was imposed.
  • Throughout India, several forms of violence against women fit within the definition of femicide including domestic violence, honour killings, dowry deaths, sex-selective abortions, infanticide, domestic violence, and witch-hunting.

Domestic Violence:

  • For many women the family does not represent a safe and protective unit, rather it reinforces wider patterns of gender discrimination and legitimizes violence as a method for controlling and subjugating women.
  • The most recent National Family Health Survey found that in India 34% of women between­ the ages of 15-49 have experienced violence at some point since they turned 15 and that 37% of married women have experienced violence.
  • Given the extremely high rate of under-reporting of violence against women, particularly domestic violence, the actual number of women who experience violence within the home is thought to be significantly higher.
  • 92.9% of cases of crime against women are pending in city courts.

Dowry Deaths

  • The dowry system also reinforces discrimination against women and dowry-related deaths continue to compromise women’s safety throughout India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
  • According to NCRB reports, on average, every hour a woman succumbs to dowry death in India.
  • Dowry is a cultural tradition in which the family of the bride gives cash and presents to the family of the groom. Whilst dowry is illegal it continues to be practised throughout the country.

Sex-selective abortions

  • The practice of sex-selected abortions throughout South Asia, particularly in India, highlights the extent of patriarchy and misogyny throughout the region.
  • The increasing usage of the availability of prenatal technologies means that families are able to determine the sex of the foetus and are choosing to abort female foetuses at an alarming rate.

Steps taken to fight femicide

There is a strong effort in all sectors of Indian society to stem the tide of gender-based violence and femicide and achieve equality between men and women. Laws and policies as well as growing support from law enforcement agencies and civil society groups are empowering women to seek assistance in the case of violence and abuse. Furthermore, efforts are being made to improve the implementation of legislation that is helping to increase conviction and reduce the prevalence of gender-related crimes.

  • Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 bans the request and the payment of dowry of any form as a precondition for marriage.
  • Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PC/PNDT) Act, 1994 prohibits the use of prenatal technologies to determine the sex of a foetus and several states have launched vigilance cells to curb incidences of female foeticide.
  • While there is no legislation directly addressing honour killings, currently the crime is dealt with under the Indian Penal Code or the Criminal Procedure Code.
  • Organizations have also worked to educate women on their rights and provide support to those who have experienced violence.
  • The reservation of 33% of seats in India’s local government increased women’s political participation and has led to more gender-friendly governance.
  • The development of further affirmative legislation in the state of Goa, which allocates nearly half of the state’s reservation council seats for women, has led to Goa being safer for women than New Delhi and Mumbai.
  • However, in the year 2020, India ranked 142 among 193 countries in terms of the percentage of women in Parliament.

In spite of these efforts femicide persists throughout India. The implementation of these laws remains limited and, in many cases, ineffective in preventing femicide or prosecuting the perpetrators of this violence.  A lack of commitment to ending VAW at the political level is evident across India and is preventing substantive action at the legislative, policy and programmatic levels.

Way Forward:

  • The governments must be held to account for its failure to effectively address femicide or ensure women’s rights.
  • Tackling femicide is extremely difficult especially given that gender discrimination and violence against women are so embedded within India’s social, cultural and economic structures. Responses to femicide must be comprehensive and involve the development and implementation of strong legislation, gender-sensitive law enforcement policies and protocols, awareness-raising at the grassroots level, support for individuals and families experiencing violence and the realisation of women’s social economic and political rights.

Legislation for Violence against Women:

  • The development of legislation and legal frameworks for addressing femicide is an important step.
  • Strong legislation is vital for holding perpetrators of violence accountable.
  • A lack of funding and infrastructure to address violence remains one of the biggest impediments to the effective implementation of this legislation and little budgetary allocations are directed towards the reduction of violence against women and the realisation of women’s rights.
  • The lack of funding prevents law enforcement bodies from effectively carrying out activities required to implement legislation including carrying out programmes aimed at addressing violence.
  • The failure of government agencies to allocate funding to services for training and awareness-raising has meant that a lack of awareness about, and understanding of the law persists amongst the general public as well as law enforcement bodies. Monitoring of implementation of the legislation is also vital.

Ensuring a ban on pre-natal sex determination:

  • Lack of monitoring and supervision of the pre-conception and prenatal diagnostics techniques including inspections of genetic clinics and centres has meant that pre-natal diagnostic techniques/scans continue to be used to determine the sex of the child and abort the girl child.

Sensitization of Police Personnel:

  • One of the main issues associated with the implementation of violence against women legislation is the response of law enforcement personnel to crimes against women.
  • The failure of police to respond to reports of violence including their right to register First Information Report in cases of domestic violence and dowry harassment or dowry death is common and is compounded by widespread harassment of women by police officers when reporting a crime.
  • Efforts must be made to sensitise police policies and processes related to the handling of violence cases. Protocols must be developed so that police officers know how to respond to reported crimes and appropriate monitoring systems must be established to ensure these protocols are being followed. Gender sensitisation training must become mandatory for all police personnel.

Increase in Support Services for Women

  • There is inadequate support available for women who experience violence and in many cases, their lack of resources means they are forced to endure ongoing violence.
  • Awareness-building programmes around women’s rights are essential to addressing the underlying causes of domestic violence.

Addressing Patriarchy

  • Femicide cannot be fully addressed without tackling the widespread patriarchy and misogyny that permeates much of Indian society.
  • Strong efforts must be made to engage with local communities, build connections with community leaders, and develop education programmes on women’s rights. These programmes will inform women of their rights and the services that are available to them in the case of violence. It is vital that the overwhelming culture of patriarchy is taken into consideration when developing interventions so that education campaigns highlight the value of girl children and women to society and outdated attitudes towards women are replaced with gender sensitivity.

With further action and support from the government and civil society, Indian society must overcome this growing violence against women.

Chapter 2: Menstruation – A Human Issue

This pandemic has offered us a chance to acknowledge and correct many gaps in our understanding of Menstrual Hygiene Management. While Covid-19 has globally exposed deeper social, psychological, and economic disasters for millions of women who were already at the margins of our society, it has further meant a much harder battle for their Survival and Dignity. Covid lockdown deeply eroded the wellbeing of these already neglected communities of women like sex workers, tribal women, migrant worker women, women with disabilities, and others.

Menstruation as a human right and issue

  • Women play the building block roles in our society as caretakers, farmers, entrepreneurs, conscience keepers and educators, though with a constant struggle to get acknowledged as equal human beings in the context of MHM (Menstrual Hygiene Management) in India.
  • In India, the policy framework around menstruation is still evolving and Covid-19 has pointed us to where the cracks are.
  • Organisations working on this issue must go beyond merely addressing the menstrual needs of women and focus on acknowledging them, listening to their stories of strength, resilience, and contributions, to understand their realities and bring in those insights for the policymakers.

Menstruation and Disaster Response work

  • Poverty is a big ongoing disaster for the vast majority.
  • While disaster is not a precondition to standing with people, unfortunately, large-scale cloth giving and collection happens mostly for a disaster.
  • In the absence of adequate cloth even to wear, menstruators, already struggling for other basics, also find it tough to buy enough clean cloth for this need.
  • Lack of menstrual health and hygiene awareness only makes matters worse.
  • As per National Family Health Survey-4, approximately 42% of girls and women in the age gap of 15-24 years from urban areas depend on cloth pads every month.

Menstruation – Missing Voices and Issues

  • Surfacing the multiple transactional, social, cultural, financial menstrual challenges of these missed out menstruators into the narrative of development work will help in addressing these issues comprehensively.
  • Managing menstruation after a disaster that results in the absence of pads, private spaces, health facilities, etc., is very difficult.
  • Tribal women who already face a lack of nutrition, education, along with early childbearing, and reproductive health issues tend to face complications throughout their lives.
  • Migrant and landless labourers working in fields or construction sites face many difficulties living in cramped, unhygienic surroundings using unclean, poorly lit, shared toilets, or practising open defecation.

Way Forward and Conclusion:

  • Work towards dignified menstruation should be comprehensive and inclusive and must be informed by the voices of women from different parts of our society.
  • In the past two decades in India, mensuration and menstrual hygiene management (MHM) have evolved in a big way to find a space and voice on the policy level as well as in mainstream cinema. On the other hand, to a layperson, it still is a basic biological function for the menstruator, and thus their personal problem.
  • The gap between the top public policy and ground-level realities around menstruation also points to the need for a more comprehensive look at the issue beyond the access and availability of menstrual products.
  • Menstruation is seen as a taboo perpetuated by a culture of shame and silence among women and girls who menstruate and are unable to manage their menstruation in a healthy and dignified way.
  • Finding solutions for this vast and complex majority calls for seeing menstruation as a human issue rather than a woman’s issue and to acknowledge its intersectionality with poverty, gender inequality, public health, disasters, climate change, development, and infrastructure.
  • More importantly, as a human issue, it calls for acknowledging its deep connection with human dignity, agency, and voice of the most missed out menstruators and their related issues.

Chapter 3: Ground Experiences

The empowerment and autonomy of women over their own choices, rights and decisions are not only helpful for their growth but for the achievement of the country’s or community’s sustainable development as well. Even though women constitute almost 50% of the total world population, they lack even basic fundamental rights. Gender equality is a basic human right. It is also fundamental to have a peaceful, prosperous and egalitarian world.

Women Empowerment:

  • A key part of empowerment comes through education, skill-building, employment, healthcare and decision making.
  • It has been observed that women/girls who are educated, and have enough support and pursue a meaningful career, contribute to the country’s economy in later life.
  • Women empowerment is the key to political stability, economic growth, gender equality and social transformation.
  • When women and girls are supported to develop skills, pursue their dreams and take control of their own lives, they gain confidence to speak up and attain greater success for their communities.
  • Equal participation and equal representation of women in political spaces can enable them to put forward their concerns and challenges, therefore benefitting all women.

Challenges:

  • One of the challenges that can be seen as a massive deterrence in the journey to women empowerment can be changing mindsets, given that these attitudes are deeply entrenched in the patriarchal cultures and traditions.
  • Extreme manifestations of gender/sexual violence have their roots in every day, patriarchal discrimination and discourses that cut across professionals, educational, governmental and social institutions.
  • Women often face many difficulties and lack of freedom within their family, community and patriarchal society.
  • These patriarchal norms have restricted women’s mobility, access to education, healthcare and even a life of dignity and equality.
  • Women or girls who experience violence or are victims of abject social situations most often do not even have a source of help or a place to go to seek refuge, let alone access their agency and feel empowered.
  • Even though the country’s legislations protect women/girl’s, the implementation and enforcement of these laws at the grassroots is frail.

Women empowerment is impossible to achieve without actively engaging men, youth and adolescents in the journey to bring equality and carry forward the work. It is with these intentions and principles in mind that each of the interventions is designed and they come together in unison to provide dignity to women and ensure gender equality.  The need of the hour is to strategize interventions that are intersectional and intersectoral, democratic and participatory, inclusive and non-discriminatory, grounded in research and science, creative and artistic and make sensitivity and care their cornerstone.

Chapter 4: SHG-led Women Empowerment

Economic policies of India have always emphasised the development of poor, marginalised, and disadvantaged sections of the society – particularly the women. The government’s schematic interventions have underscored the importance of raising citizens’ income through social capital formation, community entrepreneurship and community-led product and productivity growth. The role of women in economic and social development has remained of utmost importance for policymakers and planners in India.

Initiatives by the Government

  • The Government of India has drawn several measures to achieve “gender equality” and “gender empowerment”.
  • One such measure is the promotion and economic activation of Self-Help groups (SHG).
    • SHGs are voluntary associations of the economically poor, usually drawn from the same socio-economic background and who resolve to come together for a common purpose of solving their problems through self-help and community action.

SHG-led Women Empowerment Drive:

  • In 1984, for the first time, the concept of mobilisation and business development through the organising of SHGs was introduced based on Prof. Yunus’s ‘Grameen Bank’ model.
  • Initially, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), along with empanelled Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) designed and developed the promotional ecosystem, including the SHGs-Bank Linkage programme.
  • In the year 1990, the Reserve Bank of India recognised SHGs as an alternate credit flow model.
    • Thus there was a paradigm shift in the development banking in India, whereby SHGs were accepted as group-based clients of banks for both deposit and credit linkage, collateral-free lending and lending to groups without specification of purpose/project.
  • Prof S.R. Hashim (1997) committee reviewed the poverty alleviation and employment generation programmes of the Ministry of Rural Development, Govt of India and they recommended shifting focus from an individual beneficiary approach to a group-based business development approach.
    • Hence, Integrated Rural Development Program (IRDP) and its associated Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) was launched to provide self-employment to below the poverty line households through the formation of SHGs to bring them out of poverty from 1999 to 2011.
  • Prof R. Radhakrishna (2009) Committee reviewed the performance of SGSY and suggested changes in its design from a ‘top-down poverty alleviation approach to a community-managed livelihood’ approach.
    • To do so there is a need for a sensitive support structure right from the National, State level to sub-districts/block levels for including social mobilisation and building strong grassroots institutions with continuous nurturing support for 6-8 years.
  • Based on the Prof. Radhakrishna Committee recommendation, SGSY was restructured into the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) by the Ministry of Rural Development to provide a sharper and greater focus as well as momentum for poverty elimination.
    • NRLM Mission was launched on 3rd June 2011.
    • The complete transition of SGSY into NRLM was effective from 1st April 2013.
    • The NRLM has been renamed as Deendayal Antoyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY NRLM).

DAY-NRLM & Women Empowerment:

  • DAY-NRLM has twin objectives of (a) organising rural poor women into SHGs: and (b) constantly nurturing and assisting them to take up economic activities.
  • In the ongoing DAY-NRLM, the focus is on scaling-up and institutionalisation of SHGs across various states.
  • The objective is to reduce poverty by enabling poor households to access gainful self-employment and skilled wage employment opportunities resulting in an appreciable improvement in their livelihoods on a sustainable basis, through building strong grassroots institutions for the poor.
  • The programme aims to ensure that at least one woman member from each rural poor household (about 9 crores) is brought into women SHGs and their federations within a definite time frame.
  • The key emphasis is on universal social mobilisation for including all target households institution-building i.e. a 3-tier structure, ‘SHG’ at the ward level, ‘Village organisations (VOs)’ at the village level, and ‘Cluster Level Federations (CLFs)’ at the cluster/ block level; universal financial inclusion; enhancing & expanding existing livelihood options for the members of SHGs, and inculcating entrepreneurial spirit to empower them psychologically, socially, economically and politically.
  • The SHG movement follows five principles viz. Regular Meetings; Regular Savings; Regular Inter-Loaning; Timely Repayment of Loans; and Up-to-date books of Accounts.
  • In addition, five additional principles now followed by SHGs are Health, Nutrition, and Sanitation; Education; Active involvement in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs); Access to Entitlements and Schemes; and Creating Opportunities for Sustainable Livelihoods.
    • These taken together are called – ‘Dashasutras’ under DAY-NRLM.

Women Entrepreneurship and Economic Progress:

  • The absence of appropriate entrepreneurial culture, credit flow issues to community-led business units give rise to many economic and extra-economic problems.
  • If people are organized and are provided with basic facilities they would not only be able to participate actively in the economic process but also will contribute positively to their own well-being and the overall welfare of their society.
  • There are mainly three central aspects of entrepreneurship as identified by classical economists: (a) uncertainty and risk, (b) managerial competence, and (c) creative opportunism or innovation. This requires the empowerment of millions of SHGs.

DAY-NRLM & Empowering Process:

The nucleus of Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) has been built around a basic human nature of the feeling of self-worth and self-help. The scheme has rightly identified and underscored unwavering and sustainable energy between the financially deprived people and the formal financial institutions, stimulated through socially mobilised, small, cohesive, and informal SHGs.

Empowerment Parameters, Constraints, and Resolution under DAY-NRLM

       Empowerment parameters                                 Constraints & Resolution

  1. Universal Social Mobilization: – Identification and inclusion of the poor for obtaining scheme benefits have remained a challenge. An attempt needs to be made to develop community resource persons (CRPs) and utilize their services for participatory identification of rural poor to ensure inclusive community entrepreneurship.
  2. Promotion of Institutions of the Poor: – Lack of conceptual clarity on the legal framework of the federations, deviations in the perceived role and forms of CLFs, and low competency of CLF board members in managing business activities require steps for attracting and retaining skilled and trained management staff/human resources at VO and CLF level.
  3. Training, Capacity building & Skill up-gradation: – Lack of appropriate training plans, quality training materials, and availability of expert training institutions have impacted SHGs capacity-building initiatives.
  4. Universal Financial Inclusion: – Lack of uniform financial management systems at all tiers of SHGs has impacted growth in the bank accounts, improvement in the financial literacy and absorption capacity of community members. The need of the hour is to focus on both the demand and supply sides of financial inclusion.
  5. Multiple & Diversified Livelihoods: – Lack of progressive leadership for inclusiveness of small-sized enterprises at the federal level adversely impacted the stabilization, spread, and outreach of existing livelihoods and their diversification.
  6. Support Structure at the Community
  7. Schematic Convergence: – Field level schematic convergence is the need of the hour to bring synergies directly or indirectly with the institutions of the poor.

Note:

Under a sub-component of NRLM, Mahila Kusal Sashaktikaran Pariyojana (MKSP), around 35.88 lakh women farmers were supported under non-chemical based agro-ecological interventions; dedicated interventions for NTFP; creation of value chain infrastructure in multiple states for several commodities, the NRLM has created community-led livelihood extensions services.

Issues and Challenges:

  • To sustain this movement and make them competitive, there is a need for building a robust and stable community structure that is scalable across states. This demands robust institution-building.
  • Women entrepreneurship development at the community level relies on how socio-economically empowered they are.
  • The empowerment of women in collectives like SHGs stands on four strong pillars of (i) social mobilisation, formation and promotion of sustainable institutions of the poor (ii) universal financial inclusion (iii) livelihoods capable to cope with vulnerabilities like debt bondage, food insecurity (IV) social inclusion.

Way Forward:

The village entrepreneurship development approach of DAY-NRLM is aimed at creating a catalytic local entrepreneurial ecosystem and encouraging the rural unemployed youth to take up local enterprises on their own. Focus on the mobilisation of more SHGs and taking their support services for the creation and operation of rural farm and non-farm infrastructure would help improve rural livelihoods and income.

The new and innovative rural enterprises scheduled to be established under DAY-NRLM have the potential to

(a) ensure financial inclusion of SHGs & farmers;

(b) increase household income;

(c) assure training, placements to the millions of rural youths; and

(d) facilitate farm and non-farm logistics at the community level.

The potential would transform into reality provided several vital issues and constraints viz. social mobilization, promotion of institutions of the poor, training, capacity building, and skill up-gradation, financial inclusion, sensitive support structure, schematic convergence are addressed in a participatory manner in consultation with the stakeholders of DAY-NRLM.

Chapter 5: Women in India’s Toy Industry

Spanning thousands of years, toy manufacturing in India is as old as civilization itself. With some of the earliest evidence of terracotta toys being found in Harappa – a key site of the Indus Valley Civilization – it is remarkable to note that the history of toy manufacturing in India is inextricably linked to the larger story of India’s past. Traditional Indian toys reflect the diversity of our nation.

India’s Toy Industry

  • Manufacturing continues to play a vital role in charting New India’s growth story, with women at the fulcrum of the toy industry in present times.
  • According to a report by the National Productivity Council, India’s toy industry employs three million workers; of which 70 per cent are women.
  • The sector’s female majority labour force in turn has contributed to its rapidly growing economic possibilities. India’s current toy industry is estimated to be valued at $1.5 billion and has the potential to grow to $2.3 billion by 2024.
  • Estimates promise strengthened avenues of female employment and women-led socio­economic growth within the sector.
In Tamil Nadu the manufacturing process of ‘vilachary’ clay toys are divided between men and women, the men roll it into layers and make the moulds while the women decorate the toys with brushes kept in coconut shells.

Challenges

  • The toy sector continues to be significantly fragmented, with 90 per cent of the market being unorganized.
  • 75 per cent of domestic manufacturing originates in micro-industries, while 22 per cent comes from MSMEs. Less than 3 per cent of the domestic toy manufacturing process come from large units.
  • Such an industrial spread underscores the need to organize the existing units into clusters to streamline the manufacturing process, the retail value of the Indian toy market is INR 16,000 crores of which close to three-fourth are Chinese imports.

Initiatives by the Government to Promote Toy Manufacturing:

  • The Government of India has undertaken many initiatives to mitigate these challenges while continuing to provide impetus to female employment in the toy industry.
  • In January 2021, it launched ‘Toycathon’, a hackathon for students, teachers, experts, and startups to develop toys and games based on Indian culture and ethos.
  • To promote the indigenous toy manufacturing industry, this multi-ministerial effort sought to create an ‘Aatmanirbhar’ ecosystem for local manufacturers by exploring their untapped potential.
  • Toy manufacturing clusters across the country have come to be formally recognized and supported by government efforts.
  • State governments are in the process of allocating spaces for toy parks.
  • Further, efforts towards the creation of manufacturing clusters have borne fruit.
    • Koppal District in Karnataka has recently been recognized as the country’s first toy manufacturing cluster.

From now on, as India looks to build its ‘toyoconomy’- women workers will continue to play a significant role in fulfilling domestic demand, reducing imports and raising India’s share of toy manufacturing in the global marketplace. It is vital to promote female-led innovation in India’s toy manufacturing industry, thereby empowering women to transform India’s growth story while passing on a centuries-old legacy to New India.

Chapter 6: Woman at MSME Workplace

It is true and commonly accepted that an empowered woman is a real changemaker for her family, her society, and her community. The maturity of societies can be judged by the virtue of the status of women in that respective society. India is a treasure box of resources and has tremendous potential and capacity to encourage women entrepreneurs in micro and small businesses to cope with and rescue the economy. Women-led development will pave the way for Aatmanirbhar Bharat, especially in the MSME sector.

  • Only one thing has the potential to enhance the status of women in society and that is the empowerment of women.
  • MSMEs being one of the largest employers in India, their role in motivating women’s role in the workplace is critical.

Government’s Focus Towards Women Entrepreneurship

  • The Women Entrepreneurship Platform (WEP) was launched on 8 March 2018 on the occasion of International Women’s Day as NITI Aayog’s flagship initiative.
  • WEP has pan India coverage and does not have state-specific programme/s. WEP caters to both aspiring and well-established women in the space of entrepreneurship.
  • Women entrepreneurship is being promoted in a big way in the Northeast and while the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region (MDoNER) came forward to provide a Viability Fund to new startups, it has at the same time undertaken several initiatives to encourage and supplement the efforts of women self-help groups.
  • Women-led development will pave the way for Aatamnirbhar Bharat, especially in the MSME sector.

Chapter 7: Woman Excelling in Sports: Psychological Aspects

Sports psychology plays a vital role in sports training programmes and deals with how various psychological states and traits influence sports performance. This role is crucial in the sense that athletic success depends significantly on the willingness of sports performers to put in mental as well as physical efforts in pursuit of excellence.

“Sport success is determined in part by physical conditioning, skill, and preparation. But it is also influenced by psychological factors such as self-confidence, motivation, concentration, and emotional control”.

Psychological Aspects:

  • “Positively focused goals are usually more effective, particularly for new or difficult skills, because they help athletes focus on correct execution. Moreover, positive goals tend to promote greater self-confidence and intrinsic motivation”.
  • Many sports experts and coaches recognise the power of mental training.
    • It involves using the senses to create or recreate an experience in one’s mind.
    • Imaging a sport skill is like performing the skill, except that athletes experience the action only in their minds.
  • Confidence consistently appears as a key skill possessed by successful athletes, and international-level athletes identified confidence as the most crucial mental skill defining mental strength.
  • Athletes have identified several important types of confidence including the need to believe in their abilities to execute physical skills, attain high levels of physical fitness, make correct decisions, execute mental skills such as focused attention and stress management, bounce back from lows, overcome obstacles and setbacks, achieve mastery and personal performance standards, and win over opponents.
  • Mental toughness is an individual’s ability or a personality trait that is characterised by the psychological ability to bounce back from negative outcomes or setbacks, and not let the same negative aspects affect their performance or task at hand. An athlete needs to have an unwavering sense of mental toughness.
  • It is very important to note that mental toughness is one psychological component that cannot be trained and practised without experience. It is a phenomenon that is encountered and experienced as one faces difficult situations in life and the game.
Note:

Mirabai Chanu: Mirabai Chanu won the first Silver for India in weightlifting in the Olympics at Tokyo in the 49kg category.

Neeraj Chopra: Neeraj Chopra created history by becoming the 1st Indian track-and-field athlete to win Gold at the Olympics.

Ravi Dahiya: India’s Ravi Dahiya won Silver in Men’s Freestyle wrestling at Tokyo 2020.

Bajrang Punia:  Bajrang Punia won Bronze Medal at Tokyo Olympics.

Lovlina Borgohain: Lovlina won Bronze in the women 69Kg Boxing event.

P.V Sindhu: India’s P.V Sindhu won the Bronze against China’s He Bing Jiao at Tokyo 2020.

Hockey: A historic medal win after 41 years for the men’s hockey team. They brought home the bronze medal.

Aditi Ashok – Golf: Aditi Ashok created history by becoming the first Indian woman to represent India in Golf in two consecutive Olympics.

Conclusion

The successful career of female athletes depends upon both physical ability and mental stability which are essential components of their successful sports performance. Positive goals, confidence, and concentration are closely related to the optimisation of a female athlete’s sports performance and leadership for a successful path. As more women opt for sports as their careers, there is a need for psychological programmes to train them in order to balance their life by excelling in their field.

Fit India Run 2.0
  • Fit India Freedom Run is organised as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • Fit India Freedom Run is being held in 744 Districts, 75 villages in each of the 744 Districts, and 30,000 Educational Institutions across the country.
  • Through this initiative, more than 7.50 crore youth and citizens are expected to take part in the Run.

Chapter 8: Women in Uniform

India is an interesting case study when it comes to the role of women in society & the workplace. While legally, we have been granted and assured of the same rights as our male counterparts; socially and culturally, equality has been slow in coming as a woman.

Concerns:

  • Women have faced and continue to face problems such as mental and sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • They face instances of gender bias and gender insensitive behaviour.
  • Workplace problems like the paucity of women bathrooms, etc. are common in police stations and offices all over the country.
  • Gender discrimination in awarding of plum assignments and lack of adequate family support deter many women from pursuing careers to their full potential. Roadblocks, intended or incidental, both impede and make the promise of equality difficult to achieve.

Developments:

  • As women enter the workplace in larger numbers, the workplace environment is evolving to accommodate them.
  • As more and more women claim their place under the sun, a quiet revolution is taking place.
  • The general confidence of women in themselves, their abilities and their capabilities are steadily rising. They are no longer satisfied with being mute spectators in their lives and are increasingly making important life decisions for themselves. These changes are bound to increase the pace at which women emancipate themselves.

However, women have not found representation in countless careers. As a country, we need to recognise that we cannot thrive and succeed if half of us are held in shackles. Interestingly, the first woman IPS officer, Ms Kiran Bedi broke the glass ceiling in 1972. Now, routinely, women join the IPS every year. Similarly, countless women have entered the Central Armed Police Organisations for the past several decades. Yet, policing is still considered a non-traditional career choice for women. The ultimate truth is that to achieve true gender parity, we must condemn chauvinism and feminism alike. It is not a war of the sexes that we seek. Rather, the need of the hour is for all men and women to come together in unity assuring equality and justice to all.

To get details on IPS Eligibility, check the linked article.

Chapter 9: Making of Administrators

Civil Servants always perform at the forefront, both at the grassroots levels as well as in the highly complex and impactful policy formulation. Their Capacity Building, therefore, assumes immense importance for civil servants, the government, and the nation.

History:

The Administrative Service is responsible for the public administration of the government of the country, except the judiciary, legislature and judiciary. The present system of civil services was created by the British to serve their imperial interests. It was established as the Imperial Civil Service (ICS) to perform regulatory functions like maintaining law and order and generating revenue.

  • Post-independence, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel strongly advocated for continuing the civil service, calling it ‘the steel frame of India’.
  • Later, the Constituent Assembly incorporated Article 312 to constitute the All India Services.
  • Significant changes were also visualised in the role of the administrators. It was no longer seen to be limited to the colonial role of revenue collection and enforcing law & order.
  • Welfare oriented Indian governments used the policy formulation and implementation capabilities of these administrators to design and roll out many schemes in all domains.
  • The institution of civil services has worked along with the political leadership for the overall socio-economic development of the country.
  • With its national character, it has also been a strong binding force to a Union of States.

Important Role of Civil Services:

  • Service presence throughout the country and strong binding character,
  • The administrative and managerial capacity of the services,
  • Effective policy-making and regulation,
  • Effective coordination between institutions of governance,
  • Leadership at different levels of administration,
  • Service delivery at the cutting-edge level,
  • Providing ‘continuity and change’ to the administration

Need for Reforms in Civil Services in India:

  • The present system of the training of civil servants is very comprehensive, relevant and career-spanning. Yet, fact remains that it was designed decades ago and continues to foster the same mindsets, which were plagued by the shadows of colonial mistrust.
  • Also new technologies are changing the governance landscape which necessitates Civil Services Reform.

Challenges in Development of Right Attitudes and Mindsets:

  • Change in outlook and performance of administrators can come only by a transformation in their attitudes and mindsets from that of a ruler to a leader, collaborator and facilitator.
  • The strong value system, the courage of conviction and positive outlook must be deeply entrenched in the civil servants to cope with external pressures.
  • This leads to the question of altering and improving the intangible attitudes and mindsets of trainee civil servants. It is the area of attitudes, which is much more challenging and harder to be crystallised in simplistic determinants.

Recent Reforms in the Training of Administrators – Mission Karmayogi

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the adoption of the New National Architecture for Civil Services Capacity Building called “Mission Karmayogi” in September 2020.
  • It is a competency focussed training of officials using digital platforms that aims to transform the capacity building apparatus at the individual, institutional, and process levels.
  • The Programme will be delivered by setting up an Integrated Government Online Training-iGOT Karmayogi Platform.

Know more about Mission Karmayogi in the linked article.

Aarambh:

  • ‘Aarambh’ is an initiative to bring all the probationers of All India Service, Group-A Central Services and Foreign Service together for a Common Foundation Course (CFC).
  • It breaks the silos of services and departments from the very beginning of the career of a civil servant.
  • It aims at making the civil servants capable of leading the transformation and work seamlessly across departments and fields.

Common Mid-Career Training Programme (CMCTP):

  • A scheme, similar to Aarambh, has been envisaged to break the silos among different civil services at the mid-career level in the form of the Common Mid-Career Training Programme (CMCTP).
  • This programme aims at providing a common learning platform for officers belonging to different civil services.
  • It will focus on the development of behavioural, functional, and domain level competencies.

Chapter 10: Gender Justice

In the mid-twentieth century, the French social philosopher Simone de Beauvoir wrote the magnum opus ‘Second Sex’. Here she elaborated the secondary position of the women because of social-cultural factors. She famously wrote that ‘one is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.’ She mentions that the ‘sex’ (biological difference between male and female) in the course of time becomes ‘gender’ (a socio-cultural construct). It happens due to primary (family peer groups, community) and secondary (school, college, club, public library, offices, sports, etc.) socialisation.

Women Empowerment Parameters:

The Fifth National Family Health Survey (2019-20) talks of the following factors for the empowerment of women:

  • ownership of physical assets – mobile phones, bank accounts, land & housing;
  • access to menstrual hygiene products (sanitary napkins, etc);
  • participation in household decisions (healthcare for herself, household purchases, visits to family/relatives);
  • employment status;
  • gender violence;
  • marriage under the age of 18 years; and
  • educational attainment of more than 10 years.

However, SDGs also take into account – (i) the time spent on domestic or unpaid work decisions; (ii) decision on reproductive health; and (iii) incidence of female genital mutilation.

Progress of Indian Women as per NFHS (2019-20):

  • Sex ratio at birth in 2020 increased to 942.
  • Due to PMJDY, women’s bank accounts increased by 28% (2015- 2020).
  • Participation in household decision making increased marginally to 85%.
  • The share of women marrying before 18 years is about 30% (both in 2015 and 2020).
  • Domestic violence stagnating but during the Covid-19 lockdown, it surged to 60%.
  • Share of Union Budget spent on women-related schemes has stagnated at about 5.5% since 2009, and less than 30% of it is being spent on 100% women-focused schemes.

Concerns:

  • Spending of the budget of the Ministry of Women and Child Development on women empowerment decreased to Rs 310 crores in 2019-2020.
  • Total Fertility Rate (TFR) declined in most of the states-
    • replacement level (2.1) achieved in 19 out of 22 states/UTs surveyed;
    • only states like Manipur (2.2), Meghalaya (2.9), Bihar (3,2), and UP (2.9) have higher TFR than replacement level
    • Still, the average TFR in India is 2.2 per woman.

Recent Judicial Orders:

  • As per IFS Services Rules, married women were not allowed to join the Indian Foreign Service. This was quashed by the SC.
  • In Joseph Shine v Union of India, Supreme Court struck down Section 497 of IPC (punishment for adultery) as unconstitutional, being violative of Articles 14, 15, and 21 and Section 497 which was based on gender stereotypes on the role of women.
  • SC also declared Talaq-e-biddat (triple talaq at the same time) unconstitutional & arbitrary (violative of fundamental right to equality).

Sometimes economic development leads to gender equality but other times, empowerment (especially in decision-making) leads to gender equality, hence both are necessary. The level of progress and quality of democracy of any country may be assessed by knowing the contemporary status of women, as redistributive justice and participatory governance must ensure gender justice substantially. Women must be empowered in both public and personal arenas of life along with genuine development.

Chapter 11: Girl Child Protection

In 1989, an international agreement, ‘The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (UNCRC) was adopted. This agreement legally binds the governments to set out the civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights of every child. On 11 December 1992, India ratified UNCRC.

Know more about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the linked article.

Steps Taken by the Government:

  • As a result of the UNCRC framework, India formulated fair comprehensive legislation and policies covering different dimensions of child rights from birth to age 18.
  • The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act 2012 – It protects children from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and the use of pornographic material for sexual offences against children. Under the Act, special courts have been established to deal with these offences.
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 seeks to safeguard the rights of children in conflict with the law, and those in need of care and protection.
  • Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) was launched in 2009 to build a protective environment for children in difficult circumstances.
  • A National Tracking System for Missing and Vulnerable Children, State Child Protection Societies, Juvenile Justice Boards are established across all States.
  • Other prominent laws are – Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986 (Amendment Act, 2016); the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006; the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act 1994.
  • In 2015, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme was launched to tackle the declining sex ratio at birth, and to empower the girl child through education.
  • In 2020, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights launched Standard Operating Procedure for Care and Protection of Children in Street Situations.

Intersection of Vulnerabilities:

  • Multidimensional poverty poses a direct threat to girls’ safety in three major forms: discriminatory attitudes resulting in poor nutrition and health care; housework and care burden; and exposure to violence.
  • Poor girls are at greater risk of child marriage and trafficking. Girls in street situations, orphans, abandoned, and child labourers are at high risk.
  • Girls with disabilities are more likely to face sexual exploitation, particularly if they are visually impaired or have mental conditions.
  • A young girl child of migrant and informal workers is susceptible to harm, neglect, and abuse.

Covid-19 and Girls:

  • Worldwide, children have suffered the devastating impacts of COVID-19, the impacts have varied by gender.
  • Socio-economic impacts of Covid-19 are gendered, evident in the form of educational inequality, sexual violence and increased household burden.
  • In India, the National Commission for Women reported 2.5 times increase in domestic violence during the initial months of nationwide lockdown.
  • According to research by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the socio-economic consequences of Covid-19 have increased migrant smuggling and cross-border trafficking.
  • UNESCO’s Global Education Monitoring Report (2021) throws light on increased educational inequalities for adolescent girls during the Covid-19 crisis. UNESCO estimates that around 11 million girls may not return to school.
  • The digital gender gap deters girls’ remote education and access to information.

Climate Change:

  • Scientists have warned about the increase in monsoon precipitation extremities and drought across India and South Asia.
  • Such climate change events impact women and girls disproportionately.
  • This will pose a hindrance to India’s SDG specific to poverty, hunger, health well being, water and sanitation.

Way Forward:

  • Ensuring a gender-responsive child protection system amid crisis is paramount.
  • There is a need to educate and incentivize families to help them empower their daughters through education.
  • There is a need to overcome gender bias.
  • Girl safety is a collective responsibility.
  • Girls must be educated about cyber safety.
  • There is a need to promote child safeguarding practices in the community, neighbourhood, family, and school.
  • A strong protection net must be provided to the most vulnerable.
  • Amidst the COVID crisis, there is a need to promote safe adoption practices.
  • Besides, there is a need for a gendered approach to disaster risk mitigation.

Chapter 12: TID-BITS

Breast Cancer:

  • Breast cancer affects women both in the developed and the developing world.
  • As per WHO, breast cancer accounts for 2.09 million cases and 627000 deaths globally.
  • It is the most common cancer in women in India and accounts for 14% of all cancers in women.
  • It can occur at any age but the incidence rates in India begin to rise in the early thirties and peak at ages 50-64 years.
  • One in twenty-eight Indian women is likely to develop breast cancer during her lifetime for urban women than for the rural group.
  • There is an unwillingness among women to come up for regular breast cancer screening not only due to concerns over privacy, pain, and radiation exposure but also with associated stigma and lack of awareness.
  • In India, due to the large population, mass screening using devices like a mammogram is not practical and affordable.

Women in Handloom Sector

Indian handloom designs and weaves have been famous world-over and it is important to ensure the sustenance of our cultural heritage. Different parts of India have produced distinct styles – muslin of Chanderi, Varanasi brocades, Rajasthan and Odisha have given tie and die products, Patola sarees from Patan, Himroo of Hyderabad, phulkari and Khes from Punjab, Daccai and Jamdani from Bengal, traditional designs from Assam and Manipur like the Phenek and Tongam.

Women’s empowerment through financial independence:

  • Indian handloom sector is ancient and has served the economy well in terms of employment.
  • The sector is very important from the point of view of its size and employment potential.
  • The relevance of the handloom sector in the agrarian economy is massive because of its linkages with crucial and sensitive sectors like agriculture. It uses agricultural products as raw materials and, therefore, provides an ever-ready market for agricultural produce. Therefore, in an economy where a majority of people still rely on the agrarian sector for their livelihood, the significance of handloom is well understood.
  • Secondly, it is a sector that directly addresses women’s empowerment. As per the 2019-20 census, the sector engages over 23 lakhs female weavers and allied workers.
  • Female workforce participation rate in allied activities in this sector is twice as much higher than their male counterpart.

Gender Diversity in PSUs:

Gender diversity continues to be low in the Central Public Sector Undertakings. Recent data indicates that even in Maharatna PSUs, the strength of women employees is very low, only 5% to 9% of the total employees. The Companies Act, 2013 made it mandatory to have at least one woman director on boards with effect from 2014. Data reveals that the number of women at below board level is also far from equitable.

  • There is a lack of focus on developing a female talent pipeline.
  • The number of women applicants at the entry-level is skewed as compared to men. This also gets reflected at a higher level.
  • Men perceive women to be less enthusiastic to take up transfer postings, or serve long at field site locations due to family responsibilities.
  • It is felt that women are likely to lag in knowledge or skill development due to career breaks for maternity or child care.
  • Women also feel that they may get left out despite being meritorious as they do not socialise informally with seniors in the organisation.

Gender diversity is perhaps not given due importance in PSUs and to address this, structural changes must be made.

Gist of Yojana September 2021:- Download PDF Here

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