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Chapter # 32. Gender

Objective 

  • To create an enabling environment, sans institutional and structural barriers.
  • To enhance the female labour force participation rate to at least 30 per cent by 2022-23.

Current Situation 

As highlighted in the Economic Survey 2018, a number of indicators that reflect the position of women in Indian society have moved in the right direction. Out of 17 indicators pertaining to women’s agency, attitudes and outcomes, 14 have improved over time. On seven of them, the improvement is at least on par with countries at similar levels of development as India.

However, a declining female labour force participation rate (LFPR) despite increasing levels of education and declining fertility rates has emerged as a worrying trend. The current female LFPR is 23.7 per cent (26.7 per cent in rural areas and 16.2 per cent in urban areas).1 The declining trend is particularly strong in rural areas, where it has gone down from 49.7 per cent in 2004-05 to 26.7 per cent in 2015-162.

At the all India level, women are confined mainly to the large, informal sector. It is estimated that if women did as much formal work as men, India would experience an additional 1.4 per cent GDP growth.3 On average, 66 per cent of women’s work in India is unpaid, compared to 12 per cent of men’s.

The government has taken some important initiatives to promote gender equality and welfare. These include the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign, the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, POSHAN Abhiyaan and the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana. 

Constraints

  • Constraints of workplace distance, inflexibility in working hours, lack of availability of crèches, safety etc., deter women from participating in economic activities.
  • The absence of opportunities for part-time work and challenges surrounding re-entry into the workforce further worsen the situation.
  • Women’s work comprises mostly of invisible/ unpaid work.

Way Forward

  1. Ensure gender-sensitive thinking for legislation and policies keeping in view the challenges faced by women including 
  • different life stages (single women, married women, young mothers and women re-entering the workforce after a break).
  • levels of education (illiterate, school educated, vocationally trained, college graduates, professionals).
  • geographic inequities (rural, urban, towns, peri-urban areas, remote locations) and marginalization (SC/ST, OBCs etc.).
  • special need groups such as single mothers, widows, homeless women and women with disabilities, among others.
  1. Strengthen legal frameworks to eliminate discrimination against women and promote gender equity
  • Craft legislations for women engaged in the unorganized sector to ensure at least a minimum set of gender-sensitive provisions such as access to privacy, minimum wages, maternity benefits, leave and grievance redressal.
  • Ensure mechanisms for implementation of mandatory laws like the Maternity Benefit Act and The Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, including for workers in the informal sector.
  • Create liberal laws/guidelines that encourage women to re-enter the workforce after a break.
  • Develop and implement Equal Opportunity Policies:
  • Establish a set of norms (for job advertisements and selection guidelines, availability of crèche at workplace, grievance redressal, flexi hours, part-time work, maternity benefits etc.) for both the government and private sectors.
  • Persuade the private sector, autonomous organizations and others to voluntarily inscribe a statement in job advertisements to the effect: ‘We are an equal opportunity organization and are fully committed to women’s inclusion in our workforce’, pending a formal policy. This can be accomplished in partnership with organisations like the Confederation of Indian Industry that have developed equal opportunity guidelines.
  • Reward villages/districts with an equal child sex ratio through information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns.
  1. Generate gender-disaggregated data and rank states on key indicators 
  • Establish a dedicated unit within the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • The unit should focus on data gathering, conducting regular reviews with other ministries on explicitly defined gender targets (e.g. under the POSHAN Abhiyaan, reduce anaemia rates among adolescent girls and women in the 15-49 years age group by at least one-third by 2022-23), ensuring optimum budgetary resources for women’s welfare and evaluating the effectiveness of gender-based budgeting.
  • In setting up this unit, lessons could be leveraged from similar institutional arrangements in countries like Rwanda (Gender Monitoring Office) and Finland (Gender Equality Unit). State government should establish similar units at the state level.
  • Improve data systems to generate gender-disaggregated data through the use of technology, geo locating information and generating maps in real time.
  • Rank states on a set of reliable and comparable indicators that reflect changes in the status of women at the national and sub-national levels over time.
  1. Encourage women’s participation in industry and enterprise 
  • Develop sector/industry specific targets for women’s employment and incentivize their implementation by firms.
  • Create policies and guidelines, on priority, to enhance access to credit by women entrepreneurs; provide facilitated credit access pathways for single women, women’s self-help groups/guilds/co-operatives, handicapped women, and SC/ST women.
  • Consider incentivizing sectors/companies that have over 30 per cent women workers by providing tax benefits.
  1. Improve asset ownership and economic security
  • Prioritize groups of women farmers seeking to lease land, water bodies, etc., at the village panchayat
  • Encourage joint registration with spouses/ sole registration of land in the name of the woman through registration fee and stamp duty concessions through special drives/awareness campaigns.
  • Recognize and secure women’s rights over common property resources like irrigation systems, fishing grounds, forests and water.
  1. Create enabling conditions for women engaged in agriculture
  • Ensure 50 per cent membership of women farmers in Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).
  • Consider creating a separate budget to bear the registration/processing fee for the registration of women FPOs.
  • Specially focus on skill development among women, particularly for activities such as soil conservation, social forestry, dairy development, horticulture, organic farming, and livestock rearing (including animal husbandry, poultry, fisheries).
  • Target agricultural extension services to women farmers as well, not just males.
  1. Enhance women’s skills and leveraging ability
  • Consider extending the Post Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl Child scheme to families with two girl children.
  • Provide relatively higher financial incentives for girls’ education until Class XII to curb the higher dropout rate among girls and raise the average age at marriage by keeping girls in schools.
  • Promote skill development among women in non-traditional work such as electronic technicians, electricians, plumbers, taxi drivers etc.
  • Organize women into professional groups/ guilds to improve their bargaining power.
  • Use platforms like Digital India (i) to create apps for the guilds (ii) for marketing and branding purposes and (iii) to establish linkages with corporates, markets and consumers.
  1. Ensure mobility, security and safety for all women
  • Provide affordable housing, residential hostels and gender friendly facilities in upcoming towns and big cities.
  • Improve rural connectivity and public transport systems.
  • Ensure gender-sensitive, rights-based and time-bound trials as well as disposal of cases pertaining to violence against women.
  • Strengthen the standard operating protocols for tackling crimes against women, including new forms of violence such as cybercrimes.
  • Introduce training (including refresher training) on women-specific issues and laws for all ranks and categories of police personnel, health practitioners, protection officers, legal service authorities, judicial authorities as well as other stakeholders who interact with survivors of violence, especially in remote areas.



Chapter # 41. Data Led Governance and Policy Making

Objectives Evidence based policy making should be made integral to the overall governance structure in New India, 2022-23. To achieve this, timely gen

Chapter # 40. Optimizing the Use of Land Resources

Optimizing the Use of Land Resources-Ensuring that land markets function smoothly, through efficient allocation of land across uses, provision of secu

Chapter # 39. Modernizing City Governance For Urban Transformation

Objective  City Governance For Urban Transformation To transform our cities into economically vibrant and environmentally sustainable habitats that p

Chapter # 38. Civil Services Reforms

Objective  civil-services-reforms To put in place a reformed system of recruitment, training and performance evaluation of the civil service to ensur

Chapter # 37. Legal, Judicial and Police Reforms

Objective To ensure the safety and security of citizens and ensure access to effective legal systems and speedy delivery of justice. Current Situation

Chapter # 36. The North-East Region

Objectives The North-East Region (NER) should: Have adequate road, rail and air connectivity, waterways, internet connectivity and financial inclusion

Chapter # 35. Balanced Regional Development: Transforming Aspirational Districts

Objective  Balanced Regional Development: Transforming Aspirational Districts Achieve balanced development in India by uplifting 115 districts, curre

Chapter # 34. Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Other Tribal Groups and Minorities

SCs, STs, OBCs, De-Notified Tribes (DNTs), Nomadic Tribes (NTs) and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (SNTs) Objective  To accelerate the socio-economic developm

Chapter # 33. Senior Citizens, Persons with Disability and Transgender Persons

SENIOR CITIZENS  Objective To ensure a life of dignity, social security and safety for senior citizens, enabling them to actively participate in econ

Chapter # 32. Gender

Objective  To create an enabling environment, sans institutional and structural barriers. To enhance the female labour force participation rate to at

Chapter # 31. Nutrition

Objectives  Under POSHAN Abhiyaan, achieve the following outcomes by 2022-23, compared to the baseline of 2015-16 (National Family Health Survey-4):

Chapter # 30. Universal Health Coverage

Objectives  On the strong platform of Pradhan Mantri – Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY): Attain a coverage of at least 75 per cent of the population

Chapter # 29. Human Resources for Health

Objectives  Achieve a doctor-population ratio of at least 1:1400 (WHO norm 1:1000) and nurse-population ratio of at least 1:500 (WHO norm 1:400) by 2

Chapter # 28. Comprehensive Primary Health Care

Objectives  Under Ayushman Bharat, scale-up a new vision for comprehensive primary health care across the country, built on the platform of health an

Chapter # 27. Public Health Management and Action

Objectives  To revamp radically the public and preventive health system in the nation through the following strategic interventions: Mobilize public

Chapter # 26. Skill Development

Obejctives  For harnessing the demographic advantage that it enjoys, India needs to build the capacity and infrastructure for skilling/reskilling/up-

Chapter # 25. Teacher Education and Training

Objectives There cannot be a quality education system without quality teachers. Therefore, a thorough revamp of the entire ecosystem of teacher educat

Chapter # 24. Higher Education

Objectives  Increase the gross enrolment ratio (GER) in higher education from 25 per cent in 2016-17 to 35 per cent by 2022-23. Make higher education

23. School Education

Objectives Universal access and retention: o Hundred per cent enrolment and retention at elementary education and secondary education levels; achieve

Chapter # 22. Sustainable Environment

Objective  The objective is to maintain a clean, green and healthy environment with peoples’ participation to support higher and inclusive economic

Chapter # 21. Water Resources

Objectives By 2022-23, India’s water resources management strategy should facilitate water security to ensure adequate availability of water for l

Chapter # 20. Swash Bharat Mission

Objectives The key objectives of the Swachh Bharat Mission include: 1. Making India Open Defecation Free (ODF) by October 2, 2019. 2. Carrying out ext

Chapter # 19.Smart Cities for Urban Transformation

Objectives  Leverage the ‘Smart Cities’ concept in select urban clusters to: Drive job creation and economic growth. Significantly improve effici

Chapter # 18. Digital Connectivity

Objectives Given the relevance of digital connectivity to economic growth and the need to eliminate the digital divide by 2022-23, India should aim to

Chapter # 17. Logistics

Objectives Achieve multi-modal movement of cargo on par with global logistics standards. Reduce the logistics cost to less than 10 per cent of GDP fro

Chapter # 16.Ports, Shipping and Inland Waterways

Objectives  Double the share of freight transported by coastal shipping and inland waterways from 6 per cent in 2016-171 to 12 per cent by 2025. Incr

Chapter # 15. Civil Aviation

Objectives Enhance the affordability of flying to enable an increase in domestic ticket sales from 103.75 million in 2016-171 to 300 million by 2022.2

Chapter # 14. Railways

Objectives By 2022-23, India should have a rail network that is not only efficient, reliable and safe, but is also cost-effective and accessible, both

Chapter # 13. Surface Transport

Objectives Increasing the coverage and quality of roads and highways is critical to enhancing connectivity and internal and external trade. By 2022-23

Chapter # 12. Energy

Objectives The government’s on-going energy sector policies aim “to provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy”. At t

Chapter # 11. Minerals

Objectives Double the area explored from 10 per cent of obvious geological potential (OGP) area to 20 per cent.1 Accelerate the growth of the mining s

Chapter # 10. Travel, Tourism and Hospitality

Objectives  Increase India’s share in global international tourist arrivals from 1.18 per cent to 3 per cent. Increase the number of foreign touris

Chapter # 9. Housing For All

Objectives Provide every family with a pucca house, with a water connection, toilet facilities, and 24×7 electricity supply and access. Build 2.9

Chapter # 8. Financial Inclusion

Objectives Banking for the unbanked  o Bank accounts: Ensuring universal access to bank accounts, which are a gateway to all financial services.  o

Chapter # 7.Doubling Farmers’ Income (III): Value Chain & Rural Infrastructure

Objectives • Transform the rural economy through the creation of modern rural infrastructure and an integrated value chain system. • Leverage the

Chapter # 6.Doubling Farmers’ Income (II): Policy & Governance

Objectives Create a policy environment that enables income security for farmers, whilst maintaining India’s food security. Encourage the participati

Chapter # 5.Doubling Farmers’ Income (I): Modernizing Agriculture

Objectives • Modernize agricultural technology, increase productivity, efficiency and crop diversification. • Generate income and employment throu

Chapter # 4.Industry

Objectives Double the current growth rate of the manufac-turing sector by 2022. Promote in a planned manner the adoption of the latest technology adva

Chapter # 3. Technology and Innovation

Objectives India should be among the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index by 2022-23.1 Five of our scientific research institutions should

Chapter # 2.Employment and Labour Reforms

Objectives Complete codification of central labour laws into four codes by 2019. Increase female labour force participation to at least 30 per cent by

Chapter # 1 Growth (India @ 75)

Objectives Steadily accelerate the gross domestic product(GDP) growth rate to achieve a target of about 8 per cent during 2018-23 This will raise the

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