Monday, June 26, 2017

Gender Equality - Strategy to implement SDG in Karnataka, India

Introduction
Sustainable development goals (SDGs) were decided at United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. The main aim was to address all political, social and environmental issues and making governments to get involved in this together. (Sustainable Development Goals, 2017). There are total 17 interlinked goals. Thus, the result of each goal affects other goals too.

Source: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html

In this paper, I will discuss Gender Equality which is SDG 5. I will compare policies on gender equality from Canada, USA, and India. All three have been retrieved from their respective official websites and links have been added in and of this document.

Status of Gender Equality
Gender equality has a very broad scope which ranges from female foeticide to social equality. This goal is focused on ending all kind of discrimination towards females. It has been noticed that ending gender equality has positive effects on many aspects of the economy and other fields (UN, 2017).

Policies

Policy for gender equality in India
The Department of Women and Child Development, Government of India, came into existence as a separate Ministry with effect from 30th January 2006, earlier since 1985 it was a Department under the Ministry of Human Resources Development. In India Ministry of women and child development is responsible for making policy on gender equality. Recently Union Minister of Women & Child Development Mrs. Maneka Sanjay Gandhi drafted a new policy on Women empowerment. The policy has been developed with a focus on not just giving equal opportunities but on creating a socio-cultural, political & economic environment in which women can enjoy their rights (National Policy for Women, 2016).
Objectives of the policy include:
  1. Creating a socio-cultural, political & economic environment in which women can enjoy their rights.
  2. Mainstreaming gender in all-round development processes.
  3. Appropriate and affordable quality health care.
  4. Development of gender-sensitive judicial system
  5. Elimination of violence by strengthening policies.
  6. Partnerships for women empowerment.
The policy will work on various aspects which include Health, food security, nutrition, education, economy, industry, employment, governance & decision making, violence, enabling environment.
The policy will be implemented under 3 types of action plans namely Short-term (1 year), Mid-term (0-5 year) and long-term (above 5 years).  Indicators have been defined for measuring the progress of all actions. The framework includes specific, achievable and effective strategies.
 
Policy for gender equality in Developed countries
Policies from developed countries such as USA (Gender equality and female empowerment policy) and Canada (Policy on Gender Equality, n.d.) talks about to advance the equal participation of men and women in shaping sustainable societies. In Canada, the focus of policy is on gender equity than gender equality. The policy is based on the principle that same treatment doesn’t always yield same results but sometimes different treatment may yield same results. Involvement of women in developing all policies is crucial because of the difference of circumstances makes a difference.
Main points of the policy include:
  1. Considering different perspectives, roles, needs & interests in policy making.
  2. Access and control over resources and benefits.
  3. Involving institutions in gender equality.
  4. The potential impact of programs/projects on men and women.

Discussion
Gender equality is a vast topic and is a basic requirement for any nation, society or ethnic group. There are differences between socio-cultural, political, and economic circumstances between different nations. Thus, different nations need different policies based on their circumstances. Gender-Typed Roles, Associated Responsibilities, and Power Differentials affect the gender equality (Usta, Farver, & Hamieh, 2016).
The new women empowerment policy as covered all aspects which are required to attain SDG. Proper implementation is required to attain desired results. In next section some suggestions have been added to improve implementation.

Recommendations
Karnataka is a state in southern part of India. As per 2011 census, it has a population of 6.11 crores. It's relatively a large state. The sex ratio of the state is 973 females per 1000 males which have improved from 965 from 2001 (Karnataka Population Census data 2011, n.d.).
The policy has just been made and is yet to implement by Government of India. The policy document is well structured thus, I will add my recommendations to respective sections of the document.

Objectives
In section 4 for document discuss objectives of policy but some key objectives are still missing, such as
  1. Policies for female foeticide.
  2. Policies for single mothers.
  3. Discrimination of women under some religious beliefs.
  4. Pressure on women to get married.
All these factors are vital for gender equality. As Canadian policy says, “Same treatment doesn’t always yield same results but sometimes different treatment may yield same results” we should use this approach rather than give same opportunities to both genders we should focus on what are the requirements for each gender to enjoy their human rights. Thus, the focus should be on equity, not equality.

Priority areas
Section 5 discuss areas where policy will work.   
  1. Health including food security and nutrition – it covers all important aspects of female health but strategies need to be planned to make sure that all recommendations as achieved. Emerging technology such as eHealth can be used to consult specialist during pregnancy in case women are in the remote area. Also as the system can be planned in which a health worker reaches the registered pregnant women at their homes regularly for check-up rather than waiting for the woman to reach PHC. Same can be implemented in case of infants.
  2. Education – Just providing reservation won’t help in improving literacy. The incentive should be given to school going girls which gives them motivation. And there should be a system to check abuse of incentive policy.
  3. The economy – Long-term outcome of educating women will help in achieving their part in the economy. Strategies can be made to create communities at the local level which monitors and solves issues of gender discrimination in jobs. There certain jobs which are less suitable for women (e.g night security guard) due to cultural reasons. Some part-time jobs should be created which women can do while studying which will give them confidence and experience for future.
  4. Governance and decision making – As suggested there will be reservation in administration, it’s important to involve say of common women, NGOs and other social bodies in policy making. Proper unbiased research should be done before making new policies. Needs of women differs in every age group, area, religion, cast and SES.
  5. Violence – It's common in many households due to male dominance thinking of families (Usta, Farver, & Hamieh, 2016). A proper legislation should be made but its important to cover all loopholes as some females abuse this privilege.
References
Gender equality and female empowerment policy. (n.d.). Retrieved from USAID: https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1865/GenderEqualityPolicy_0.pdf

Karnataka Population Census data 2011. (n.d.). Retrieved 05 22, 2017, from Census India: http://www.census2011.co.in/census/state/karnataka.html

National Policy for Women. (2016). Retrieved from Ministry Of Women & Child Development: http://wcd.nic.in/sites/default/files/women%20empowerment%20poliy_Final_17May.pdf

Policy on Gender Equality. (n.d.). Retrieved from Global Affairs Canada: http://www.international.gc.ca/development-developpement/priorities-priorites/ge-es/policy-politique.aspx?lang=eng

Sustainable Development Goals. (2017, 05 16). Retrieved from UNDP: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html

UN. (2017, 05 18). Gender Equality. Retrieved 01 31, 2017, from UNDP: http://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-5-gender-equality.html

Usta, J., Farver, J. M., & Hamieh, C. S. (2016). Effects of Socialization on Gender Discrimination and Violence Against Women in Lebanon. Violence Against Women, 22(4), 415-431.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Green (Disaster) revolution

In recent years there has been a sudden and shocking increase in a number of cancer patients in Malwa region of Punjab. At that time no one actually knew why this was happening.
Later in some scientific studies (few are lined below), it was found that the groundwater is having very high amount of pesticides and carcinogens in it.

"What?? Pesticides!! How?? "
It links back to an event which happened 4-5 decades back. Green Revolution which I think is Green disaster (You can use links provided below for justification).

Green (Disaster) revolution
Soon after India got independence there was a shortage of food in the country. To deal with the situation Indian government started a project called Green Revolution without predicting it future consequences.
The sole focus of authorities was to increase the yield of the crop. The new varieties of crops were developed which had more yield than natural counterparts. Bravo!! That’s what government needed. Everyone started using new varieties of the crop. Everything was going well. People were earning good amount of money. There were some issues such as they needed more water and more pesticides. States had lots of water, industry provided more pesticides (Good for their business).
No one knew (or they ignored) that it may have serious consequences.

What were the outcomes of this?
    • More yield (That’s what we needed)
    • Use of more water and pesticides (We had plenty of both)
    • Approx. 25,000 cancer patients (Number still increasing exponentially)
    • Approx. 33,000 people died of cancer in 1 decade (Doesn’t look much at first but once we think it would have been 1/5th then we realize the scale)
    • Underground water table decreasing 75 cm per year (Rate is increasing). 

Conclusion
Whenever some policy is made it is (and has to be) analyzed critically. Long-term consequences should not be ignored. Some other alternatives such as using normal seeds but involving more people in agriculture was a feasible option as it would provide occupation to more people and it didn’t have any long term bad effect.
Also eating GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is not good for health that’s why Russia banned it the long time ago and focused on organic agriculture. I think its high time for us to make a decision of banning GMOs and moving towards being more organic agriculture. We should not just focus on profit from GMOs as we can't eat money.

http://water.columbia.edu/research-themes/water-food-energy-nexus/water-agriculture-livelihood-security-in-india/punjab-india/
http://www.hindustantimes.com/health-and-fitness/how-pesticides-use-have-led-to-high-cases-of-cancer-in-punjab/story-Kkt6ocFttvZ5SlCzo260qL.html
http://livingheritage.org/green-revolution.htm
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4963704/

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Use Google to increase productivity

When we hear word "Google", first things that come to our mind are the Search engine and Gmail. Most of the people I know, use Google as default Search engine and Gmail as their primary email. Interesting thing is that Google has a number of productivity solutions that can increase your productivity without costing you a single penny and most people don't know about these services.
Google Services includes:
    1. Google Drive
    2. Google Docs
    3. Google Hangouts
    4. Google Calendar
    5. Google Translate
That’s not all Google has many more services which you can see at https://www.google.nl/intl/en/about/products/ I have listed only those services which I use on daily or at least few times a week.
In upcoming posts, I will post on how these services increase your productivity.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

First post

Hello,
This is first post of my blog and it has no importance except that its first :P