Presentation on theme: "Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women: Note for Roundtable organized by UNIFEM New Delhi, November 4, 2009. Ratna M. Sudarshan, Director, Institute."— Presentation transcript:
Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women: Note for Roundtable organized by UNIFEM New Delhi, November 4, 2009. Ratna M. Sudarshan, Director, Institute of Social Studies Trust (ISST), New Delhi
ISST research focus areas ISST has been working on issues related to gender equality and empowerment over almost thirty years. Within the field of social and economic research ISST has focused in the last few years on – women’s role in the economy; – the gender and poverty impact of development programmes generally as well as those specifically oriented to women; – governance. Research at ISST is usually carried out in partnership with grassroot organizations and activists.
National Context Notwithstanding global recession, the Indian economy is seen as being on a strong growth path Macro-economic policy (11 th Plan)continues to have a dual focus – framework for high economic growth, and eliminating poverty and vulnerability
Women in the Economy Women are roughly 32 % of all workers And an increasing and dominant share of the agricultural workforce In a country where over 90% of all workers are in the informal economy, a higher proportion of women workers are informal workers than men Educated and urban women have been able to access new opportunities in the services sector On a conventional calculation, that is excluding unpaid and care work, women’s contribution to the GDP is roughly 20%.
Gender research uncovering the statistical and policy invisibility of women in the informal economy, especially home based workers; pointing to the complex social and economic factors that result in wide variations in the pattern of women’s work across regions, and by age and marital status pointing to the multiple disadvantages of gender, caste, region and income that contextualize explorations on women's economic roles. showing that formulation of policy for social protection and migration needs to be embedded in the development process, which itself can either generate further deficits or reduce them.
Governance Constitutional amendments in the early 1990's created a framework for decentralised governance and through a one-third reservation for women, have brought over a million women into decision making positions. The emergence of women's leadership and the role played by organised groups of women outside the formal structures both in engendering governance and deepening democracy needs note
Critical areas we would like to bring to the notice of UNIFEM include Enhancing economic security: Improving the conditions of work and housing for women in informal work, including home based workers; domestic workers; and others. Interventions needed range from policy frameworks to guide improvements in work contracts and conditions; interventions at a collective level to improve drinking water supply, sanitation, fuel and fodder in hill and rural areas, transport and other urban infrastructure in cities. Education and awareness building among young men and women (linked to reduction of VAW)
Critical areas Organising: – Supporting and strengthening organizing and mobilizing of women’s groups (slow process, locale specific) and – Supporting and strengthening non government initiatives for child care, elderly care and other activities undertaken within communities to build solidarity and support for women in balancing their multiple responsibilities Supporting small ‘pilot’ field based research which can flag new emerging concerns