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Woman Empowerment (GS 1)
A Democracy For Her
Author: – S Y Quraishi
Strong Woman Leaders
- Historically, one of the peculiar paradoxes of South Asian democracy has been the continued presence of strong women leaders at the executive center.
- Sadly, this is coupled with a generally appalling condition of women in society at large.
- South Asia has had the largest number of women heads of state — including Indira Gandhi, Sheikh Hasina, and Benazir Bhutto.
- While women have played very visible and important roles at the higher echelons of power.
- They have been under-represented in political parties as officials and as members of key decision-making bodies.
- In electoral representation, India, has fallen several places in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s global ranking of women’s parliamentary presence.
- From 117 after the 2014 election to 143 as of January 2020
- India is currently behind Pakistan (106), Bangladesh (98) and Nepal (43) and ahead of Sri Lanka (182).
- Scholars suggest that it would take another 40 years to have 33% women in the Lok Sabha.
- Their findings are based on historical election trends and assuming that no gender quota is introduced.
- Interestingly, in countries such as India and Bangladesh, the presence of women may be more powerfully felt as voters than as candidates.
- In 1962, the male voter turnout in India was 16% points higher than for women.
- Six decades later, in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, women’s participation exceeded that of men for the first time.
- The growing turnout of women voters could influence political parties’ programmatic priorities.
- Pradhan Mantri SurakshitMatritva Abhiyan.
- Due to these the maternal mortality rate has reduced from 167 (2011-13) to 113 (2016-18).
- The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2017 is another landmark achievement.
- This extended the paid maternal leave to 26 weeks from the existing 12 weeks.
Potential of Female Workforce
Author: – K. Rajeswara Rao & Sakshi Khurana
India’s Demographic Dividend
- The participation of women in the workforce in India has dropped from 32% working or looking for work in 2005, to 21% in 2019
- India’s FLFP rate is the lowest among the BRICS countries and is also lower than some of its neighbours in South Asia.
- Increasing FLFP in India is crucial to promote inclusive growth and achieve the SDGs.
- Women and girls form a significant part of India’s demographic dividend.
- For women the inability to stay employed or, at times, take up employment due to economic and social factors has been a challenge.
- Countries like China, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korean are examples of how the demographic dividend can be reaped.
Sectors With Potential
- According to United Nations Women estimates, women make up a significant proportion of all healthcare workers
- Women also form a significant proportion of the workforce in the education sector in India.
- The care service sector, which includes health, education, and other personal care services, is more labor-intensive than sectors such as manufacturing
- As per ILO greater investment in better health and care facilities will lead to more employment opportunities for women.
- Investment in the Care economy has the potential to generate a total of 69 million jobs in India by 2030.
- The Gig economy comprises platforms that offer innovative solutions in different sectors such as transport, retail, personal and home care.
- The gig economy has demonstrated resilience even during the pandemic, with platform workers playing an indispensable role in urban India.
- Examples of platform workers include Ola or Uber drivers, Swiggy or Zomato delivery agents, etc.
- Platform jobs have low-entry barriers and cater to the needs and aspirations of workers with varying degrees of skill sets.
- The ILO Global Survey (2021) noted that working from home or job flexibilityare particularly important for women.
- Digital platforms that allow remote work are, in principle, accessible to men and women in any location.
Policies & Measures
- Girls’ access to higher education (beyond secondary education) and skill training is critical to improve their employment outcomes.
- Girl’s families need to be motivated to take up higher education through incentives such as scholarships as well as transport and hostel facilities.
- Skill training of women in job roles aligned to other emerging sectors such as those covered under the PLI Scheme needs to be encouraged.
- For India to reap the potential of its FLFP, constant dialogue and engagement with the States on action strategies will be required.
- Governments, skill training partners, corporates and industry associations as well as CSO’s all need to come together.
Question Framed From Editorial
- Enumerate constraints coming in the way of Female Labour Force participation. How can gig and platform sectors can serve as an effective strategy to strengthen (250 words)
International Relations (GS 2)
Revisiting The Deterrence in Asia
Author: – C Raja Mohan
- Europe’s immediate focus, in the wake of Russian aggression against Ukraine, is not nuclear weapons
- It is more on strengthening conventional deterrence to stop Putin’s adventurism in the continent.
- The widely discussed prospect of China emulating Russia and invading Taiwan has begun to concentrate the minds of Asian leaders
- After all, China had been nibbling away at the territories of its neighbours whether it was in the South China Sea or in the great Himalayas.
Significance of Taiwan
- Taiwan is far more important for Asian (and global) security than Ukraine is for Europe.
- Taiwan sits at the heart of the Western Pacific and straddles the sea line of communication in the world’s most dynamic economic arena.
- It is the main source of silicon chips for the world.
- When China conquers Taiwan it will dramatically transform the geopolitics of Asia.
- As the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, Abe called for an unambiguous American commitment to defend Taiwan.
- The current US policy does not explicitly state that its armed forces will come to the rescue of Taiwan if it is attacked by China.
American Nuclear Umbrella
- In the past, all the East Asian neighbours of China had toyed with the development of independent nuclear arsenals.
- The US actively discouraged Taiwan, South Korea and Japan to renounce nuclear weapons in return for American security
- There is a growing concern in the region about whether the US nuclear umbrella will work against the rapidly growing nuclear clout of China.
- Although Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan have significant technological capabilities.
- Developing a nuclear arsenal would be the last and most politically risky option.
- For now, their focus is on strengthening the military alliance with the US and boosting national Defence capabilities
Question Framed From Editorial
- Russia’s war in Ukraine is bound to transform the Asian nuclear landscape. Elaborate (250 Words)