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MGS 001 GENDER AND DEVELOPMENT: CONCEPTS, APPROACHES AND STRATEGIES
(TUTOR MARKED ASSIGNMENT)
Course code: MGS 001
Assignment Code: MGS 001/ASST/TMA/2022-23
IGNOU MGS 001 FREE Solved Assignment 2022-23 PDF
Answer the following in 200 words each.
- What is your view about surrogate motherhood? Does it liberate or enslave women using technology?
Surrogate motherhood, practice in which a woman (the surrogate mother) bears a child for a couple unable to produce children in the usual way, usually because the wife is infertile or otherwise unable to undergo pregnancy. In so-called traditional surrogacy, the surrogate mother is impregnated through artificial insemination with the sperm of the husband. In gestational surrogacy, the wife’s ova and the husband’s sperm are subjected to in vitro fertilization, and the resulting embryo is implanted in the surrogate mother. Normally, in either procedure, the surrogate gives up all parental rights, but this has been subject to legal challenge.
The practice of surrogate motherhood, though not unknown in previous times, came to international attention in the mid-1970s when a reduction in the number of children available for adoption and the increasing specialization of techniques in human embryology made such methods a viable alternative to lengthy and uncertain adoption procedures or childlessness. Surrogate motherhood has raised a number of issues—such as the matter of payment for services (which, taken to the extreme, has implications of making children a commodity) and the rights of all of the individuals involved should any aspect of the procedure go awry.
A “surrogate mother” is a woman who, for financial or other reasons, agrees to bear a child for another woman who is incapable to conceive herself. In other words, she is a “substitute mother” that conceives, gestates and delivers a baby on behalf of another woman who is subsequently to be seen as the “real” (social and legal) mother of the child. Though the practice of surrogacy has already become a big market in western countries, it has also generated countless challenges for the law because it adds a third dimension to the meaning of motherhood. Like adoption, surrogacy separates the role of rearing mother from what the law has called the natural mother, but gestational surrogacy breaks the latter down into the roles of genetic mother and birth mother, leaving two women with biological connections to the child. Because surrogacy tends to commodify and dehumanize people, and because of all its legal, social, and psychological complications, it is obviously not wise to accept surrogacy as an alternative way of procreation.
- Explain the Sustainable Development framework for addressing Gender in development.
Gender and development is an interdisciplinary field of research and applied study that implements a feminist approach to understanding and addressing the disparate impact that economic development and globalization have on people based upon their location, gender, class background, and other socio-political identities. A strictly economic approach to development views a country’s development in quantitative terms such as job creation, inflation control, and high employment – all of which aim to improve the ‘economic wellbeing’ of a country and the subsequent quality of life for its people. In terms of economic development, quality of life is defined as access to necessary rights and resources including but not limited to quality education, medical facilities, affordable housing, clean environments, and low crime rate. Gender and development considers many of these same factors; however, gender and development emphasizes efforts towards understanding how multifaceted these issues are in the entangled context of culture, government, and globalization. Accounting for this need, gender and development implements ethnographic research, research that studies a specific culture or group of people by physically immersing the researcher into the environment and daily routine of those being studied, in order to comprehensively understand how development policy and practices affect the everyday life of targeted groups or areas.
The history of this field dates back the 1950s, when studies of economic development first brought women into its discourse, focusing on women only as subjects of welfare policies – notably those centered on food aid and family planning.[5 The focus of women in development increased throughout the decade, and by 1962, the United Nations General Assembly called for the Commission on the Status of Women to collaborate with the Secretary General and a number of other UN sectors to develop a longstanding program dedicated to women’s advancement in developing countries. A decade later, feminist economist Ester Boserup’s pioneering book Women’s Role in Economic Development (1970) was published, radically shifting perspectives of development and contributing to the birth of what eventually became the gender and development field.
- Explain Frank’s thesis of development and underdevelopment.
Frank’s Theory of Underdevelopment: All resources have their own level of capacity to be used by mankind to grab all its potential for which it has been created. But, there are cases when it is being used only by few countries creating a difference of opinion among nations. This concept has been deeply analyzed by a famous sociologist – Andre Gunder Frank to understand the core importance through his theory of underdevelopment.
Before going into the topic, the two important understandable words that need clarity are “Theory” and “Underdevelopment” as these words have crucial meanings. To define theory, “it is a well-substantiated explanation acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation and experimentation”. Whereas, when resources are not used to their full socio-economic latent, with the result that development in a country is slower in most cases than it should be, especially compared with the capital and technologies in countries that surround it, it is then termed as underdevelopment.
The happenings of this theory have not grown only from the modern period but have its origin from the mercantile period that goes back to the sixteenth to the late eighteenth centuries. It became popular in the 1960s through the research of many scientists. People began to question why countries weren’t developing. The stock answer would be because the country is not pursuing the correct “economic policy” or the government is authoritarian and corrupt. This postulation has undergone through all colonial, semi-colonial and neo-colonial phrases for the fulfillment of capitalist ideology which resulted directly into underdevelopment. This becomes worse after the First World War which benefitted all the capitalist countries to develop and let out the third world countries too dependent on them for their growth. This is the beginning of the research on various conceptualizing that made to question the developing or under-developing countries about their standard of rank among other nations.
Theorists began to doubt that these were the only factor at play. They theorized it was the international system hindering the growth of undeveloped nations. When such a situation prevailed in the world system, it was Andre Gunder Frank, a famous sociologist and economic historian who developed the Dependency theory that made the whole universe to look at their country’s relationship with the other countries which directly or indirectly helped for their enlargement. When this separation and dependence aroused, Frank enhanced his theory to prove the world about the existence of big nations that control or not letting out the small nations (both in terms of growth) to come out of their cocoon for their independent survival. This idea of the sociologist brought a major impact on the worldwide scenario.
- Explain any two affirmative actions taken by the government of India during 2010-2022 to address gender concerns and bring Gender- just development.
The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties and Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women.
Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans and programmes have aimed at women’s advancement in different spheres. From the Fifth Five Year Plan (1974-78) onwards has been a marked shift in the approach to women’s issues from welfare to development. In recent years, the empowerment of women has been recognized as the central issue in determining the status of women. The National Commission for Women was set up by an Act of Parliament in 1990 to safeguard the rights and legal entitlements of women. The 73rd and 74th Amendments (1993) to the Constitution of India have provided for reservation of seats in the local bodies of Panchayats and Municipalities for women, laying a strong foundation for their participation in decision making at the local levels.
India has also ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights of women. Key among them is the ratification of the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1993.
The Mexico Plan of Action (1975), the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (1985), the Beijing Declaration as well as the Platform for Action (1995) and the Outcome Document adopted by the UNGA Session on Gender Equality and Development & Peace for the 21st century, titled “Further actions and initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action” have been unreservedly endorsed by India for appropriate follow up.
The Policy also takes note of the commitments of the Ninth Five Year Plan and the other Sectoral Policies relating to empowerment of Women.
Answer any two of the questions given below in 1000 words each.
- Define Gender Mainstreaming and discuss any two government policies of India to mainstream gender.
‘Gender Equality’ is the 5th goal among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. The Constitution of India also recognizes the principle of gender equality in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, and under the Directive Principles of State Policy. One of the most significant provisions in the Indian Constitution is Article 15(3) which empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women. It is also notable that the National Commission for Women was set up in the year 1992 for dealing with complaints of women’s rights violation, to advise on the aspect of socio-economic development of women and to protect the legal rights of women, etc.
In India, a number of legislations have been passed both at Central and state levels that address the issue of gender disparity and aim to secure equal rights for women in various spheres of social and personal life. These legislations are also called ‘women-oriented’ or ‘women-centric/specific’ legislations. Some examples of such legislations are the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005; the Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987; the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013; the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956; the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986, etc.
At the international level, India has ratified and endorsed various conventions, instruments, initiatives, and strategies that aim to secure equal rights for women, the most significant among them being the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) which was ratified by India in 1993.
In addition to the above-mentioned legislations and measures, the Indian government has undertaken numerous policy initiatives, such as ‘National Policy for Women Empowerment’ and schemes such as ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’, to secure a better, safe and equal place for women in society and to take care of their all-round interests including their socio-economic development. This article will focus on analyzing these policies and schemes in light of their role in fulfilling the goal of gender equality in India.
Also, towards the end of the article, we will also discuss the various measures taken by the government for securing equal rights to persons belonging to the transgender community.
Gender equality is a fundamental human right and a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. It is a proven fact that empowering women and girls fosters economic growth and development.
India has been working hard to secure equal opportunities and status for women at all levels and in all spheres including in matters of pay, primary education, labour force, and other fields. As of June 2019, the proportion of seats held by women in Lok Sabha was merely 11% but 46% in the Panchayati Raj Institutions. In 2016, about 1/3rd of the total crimes reported against women was physical cruelty by husband or his relatives. While India is definitely on the path of achieving gender equality, there is still a lot of scope for improvement especially given the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated existing inequalities.
Gender mainstreaming is an approach to policy-making that takes into account both women’s and men’s interests and concerns. The concept of gender mainstreaming was first introduced at the 1985 Nairobi World Conference on Women. It was established as a strategy in international gender equality policy through the Beijing Platform for Action, adopted at the 1995 Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, and subsequently adopted as a tool to promote gender equality at all levels. In 1998, the Council of Europe defined gender mainstreaming as:
Gender mainstreaming means integrating a gender equality perspective at all stages and levels of policies, programmes and projects. Women and men have different needs and living conditions and circumstances, including unequal access to and control over power, resources, human rights and institutions, including the justice system. The situations of women and men also differ according to country, region, age, ethnic or social origin, or other factors. The aim of gender mainstreaming is to take into account these differences when designing, implementing and evaluating policies, programmes and projects, so that they benefit both women and men and do not increase inequality but enhance gender equality. Gender mainstreaming aims to solve –sometimes hidden- gender inequalities. It is therefore a tool for achieving gender equality.
Several studies have shown that gender inequalities as such have direct costs. In many cases, public policies have been based on the needs of the dominant group in society or on the needs of those who have traditionally been the decision-makers, mostly men. The women’s rights movement, an increased presence of women in decision-making, strong commitments to women’s human rights at all levels, and the development of gender studies and sex-disagregated data, have all helped unveiling the fact that public policies often did not take into account women’s differing needs and situations.
Evidently, decisions regarding public policies and services, which do not fully take into account the needs and situations of all final users may lead to inappropriate solutions and an inadequate allocation of public funds. Gender mainstreaming is an inclusive strategy, aimed at integrating the need of all people. It is also based on the fact that women are not a “vulnerable group”, as they represent more than half of the population in most societies. Gender mainstreaming is a strategy to improve the quality of public policies, programmes and projects, ensuring a more efficient allocation of resources. Better results mean increased well-being for both women and men, and the creation of a more socially just and sustainable society.
Gender equality issues need to be mainstreamed at all stages of policy making or project programming, but it is especially important to take it into account at the planning stage, when the problems, concerns and needs of the beneficiaries are identified and the ways to address them are defined. Therefore gender analysis and gender impact assessments are crucial tools for gender mainstreaming. These tools support the practical implementation of gender mainstreaming. Other factors are equally important to ensure proper gender mainstreaming, such as political will, commitment to and awareness of gender equality issues, knowledge, resources (including expertise) and availability of information. Gender mainstreaming is a responsibility of all actors and is relevant for all policy areas that deal with the needs of people and at all levels. Policy areas which at first sight do not seem relevant, might contain (hidden) aspects of gender inequality.
When properly addressed and implemented, gender mainstreaming is a transformative approach with a great potential for social change. It is a longterm strategy: every step counts towards this change of approach, but it will require some time until it is fully and automatically integrated into policy-making. There is wide consensus about the effectiveness of a dual approach towards gender equality, combining gender mainstreaming and specific measures for the advancement of women, to ensure better policy making and better use of resources. Such dual approach is also implemented in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes a stand-alone goal on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls (SDG 5), as well as gender-sensitive targets in other goals.
- Discuss the condition of Women workers in Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Economic Processing Zones (EPZs) and EOU in India
A Special Economic Zone is a geographical region within a NationͲState in which a distinct legal frame work provides for more liberal economic policies and governance arrangements than prevail in the country at large.The geographical areas thus notified under the SEZ Act, were declared to be outside the normal customs territory of India.
To establish a new regulatory framework, Government of India announced a comprehensive SEZ policy in April 2000 as a part of the EXIM Policy, which was followed by a dedicated SEZs Act in February 2006.This Act aimed to promote economic growth and development in the form of greater economic activity, promotion of exports, investments and creation of employment and infrastructure.The objectives were to be achieved through incentivizing the SEZ activities in the form of income tax holidays, various exemptions from several indirect taxes and other benefits.For success of this Act, DoC, DoR, CBEC, CBDT, State Governments, Banks etc were required to act in tandem.
Post enactment of the Act, the country had witnessed several protests resisting land acquisition initiatives for SEZs, pointing towards a need for their social evaluation in addition to the defined objectives. Though a number of deficiencies in administering indirect taxes were brought out in the Report No. 6 of 2008 of the C&AG of India, besides several audit findings in the subsequent years, on inadmissible concessions given to SEZs; a comprehensive performance assessment of SEZs was impending.Considering the magnitude of exemptions1 availed by SEZs, it was imperative to assess their performance visͲaͲvis the duty forgone.
The objective of this performance audit was to assess the adequacy of regulatory framework, policy implementation, operational issues and internal controls of SEZs.An attempt was also made to study the social and economic benefits of SEZs in India.
Our audit conducted between November 2013 and January 2014 involved review of records maintained by a functionaries (BoA2 , DC, SEZ Authorities, SEZ units), located throughout the country, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (DoC, DGFT), and units under the Department of Customs, Central Excise & Income Tax. We had also obtained information from various Ministries/Departments/PSUs of State Governments/Public sector Banks. Stakeholder’s feedback were obtained from Development Commissioners, Developers, SEZ units, Exporters, Trade and Industry associations through questionnaires administered for this purpose.
Audit observed that there was a requirement of multiplicity of approvals for SEZs with just 38.78 percent of them becoming operational after their notification.52 per cent of the land allotted remained idle even though the approval dated back to 2006.There was a decline in the activity in the manufacturing sector in the SEZs.Land acquired for public purposes were subsequently diverted (up to 100% in some cases) after deͲnotification. Seventeen States were not on board in implementing the SEZ Act with matching State level legislations, which rendered the single window system not very effective.Developers and units holders were almost left unͲmonitored, in the absence of an internal audit setͲup.This posed a huge risk for the revenue administration.
Though the objective of the SEZ is employment generation, investment, exports and economic growth, however, the trends of the national databases on economic growth of the country, trade, infrastructure, investment, employment etc do not indicate any significant impact of the functioning of the SEZs on the economic growth.
Outcome budget of Department of Commerce indicated that the capital outlay of SEZs for development of the infrastructure is funded under Assistance to States for Developing Export Infrastructure and Allied Activities (ASIDE) Scheme from 1 April 2002.An outlay of ` 3793 crore was provided under ASIDE scheme during the 11th Five Year Plan (2007Ͳ12).` 2050 crore was spent in the 10th Plan period and ` 3046 crore (upto 1 Jan 2013) was spent during the 11th Five Year Plan under the scheme.However, the same has not been included to indicate the outlay or domestic investment of SEZs.
Generation of employment opportunities, encouraging investment (both private and foreign) and increasing India’s share in global exports are the three important objectives of the SEZ Act. Performance of sampled SEZs (152) in the country indicated certain non performance in employment (ranging from 65.95% to 96.58%), investment (ranging from 23.98% to 74.92 %), and export (ranging from 46.16 to 93.81%). The achievements of SEZs in the country are contributed by a few SEZs located in some developed States, which were mostly established prior to enactment of the SEZ Act.
Among all the States of India, Andhra Pradesh boasted of operating maximum number (36) of SEZs in the country followed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra. Over a period of time, the growth curve of SEZs had indicated preference for urban agglomeration by industry, undermining the objective of promoting balanced regional development. Another significant trend in the SEZ growth has been the preponderance of IT/ITES industry.56.64 per cent of the country’s SEZs cater to IT/ITES sector and only 9.6 per cent were catering to the multi product manufacturing sector.
Land appeared to be the most crucial and attractive component of the scheme. Out of 45635.63 ha of land notified in the country for SEZ purposes, operations commenced in only 28488.49 ha (62.42 %) of land.In addition, we noted a trend wherein developers approached the government for allotment/purchase of vast areas of land in the name of SEZ. However, only a fraction of the land so acquired was notified for SEZ and later deͲnotification was also resorted to within a few years to benefit from price appreciation. In terms of area of land, out of 39245.56 ha of land notified in the six States3 , 5402.22 ha (14%) of land was deͲnotified and diverted for commercial purposes in several cases. Many tracts of these lands were acquired invoking the ‘public purpose’ clause. Thus land acquired was not serving the objectives of the SEZ Act.
SEZs in India had availed tax concessions to the tune of ` 83104.76 crore (ITͲ` 55158; Indirect taxesͲ` 27946.76 crore) between 2006Ͳ07 and 2012Ͳ13. Our review of the tax assessments indicated several instances of extending inͲeligible exemptions/deductions to the tune of ` 1,150.06 crore (Income tax ` 4.39; Indirect Taxes ` 1,145.67 crore) and systemic weaknesses in Direct and Indirect tax administration to the tune of ` 27,130.98 crore.
A feedback response of Developers, Units within SEZs, the Development Commissioners, Exporters, Trade and Industry, was elicited on various issues concerning functioning of SEZs in the country. These responses mainly point towards, among others, a need for revamping single window clearance system efficient tax administration and review of the decision to introduce DDT and MAT.
- Discuss Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) policy in India.
To reduce infant mortality rates, maternal mortality rates and provide quality services to pregnant women and children across India is one of the primary missions of the National Health Mission. The Reproductive and Child Health Programme (RCH) was launched in the country in the year 1997 to enable women to regulate fertility and to ensure safe pregnancy and childbirth. The programme was started as per recommendation of the International Conference on Population and Development held in the year 1994.
The Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Programme was launched throughout the country on 15th October, 1997. This programme aimed at achieving a status in which women will be able to regulate their fertility, women will be able to go through their pregnancy and child birth safely, the outcome of pregnancies will be successful and will lead to survival and well being of the mother and the child. The couples will also be able to have their sexual relation free from fear of pregnancy and of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. Within the overall umbrella of reducing infant, child and maternal mortality. The second phase of RCH program i.e. RCH – II was launched on 1st April, 2005 . The main objective of the program was to bring about a change in mainly three critical health indicators i.e. reducing total fertility rate, infant mortality rate and maternal mortality rate with a view to realizing the outcomes envisioned in the Millennium Development Goals.
RMCH+A approach has been launches in 2013 and it essentially looks to address the major causes of mortality among women and children as well as the delays in accessing and utilizing health care and services. The RMNCH+A strategic approach has been developed to provide an understanding of ‘continuum of care’ to ensure equal focus on various life stages. Priority interventions for each thematic area have been included in this to ensure that the linkages between them are contextualized to the same and consecutive life stage. It also introduces new initiatives like the use of Score Card to track the performance, National Iron + Initiative to address the issue of anaemia across all age groups and the Comprehensive Screening and Early interventions for defects at birth , diseases and deficiencies among children and adolescents. The RMNCH+A appropriately directs the States to focus their efforts on the most vulnerable population and disadvantaged groups in the country. It also emphasizes on the need to reinforce efforts in those poor performing districts that have already been identified as the high focus districts.
Health & Family Welfare Programme started in India in 1951, with the National Family Planning Programme. The Family Planning Programme focused mainly on terminal methods with a view to control over population growth. As a result, it received set back owing to rigid implementation of target-based approach. The experiences gained throughout the country revealed that improvement of the health of women in the reproductive age group and children (up to 5 years) is of crucial importance to reduce the problem of population growth. This realization led to change in the approach from Family Planning to Family Welfare. Since the 7th Plan implemented during 1984 – 89, the Family Welfare programme have evolved on the health needs of mothers and children, as well as on providing contraceptives and spacing services to the targeted group. The main objective of Family Welfare programme has been to stabilize the population at level of the need of the country’s development.
In 1997, the Government of India followed up the International recommendation on Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) as a National Programme. RCH programme integrates all the related programmes of the eight plan and it aims to bring all RCH services easily available for the community.
Accordingly, RCH Programme has been started in Mizoram since mid 1998. Various Maternal and Child Health Schemes have been implemented. In addition to these, Mizoram was included among the selected 24 districts of 17 states for the implementation of RCH Sub-Project (Area Project). The Sub-Project covered the entire state of Mizoram and it was mainly concerned with Infrastructure development of rural health care. The RCH Sub-project had come to an end on 31st March 2004.
Since the Schemes which had been implemented during RCH I were mostly concerned with rural health, the GoI has approved Urban Health Project for Aizawl and Lunglei towns since January 2004. Consequently, Other District capitals are also to take up under Urban health project for which proposals have already been submitted to Government of India.
RCH I has technically ended on 31st March 2004. The Government of India has however extended one year Interim period for preparation of project implementation plan (PIP) for RCH II. Since there have been improvements in the areas of services provided to some extent during RCH I, the Government of India decided to continue RCH phase II so that the targeted group may get better health at maximum level.
The vision of RCH programme is to bring about outcomes as envisages in the National Population policy 2000 (NPP-2000), the National population policy 2002, minimizing the regional variations in the areas of Reproductive and Child Health and population stabilization through integrated, focused, participatory programme, meeting the unmet demands of the target population and provision of assured, equitable, responsive quality services. RCH programme focuses on reduction of Maternal Mortality Ratio, Infant Mortality Rate and Total Fertility Rate. It also aims to increase the couple protection rate and coverage of child immunization. The goals are –
RCH is an acronym for Reproductive and Child Health. It is a program that aims at combating and reducing the mortality rates of mothers, infants, and children and was launched in October 1997. During the first stage of the programme, there was a list of objectives which is aimed at achieving, which are as follows:
- To enhance the administration and supervision of the policy by adopting a participatory devising strategy thereby empowering organizations to maximum utilization of the project resource.
- To intensify the quality, coverage and the productiveness of the current Family wellness services.
- To eventually increase the range and coverage of the services pertaining to the Family welfare to ultimately provide a specified package of fundamental RCH assistance.
- Successively increase the range and content of existing wellness services concerning family welfare(FW) so as to incorporate more components
- Preference to be given to remote areas of cities or districts to cause an increase in the quality and improvement in the infrastructure of the FW services.
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