Tag Archives: women empowerment in india

Insights Daily Answer Writing Challenge Day – 9

QUESTIONS ASKED – DAY-9 (29/07/2013)

1) “The so called ‘empowerment’ of women in the local bodies has increased their numerical strength but the real reform lies in creating an enabling environment to unlock their potential as catalysts for socio-political change” Critically comment.

2)”In Britain, empire was justified as a benevolent ‘white man’s burden’. And in the United States, empire does not even exist; ‘we’ are merely protecting the causes of freedom, democracy, and justice worldwide.” Critically analyze the different ways in which imperialism manifested from both sides of the Atlantic.

RESPONSES:

  1. cppcontrol
    2 Votes

    1) “The empowerment of women in the local bodies has increased their numerical strength but the real reform lies in creating an enabling environment to unlock their potential as catalysts for socio-political change” Critically comment.

    Empowerment of women essentially mean improving the social, political and economic status of women , especially the traditional underprivileged one. It means creating an environment where women are free from any sort of physical , mental abuse, exploitation, and prejudice that they are the most vulnerable section in the society.

    Although the participation of women in the local democracy has increased over the years, yet it has failed to achieve the desired outcome of empowering them to as much extent so that they are able to make a significant impact in the male dominated society. Their lack of expertise, unable to raise their issues in proper forum as well as unproper redressal mechanism are main issues for this.

    Proper development programs to enable better health care, nutritional issues, education, better infrastructure should be the basis on which the emphasis should be given. Better economic opportunities like rural employment schemes for women, self employment generation avenues like animal husbandry, dairy, local craftsmanship, should be available to empower women. This economic capability would infuse a sense of confidence among the women and lead to the decline of gender inequality and better prospects for women in both urban and rural areas.

    Proper legislation to ensure equal economic and political status and assuring them participation in decision making process and providing them platform to vent our their grievances and fighting for the female community would be positive for women in the long run.

  2. Anjali Motghare
    4 Votes

    1) “The so called ‘empowerment’ of women in the local bodies has increased their numerical strength but the real reform lies in creating an enabling environment to unlock their potential as catalysts for socio-political change” Critically comment.
    Ans: Empowerment of women in the local bodies through reservation has increased their numerical strength, about one million women entered Panchayats after 73rd constitutional Amendment Act.
    A very positive step led to very positive transformation in women empowerment.
    As representative doesn’t assures participation still lots need to be done, as their is male dominance in politics, so most of the time, issues related to planning for rural development works and identification of
    BPL families were discussed by the Male Pradhans and Ward Members.
    Its imperative now to work towards bring elected women representatives in a position to influence decision making and prepare and implement the schemes for economic development and social justice. Though reservation brings women into the Panchayat office but it doesn’t empower women due to several factors like illiteracy, language barriers, inexperience or low respect among fellow villagers.
    In many cases because of lack of availability of forums and lack of proper grievance redressal mechanism for gender related issues, most of women elected representatives in panchayats have very minor role in decision making and mostly they are dummy.
    A supportive professional environment evidently motivates elected women
    representatives to perform better. So we need a seperate quorum for attendance of women and for attendance at Gram Sabha meetings

    .Now we have good legislation in place but mere political will and articulation of policies will alone not translate into benefits for women. Its effective implementation would require changes in administrative and social structures. With that a collaborative approach between the household, the community, the State, voluntary organizations and the media would add necessary help.

    We also need a multi-pronged approach, taking into account policies, laws, judicial processes, attitudes and social imaging of women. So we will be able to make available a platform of equality for women where they will be able to express themselves freely.

    • Kirthi
      1 Vote

      1) “The empowerment of women in the local bodies has increased their numerical strength but the real reform lies in creating an enabling environment to unlock their potential as catalysts for socio-political change” Critically comment.

      Empowering women would mean having the power to take/choose decisions that affect their lives. Unfortunately, due to the patriarchal set up and mind set in India, women is seen as a liability, seen from son preference, child sex ratio from 927 to 914 in last decade etc. which shows that modernization of India didn’t lead to empowering women but a new tool to perpetuate the old belief systems.

      A minority of women made rapid strides in all the fields post independence – sports, business, professions, educational c except politics. Women participation has been significant in national movement and considerably reduced later.

      Though the 73 and 74 amendment made mandatory reservation in PRIs, this did not lead to true empowerment for many. Reasons are – rotation of constituency for reservation would mean losing of chance for others to participate, no meaningful long term contribution by women and men in their constituency, stigma for women associated with reservation, absence of natural leaders among women to spring up cause of rotation and women empowerment leading to male disempowerment – result has been though women numbers have been increased, they have become proxies, only as sister/wife/mother of existing local politician to preserve the constituency, absence of true decision making power etc.

      Therefore, instead of worrying about mandatory reservation for parliament/SL , what is needed instead is a legislation to make it mandatory for political parties to nominate 1/3 rd of their candidates as women, absence leading to de registration/ losing benefits etc. From statistics, percentage of winning an elections to contesting has been higher for women. This will give a chance for natural leaders among women to contest, contribute long term meaningfully to constituent , no mandatory rotation, contesting with male in constituencies based on merit, absence of stigma of mandatory reservation etc. For political parties to misuse the nomination of women from areas they don’t have significant presence – mandatory for not more than a fixed number of them from a state/ region etc. this will truly empower women in politics, make the society a willing partner in her empowerment. This will have an overall positive contribution to women in other fields.

      Though women made their presence in almost all fields, an enabling atmosphere has not been created. A critical mass of women in all fields will ensure that, but till then compulsory crèche facilities in work place, implementation of laws like dowry prohibition, indecent representation of women, domestic violence , sexual harassment preventin act etc, good social secuirty benefits in unorganized sector, financial inclusion etc be taken.

      Indians in every field except govt. jobs have an insecurity in old age no matter however rich- this led to son preference, tendency not to share property with daughter , seeing daughter as a liability etc. Like in developed counties, if the state can have working social security systems in place for every one based on mix of stae and mandatory individual contribution- organized and unorganized – preference for son as saviour in old age comes down. Govt efforts like gender budgeting should continue. More efforts are needed to reduce patriarchal mindset, this should be achieved by meaningful education inculcating these values in young minds of India.

      • Good answer, but you should stick to the question. It specifically demands what measures should be taken to create an enabling environment for women to become catalysts for socio-economic change.

        All the laws already exist that claim to ‘empower’ women – but on the ground, how will you ensure their real empowerment? As a would be IAS officer, for this question, answer should be ‘out-of the box’ – what would you do as an IAS officer in your district to create that ‘enabling’ environment?

        One very good point you gave is – nominating 1/3 ed women candidates for elections by the political parties itself.

        All of you have not mentioned the 110th amendment bill pending in Parliament that wants to amend article 243D to bring 50 % reservation in panchayats. This question was asked in this background. As many as 10 states have already reserved 50% seats for women in Panchayats.

    • Responsibility of states under article 243G should be mentioned. States are exclusively given rights to empower Panchayats. Most of the states are lackadaisical in this regard. For example, states can empower Panchayats, through legislation, to punish/debar/fine male relative of women member who interferes in her duty or uses her as proxy.

  3. Sreekanth Soman
    2 Votes

    28/07/2013
    1. The 73rd and 74th amendments to the Constitution institutionalized the Panchayati Raj System and Muncipal bodies in India. Considering the important role women has to play in society, it was mandated that one-third of the seats to be reserved for women in the local self-government institutions. Since then, in many states where proper elections were held, women came to occupy positions of power at the local level. But the impact of this on the status of women in society and the recognition of their contributions to the development of the country still remains debated.

    Women who are elected to the important posts usually are forced to act as proxies for their husbands or the heads of thier families. They seldom are empowered to take decisions on their own. The paternalistic nature of the society dominates over the token representation of women. The evils of female foeticide, honour killings, and sexual exploitation and unequal pay of equal work, female illiteracy and other handicaps suffered by women still continue unabated in India.

    There is a need for radical change in the mindset of people. The government has to promote awareness among the people so as to give women the respect they deserve in all matters. The law enforcement machinery has to be pro-active in curbing the anti-social crimes against women. So a mere increase in numerical strength does not absolve the government and the whole society of their responsibility toward women.

  4. NITISH K
    3 Votes

    “The so called ‘empowerment’ of women in the local bodies has increased their numerical strength but the real reform lies in creating an enabling environment to unlock their potential as catalysts for socio-political change” Critically comment.
    ans:

    One of the most revolutionary decisions taken was to reserve 33% of the seats to women in local bodies.The objective behind this decision was to give women more voice in day to day affairs of the village.

    This social participation would boost their confidence and bridge the gap between men and women.More importantly it would improve the status of women within each household.Also the presence of women in panchayats would encourage more and more women to participate in gram sabha meetings and thereby contribute to more policies relevant to women.
    For example it has been found that in panchayats having women sarpanchs ,more emphasis was given to drinking water supply as it would reduce the burden on women.This was the result of greater participation of women.
    However,sadly this is an exception rather than a general trend
    The real potential of women in panchayats has not been exploited due to various reasons:

    * doubts in the ability of women members among villagers
    * Dominated by husbands or male relatives
    * lack self-confidence due to years of subordination
    * lack of cooperation by traditional caste based panchayats
    * lack of information
    * lack of capacity building
    * lack of motivation due to reservation for women only for 5 years i.e rotation policy

    The solution lies educating women and capacity building.However the society itself has to change its attitude towards women.Men should not feel insecure or that their privelages have been usurped by women.Awards must be given to women panchayat members for good work.Above all resources and powers must be transferred to local bodies.
    It has to be remembered that unless the great potential of other half of the society is tapped,development and wellbeing will be a mirage.

    • Sreekanth Soman

      Good answer. But I have doubts regarding the point – lack of motivation due to reservation for women only for 5 years i.e rotation policy
      5 years should be good enough for making meaningful changes at the local level.

      • NITISH K

        due to rotation policy, there is no reservation for women for the next election.This make women members insecure because in the next election they will be overwhelmed by male counterparts.When they are convinced that their probability of winning is very low due to reentry of male candidates,obviously they will not possess the urge/motivation to perform and win the hearts and minds of the fellow villagers in their current term in local body.

        • Sreekanth Soman

          This fear of male counterparts is to be removed by empowering them. I think motivation should not be just to continue winning in elections. The responsibility to make some meaningful changes within the 5 years alloted to them should be the motivating factor for women representatives and thos achievements should help them in winning next elections.

    • Very good answer. You have given some practical problems being faced by women.

      Structure your answer well – make 2-3 sentence paragraphs. Introduction should be straightforward and concise so is the conclusion. Your conclusion is good – but it should be a separate paragraph. I am stressing this because of effectiveness it brings to your answer.

  5. 1) “The empowerment of women in the local bodies has increased their numerical strength but the real reform lies in creating an enabling environment to unlock their potential as catalysts for socio-political change” Critically comment.

    Ans
    The LSG reforms introduced by 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment boast about bringing a sense of gender equality in the lower echelons of power structure. There have been talks about providing reservation of women in the parliament.

    The reservation of women in the higher level will not change the status quo until and unless they are empowered from the birth. They won’t be able to do justice to themselves unless properly socialized. They would not be able to raise their voice at the floor of the house unless given the proper educational support and physical and mental strength to outpace the patriarchy because the very social fabric of Indian society institutionalizes gender based exploitation and inequality.

    The experience of women reservation in the grass root politics is very dismal and gloomy. In many situations, woman elected as sarpanch is not actually permitted to participate in public sphere activities. The male counterpart of her family join panchayat meetings, take decisions and officially elected women are compelled to sign on dotted lines. This has given way to the rise of the so called sarpanch patis.

    The other impediment in the emancipation of women is gender based violence. The increased gender violence, rape, sexual assault, eve teasing require extraordinary measures. An integrative movement not only for the reservation of seats for women in parliament but also a say in household decision making, rejection of pink color jobs which speak about feminization of occupations, bridging gender gap in the educational structure is the need of the hour. The women should be given equality of space, opportunity and power both in public and private life and in every structure of the society.

  6. Riddhu
    3 Votes

    1.In Britain, empire was justified as a benevolent ‘white man’s burden’. And in the United States, empire does not even exist; ‘we’ are merely protecting the causes of freedom, democracy, and justice worldwide.

    Britain and United State have been the most imperialist countries of the last two centuries. Yet when ever fingers were raised to them by their own countrymen or others from the world they had always tried to justify their imperialism in the name of protecting democratic values, freedom and justice and as if they were doing it selflessly by taking pain themselves for the betterment of the people they mastered.
    British have ruled not by just the military might but also by the sly diplomacy and the myth they have created that British rule “ is not only benevolent for the subjects but also is invincible.” The real motive behind the rule not only in India but in other countries as well was purely imperial. India was of special interest to them as Lord Curzon has well said that he “cannot afford to lose India as the day India is lost entire British Empire will collapse”.

    Their annexation policies both within India as well as outside like annexation of Burma and others in various Asian and African counties is a proof of their growing greedy imperialism. Their adverse economic policies was made to serve this motive. Though initially they have introduced reforms after 1857 revolt their policy totally changed and they started confining themselves to their own mundane interests. As national movement started growing their real character was revealed to the world.

    The Jallianwalabag butchery and inhumane treatments to the unarmed satyagrahis proved their inhuman imperialism. Churchil’s adamancy towards Gandhiji when he was on the verge of dying due to long fast earned him bitter criticism across the world.

    USA though did not have the policy of direct ruling, its policy of throwing unfavourable governments through coups and installing puppet governments in other countries reveals its imperialism. Due to its distinct geographical location and vast resources its imperialism to Latin American countries came to the notice of the world lately. Of late in cases like World wars, Korea,Vietnam,the Gulf War US government has always convinced the citizenry and world of necessity of war on the ground of protecting freedom, justice and democracy.

  7. Riddhu
    1 Vote

    Q The so called ‘empowerment’ of women in the local bodies has increased their numerical strength but the real reform lies in creating an enabling environment to unlock their potential as catalysts for socio-political change” Critically comment

    73rd and 74th amendments empowering local bodies are landmark in Indian history. Our national movement has witnessed the vigor of Indian women and reserving one third of seats for them in local bodies at all the levels is a step in right direction as it has increased not only the numerical strength of the women but also has proved that when women are empowered and actively involved it leads to more transparent, more sensitive and more responsive governance.
    Yet the skewed sex ratio and rising crimes against women reveals a lot has to be done. At economic front though our constitution ensures equal pay for equal work differential payment still prevails which mars women especially from weaker section and not only that well educated women are also victim of glass ceiling syndrome. Besides, creating women friendly environment both in informal and formal sector is a prerequisite.
    Women must be treated with respect and must have say in all the matters that affect them. The indecent representation of women at media must be stopped.
    On political front a woman member must have equal say in decision making as her male counterparts .As current governance requires constant learning she must have equal opportunity to learn, must be made familiar with required ICT tools irrespective of her educational qualification, this hold true especially at Panchayat level. Issues faced by urban women especially from weaker section must be given due attention as India is urbanizing fast.
    Thus enabling environment wherein all Indian women are literate, capable to think independently, economically empowered and treated with respect will create a new dawn for them and golden era for Indian society.

  8. Keerthi Narayan
    2 Votes

    Keerthi Narayan

    1. Women are certainly capable of acting as catalysts of socio-economic change. There have been many cases where the collective working ability, hardwork, sincerity and commitment of women has brought in significant changes in the society. The prominent ones that stand out are the cases of Amul cooperative society, successful functioning of women Self Help Groups in states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh.

    However, how can this potential of women be harnessed? Social scientists suggest two ways, one is politically empowering them by reserving seats for them in decision making bodies. The other one is to create an enabling environment which brings out such potential to the fore.

    An enabling environment would constitute of the following:
    - Technical or vocational training
    -Access to necessary financial resources
    - Freedom to take decisions
    - Sufficient manpower and support

    The Indian Constitution has so far guaranteed political empowerment by reserving 1/3rd of the seats in local bodies for women. This has increased their numbers. However this has not resulted in ‘real’ empowerment as most local body women leaders act as ‘dummies’ and their spouses wield real control. Moreover, increase in no.of women has not resulted in the creation of an enabling environment comprising of abovementioned factors.

    Hence, for women to act as catalysts of socio-economic change and replicate successes of Amul elsewhere, it is necessary to create enabling environment rather than merely satisfying constitutional provisions.

    2. Imperialism is the domination of one country over another for economic, military and anyother benefit. During the course of the 19th and 20th centuries both Britain and the USA were imperialist powers. Imperialism, in spite of being beneficial to the ‘home’ country, is not always accepted in totality by the citizens of the home countries. Hence the imperialist nations give a justification to convince the citizens so that internal protests do not arise.

    This justification provided by the Britain and by the USA were ideologically different.

    Britain, being the earliest nation to modernise and industrialise, considered its citizens as the most civilised of all men. Even the common man of England took pride in being a modern ‘white’. (It is this arrogant pride of being white that threw Gandhiji out of his train at Petermaritzberg, South Africa was then a British colony). Hence Britain justified imperialism by saying that in occupying third world countries in Asia and Africa it is actually civilizing the inhabitants who are uncultured and barbaric. It was said to be the White Man’s burden, his additional responsibilty, to bring the dark men to a civilised society.

    On the other hand, USA being a liberal democratic country which cherished the ideals of freedom, democracy and justice used the same to justify it imperialistic needs. The USA convinced its citizens by saying that by taking over colonies in America it is actually instilling democratic values in the minds of those countries by overthrowing tribal chiefs and kingships.

    Thus, both Britain’s and USA’s objectives were the same, exploitation of colonies for their own benefit, but they pursued different ideals and values to justify their acts.

    • 4 Votes

      For the first answer you should have mentioned Ela Bhatt’s SEWA and Aruna Roy’s MKSS experiments as examples.

      Practical steps to empower women apart from so many laws was expected in this answer.

      1) Women in SHG are more vocal even if they are illiterate – so, bring all women under SHG’s in villages and let leaders among them contest elections and win on their own expenses – it will make a positive impact.
      2) Second option is to encourage educated women in villages to enter Panchayats – it is observed that educated women are more aware of their rights as members and they demand the same.
      3) Let the district and block administration strictly monitor and enforce Women targeted schemes effectively – to make them financially independent. A major step toward empowerment.
      4) Give powers to the Panchayats to punish male relatives who use women as proxies.
      5) Strictly instruct block education officers to bring every girl child to schools, and later help them enter higher education through financial help – which many schemes already provide.

      You can mention many such points depending on word limit.

      • The above suggestions should be given after mentioning ‘sociological’ and ‘economical’ problems that are hindering women from realizing their true potential.

      • Anjali Motghare

        Thanks Insights and please throw some light on second question.

        • 1 Vote

          I thought more people would answer second question:

          Both Keerthi and Sahil have partially answered the question.

          The question requires you to answer how ‘imperialism’ manifested from USA and Europe in different forms.

          Begin with the definition of imperialism. (complete dominance over a country’s economic, social and political life and its territory by another country)

          secondly, there is a sarcastic tone in the question – how these powers, in the garb of ‘white Man’s burden’ and ‘spreading democracy’ became imperialist powers.

          USA was opposed to any form of colonialism and imperialism till 1898. During Mexican wars, because of compulsion from influential businessmen, politicians and power brokers, US occupied Cuba, Hawaii, Guam , Phillippines and some other Pacific islands – which were rich in Tobacco, cane and other plantation cultivation, also provided markets for US businessmen.

          Later, USA, after Worl War I and II began ‘neo-imperialism’ – economic dominance by subjugating weaker countries to its expedient domestic policies.

          We know how its economic, political and military policies have shaped the world since the end of Cold War and also before it. Most recent examples are Iraq, Afghanistan,Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia.

          Coming to Europe, we know from our own history, why we became ‘subjects’ of the British empire and how and for what they divided and ruled us for so long. You can elaborate on this.

          Kirthi

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          Thank you sir. Realized that my answer was not to the point, and exceeded word limit.

          Apart from the measure you suggested
          - use occasions like women s day etc to give awards in every field generate awareness about existing schemes, and importantance of education of girl child
          - a brief survey about the traditional strengths of the village – handicrafts, indigenous medicine etc,tribal arts etc. and promoting them inclusively, plus areas where women can make their presence felt like SHGs and empower them.
          - try to include training courses to the staff, police, service providers across the spectrum to reduce gender biases and be gender sensitive.
          - an online forum for women in district to point the difficulties they face anonymously and address them either by implementing existing laws/ new innovative ideas in place
          - encourage women to raise their issues in differ forums like grams sabhas,NGOs, conferences and be proactive.

          Anjali Motghare

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          Thanks a lot Insights, I have one important question. While writing answer, what should be mind, As we read multiple sources we have experts opinion on the topic, and with that own opinion too, or own suggestions too, which way will fetch more marks. It will be very kind of you if you guide me on this. And I would like to know from all aspirants too. Please put your points.

          riddhu

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          Hi, Anjali I think it depends on type of question but more important is that the opinions we give should be in congruence and must not contradict each other.E.g taking clue from recent Sen Bhagwati debate if question is asked what is more important growth or development? You can take side of either or a mix of both but it must not be the case that you start with favouring growth and subsequent opinions you make end up in suggesting more importance of development.

  9. Nutan Panda
    1 Vote

    1.There is no way for the welfare of the world unless the plight of women is improved.It is not possible for a bird to fly using only one wing once said by Swami VIvekanand.Women empowerment means giving lawful power and authority to act.If people were empowered,they would be able to participate in planning,implementing developmental schemes.

    political empowerment of women is important for a nation.Since independence there is a very low percentage of women participating in our parliament.The women who proved well due to political empowerment are Mrs jaylalithaa,ms Mamta Banerjee and also previously we have seen Indira Gandhi,Sarojini Naidu have done great to mould modern India.
    Apart from political empowerment,economic and social empowerment are also crucial.Social empowerment could be achieved by education.Education of women means greater awareness of their role in society.Awareness of their rights,better knowledge of housekeeping and better performance of their roles as a housewife and mother.
    In addition ,investing money in womens greatly fuels economic growth.In developing countries,women operate many small businesses.hence,encouraging them ,will serve to immeasurably strengthen economic development.

    In striking contrast,nations such as US,UK,where women and girls are given same oppotunities and priviledges as their male counterparts,there is significant success in economic and social stability.
    Traditional beliefs and idelogies are to be firstly broken in order to establish equality among man and women.
    Only investing in the education,health care and providing financial contributions to the development of women give the percentage increased in the empowerment of women.
    Women should be treated as equal as man,There should be equal place of women in political,social and economic state of a country as man.Then we could proudly achieve true WOMEN EMPOWERMENT.

  10. 2 Votes

    Ques 2)”In Britain, empire was justified as a benevolent ‘white man’s burden’. And in the United States, empire does not even exist; ‘we’ are merely protecting the causes of freedom, democracy, and justice worldwide.” Critically analyze the different ways in which imperialism manifested from both sides of the Atlantic.
    Ans
    Imperialism and hegemonic ideology have been used by countries to enforce their domination from time immemorial. It has been instrumental in changing the course of history in time and space for the benefit of the mother country and for the acceleration of its interest in international politics.
    Britain imperialism was based on the premise that British merchants and traders have benefited the colonies by bringing in new laws, social order and dismantling their isolation from the rest of the word.

    They construed that colonies were backward, using obsolete methods of warfare and old technology and are driven by no innovation and technological revolution in different spheres. British rule has provided the ground for introducing new technology, new scientific methods, and modern education in political, social and economic sphere.

    The contended that in spite of backwardness of the people of different colonies, Britain provided them the much needed support by bringing a change in their social structure.
    Similarly, with the rise of new world order after the end of cold war, one kind of domination has been replaced by another kind. In the name of liberty, freedom, democracy and human right violations, US used its ideology to enforce its domination and toppled many autocratic and authoritarian regimes that are not in line with its stance.

    The support to rebels by providing them weapons and economic sanctions imposed unilaterally by US hold testimony to the fact that in the name of transparency and participatory democratic transition, US has legitimized its ideology on the masses.
    It can be advocated that ideological domination and imperialism is universal. One kind of imperialism has given way to new form of imperialism which can be regarded as new wine in the old bottle.

  11. lakshmi prasanna
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    1.The role of women in development is related to the socioeconomic and political development of a country. Therefore for holistic empowerment of the women to happen social, economic and political aspects impacting a women’s life must converge effectively.
    Strategies include
    Governments at both Center and State should implement devolution and decentralization of powers from higher bodies in the panchayati raj structure. This is lagging in almost all the States. The delay is causing a serious setback to the political empowerment of the locally elected bodies.
    Provision of non-confidence clause need to be amended which is often used to women sarpanches, to ensure that a non-confidence motion cannot be passed for a year and a half of having taken office. If a non-confidence vote is passed, the replacing incumbent should be from the same such group as the earlier incumbent.
    Ensure that two children norm law that prevent those who have more than two children from holding office are repealed across States. Electoral reforms should provide for State funding for women contesting for elections to parliament, state assemblies, urban local bodies and panchayat raj institutions.
    Ensure that women are taken seriously in their elected post by allotting important portfolios and limiting their functions to social welfare and w omen and child development and ensure awareness amongst women through mass media about the electoral process and also
    the candidates, To ensure that women have adequate space in trade unions and co-operative societies

    Enhance the existing training for elected women representatives. The packages must address functional responsibilities that would enable women to govern effectively. in a conducive and enabling environment.
    Finally education, health, productivity and governance all work better when women are involved. To quote Ranjana Kumari and Sara Khurtzezerna
    “Political empowerment is critical to women’s achievement of equality for without real clout at the decision making level social and economic empowerment”

  12. NB
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    question one

    Traditionally women has suffered through ages. Various reform movement aimed to empower women and ensure equality and freedom. 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment act aimed to take very positive step in this direction. It was to struck at very root of governance by giving them reservation in local level governance.

    Over the period of years there has been considerable increased in representation of women at various level of local governance. In few states there is even 50 % reservation in Panchayat.

    However, this has not lead to remarkable shift in condition of women. Basic reason is systemic flaw in PRIs.Local bodies are facing tremendous problem of funds function and functionaries.This makes them tiger without teeth.

    Further though women represents in Panchayat but they are are not allowed to take decisions which is heart of governance. Still their husbands or men takes decisions. The problem therefore lies in attitudinal change of society to accept the role of women.

    Further more, as Mary Wolstonecraft stated that key to equality and freedom of women is through education. Education and skill to women is key for their empowerment. In India stil there is biasness which is amply reflected by female literacy in the country.

    In nutshell, if capabilities of women are to be improved it is important to create enabling environment wherein Gram sabha is empowered, it is made socio-economic and political churning space for women. Further encouraging Self Help Groups, increasing role in decision making,improving education and most importantly attitudinal change in society to accept new role of women will help in unleashing potential of 50 % of India population.

  13. Cini
    1 Vote

    1.

    Recognising that women form the grassroots of democracy the 74th amendment in the Indian constitution reserved 1/3rd seats in local bodies for women. This was further increased to 50% reservation in 2012. There is a saying “educate a woman and you educate a family”, it shows the importance of women in the role of caretaker and administrator of the family. Having women participate in local governance gives them a voice in the traditionally male dominated Indian society. But here too exists concerns of them being fielded as dummy candidates, controlled by male members.
    Creating an environment of equal standing, where women aren’t perceived as weak, where no specific chore is marked as ‘only for females’ and where society looks on them as leaders will enable them to display their potential. Many women driven initiatives like Ela Bhatt’s SEWA have prospered because they have managed to instil confidence in women about their abilities and allowed them to utilise their talents to the fullest. This combined with a voice in decision making will truly empower women in India.

    2.

    The birth of imperialism in Britain (Old Imperialism,1450) and the United States (Neo Imperialism,1750) took place at different times. British explorers and trading companies exercised influence over a number of countries by the time the USA started claiming colonies. Extreme nationalism and a false sense of chauvinism propagated the theory of superiority of the white man supported by writers like Rudyard Kipling in Britain. It was a tame justification for the plunder of the colonies off their resources and wealth in the name of civilizing an alien culture and custom different from their Christian way of life, especially in Africa and Asia.
    The United States of America kickstarted their Imperialistic drive by forcing open trade routes in Japan through Commodore Perry’s efforts. Their neo-imperialistic approach focused mainly on opening ports(China), coaling stations, military bases(Hawaii) and securing their trade routes(Philippines). Monroe Diplomacy which allowed USA to interfere in internal matters of countries in the Americas and Caribbean to guard its own interests in the name of democracy and freedom. USA thus effected changed in governments in Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala and recently through its wars on terror on Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

    2 Votes

     

    Concise, effective and straight to the point. Very good answer. Mention of Roosevelt policy of continuations of Monroe Doctrine in 1910s, Marshall Plan, Post- WW-II reconstruction policy in the Pacific (neo-imperialism) should have been mentioned in the second answer. But, overall an excellent answer.

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