LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

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Give Leg-up To Indian Women

INDIA  has  dropped  28  places  to  rank  140th  among  156  countries  in  the  World  Economic  Forum’s  Global  Gender  Gap  Report  2021,  and  has  become  the  third  worst  performer  in  South  Asia. In   South Asia, only Pakistan and Afghanistan ranked below India. The   report’s  criteria  for  assessment  covers  four  areas:  economic  participation  and  opportunity, educational  attainment,  health  and  survival  and  political  empowerment.  Most  of  the  decline  in  India  has  occurred  on  the  political  empowerment  index.  There  is  a  significant  decline  in  the  share  of  women  among  ministers,  which  has  dropped  from  23.1 per cent   in  2019  to  9.1 per cent   in  2021.  Apart  from  this,  the  share  of  women  in  Parliament  remains  stagnant  at  14.4 per cent.  As  for  women’s economic  participation  and  opportunity,  the  present  state  is  pitiful. There  has  been  a  decrease  in  women  labour  force’s  participation  rate.  In   addition  to  this,  the  share  of  women  in    professional  and  technical  roles  has  declined. Furthermore,  the  share  of  women  in  senior  and  managerial  positions  continues  to  be  low. Also,  the  estimated  earned  income  of  women  in  India  is  only  one-fifth  of  that  of  men which  positions  India  among  the  bottom  10  globally.   Women face discrimination in health and survival as well. India ranks among the bottom five countries in this regard.  Wide  gaps  in  sex  ratio  at  birth  are  caused  by  high  incidence  of  gender-based  sex-selective  practices.  With  regard  to  educational  attainment  index,  one-third  of  women  are  illiterate (34.2 per cent)  compared  to  17.6 per cent  of  men. In addition, violence against women has risen over the years. Providing  space  for  girls  and  women  to  fulfil  their  aspirations  requires  a  framework  that  promotes  gender  equality  at  the  heart  of  every  design,  whether  it  is  policy  or  programme. It  needs  to  address  the  complex  interplay  of  factors  that  operate  at  different  levels. Women’s economic independence must be taken up. They  must  be  helped  to  enable  the  realisation  of  sexual  and  reproductive  health  and  rights.  Life  skills  education  must  be  provided  to  women   to  equip  them   with  knowledge,  skills  and  understanding  of  their  rights. Prevention of violence and violence response system must be improved. These,  along  with  other  micro  approaches,   hold  promise  of  a  bright  future  for  women. Empowering women  not  merely  benefit  her  as  an  individual  but  her  entire  community. 

VENU G S, KOLLAM 

Preventing Blood Clotting In Brain

A person inoculated using the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine against coronavirus should be kept under observation vis-à-vis blood clotting in the brain. If such is precaution is taken then cases of blood clotting in the brain can be treated in the nick of time. Such a step would require monitoring of every jab recipient, but it would prevent full-blown blood clotting, which in turn will save a life. The thorough measure could lead to blood thinners being administered into those who are susceptible to clotting of the blood in the brain.

ELVIDIO MIRANDA, PANAJI