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