Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women: Most Important Topic for 2021 RBI Assistant Exam

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  • The national mission for empowerment of women was launched by government of India on international women՚s day in 2010 with the aim to strengthen overall processes that promote all around development of women.
  • It has the mandate to strength the inter-sector converge facilitate the process of coordinating all the women՚s welfare & social-economic development programmes across ministries & departments. The mission aims to provide a single window service for all programmes run by the government for women under aegis of various central minister.
  • In light with its mandate, the mission has been named mission poorna Shakti, implying a vision for holistic empowerment of women.
  • The national resource center of women has been set up which functions as a national convergence centre for all scheme & programs for women. It acts as a central repository of knowledge, information, research & data on all gender relate issues & is the main body servicing the national & state mission authority.
Research and Advocacy

Women Empowerment Initiatives

  • The principle of gender equality is enshrined in the Indian Constitution in its Preamble, Fundamental Rights, & Fundamental Duties & Directive Principles. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favor of women.
  • Within the framework of a democratic polity, our laws, development policies, Plans & 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 & legal entitlements of women. The 73rd & 74th Amendments (1993) to the Constitution of India have provided for reservation of seats in the local bodies of Panchayats & Municipalities for women, laying a strong foundation for their participation in decision making at the local levels.
  • India has also ratified various international conventions & 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) & the Outcome Document adopted by the UNGA Session on Gender Equality & Development & Peace for the 21st century, titled “Further actions & initiatives to implement the Beijing Declaration & the Platform for Action” have been unreservedly endorsed by India for appropriate follow up.
  • The Government of India attempted to gender sensitize the Budget initially through the Women՚s Component Plan (by state governments also) & then more intensively with Gender Responsive Budgeting institutionalized through the Gender Budget Statement published every year since 2005 - 2006 with the Union Budget (in some states as well) . This highlights the budgetary allocations for 100 percent women specific programmes (Part A) and those programmes in which at least 30 percent flows to women (Part B) in the annual expenditure budget.
  • The women՚s movement & a wide-spread network of non-Government Organisations which have strong grass-roots presence & deep insight into women՚s concerns have contributed in inspiring initiatives for the empowerment of women.

Gender Disparity

  • There still exists a wide gap between the goals enunciated in the Constitution, legislation, policies, plans, programmes, & related mechanisms on the one hand & the situational reality of the status of women in India, on the other. This has been analyzed extensively in the Report of the High level Committee on the Status of Women in India, 2015.
  • Gender disparity manifests itself in various forms, the most obvious being the trend of continuously declining female ratio in the population in the last few decades. Social stereotyping, violence at the domestic & societal levels, acute wage differentials & discrimination & continuing commodification in society are some of the other manifestations. Migration, skewed sex ratio, environmental degradation have added to the women՚s vulnerability
  • The underlying causes of gender inequality are related to social & economic structure, which is based on informal & formal norms, & practices.
  • Consequently, the access of women particularly those belonging to weaker sections including Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other backward Classes & minorities, majority of whom are in the rural areas & in the informal, unorganized sector – to education, health & productive resources, among others, is inadequate. Therefore, they remain largely marginalized, poor & socially excluded.
  • The government has recognised these paradoxes and attempted to address these in policies, legislation & programmes. Development programmes introduced to bring gender equality have produced mixed results. Legislative changes have faced resistance in their implementation due to social, cultural & religious mores.

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