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Published on June 18, 2007

Author: TSBAIM

Source: authorstream.com

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The Constitution is firmly grounded in the principles of liberty, fraternity, equality and justice. It emphasizes the importance of greater freedoms for all and contains a number of provisions for the empowerment of women. Women’s right to equality and non-discrimination are defined as justifiable fundamental rights. The Constitution of India guarantees to all women… :  The Constitution is firmly grounded in the principles of liberty, fraternity, equality and justice. It emphasizes the importance of greater freedoms for all and contains a number of provisions for the empowerment of women. Women’s right to equality and non-discrimination are defined as justifiable fundamental rights. The Constitution of India guarantees to all women…   ·  Equality before the Law. Article 14 ·  No discrimination by the State on the grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of these. Article 15 (1) ·  Special provisions to be made by the State in favor of women and children. Article 15(3) ·  Equality of opportunity for all citizens in matters relating to employment or appointment to any office under the state. Article 16 ·  State policy to be directed to securing for men and women equally, the right to an adequate means of livelihood. Article 39 (a) ·  Equal pay for equal work for both men and women. Article 39 (d) ·  Provisions to be made by the State for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief. Article 42 ·  To promote harmony and to renounce practices derogatory to the dignity of women. Article 51 (A) (e) In nutshell, it guarantees the following Constitutional Freedoms and Rights:  In nutshell, it guarantees the following   Constitutional Freedoms and Rights Freedom from Want and the Right to Enjoy a Decent Standard of Living Freedom to work and the Right to Work without Exploitation   Freedom from Discrimination on the grounds of Sex, Ethnicity or Religion   Freedom from injustice and Violations of the Rule of Law   Freedom from Fear and the Right to protection from Threats to Personal Security, from acts of Violence, From Arbitrary arrest and Torture   Freedom of Thought and Speech and the Right to Participate in Decision-Making   The Missing Women:  The Missing Women If women and men were treated equally in India, we could expect that there would be around 105 women for every 100 men. Thus, in the present population of 1.03 billion, there ought to be 528 million women. Instead, estimates show only 496 million women in the population today. This implies that there are some 32 million 'missing' women in India. Some are never born, and the rest die because they do not have the opportunity to survive. Source: Menon-Sen, Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women In India, How Free? How Equal. Life Expectancy : the International Score Card:  Life Expectancy : the International Score Card Maximum female life expectancy: Japan 84.0 years Minimum female life expectancy: Sierra Leone 39.6 years Some countries where women have HIGHER life expectancies than Indian women USA 79.7 China 72.5 Sri Lanka 75.0 Viet Nam 70.2 Indonesia 67.7 Some countries where women have lower life expectancies than Indian women Bangladesh 59.0 Nepal 57.8 Haiti 55.4 Senegal 54.8 Nigeria 51.7 Niger 45.1 Ethiopia 44.9 Rwanda 40.6 Source: Menon-Sen, Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women in India, How Free? How Equal. Missing girls per thousand boys:  Missing girls per thousand boys Punjab 207 Haryana 180 Chandigarh 155 Delhi 135 Gujarat 121 Himachal Pradesh 103 Uttaranchal 94 Rajasthan 91 Uttar Pradesh 83 Maharashtra 83 Daman and Diu 75 INDIA 73 Source: Menon-Sen., Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women In India, How Free? How Equal. Slide6:  Source: Source: Rustagi, Preet 2003, Gender biases and discrimination against women Slide7:  Source: Rustagi, Preet 2003, Gender biases and discrimination against women Slide8:  Source: Rustagi, Preet 2003, Gender biases and discrimination against women Slide9:  Source: Rustagi, Preet 2003, Gender biases and discrimination against women Institutional Deliveries: Is there a Choice:  Institutional Deliveries: Is there a Choice Close to two-thirds of all deliveries in India still take place at home. The proportion varies from less than 35% in urban areas to more than 75% in rural areas. In states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, only about 155 of children are born in a medical institution. It is often argued that there is nothing intrinsically wrong about women delivering at home. Such simplistic reasoning however glosses over the fact that there is a huge difference in the situation and prospects of an urban middle-class woman and a woman froma poor family ibna village in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. The urban woman is probably well-nourished, has been going to the doctor regularly for check-ups, and has been given anti-tetanus injections. She will deliver in a clean room with a trained nurse in attendance and a doctor within reach in case of emergencies. For her, delivering at home is a matter of choice. The village woman, on the other hand, has a high chance of being anaemic and underweight, of not having seen a doctor and not being protected from Tetanus. She would not have access to a doctor or hospital in her own village. For her, delivering at home, rather than being a conscious choice, is a consequence of her lack of choice. Source: Menon-Sen, Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women in India, How Free? How Equal. Maternal Mortality: the International Score Card:  Maternal Mortality: the International Score Card According to the Sample Registration System, India’s maternal mortality rate in 1998 was 407 deaths per 100,000 live births. Some 100,000 to 120,000 women die every year due to pregnancy related causes. The National Family Health survey – 2 for 1998-99 places the estimate at 540 deaths per 100,000 live births for the two-year period preceding the survey, varying from 619 deaths in rural areas to267 deaths in urban areas. Maternal mortality rates in India are 100 times what they are in the developed countries, and significantly higher than in some developing countries like Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Cuba. Maternal mortality rate China 55 Sri Lanka 60 Viet Nam 160 India 407 Within India, maternal mortality rates are the highest in Uttar Pradesh – 707 deaths per 100,000 live births. Only 5 countries in the world – all in Sub Saharan Africa – report a higher rate of maternal mortality than Uttar Pradesh. Maternal mortality rate Chad 830 Eritrea 1,000 Mozambique 1,100 Central African Republic 1,100 Source: Menon-Sen, Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women in India, How Free? How Equal. Female Literacy in India (%):  Female Literacy in India (%) INDIA 54 Kerala 88 Mizoram 86 Goa 76 Himachal Pradesh 68 Maharashtra 68 Tamil nadu 65 Tripura 65 Punjab 64 Nagaland 62 Sikkim 61 Meghalaya 60 Manipur 60 West Bengal 60 Uttaranchal 60 Gujarat 59 Karnataka 57 Assam 56 Haryana 56 Chattisgarh 52 Andhra Pradesh 51 Orissa 51 Madhya Pradesh 50 Arunachal pradesh 44 Rajasthan 44 Uttar Pradesh 43 Jammu and Kashmir 42 Jharkhand 40 Bihar 34 Source: Menon-Sen, Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women in India, How Free? How Equal. Making Universal Elementary Education a Reality:  Making Universal Elementary Education a Reality Article 45 of the Directive Principles of the Constitution urges all states to provide ‘free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of fourteen years’. This point was further reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in February 1993. An explicit recognition of the fundamental right to elementary education is embodied in the much-awaited 83rd Constitutional amendment, which has been drafted but not yet discussed in the Parliament. Public pressure is needed to ensure that this amendment becomes a reality. If the 83rd Amendment Bill is passed, it will be an important milestone on the long road to universal elementary education. The Bill will effectively counter the objections and excuses that are constantly invoked to justify the continued postponement of the goal of universal elementary education – 'It can never be done', 'We don’t have the resources', 'The system is not ready', 'Parents are not interested' and so on. But legislation alone is not enough. Universal elementary education can be achieved only through unrelenting public pressure and a national commitment to make it a social norm for every child to go to school. Source: Menon-Sen, Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women in India, How Free? How Equal. The State of Schools in North India:  The State of Schools in North India The Public Report on Basic Education (PROBE) reports the results of a 1996 survey of 1221 primary schools in 188 randomly selected villages in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. 44% of schools did not have a playground. 54% of schools did not have drinking water. 55% of schools did not have teaching kits. 61% of schools did not have toys. 72% of schools did not have a library. 84% of schools did not have a toilet. 12% of schools had a single teacher appointed. Another 21% had a single teacher present at the time of the survey. Thus one-third of all the primary schools surveyed were de facto single teacher schools where one teacher handles all five classes together, sometimes with over a hundred pupils. Source: Menon-Sen, Kalyani andamp; Kumar, AK Shiva 2001, Women in India, How Free? How Equal. A time use-survey conducted in 1998-99 by the Central Statistical Organisation and covering 18,600 men and women all over the country, reveals the following facts about women’s invisible work.*Women sleep on the average 2 hours less than men.*Women spend ten times more time on household work than men. This is true even in families where women work full time.*Men have over two hours a day for leisure, while women have only five minutes.*Men spend less than one hour per week on cooking, while women spend 15 hours per week.:  A time use-survey conducted in 1998-99 by the Central Statistical Organisation and covering 18,600 men and women all over the country, reveals the following facts about women’s invisible work. *Women sleep on the average 2 hours less than men. *Women spend ten times more time on household work than men. This is true even in families where women work full time. *Men have over two hours a day for leisure, while women have only five minutes. *Men spend less than one hour per week on cooking, while women spend 15 hours per week.

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