(Online Course) Pub Ad for IAS Mains: Chapter: 8 Development Dynamics - Woman Development and Self Help Groups (Paper -1)

Paper - 1
Chapter: 8 (Development Dynamics)

Woman Development and Self Help Groups

Chinese says if you want to plan for year, plant wheat, Plan for 10 years plant, Plan for 100 years, educate women

Official status of world:

  • 50% of population
  • 30% of official labour force
  • 10% of income
  • 1% of total assets

Initiated in 19th Century : Issue gained prominence & momentum from 3rd quarter of 20th century (1970 onwards)

It was also present earlier, the idea has become more radical now.
1970s : approach of Gender in development
1980s : Gender and Development Approach

Ronaq Jahan : From Integrationist to Agenda setting approach
This is basic approach now which calls for women empowerment.

Indian Context

As far as Indian strategy is concerned, efforts have been made since beginning to raise the standards of women so that positive discriminatory approach believing that they are disempowered through constitution, statutes, Five year plans and specific structure like men and departments.

Constitution :

Article 14, 19, 15 provided equal status to that of men
Positive discriminately
15 (4), 39(a), (b), (c) DPSP privileges and favours women

Number of statutes

  • Hindu Marriage Act,
  • Special Marriage Act,
  • Dowry Prohibition Act,
  • Domestic Violence Act
  • Plan documents of Five year plans

3 different strategies

  • 1st to 4th - Welfarist strategy
  • 5th to 7th – developmental
  • 8th onwards – Empowerment strategy

Initial period focus was to treat women as a

  1. Beneficiary, privileged treatment did not work.
  2. It was realized unless & until qualitative changes occur, development will not be there treating women as human resources: Focus on education etc.
  3. It was then realized that this will not yield result in absence of empowerment
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Social, economic & political aspects

Therefore emphasis shifted towards empowerments independence of decision making providing critical economic status e.g. reservation in panchayats, SHG etc.
Number of programmes & policies
National Action Plan (1976-88)
National Perspective Plan (1988-2000)
Number of other plans which are women specific & others related to them
E.g. Mahila Samriddhi Yojana, Indira Mahila Yojana
Step – Support for Training & Employment programme for women traditional vocations / animal husbandary.
NORAD assisted programmes : Non conventional vocations eg. watch making

  • also National Education Policy, Health Policy, Population Policy / administrative mechanism in form of departments & ministers.
  • initially Ministry of child & women development was under Ministry of Human Development now separate ministry.
  • National Commission for women
  • Central Social Welfare Board.

The very approach to day in general is that of Women Empowerment enabling females to take legitimate stand primarily empowerment consists of 2 aspects.

  1. Economic autonomy
  2. Occupying position in decision making.

Economic autonomy is very critical; enhance decision ability primarily concern with poor women no adequate employment opportunities in formal sectors; limited avenues

So focus is towards self employment required training & skills & financial resources.

Major problem is that of finance which was initially sought to be from banks had a huge limitations required of collaterals initiative failed

Thus emerged the approach of SHGs females BPL can come together, form small groups & collect funds from own meager savings of members & create a collective fund called Corpus fund.

  • ranging from 10 – 20 members
  • this membership number could be diluted to 5 – 20 members provided it is in designated difficult area designated by government where population is sparse e.g. hilly areas, SHG to the formed by members living near by each members can be member of only one SHG generally there should not be member of APL only if there is shortage of BPL members, exception can be made to extent of 20% to 30% of members should be only marginally above poverty line provided
    (i) recommended by one BPL member of SHG
    (ii) he should be living contiguously
  • none of office bearers can be APL members SHG should open an account in nearest bank associated by district administration every member to regularly contribute to corpus fund. Corpus fund to be used to extend loans to members and also to act as collateral (remaining fund) group has to define its own schedule of repayment of loans even in certain areas men can be included also in SHGs provided at least 50% are exclusively female groups.
    Provisions of much needed micro finance to come out of poverty they have near zero NPAs some have become financially very sound.

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