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Special Issue on

Prof. (Dr.) M. N. Parmar

Special Issue Editor

Prof. (Dr.) Bhavna Mehta

UGC-DSA Programme (Phase III)

Faculty of Social Work
The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
Vadodara- 390002, Gujarat, INDIA.

The current issue of Social Work Review is the outcome of the International
Conference on Women and Millennium Development Goals : A Social Work Response
organized by Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda
in 2014 in collaboration with Gender Resource Centre, Department of Women and
Child Development, Government of Gujarat, Womens Studies Research Centre,
The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, College of Social Work, University
of South Carolina, USA and with the support of Office of the Project Administration,
Tribal Sub Plan, Chhota Udaipur, Gujarat and Indian Council of Social Science

The publication of the select twenty-nine papers presented during this historic
conference is an effort to bring out the achievements made during the period and
agenda unfinished, requiring attention in the sustainable development goals to be
attained by 2030 thereby also directing schools of social work, social work educators,
practitioners, women activists and research scholars to chart out their plan of actions.

I am very happy that Prof. (Dr.) Bhavna Mehta, the Conference Convener has
made painstaking efforts to give shape to papers submitted by undertaking assiduous
task of editing it and bringing out this special issue on Women and Millennium
Development Goals. I am sure that the issue will make an interesting reading for all
those committed to bringing about a change in lives of women and making the world
better place to live for all.

Prof. (Dr.) M. N. Parmar

Dean & Editor-in-Chief

During the year 2014, the countdown for the achievement of Millennium
Development Goals by 2015 had begun. United Nations and various other
stakeholders concerned with the poverty eradication and sustainable development
were holding deliberations, consultations, meetings world over to review the progress
made, renew commitments, determinations and intensify efforts to meet the goals
set as well as to chart the way forward. While achievements were celebrated and
acknowledged, concerns were raised about the unevenness, gaps in achievements
and unmet special challenges were identified. In parallel with intensification of efforts
to accelerate achievement of MDGs, strong post 2015 agenda based on redefined
development paradigm in the form of Sustainable Development Goals was prepared.
The revised coherent approach based on new single framework is though
universal in nature and applicable to all countries, takes into account different national
circumstances and respects each countrys national policies and priorities. The post
2015 agenda charted during the special event convened by the President of the UN
General assembly promote peace and security, democratic governance, the rule of
law, gender equality and human rights for all. Thus, Women as a core group were not
only identified as an important area of the MDG achievements with two goals
specifically (goal number 3 and 5) addressing them and as important players in
realizing other stated six goals but also as an intrinsic concern in Sustainable
Development Goals. Agenda of gender equality and womens empowerment not
only make women beneficiaries of goals setting but also active partners, participants
in the process of accomplishment of MDG as well as SDG.
Embedded in the main philosophy of the social work profession is to strive for
social justice and equality in society. Women being one of the most marginalized
sections across globe form important areas of social work concerns. The profession
is concerned about womens issues, their participation, development and
empowerment. Thus, any effort to achieve SDGs based on any framework must be
perceived as meeting social work agenda as well.
It is against this background that the theme of this Special Issue of Social
Work Review is conceived and thought appropriate as the period of Millennium
Development Goals has ended and the agenda for development is replaced by the
Sustainable Development Goals with an objective to produce development goals
that are universal and balances the three dimensions: social, economic and
environment. This Social Work Review issue is based on the International Conference
on Women and Millennium Development Goals: A Social Work Response organized
by the Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in early
2014. Around 173 papers were presented during the two day conference and total
111 full papers were received. Selecting the first set of full papers for the purpose of
publication from all of the papers received was a herculean task. The team of reviewers
selected twenty-nine papers for the first special issue to be bought out as the
publication outcome of the conference. These papers cover most of the areas related
to women and development poverty, education, violence, health, food security and
livelihood, initiatives towards womens empowerment and alike. Together these
papers highlight current situation of women across the globe, issues of particular
groups of women, efforts made so far to help, develop or empowerment of women
and gaps identified needing attention in the sustainable development agenda set to
be achieved by 2030.
Editing the papers submitted was the most, mammoths, tedious, time consuming
and back breaking task. While utmost care is taken to make selected papers reading
easy giving uniformity, I seek apology in advance for any errors that could have been
omitted by me as an Editor of the issue. Before papers were finally accepted for
publication, an undertaking has been sought from respective authors about its
originality and submission for publication to us. Thus, these papers are edited and
published with an assurance from authors that they have not plagiarized the content
of their respective papers and that it is not published or given for publication anywhere
else. Views expressed by authors in their papers belong to them.
I thank Prof. (Dr.) M.N. Parmar, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work, The
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and Editor in Chief of this journal for
encouraging and at times pushing me to complete editing of this issue, which some
time seemed impossible to me. I sincerely thank team of reviewers for their valuable
time, input, cooperation and assistance. My heartfelt gratitude to all authors for their
patience and bearing the inordinate delay in publication of their papers. I owe an
apology to them. I thank Mr. Jatin Somani, Manager, University Press and his team
for their support in bringing out this special issue of Social Work Review.
I wish all readers a happy reading!!!

Prof. (Dr.) Bhavna Mehta

Special Issue Editor
Social Work Review

Volume 51 No. 1 January-December 2015

1. A Critical Analysis Exclusionary Practices, Treacherous
Junctures in our Road to Equity and Justice
- Nol Busch-Armendariz 1-9
2. Gender and the Millennium Development Goals
- Vibhuti Patel 10-17
3. Is Life Getting Better For Young Women?
- Sue McGinty, Allison Rossetto, Anthony McMahon,
Abraham Francis 18-29
4. Education Transforming Individuals
- Indira Bhatt, Prema Mysore, Vijay Gupta 30-43
5. Ethical Issues in Maternal Mortality and
Lessons to Learn from the State of Kerala
- Veena Joshi, R. Baxi 44-55
6. Women and HIV and AIDS: Gendered Dimensions
of Care: Confronting the Crisis - Anita Machado 56-69
7. Hidden Hunger Among the Rathwa Tribal
Adolescents, Chota Udepur District of Gujarat,
Western India- a Cross Sectional Study
- Vanisha Nambiar, Kuhu Roy, Nishita Desai 70-83
8. Assessing the Potentials of Community
Participation in Reducing Child Mortality
- Chhaya Patel, Divya Vasava 84-91
9. Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP
in Empowering Women in Manipur Valley
- Melody Kshetrimayum 92-106
10. Health Seeking Practices of Women: a Key
issue to be Addressed for Women Empowerment
and Health Care Sustainability - Uma Iyer, Nitya Elayath 107-111
11. Millennium Development Goals and Uplifftment of
Indigenous Women: a Global Cry For Action Rather
Than Promises - M. N. Parmar, Snehal Raut 112-123
12. Integrated Approach to Maternal and Child
Health, Nutrition and Water and Sanitation
among Tribal Women in Banswara, Rajasthan
-Bella Uttekar, Kanchan Lakhwani, Vasant Uttekar 124-133
13. Educational Inclusion For The Tribal Female
Children of Rural India: Teaching The
Unreached - Katherine Butt 134-144
14. A Kaleidoscopic View of Tribal Women of Gujarat, India
(Dangi Womens Views on Gender Equality and Community
Participation: A Study of Women Living in Ahwa Taluka of
Dang District, Gujarat, India)
- Bhavna Mehta, Jayalaxmi Mahanty 145-149
15. Womens Quota, the 73 Amendment and Womens
Political Participation, Potentials and Challenges
for Intervention in the Context of MDG 3 - Nagmani Rao 150-161
16. Gender Mainstreaming - A Sine Qua Non For
Sustainable Development - Dinesh Kapadia 162-171
17. Millennium Development Goals Achievements
& The Challenges For Women Empowerment
Before the Local Government Institutions: Problems
and Prospects in the Context of Maharashtra
State, India - Neelima Deshmukh 172-189
18. Self Help Group A Medium of Empowerment
-Sunita Nambiyar 190-199
19. An Innovative Experiment of Sewa Bank for
Poverty Alleviation through Micro Credit - Kavita Sindhav 200-207
20. Role of Media in Combating Violence against
Women in India - Rameshwari Pandya, Atanu Mohapara 208-221
21. Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment
of Women - Christina Parmar, Jagdish Solanki 222-232
22. Perception of Personal Safety and Security in the
Context of the Rise in Crime against Women: a Study
among Social Work Girl Students in Mumbai
- Neeloferr Lokhandwalla, Renu Sharma Shah 233-252
23. Changing Food Habits of the Adolescence Girls in
Urban Areas: a Sociological Evaluation in Tirupati
City - T.Mallikarjuna, G. Janakiramaiah, V. Reddeppa Naidu 253-268
24. Gendered Approach to Understanding and Responding
to Climate Change Impacts on Food and Livelihood
Security: A View from Uttarakhand - A. Malathi 269-283
25. Womens Participation in International
Migration, Governance and Development -Pratham Parekh 284-299
26. Understanding Role of Women in Sustaining
Pastoralism: Excerpts from Pastoral Societies
across the Globe - Dhruvi Bharwad, Bhoomi Shroff 300-313
27. Elected Dalit Women Representation in Gram
Panchayath - With Special Reference to Kolar District,
Karnataka - Nagesha HV, Sathish Kumar KM 314-325
28. Challenges of Women Participation: Community
Development Programs in Rural Milieu Sri Lanka
- Aruni Samarakoon, Chandima Jayasena 326-334
29. Gender Equality and Social Work: Some Reflections
- Rekha Mistry 335-345
Printed at : The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda Press, Vadodara - 1.
Nol Busch-Armendariz*

Keynote Address

Namaste. Good morning, guests and our collective learning.

distinguished panelists. I am so pleased to
be speaking with you this morning at the Perhaps one day scientists will
International Conference on Women and announce that they have pinpointed the gene
Millennium Development Goals: A Social or bundle of genes associated with the social
work Response. work profession. Undoubtedly, many of us
social workers possess this gene and it may
I am grateful for this invitation from partially explain our drive into the
Dean and Head Dr. Parmar, the faculty of profession. We certainly know that we are
social work at Maharajara Sayajirao not driven because it brings us vast fortunate
University of Baroda, and particularly my or great fame. Rather it is something most
host Dr. Bhavna Mehta. This is a wonderful of feel deep inside. Indeed it is a calling, a
occasion for my first visit to India. Thank vocation, a profound motivation toward the
you for your warmth and wonderful work of social and economic justice.
This is at least partly how I came to
I would like to spend my time first by this profession, it is in my essence. For me,
giving you some information about me that I believe in my DNA and my environment. I
is not included in bio sketch, a short narrative was born to social workers. My maternal
of my personal story and entry to social grandmother was born about the same time
work. Like other social workers, I know that that the professional of social work emerged
the use of self in most any context is in the US, and she was although not educated
important. Then, Ill talk generally about the as a social worker she practiced social work
status of women, more specifically about her entire life through case management and
violence against women, and call to action community development. I was with her and
for social workers. I hope contextualize my my family in her last days on this earth, she
comments around the eight original died last year at the age of 96.
Millennium Development Goals. I am so My mother is a retired social work
glad to see the distinguished list of expert academic and although she is 72 years
panelists who will lead discussions young, and I do mean young, she
throughout the conference about the energetically spends her days working in
Millennium Development Goals to enrich the field withresettled refugees in North

* Associate Dean for Research & Professor, Director of the Centre for Social Work Research, The University
of Texas at Austin, USA. Email:
2 Nol Busch-Armendariz

Carolina and supervising students who do The Institute on Domestic Violence &
the same. In so many ways I am a clone of Sexual Assault (IDVSA)
her. My father, who is here with me, is a
My professional context is embedded
retired dean in education. He is statistician
in the field of criminal justice and
by trainingsome might say a left brained
interpersonal violence. For more than two
guyanalyticaland precise. He is, and also
decades I have worked on domestic violence,
deeply spiritual,a man who today gives of sexual assault, and more recently human
himself and his time to cultivate our Mother trafficking. I have been a social scientist for
earth through his gardening and teaching about 15 years and today my fulltime
others how to do cultivate the ground to be position is teaching social work and
fruitful, he makes trips to El Salvador and conducting research. I maintain my social
Northern Ireland to engage in community work licenseand work directly with clients,
and peace building, cooks nourishing for mostly women, involved the criminal justice
others, and makes time for people who often system which I will talk about a little bit later.
need a witness to their struggles. In my role as a researcher, I am involved
with other social workers and other
My oldest sister is also a social work
practitioners who interact with clients such
academic teaching at a large public as police officers and investigators,lawyers
university in NC. She is one of the best case and judges, nurses and physicians, and
managers I have ever knowI actually others. So because of these experiences and
followed her into professionquite frankly the ongoing challenges with the Millennium
I have followed her much of my life Development Goals of 2015, I have been
including taking lessons from her about how asked to focus on the continued challenge
to be a wonderfully grounded human being. of the status of women, specifically violence
She also still makes time to work directly against women, its impact as a persistent
with clients. concernfor the US, India and most every
country in the world.
My entire family, my other sister,
brother, in-laws and nieces and nephews, IDVSA is the only interdisciplinary
husband and son are fine human beings all academic institution of its kinds in the
of whom are deeply rooted in their United States. We are a collaboration of the
communities and toward justice in their own Schools of Social Work, Law, Nursing, and
ways. So, you can see that it is easy to aspire the Bureau for Business Research with more
to do social work in my family, in fact it is a than 150 community practitioner affiliates.
privilege. I have learned grace, humility, and IDVSA researchers, like social work
gratitude from family. They are part of my scientists, investigate social problems in the
context. context of systems and structures of human

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

A Critical Analysis Exclusionary Practices, ... to Equity and Justice 3

being live. This includes the individual bio South East Asia, Caribbean and Central
psychosocial context, family, communities, America. Good movement toward women
and social structures such as schools and sitting aside and among men to make
court systems. We also consider a historical important policy decisions. We should note
analysis that helps us understand how things that these are comparisons to ourselves that
got where they are, and what moves us is, it is proportional to the number of women
forward. As we know social work a complex, representative in previous years, it is not in
social science discipline grounded in comparison the population of all women or
ethnical values and principles. to men holding seats. So, our work is not
done, we should continue to elect women to
When I was practicing social work, decision making positions.
research really made no difference in my
daily life for two primary reasons. First, it Women, productive, contributions and
didnt usually answer the questions that I property
needed answered to do better work with my
clients, or second, the research was written What about productivity, work, and
so that I didnt understand it. IDVSA is built property? According to the United Nations
on the premise that research should be driven women produce half the worlds food and
by the fieldpractitioners drive our research work 2/3 of the worlds working hours. Yet
agenda in that they tell us what questions women earn only 10% of the worlds income
they need answers to. Second, we make it and own less and 1% of the worlds
practical and translatable to their everyday property.
lives. That usually looks like the
Lowest Paid Workers
development of a toolkit for practitioners or
typologies of traffickers for law enforcement In the US, over a lifetime, the average
so that they can investigate the crime more woman earns about $380,000 less than the
effectively. average working man.
A Brief Look at the Status of Women Percentage of Women Earned Income to
Worldwide Men
Since we under took the Millennium The starkest reality is among
Goals we have gained seats in the single and whomour lowest are paid workers63% of
lower national houses of parliamentssome all minimum wage workers are women as
countries with significant gains between the compared to 37% of men. These figures call
years 2000 2013. Mostly we see upwards the question if we are really on the road to
trends across the worldincreases in North parity, and if we are reaching the millennium
African, West Asia, Caucus and Central Asia, goals and targets around indicators of

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

4 Nol Busch-Armendariz

economic stability? In essence, women are not equal with men.

There is not justice for all women. However,
Sexual Harassment there seems to be a collective resolveto push
When women are in the work place forward as women dothis conference is a
in positions of authority, sexual harassment testament to that action. But, before I shift
is a much morefamiliar. too much about the call to action, lets look
at violence against women as another major
Turning to health. According to the concern.
World Health Organization, worldwide
women live to be about 80, four years longer Specific look at Violence Against Women
than men. But, life expectancy varies by (VAWA)
continentin African regions lifespan is cut I am going to focus the rest of my
short, the expectancy is only 58 years. Better remarks on violence against women for
news for women in India, as life expectancy several reasons. The World Health
increased by five years for women, up now Organization 2005 report on Violence
to 69.5 years. Still, it isa decade less than Against Women andMillennium
the worlds average. Development Goals says, violence is
Heart Disease intimately associated with complex social
conditions such as poverty, lack of
Cardiovascular disease is the number education, gender inequity, child mortality,
one killer of women worldwide; breast HIV/AIDSalthough violence against
cancer for women age 20 59. Women have women was not highlighted in either the
increased risk around issues of maternal target or the indicator.
health and reproduction, HIV/AIDS, cervical
cancer; and depression and suicidity; young Women in Prison
girls are challenge by sexual abuse, early As I said, I started in this field more
pregnancy, substance abuse, adequate
than 20 years ago as an MSW student
nutrition; older women experience increase
working with incarcerated battered women
challenges with mobility and disabilities.
who had killed their husbands or boyfriends.
The Millennium Development Goals Many of them had been charged, convicted;
identifies and takeson some of the issues plead guilty or sentenced to their crimes
here. In the document, Keeping the Promise: without the judge or jury understanding a
The Way Forward and A Call for Action, history of violence that contributed to their
dated 2010, the report says there is a mixed crime. Often their attorney did not
story of successes, uneven progress, understand their history of abuse. We did not
challenges, and opportunities. A look at advocate that killing was the way out of a
these current statistics indicates thatwere violence and abusive relationship; rather
not there yet, we have not achieved parity. these women deserved to have their cases

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

A Critical Analysis Exclusionary Practices, ... to Equity and Justice 5

reviewed and their abuse understood; that in persons has become re-emerged in
justice had been served after 15, 18, and 20 international policy exchanges a major
years in prison;and they were not a danger criminal, social justice, and human rights
to society. In the US women who commit issue. People are trafficked for two primary
homicide particularly intimate partner reasonsfor the purposes of sex
homicide are given exponentially longer exploitation and or forced labor. Areas of
sentences than men who commit homicide particular concern include bonded labor,
even if there are compelling mitigating involuntary domestic servitude, forced child
circumstances such as extreme history of labor, child sex trafficking, and child
prior abuse. This was my start in the field of soldiers. Subjugated victims in the sex
violence against women. I should note here industry are often forced into activities such
that most women who experience abuse and as prostitution, peep shows, and or other
violence by their intimate partners do not forms of pornography. Labor trafficking may
commit homicide or even fight back. involve exploitation through domestic
servitude or forced labor in industries such
Map of Violence Against Women in the as tourism, fine jewelry, agriculture,
World manufacturing, service industry (restaurants,
Violence against women is a major hotels, etc.), and construction.
global problemaccording to the World In 2010, the U.S. Department of State
Health Organization 1 in 5 womenwill estimated that 12.3 million adults and
experience some form of violence during her children were victims of forced and bonded
lifetime. This violence, a violence that is labor and forced prostitution worldwide.
preventable and avoidable, challengesthe According to the U.S. Department of States
lives of women. Its impact should be Trafficking in Persons (TIP) of all victims
underestimated. WHO purports that intimate worldwide approximately 22% were
partner violence is not only a threat to identified in African countries, in 26%
individual women and their children, but Europe, 16% in the Western Hemisphere the
countries social and economic development Americas; 18% in East Asia and Pacific, 8%
and the world in which we live. in Near East, and nearly 10% in South and
Hands of Trafficking Central Asia. The TIP in 2011 reports 6,017
prosecutions of which 90% were for sex-
Another form of violence against trafficking crimes and 3,619 convictions of
women that is threatening our women and which 94% were for sex-trafficking crimes
world is human trafficking. I have been worldwide.
focusing on research around human
Victims are often rendered completely
trafficking or modern day slavery for the last
helpless for a variety of reasons, but
eight years. Over the past decade trafficking
traffickers maintain control over victims by

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

6 Nol Busch-Armendariz

using physical and sexual violence, isolation Trafficking in Person Protection Act
and entrapment, drug addiction, (TVPA). As a nation we have allocated
psychological and emotional abuse, and millions of dollars of funding for prevention
threats to other family members well-being. efforts, support services to victims, training
The psychological coercion cannot be for the criminal justice system, and
understated. Victims have been rescued after intervention for offenders. But in her blog
years of enslavement without chains because theOffice of Violence Against Women
of the fear and threats of retaliation from Acting Director Bea Hanson wrote, the
their traffickers, against them or their family week that VAWA was reauthorized, at least
members, if they escape. Because female 15 women and 4 men were killed by intimate
victims (adult and children) and male partners. A 9-year-old boy was killed by a
perpetrators are the foundation of the sex- hatchet by his father, who had previously
trafficking trade, gender-focused strategies served time in jail for domestic violence and
to combat sex trafficking are necessary. fought for custody after his release. A 17-
Impact of VAWA on Health year-old boy was arrested for stabbing his
16-year-old girlfriend to death. And a 22-
Interpersonal violence impacts the year-old pregnant woman was shot in the
lives of women and their health in all sorts head and her body burnedher boyfriend
of ways. Women who are victimized by has been arrested. Reducing violence
interpersonal violence are twice as likely to against women is a challenge for every
experience depression, almost twice as likely nation.
to have alcohol disorders, be at risk for
sexual and reproductive health issues A Case study in India
including HIV and AIDS, and morality.
I am not an expert on violence against
What if We Dont? women in India or South Asia. My esteemed
So at the very heart of this discussion colleagues who invited me to this conference
is if what if violence against women is not certainly are and can share more about India.
at the very heart of this discussion? I will share with you the news that we are
receiving about violence against women and
CASE STUDIES in US and India girls with hopes to start a conversation. Just
last week a well-respected news
A Case Study in the US
organization, National Public Radio reported
We have been tackling the issue of that atrocious instances of gang rape over
violence against women for over fifty years the past year or so have shaken India, but
in the US. The Violence Against Women Act the one last week in West Bengal has
(VAWA) was reauthorized by the U.S. particular sinister twist. An all-male village
Congress in 2013 and included the tribunal, said to be upset that a 20 year old

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

A Critical Analysis Exclusionary Practices, ... to Equity and Justice 7

tribal woman had fallen in love with a man helps us understand that this violence is
outside the community, is alleged to have appropriate. So, as a good feminist social
ordered she be gang-raped as punishment. worker I am certainly obligated to consider
The young woman is being treated in a that the answer is tied up in an analysis of
hospital after telling authorities that she was patriarchy.
sexually assaulted by no fewer than 12 men.
This is despite that India has strengthened Epistemology is fundamental to
its rape laws. feminism. Cultural norming processes that
influence the way knowledge emerges, is
So, can most Americans and Indians developed, and shaped about women is at
agree that all forms of violence against play here. Information about women, the role
women and girls are socially undesirable, if of women, the abilities of women continues
not tragic?The reauthorization of VAWA in to be shaped by a dominant paradigm. That
the US and the strengthening of rape laws paradigm controls knowledge production
in India would provide a belief that our through the reproduction of patriarchy,
policy makers are at least attending to the economic privilege, andmarket economies.
protection of our citizenry. Consequently the nature, tenor, and texture
of diverse voices, voices that talk about
The Millennium Declaration violence against women, are influenced, if
explicitly recognizes assurance of equal not shaped, by the dominance.
rights and opportunities to and in a WHO
2005 report MDG #3 included a target to The critical analysis of the power and
reduce lifetime rates of violence against privilege dynamics moves us toward
women by 50% worldwide. It is a lofty goal. environments of equity and respect, but it is
And, still interpersonal violence seems to be not the end point of the journey. A critical
anatural course of living life for many analysis of power identifies the problem but
womenmany women in this room, for it does little to move us to a solution. As it
is not about women out there somewhere, it turns out, acknowledging the structural
is about the women that we know, our dynamics of power and privilege and its
mothers, sisters, daughters, neighbors. It is associated exclusionary practices is not the
about us. most treacherous juncture in the rode to
equity and justice. The difficulty lies in
Social Work Call to Action radically attending to our active and passive
First, I think we name it. The points participation in acts of social and
in which we get stuck allow us to use institutional exclusion. Little time is spent
multiple theoretical lenses to contextualize preparing ourselves, colleagues, and
our cultural acceptance of violence against institutions for the process of inclusion that
women because surely no theoretical lens requires recognizing the socially acceptable

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

8 Nol Busch-Armendariz

patterns of micro-aggressions about women mission of the social work profession is to

and the status of women. enhance human well-being and help meet the
basic human needs of all people, with
Professional Ideology
particular attention to the needs and
Second, I think we use our empowerment of people who are vulnerable
professional ideology to understand the and oppressed.
issue. According to International Association
of Schools of Social Work and International
Federal of Social Work, ethical awareness We focus on action. Social workers promote
is a fundamental part of the professional social justice and social change with and on
practice of social workers, social workers behalf of clients. The mission of the social
ability and commitment to act ethically is work profession is rooted in a set of core
an essential aspect of the quality of the values. These core values, embraced by
service offered to those who use social work social workers throughout the professions
services. history, are the foundation of social works
Professional Framework unique purpose and perspective: service,
social justice, dignity and worth of the
We understand problem from the person, importance of human relationships,
complex structure of the ecological model integrity, and competence.
and work to make changes at each of those
levels. Men

The purpose of the work of IASSW A Final Note about the Role of Men and
and IFSW on ethics is to promote ethical for Boys
debate member countries, as well as
If there is one mistake that we made
in the schools of social work and among
in the violence against women field in the
social work students. Some ethical
US it was to leave out the discussion of men
challenges and problems facing social
and boys. We left it out in a couple of ways.
workers are specific to particular countries;
First, we know from research that a certain
others are commontheaim [is] to
encourage social workers across the world segment of men perpetrate the vast majority
to reflect on the challenges and dilemmas of violence against women. It is not all men.
that face them and make ethically informed This is not about hating men. It is about
decisions about how to act in each particular solving the problem of men who are
case. controlling, dominating, abusive and
physical in their intimate relationships. We
Strengths Base have learned that men must be a part the
solutionin fact some advocates like
We are strengthens based. The primary
Jackson Katz would argue that violence

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A Critical Analysis Exclusionary Practices, ... to Equity and Justice 9

against women is a mens issue, not a that leaving a relationship is the right thing
womans issue. Katzs advocates for a to do. Second, leaving never meant the abuse
paradigm shift because the way we framed ended for that women or the next.
the issues of violence against women
marginalizes those most responsible for it. Conclusion

We should askquestions that point to I will leave you with two final
abusive men? Question that challenge hitting thoughts. First, with my greatest joymy
your girlfriend, hiring women and girls for son, Daniel and husband Larry. I waited late
sex, engaging in extramarital affairs, until much later in life to get married. Larry
restricting access to financial security, and and I met when we were 40 and got married
other decision-making processes from at 41. I was 44 when Daniel was born. He is
womenunacceptable in our society. Violence now four. Being his mother is my greatest
that happens to women by men, is a mens joy. I think a lot about how to raise him to
issue. be a compassionate, respective, deeply
egalitarian. So, sometimes the concern that
How can we turn our questions to the relates back to two ideashow to I relate
behaviors that are wreaking havoc on our my work onviolence against women in a
families, communities, societies, and how deeply personal levelit is an issue that
can we tell the truth about them? These are belongs to all of usit is issue that has to
not someone elses sons, brothers, fathers. starts in my home, my community, the place
These men belong to us. And, as social where I work and it is not an issue that
workers what do we believe about the belongs to women.
capacity change? Is change conceivable?
Second, I agree with the UN report
This brings me to what I consider to that conducts that violence against women
be our second big mistake about violence intersections with every aspects of the
against women in the US. What I learned as human experienceeducation, race, class,
a practitioner working with survivors is that sexual orientation. Given its prevalence, it
many womenwanted us to figure out how to is the very fabric of our lives. And thus, I
fix their husbands, brothers, and sons. believe violence against women is and
Women needed respite, and wanted us to should stand as its own Millennium Goal,
develop interventions that were family- as the WHO report states, women will never
centered for two primary reasons. The be equal in their public lives until they are
relationships that women have with their equal in at home. Until everyone is free,
men are complex. It is too simple to suggest no one is truly free.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Vibhuti Patel*

The Millennium Development Goals As articulated in the Millennium

are a derivative of the Millennium Declaration, the MDGs are benchmarks of
Declaration of September 2000, which spells development progress based on such
out the following values: freedom, equality, fundamental values as freedom, equity and
solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature, and human rights and peace and security. MDGs
shared responsibility. They are a clarion call can be achieved if all actors work together-
of 189 governments, on behalf of their heads of the nation states, civil society
citizens, to free our fellow men, women and organizations, international financial
children from the abject and dehumanizing institutions, global trade bodies and the UN
conditions of extreme poverty, to which system- and do their part. Poor countries
more than a billion of them are currently have pledged to govern better, and invest in
subjected. We are committed to making the their people through health care and
right to development a reality for everyone education. Rich countries must stick to their
and to freeing the entire human race from pledge to support the poor countries through
want. (Patel, 2006). These measures, aid, debt relief, and fairer and just trade. Only
collectively known as the Millennium if there is commitment on the part of the rich
Development Goals (MDGs), have become as well as poor countries to fulfil these
a prime focus of development work promises all the MDGs could be achieved.
throughout the globe- a gold standard to
which programs aspire, and by which they Gender concerns in MDGs
measure their work. They are as follows:
All goals are expected to mainstream
I Eradication of Poverty and Hunger, gender and MDG 3 has a special focus on
II Achievement of Universal Primary gender and challenges discrimination
Education, against women by Focusing on school
III Promotion of Gender Equality and education, ensuring that more women
Empowerment, become literate, Guaranteeing more voice
IV Reduction of Child Mortality, and representation in public policy and
V Improvement of Maternal Health, decision making-political participation,
providing improved job prospects- 36 %
VI Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, T.B.,
WPR, gender equality and the empowerment
VII Ensure Environmental Sustainability of women Win-win approach, Food and
VIII Develop a Global Partnership for nutrition security, Women subsistence
Development farmers, Women as users, managers and
* Director, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy, Professor and Head, Post Graduate
Department of Economics, SNDT Womens University, INDIA
Gender and the Millennium Development Goals 11

storers of natural resources-Climate change. the share of women in wage employment

The MDGs explicitly acknowledge in the nonagricultural sector, and
that gender what a given society believes the proportion of seats held by women in
about the appropriate roles and activities of national parliaments.
men and women, and the behaviours that
result from these beliefs can have a major The first two are indicators of
impact on development, helping to promote capabilities, the third is an indicator of
it in some cases while seriously retarding it opportunity, and the fourth is an indicator
in others. MDG number 3 (out of 8) is of agency. Although they represent all three
specifically about gender, calling for an end domains of gender equality, they are not
to disparities between boys and girls at all without their drawbacks. In addition, there
levels of education. There is general may be other indicators that are better suited
agreement that education is vital to to tracking progress toward the MDG gender
development, and ensuring that girls as well targets.
as boys have full opportunities for schooling
will help improve lives in countless ways.
Capability Indicators
Nevertheless, it would be wrong to conclude
as a casual reader of the MDGs might There are both substantive and
. Not surprisingly, then, the rules that technical concerns with the two capability
regulate the behaviours and values of men indicators. The ratio of girls to boys in school
that the relevance of gender to development reflects the input side of education, that is,
is confined to the educational sphere. Men how many girls and boys are enrolled in
and women, both, participate in nearly every
school, which is where most policy efforts
aspect of life in communities throughout the
have been directed. Getting girls and boys
world and women in a given society that
to school is clearly an important first step.
is, its gender system have the potential to
impact nearly every aspect of life. Therefore, Yet, the more important issue is school
while only one of the MDGs is specifically completion and student learning outcomes.
about gender, addressing gender is of critical The completion of 5 to 6 years of schools is
importance to every MDG. necessary for mastery of basic competencies,
such as literacy and numeracy. School
Critique of the Indicators enrolment ratios, whether on a gross or net
basis, are poorly correlated with the rate of
The United Nations has suggested primary school completion; moreover,
four indicators to measure Goal 3: enrolment ratios are consistent with many
the ratio of girls to boys in primary, different patterns of drop-out and retention.
secondary and tertiary education, Finally, gender differences are brought into
sharper contrast in the comparison of
the ratio of literate females to males enrolment rates against completion rates.
among 15-24 year olds,

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

12 Vibhuti Patel

Beyond the substantive issue of what because adults with five or more years of
should be the focus of the MDG goal, there schooling may still be functionally illiterate,
are other concerns with the proposed while those with less than four years of
capability indicators. The ratio of girls to schooling may have acquired literacy skills
boys in school simply depicts the number of by non-formal means. Despite these
girls relative to boys in school. Enrolment limitations, this indicator is the best that
rates, by contrast, give a picture of the exists across countries and over time.
number of students, boys or girls, enrolled
in a given level of education relative to the Opportunity Indicators
population of the age group which should
be enrolled at that level. Net enrolment rates, The choice of indicator in the MDGs
which take into consideration the appropriate to measure progress in economic opportunity
age for each grade, are a good indicator of is the female share of non-agricultural wage
access to education, but they are not employment. As noted in UNIFEMs
available for many countries. Gross Progress of the Worlds Women 2000, this
enrolment rates are more widely available, is an indicator of the extent to which women
but they include repeat students in the have equal access to paid jobs in areas of
calculation and so will be higher than net expanding employment. As stated in the
enrolment rates. There are also concerns report, Wage employment in industry and
about the literacy indicator. This indicator services usually puts some money directly
was chosen to reflect the performance of the into the hands of women themselves, unlike
national education system, as well as the employment as an unpaid family worker on
quality of the human resources within a a family farm. Moreover, the pay is likely to
country in relation to their potential for be higher than the average pay for self-
growth, contribution to development, and employment. The drawback of using this
quality of life. Yet, the quality of the literacy indicator is that it could be interpreted to
data is suspect. Some countries collect also mean equality in income. A second
literacy information using sophisticated and drawback is that an increase in womens
comprehensive techniques while others are share of paid employment adds to womens
not able to even provide the most basic total workload such that what women may
information. In addition, because literacy is gain in terms of cash they lose in terms of
not a simple concept with a single time (UNIFEM 2000). Third, as Anker
universally accepted meaning, different (2002) notes, this indicator only measures
countries measure literacy differently. The the presence or absence of work, and not the
UNESCO definition (A person is literate if decency of work itself or the
s/he has completed five or more years of disadvantages women face in access to
schooling) has been widely criticized partly employment (measured by unemployment
because it assumes that people can be easily rates), in returns to their labor (earnings or
categorized as literate or illiterate or

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Gender and the Millennium Development Goals 13

wages), in the types of jobs they hold earned up to 20 percent less than men; in
(occupational segregation), and in security the other countries, the pay differential was
of employment (social protection). Finally, even greater (ibid). Approximately half of
in grouping together all non-agricultural all workers in the world are in gender-
employment, the indicator cant distinguish dominated occupations where at least 80
between work which is formal or informal, percent of workers are of the same sex, a
full time or part time, and permanent or form of labor market rigidity that reduces
seasonal. There is ample evidence that employment opportunity and impairs
womens participation in informal economic efficiency (Anker 2002).
employment is as high as 80 percent in some Occupational segregation is also associated
countries such as India, Uganda, Indonesia, with lower wage rates for women, as typical
among others (Charmes 2000), and that womens occupations tend to have lower
women are more likely to predominate in pay, lower status and fewer possibilities for
part-time and seasonal jobs. advancement than do male occupations.
The ILO has proposed a series of Because of multiple data and other
indicators for equality in access to and fair problems, it is difficult to recommend one
treatment in employment as part of the ILOs global indicator to measure progress toward
decent work initiative (Anker 2002). These eliminating gender inequalities in access to
indicators include gender-disaggregated assets and employment. Unemployment
unemployment rates, the female to male rates, for instance, are an important indicator
wages or earnings ratio (divided by years of of labor market performance in
school which controls for human capital), industrialized countries, but are of much
and occupational segregation by sex (the more limited significance in low-income
percent of non-agricultural employment in economies where the majority of the
male-dominated and female-dominated population engages in some form of
occupations and the index of dissimilarity), economic activity usually informal
among others. employment or self-employment.
Occupational segregation indicators may not
These indicators show a sobering
cover informal employment, and in some
picture of womens status in employment.
countries, they may not be correlated with
For instance, in 1997 female unemployment
other indicators of labor market
rates were higher than male unemployment
disadvantage. And finally, data on the gender
rates in all regions of the world for which
earnings gap in both paid and self-
data were available, although the gap
employment are currently not available
narrowed in some regions (United Nations
for many countries. Of these three indicators,
2000). Similarly, in no country for which
the gender earnings gap is probably the best
data are available do women earn as much
marker of gender equality in the labor
as men. For instance, in the manufacturing
sector in 13 out of 39 countries, women

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

14 Vibhuti Patel

Agency Indicators women aged 15-49 at the hands of an

intimate partner.
The United Nations has recommended
that progress toward womens empowerment Measuring the true prevalence of
be tracked by the female share of seats in gender-based violence presents several
national parliaments. Currently, this is the challenges. To accurately measure true
only indicator that can be tracked on a global prevalence of physical violence, the
scale. It is an imperfect proxy for tracking questions used to gather data must
aggregate levels of female empowerment disaggregate specific acts of physical
because it says nothing about whether violence such as kicking, beating, hitting and
women have power in parliament to make slapping, information which can be hard to
decisions or whether or not they are sensitive obtain because of its sensitive nature.
to gender issues and can promote a gender Statistics available through the police,
equality legislative agenda. It has also been hospitals, womens centers, and other formal
observed that greater progress has been made institutions often underestimate the levels of
in municipal and local level elections than violence because of under-reporting. The
in national elections, so it would therefore WHOs World Report on Violence and
be very useful to track progress that women Health, which presents data from 48
are making at the local level. The population-based surveys conducted in 35
International Union of Local Authorities has developed and developing countries, and
scattered data on municipal level institutions WHOs recent multi-country study on
but aims to construct a global database on womens health and domestic violence lay
women in local government. At the a strong foundation for larger-scale data
individual level, indicators could include collection initiatives. Thus, although
control over fertility and sexuality. Again, prevalence rates are a good indicator, they
however, there is a paucity of such cant be used to track progress toward the
information for most countries. One barrier goal since data are not currently available
that stands in the way of women being able for a large number of countries.
to use their capabilities, exploit General limitations of all indicators
opportunities, and exercise agency is
violence. Worldwide, it has been estimated Beyond the specific issues associated
that violence against women is as serious a with each indicator described above, there
cause of death and incapacity among women are a number of more general issues. First,
of reproductive age as cancer, and is a greater the paucity of data on some indicators
cause of ill-health than traffic accidents and automatically restricts their use, despite the
malaria combined. Therefore, another fact that there may be more valid indicators
indicator of womens agency, albeit in a than the ones for which there is more data.
negative way, is the prevalence of physical Second, good ratios are not good enough
violence in the past year experienced by because they say nothing about the absolute

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Gender and the Millennium Development Goals 15

levels achieved. Third, national averages political power and exercise of rights, and
mask regional variation. Finally, few increased self-esteem.
indicators exist that measure quality of
Women can be empowered through
progress toward the goal instead of just
development interventions. Some of the
quantity of progress. The dearth of data and
clearest evidence comes from evaluations of
lack of standardization across countries limit
well-designed micro credit programs
a complete and accurate measurement of
(Hashemi, Schuler, and Riley 1996). In
gender equality and empowerment. There
addition to gaining greater respect and
are data gaps across all domains
legitimacy in the broader community
capabilities, opportunity, and agency but
particularly from male members because
gaps are particularly prevalent in the domain
of their access to credit, the opportunity to
of opportunity. For example, most of Sub-
have control over decisions about loan size,
Saharan Africa and South Asia are missing
use of the loan, and so forth has been found
data on the share of women in wage
to be empowering for women. Women
employment in the non-agricultural sector.
borrowers have also gained experience and
As noted earlier, even fewer have
confidence as leaders of their Trust Banks
information on womens relative earnings.
(in the Philippines) and have gone on to be
Lack of time-series data is an additional
elected within their barangays in the
hindrance. Finally, data are often missing for
Philippines and Mayor in Honduras
countries that experienced violent conflict
(Cheston 2002). A significant barrier to
during the decade.
womens empowerment is gender-based
violence. As mentioned earlier, the
Meeting the Goal of Empowering Women
prevalence of violence against women can
Meeting the three targets will lay the serve as an indicator of the level of
foundation for womens empowerment empowerment of women in any given
because gaining power in society is country. The lack of data currently makes
dependent upon having capability, this difficult to operationalise in the MDG
opportunity and influence over key decisions context, but it does not reduce the urgency
that affect life outcomes. However, to address this problem.
achieving the goal of womens
At the country level, most initiatives
empowerment is not only about the content
to address violence have been legislative.
of interventions but about the process. The
Although the legislation varies, it typically
process of empowerment varies from culture
includes a combination of protective or
to culture, but there are several types of
restraining orders and penalties for
changes that are considered to be central
offenders. As with property rights, a
across cultures. Some of these changes
formidable challenge are often the
include increased participation in decision-
enforcement of existing laws. Procedural
making, more equitable status of women in
barriers and traditional attitudes of law
the family and community, increased

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

16 Vibhuti Patel

enforcement and judicial officials undermine required to report to the Committee on the
the effectiveness of existing anti-violence Elimination of Discrimination against
laws. Training programs for judicial and law Women on specific measures that they have
enforcement personnel often go a long way taken to advance the Conventions agenda.
to change such attitudes. Beyond training Each country is required to report within one
programs, the establishment of female- year of acceding to the Convention and at
staffed police stations has been effective in least every four years thereafter, including
making them more accessible to women. For whenever the Committee so requests. The
the women who have experienced violence, Committee annually reports to the UN
a range of medical, psychological, legal, General Assembly and makes
educational, and other support services is recommendations to nation states based on
necessary. an evaluation of the country reports. A recent
study of the impact of CEDAW has shown
Finally, to prevent violence,
that it provides a powerful instrument at the
improving womens education levels and
national and international level for defining
economic opportunities has been found to
norms for constitutional guarantees of
be a protective factor (Duvvury 2002; Panda
womens rights, for interpreting laws,
2002). The interventions noted above to
mandating proactive, pro-women policies,
improve womens economic opportunities
and for dismantling discrimination overall
thus become even more important.
(McPhedran et al. 2000). For CEDAW to be
Ultimately, however, the threshold of
used effectively requires action at many
acceptability of violence against women
levels and by many actors. Among the many
needs to be shifted upwards. To do that
factors identified by the study as being key
requires a massive media and public
to the effective utilization of CEDAW were
education campaign.
the following: widespread awareness and
Conclusion knowledge of CEDAW; constructive
dialogue between government
Overall, the Convention to Eliminate representatives, CEDAW Committee
All Forms of Discrimination against Women members, and NGOs; governments
(CEDAW) provides a useful international recognizing how policy goals can be adapted
mechanism to hold countries accountable for to implement their stated commitment to
meeting Goal #3. All nation states that have CEDAW; and the systematic use of gender-
ratified the convention are obligated to take specific indicators to assess the impact of
all necessary measures at the national level governmental policies, laws, and budgets.
to implement the provisions within it, The CEDAW mechanism be used to monitor
including providing legal protection against progress toward the MDGs and to hold
discrimination of women. In order to monitor nations accountable.
progress made by nation states in advancing
the agenda of CEDAW, each nation state is It is important that the women

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Gender and the Millennium Development Goals 17

organizations advocating for sexual and equality and the empowerment of women
reproductive rights develop ways to achieve can secure the future of women themselves,
progress on a range of issues within the their households, and the communities in
framework established by the MDGs. They which they live. Relative to the past, current
should ensure that a rights based approach international development rhetoric places
be applied to development , both within the gender inequality high among the list of
UN system and at the country level, that development priorities. Having an
prioritizes equity, profound social changes, independent MDG goal on gender equality
and sustainability, rather than simply the is a reflection of this new emphasis. The
achievement of narrow quantitative targets. Millennium Development Goals are a
derivative of the Millennium Declaration of
The MDG campaign offers an
September 2000, which spells out the
opportunity to attend to the unfinished
following values: freedom, equality,
business of development by fulfilling the
solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature, and
promises made by world leaders to reduce
shared responsibility. They are a clarion call
poverty, end hunger, improve health and
of 189 governments, on behalf of their
eliminate illiteracy. Gender inequality fuels
citizens. World leaders who are currently
many of these ubiquitous challenges and is
doing performance appraisal must address
exacerbated by them. Conversely, gender
the gender gap in the MDGS.

Anker, R., I. Chernyshev, P. Egger, F. Mehran, and J. Ritter. (2002). Measuring Decent Work with
Statistical Indicators. Policy Integration Paper No. 1. Geneva: ILO.
Charmes, J. (2000). Informal Sector, Poverty and Gender: A Review of Empirical Evidence.
Background Paper for the World Development Report (2001). Washington, D.C. World Bank.
Cheston, S., and L. Kuhn. (2002). Empowering Women through Microfinance. New York: UNIFEM.
Commission on Human Rights. (2003). Preliminary Study on the impact of international economic
and financial issues on the enjoyment of human rights submitted to working group on the right to
development, February 3-14, Geneva.
Duvvury, N., and K. Allendorf. (2001). Domestic Violence in India: The Roles of Education and
Employment. Paper presented at the Sixth Womens Policy Research Conference, The Status of
Women: Facing the Facts, Forging the Future, June 8-9, Washington, DC.
Patel. V and M. Karne (co edited) (2006). Macro Economic Policies and the Millennium Development
Goals, Gyan Publications, New Delhi.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Sue McGinty*
Allison Rossetto**
Anthony McMahon***
Abraham Francis****

Is life getting better for young women? girls. MDG 2 targets universal primary
education by 2015 while MDG 3 seeks to
The real difficulty is that people have eliminate gender disparity in primary
no idea of what education truly is. We assess education by 2005 and all other levels of
the value of education in the same manner education by 2015. The attention on girls
as we assess the value of land or of shares follows increasing evidence that educating
in the stock-exchange market. We want to girls has multiple flow-on effects including
provide only such education as would enable improved maternal health and a reduction
the student to earn more. We hardly give any in infant mortalities, limiting the spread of
thought to the improvement of the character HIV/AIDS, empowering women and
of the educated. The girls, we say, do not reducing poverty (Archer, 2005). As the
have to earn; so why should they be saying goes If you educate a man, you
educated? As long as such ideas persist there educate an individual, but if you educate a
is no hope of our ever knowing the true value woman, you educate the nation (United
of education. Nations Economic and Social Council, 28/
M. K. Gandhi cited in (National 02/2006)).
Council for Teacher Education, Undated) The goal to eliminate disparity in
primary education by 2005, only five years
Introduction after the MDGs were set, recognised that
educating girls underpins the achievement
The United Nations Millennium
of all seven other MDG targets. Helping girls
Campaign started in 2000.147 heads of State
onto the first rung of the development ladder,
and 189 member states of the United
by facilitating access to education, is a
Nations, through the Millennium
necessary first step in the fight to overcome
Development Goals (MDGs), agreed, inter
the challenges of sustainable development
alia, to deliver universal education and
as outlined in the MDGs.
eliminate gender disparity.
In September 2013, the Secretary
Two of the eight MDGs are focussed
General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, noted that
on education, particularly the education of
it was less than 1,000 days to the 2015 target

* Professor, School of Indigenous Australian Studies, James Cook University, Australia

** PhD Candidate, School of Business, James Cook University, Australia
*** Director, Centacare, North Queensland, Australia
**** Senior Lecturer, School of Social Work, James Cook University, Australia Email:
Is Life Getting Better For Young Women? 19

date for achieving the MDGs (United two decades, Gujarats average growth rate
Nations, 2013b). Thirteen years after its of GDP has been higher than the national
inception and less than two years before the average (UNICEF India, downloaded 2013)
Campaign ends, it is now time to ask Is life yet, as a state it ranks poorly on indicators
getting better for young women? of mortality and life expectancy as well as
education, (Arora, 2012;Parikh, 1996).In a
To answer this question, this paper similar vein, while free education was
examines the educational data for India and introduced in Queensland in 1870 and
Australia with particular attention on the women voted for the first time in the 1907
states of Gujarat and Queensland. Our focus state election, a recent Queensland report
on young women in the states of Gujarat and says despite cash being funnelled into
Queensland reflects, respectively, the Queenslands education system, the states
location of the conference in which this schools are behind national and international
paper is being presented and the authors standards (Queensland schools given fail
home state. Beyond that, these localities mark as Newman Government promises
represent two states in different stages of overhaul by:Tanya Chilcott, The Courier-
development and where government policies Mail, December 23, 2013)
relating to young women1 and education are
likely to differ to reflect both shared and Our analysis uses secondary
disparate social values. education data and past research findings to
examine how the lives of young women have
The states of Gujarat and Queensland changed since the declaration of the MDGs.
are not similar. Gujarat is on the north-west We concentrate first on achievements to date
coast of India, Queensland is on the north- on MDGs 2 and 3 that target education for
east coast of Australia. Queensland has an all, at least to the primary level, and
area nearly nine times larger than Gujarat eradication of gender disparity in all levels
but Gujarat has a population thirteen times of education. We then seek to understand the
larger than Queenslands. However, Gujarat strategies that have underpinned such
is considered to be one of Indias richest changes before finally identifying what still
states (Morris, 2012)and is considered the needs to be done.
entrepreneurial hub of India (Mehta & Joshi,
2002) while Queenslands economy is To understand the current status of
growing at twice the rate of the rest of girls education in Gujarat and Queensland
Australia (Queensland economy powering our analysis is guided initially by the relevant
ahead of the rest of Australia by:Paul indicators associated with MDGs 2 and 3
Syvret,The Courier-Mail, October 11, outlined in Table 1 below. As performance
2013).But all is not perfect. Over the past against MDG indicators is generally reported
at the national level results for India and
1 In the context of this paper Young women refers Australia are also considered.
to girls and young women to the age of 24

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

20 Sue McGinty, Ms Allison Rossetto, Dr Anthony McMahon, Dr Abraham Francis

Target 2.A: Ensure that, by in 2010 (World Bank, Undated-b). At the

2015, children everywhere, same time the enrolment of boys also
boys and girls alike, will be improved. By 2008 gender parity was
able to complete a full reached for enrolments.
course of primary schooling Gujarat seems to be on a similar
2.1 Net enrolment ratio in primary trajectory. According to the Education
education Department of the Government of Gujarat
(Education Department Government of
2.2 Proportion of pupils starting grade 1 Gujarat, 2013) the ratio of girls to boys
who reach last grade of primary admitted to 1st standard in 2003-04 was
2.3 Literacy rate of 15-24 year-olds, 90:100 while in 2012-203 this was 97:1002.
women and men In net enrolment terms3 (age 6 to 14) Gujarat
performs better than India for both boys and
Target 3.A: Eliminate
girls (Boys 97.49 per cent: 89.98 per cent
gender disparity in primary
and girls 93.96 per cent and 83.48 per cent
and secondary education,
respectively (Mahatma Gandhi Labour
preferably by 2005, and in
Institute, 2004).
all levels of education no
later than 2015 In Australia and Queensland primary
3.1 Ratios of girls to boys in primary, enrolments and school participation rates for
secondary and tertiary education 6 year olds respectively have been
consistently high (above 95per cent) for both
Source:(United Nations, 2013c, 2013d) boys and girls for the last two decades
(World Bank, Undated-a)(Australian Bureau
Enrolment rates of Statistics, 2012b)
While advances in universal Retention rates
education have been made, in 2013 over 57
million children globally continued to be out Enrolment rates and parity at
of school (United Nations, 2013). This is an enrolment age, however, fail to show the full
achievement, as this number is less than the picture. Once boys and girls are enrolled in
over 100 million children not in school in school do they continue? Does parity endure
2005, 59 per cent of whom were girls as children progress through the years of
(Archer, 2005). education?
In India and Australia the story
2 Note: this ratio may reflect the ratio of girls to boys
appears to be better than the global average. in the population
In India enrolment of girls in school
3 Net enrolment refers to the proportion of children
increased from 75.9 per cent in 2000 to 93.5 of a particular age group attending grades
per cent in 2004 and further to 98.5 per cent specified for that age group.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Is Life Getting Better For Young Women? 21

At a national level, MDG data for the For Queensland, school participation
proportion of students starting grade 1 who rates for age 12 (the average age students
reach the last grade of primary is only graduate from primary education) remain
available for India to 2009. No MDG data is high (102 per cent4) suggesting that few
available on this indicator for Australia. In students drop out at primary school levels.As
India in 2009 more than 97 per cent of both Queensland students progress through
girls and boys completed their primary secondary school a majority remain enrolled
education. This is up from around 63 per cent to the age of 15 (year 10). But, in 2006, by
of girls and 82 per cent of boys in 16 years of age close to 20 per cent of boys
1995(United Nations, 2013a). In Australia had dropped out although this had been
the participation rate of students in the final reduced to 12.5 per cent by 2012.In contrast,
year of primary education remains close to in 2006, around 12.5 per cent of girls
100 per cent with the number of male dropped out of school at age 16 and this had
studentsaround 2 percentage points higher been reduced to around 8 per cent in 2012
than female students. This remains the case (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012b).
through junior secondary school but reverses
by years 11 and 12 when the number of Literacy rates
female students exceeds the number of male Literacy rates recognise that attending
students(Australian Bureau of Statistics, and staying at school do not, by themselves,
2012b). demonstrate learning and retention. Literacy
State level data is more scant. Gujarat rates, or the percentage of the population
has made significant advances over the last aged 15-24 years who can both read and
decade to reduce the number of drop-outs in write with understanding a short simple
primary education. Drop-out rates have statement on everyday life, has improved
declined substantially from averages of dramatically in India. Literacy rates of
around 18 per cent and 34 per cent for younger people aged 15 to 24 have increased
Standards 1 to 5 and Standards 1 to 7 from 61.9 per cent of the population in 1991
respectively in 2003-04 to as low as 2 per to 81.1 per cent in 2006 (World Bank,
cent and 7.5 per cent respectively in 2011- Undated-b)and, according to the census, to
12. Drop-out rates for girls have declined in as high as 83 per cent in 2011(Census
line with drop-out rates for boys. However, Organisation of India, 2011). Literacy is
there are significant regional disparities highest amongst younger Indians (in 2011
across the state with the dry regions the overall literacy rate 74 per cent while
experiencing the highest dropout rates youth literacy rate is 83 per cent) and has
resulting in only 60.45 per cent of girls and increased most significantly amongst
83.24 per cent of boys attending elementary 4 Rate exceeds 100% as it includes students who
reside outside of Queensland who are enrolled in
school(Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute, Queensland schools. (Australian Bureau of
2004). Statistics, 2012b)

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

22 Sue McGinty, Ms Allison Rossetto, Dr Anthony McMahon, Dr Abraham Francis

women. That said women still fall some way of 15 74 achieved Level 3 or above literacy
behind men with 84 women to every 100 levels5. Level 3 literacy is generally regarded
men between the ages of 15 to 24 literate in as the minimum required for individuals to
2006 up from 67:100 in 1991 and 80:100 in meet the complex demands of everyday life
2001 (United Nations, Undated-b). and work in the emerging knowledge-based
economy (Australian Bureau of Statistics,
Literacy rates in Gujarat have also 2008, p5). This was slightly above the
seen an upward trend reaching 78.03 per cent overall average for Australia (53.6 per cent).
in the 2011 population census(Census Literacy levels for women in Queensland
Organisation of India, 2011). While female were slightly above those of men with 56.7
literacy has improved it has done so at a per cent and 55.3 per cent achieving Level 3
slower rate than male literacy and thus or above respectively (Australian Bureau of
remains significantly behind that of males Statistics, 2013b).
(63.31 per cent and 85.75 per cent
respectively). This was up from 2001 when Literacy levels in Australia have not
the overall literacy rate in Gujarat stood at changed much over the past two decades. In
69.14 per cent (60.40 per cent and 78.49 per 2006, 53 per cent of Australians achieved
cent respectively for females and males). level 3 or above in prose literacy which was
According to the 2004 MDG report for only a slight improvement on 1996 at
Gujarat, tribal women in the state have the approximately 51 per cent (Australian
lowest levels of literacy and geographical Bureau of Statistics, 2008).
disparities are apparent (Mahatma Gandhi
Labour Institute, 2004). In the dry region in Gender disparity
the north, for example, female literacy rates Gender parity has also improved
are as low as 41.3 per cent (in contrast to considerably in India over the past two
males of the same region at 69.9 per cent) decades at all levels of education (primary,
(Census Organisation of India, 2011). secondary and tertiary). Primary education
Indigenous children in remote areas of reached parity between girls and boys in
Australia have among the lowest literacy 2007, up from 74 girls to every 100 boys in
rates in Australia. Lack of school attendance 1990, and has remained so since. As
is the main reason (http:// schooling continues, however, fewer girls remain. In 2010, 92 girls for every 100 boys
what-is-indigenous-literacy.html Accessed attended secondary school and 73 girls for
20/01/2014). every 100 boys received tertiary education
In Queensland recent data on adult (United Nations, Undated-b).
literacy rates collected as part of the 5 Literacy was measured on a scale of 1 to 4 with
increasing levels of complexity. For definitions see
Programme for the International Assessment ABS (2013) Programme for the International
of Adult Competencies (PIACC) found that Assessment of Adult Competencies, Australia,
only 56.0 per cent of adults between the ages 2011-2012, 4228.0

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Is Life Getting Better For Young Women? 23

From Gujarat data it is possible to is possible to calculate the ratio of female to

calculate the ratio of girls to boys enrolled males (2006 to 2012). Note: this does not
in Standard 1. Over the past decade the ratio take into account the ratio of girls to boys in
has varied from 92 to 98 girls per 100 boys. the population. Parity between boys and girls
Note: this may be more of a reflection of at enrolment age (age 6) has been consistent
female representation in the population as over that time (Australian Bureau of
much as parity in enrolment. When Statistics, 2012b).
considering the dropout rates from Standard
1 to 5 and Standard 1 to 7 (reported above), Is life better?
girls have had consistently higher dropout
rates over the past decade suggesting The galvanising effect of the MDGs
decreasing parity in secondary and tertiary on girls education has contributed, at least
education (Education Department in part, to significant advances in primary
Government of Gujarat, 2013). school enrolment and retention, particularly
in India and Gujarat. But, is this sufficient
In contrast, in Australia, girls and boys to improve the lives of young women?
are on par for receiving primary and
secondary education but by tertiary level Critics of the MDG indicators relating
girls far outstrip boys (135 girls to every 100 to education argue that they are reductionist
boys in 2010). This has been the case for and inadequate and that to achieve the goals
the last two decades (United Nations, of universal education and gender parity then
Undated-a). education in its broader sense needs to be
considered. This includes early childhood,
In Queensland policy initiatives aimed lower secondary and youth education, as
at removing female disadvantage in well as adult literacy and quality which were
education in the 1970s / 80swere slow to be all addressed under the Education for All
introduced when compared to other states Framework at the World Education Form in
in the country. This is attributed to the Dakar months prior to the declaration of the
conservative political agenda of the state MDGs (Archer, 2005). Rather than reducing
government at the time which saw womens the focus of education to primary education,
place in the home, combined with the Archer argues, we need to educate the
particular social, cultural and ideological decision makers those who decide whether
values of key and powerful groups within their children should attend school; and
the community. SeeLingard, Henry, and focus on all areas of disadvantage that
Taylor (1987) for a chronological review of prohibit children from attending school
the struggle for girls education in disability, homelessness, poverty, children
Queensland.Using ABS data on full-time and of migrant labourers, orphans and those from
part-time student numbers in Queensland linguistic and ethnic minority backgrounds
government and non-government schools it not just gender.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

24 Sue McGinty, Ms Allison Rossetto, Dr Anthony McMahon, Dr Abraham Francis

In Australia experience has shown that (Whitehouse, 2003, p116).While significant

increased participation of girls in education advances were made to address pay inequity
over the past three decades has resulted in limited progress has been made
increased participation by women in the since(Whitehouse, 2003). Demonstrating
workforce but failed to translate into persisting pay inequities in the Australian
equality. While young women have, in labour market, in 2010 the median salary for
general terms, been better educated than women with postgraduate qualifications was
young men since the mid-1990s (OECD, $70 000 compared with $85 000 for their
2011 cited in (Adema, 2013) in labour male counterparts(Australian Bureau of
markets, for example, they continue to suffer Statistics, 2012a). Income inequality is
from disadvantage including lower closely related to disparity in higher
participation than their male counterparts in education choices where women are
paid work, higher participation in part time generally underrepresented in science,
work, pay inequity, limited career technology, engineering and mathematics,
advancement opportunities and limited sectors which generally attract higher
prospects of reaching the top of the career starting salaries, yet are over represented in
ladder as well as lower retirement fields such as health and education (ABS
income(Adema, 2013). In addition, as 2012a;Adema, 2013). Similar findings are
expectations for women to co-contribute to shared across OECD countries. Adema
family income have increased, women, in (2013) notes that educational performance
the most part, continue to carry the majority (or underperformance) by women in
of the burden of household and other unpaid particular subject areas is unlikely to be the
duties. In the 2012-13 Multipurpose contributing factor to differing educational
Household Survey (MPHS) conducted choices but that such choices are more likely
across Australia, women are over to be driven by attitudes and interest towards
represented (60 per cent) as a share of those particular subjects that are likely to be
who wanted a job or preferred to work more formed early in life and influenced by
hours with the need to care for children, traditional perceptions of gender roles and
particularly due to the high costs of wide acceptance of the cultural values
childcare, being reported as the main reason associated with particular fields of study
for not looking for work or more hours (p. 8).
(Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013a).
In India and Gujarat the challenges are
Gender equity in the Australian different. Like Australia, at the national level
workforce made advances in the 1970s with India has put in place legislation and social
the introduction of fair pay legislation and a policies to reduce gender inequality such as
strongly centralised Australian award marriage acts (1955), acts for the
system to eliminate the most overt forms of prevention of trafficking of women (1959)
wage discrimination against women and education for womens equality in the

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Is Life Getting Better For Young Women? 25

1986 National Policy on Education will increase access to economic

(NPE)(Ross, Shah, & Wang, 2011). Since opportunities rather than relying on networks
the commitments made in the NPE, India, to find employment (The saying in Australia
together with international development its not what you know but who you know
agencies, has continued to put in place suggests a similar past).
policies to narrow the gender gap in
education (for a review see Ross et al, 2011). While significant advances have been
made since the declaration of the MDGs in
Enrolment rates for girls have increased
the enrolment of girls in primary school, girls
substantially and dropout rates through
remain underrepresented in secondary and
primary education have decreased.Staying
tertiary education and womens literacy rates
in school for girls, however, is limited by
continue to be substantially below that of
factors such as domestic responsibilities
including cooking, collecting firewood and
water and taking care of younger siblings or
the need to work, particularly in poorer What still needs to be done?
families, For girls the effects of cultural
The concerns of the MDGs about
practices such as payments of dowry by a
women and girls are a core concern for social
brides family, hypergamous marriage and a
workers.The International Federation of
patrilineal kinship system also contribute to
Social Workers (IFSW) has stated
lower retention of rates past grade 5(Ross et
al., 2011). The practice of girls moving to the social work professions core
the family of the husband after marriage commitment to human rights must involve a
means that any investment in the education commitment to protecting and preserving the
of daughters is perceived as lost to the basic rights of all women and girls. Women
family. of all ages and at all stages of the life cycle
deserve protection from discrimination in all
In Gujarat specifically low education forms, including the elimination of all forms
attainment results for both boys and girls in of gender-specific discrimination and
the state, relative to other states in India, are violence
considered to be the result of macro
conditions such as poverty, environmental (International Federation of Social
degradation and high levels of seasonal Workers, 2014, s.51)
migration together with low priority given
to education by parents and children and This definition moves the debate
poor quality of education that is not very beyond the MDGs concern for education
relevant to the poor(Mahatma Gandhi and equity to wider social and cultural
Labour Institute, 2004). Trust in the constraints on women and girls.Obviously
education system is an issue. Parents and governments in India and Australia, Gujarat
students need to believe that an education and Queensland have put in place

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

26 Sue McGinty, Ms Allison Rossetto, Dr Anthony McMahon, Dr Abraham Francis

educational policies for girls that are bearing Australia, similarly, the Office for Women
fruit.Life is getting better, at least in that in the Department of Prime Minister and
respect.But what, then, when girls are Cabinet prioritises economic security, safety,
educated?Are their circumstances better, are reducing violence against women and
they able to use the education they have enhancing womens organisations to
received, have their life choices really improve womens equal place in society
changed? (Office for Women, 2014).
The work of social workers has a dual For a social work response, besides
perspective: the person in their education, the IFSW lists five other critical
environment.In this the profession argues concerns (International Federation of Social
that the person can only be understood and Workers, 2014, s4.1)to guide social workers:
assisted as they are interacting within their
social environment.For the educated young 1. Poverty:Among the worlds 1 billion
woman, there are a number of circumstances people living in poverty, women remain in
that can limit or pervert the potential she has the majority (INSTRAW, 2005). Womens
because of the particular environment in poverty results from structural factors related
which she lives.The IFSW is clear that about to national debt burdens, inadequate
the professions obligations and asks social government spending on programs targeted
workers to work on these limiting to women, and paid employment that is often
issues:This special commitment to women limited to the lowest-paying and most
of all ages is necessary because in all unstable jobs that provide the least (if
national and cultural contexts women and anything) in employment-related benefits
girls do not have equal access to the tangible (UNIFEM, 2005).
and intangible benefits of being members of 2. The economy:Although women do
human society (International Federation of the majority of the worlds work, women do
Social Workers, 2014, s1.2). not share equally in income, earnings, and
Obviously, there have been some good wealth. Discrimination against women in
changes but there is a way to go.Reports earnings, employment, access to credit and
from both our countries show that girls, capital accumulation mechanisms, and
including educated girls, still face employment-related public and private
considerable, unfair barriers to full social benefit systems (UNIFEM, 2005) also
participation in employment, political and affects the economic well-being of their
economic life.In India, for example, the 12th children and other household members.
Five Year Plan (2012-2017) gives the 3. Health:All aspects of health and
highest priority to ending gender based health care, including mental health along
inequities, discrimination and violence faced with physical, social, and sexual and
by girls and women (Planning Commission reproductive health, are vital to human and
Government of India, 2013, p214).In social well-being. Gender disparities in

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Is Life Getting Better For Young Women? 27

health and access to health care persist infanticide or abandonment, childhood

worldwide. sexual exploitation, genital mutilation, and
limited access to adequate nutrition and
4. Violence:Many women and girls health care all affect the number of girls in
from all social, cultural, and income groups some parts of the world who survive into
are subject to specific forms of physical, adulthood (Working Group on Girls, 2006).
sexual, and psychological violence because
of their gender. This gender-specific violence These critical concerns are systemic
includes emotional, physical, and verbal issues that show that gender is
assault; rape and mass rape; sexual interconnected with and interwoven in all
harassment; sexual exploitation and slavery; aspects of contemporary societies.This is not
forced pregnancy; forced or selective new; it has been known for many years.What
abortion; and forced sterilization. it does show is that improvement in female
education as planned for in the MDGs can
5. Discrimination for being a be held back if the social contexts of girls
girl:Discrimination against women can lives are not also improved.Both India and
begin early in life. Prenatal selection, female Australia require further action here.

Adema, W. (2013). Greater gender equality: What role for family policy? Family Matters, 93, 7-16.
Archer, D. (2005). Critical issues around the Millennium Development Goals and education.
Convergence, 38(3), 19-31.
Arora, R. U. (2012). Gender inequality, economic development, and globalisation: A state level
analysis of India. The Journal of Developing Areas, 46(1), 147-164.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2008). Adult literacy and life skills survey, summary results Australia.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2012a). Australian Social Trends, Sep 2012. Retrieved 4 January
2014, from Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2012b). Schools, Australia, 2012. (4221.0). Retrieved 3 January
2014, from Australian Bureau of Statistics
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013a). Barriers and incentives to labour force participation, Australia,
July 2012 to June 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2014, from Australian Bureau of STatistics http://

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28 Sue McGinty, Ms Allison Rossetto, Dr Anthony McMahon, Dr Abraham Francis

Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2013b). Programme for the International Assessment of Adult
Competencies, Australia, 2011-12. Retrieved 10 January 2014, from Australian Bureau of Statistices -
Census Organisation of India. (2011). Literacy in India. Retrieved 29 December 2013, from http:/
Education Department Government of Gujarat. (2013). Girls Education. Retrieved 29 December
2013, from
Indigenous Literacy Foundation,
literacy.html Accessed 20/1/2014.
International Federation of Social Workers. (2014). Policies: Women. from
Lingard, B., Henry, M., & Taylor, S. (1987). A girl in a militant pose: A chronology of struggle in
girls education in Queensland. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 8(2), 135-152.
Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute. (2004). Gujarat Human Development Report 2004. Ahmedabad.
Mehta, D., & Joshi, B. (2002). Entrepreneurial innovations in Gujarat. AI & Society, 16, 73-88.
Morris, S. (2012). Economic growth in Gujarat in relation to the nation and other states in recent
times - A statistical analysis. Ahmedabad, India: Indian Institute of Management.
National Council for Teacher Education. (Undated). Gandhi on education. Retrieved 3 January
2014, from
Parikh, K. S. (1996). Equitable sustainable development of Gujarat. Economic and Political Weekly,
31(19), 1151-1164.
Planning Commission Government of India (Producer). (2013, 13 January 2014). 12th Five Year
Plan, Social Sectors. Retrieved from
Ross, H. A., Shah, P. P., & Wang, L. (Writers). (2011). Situating empowerment for millennial
schoolgirls in Gujarat, India and Shaanxi, China, Feminist Formations.
United Nations (Producer). (2013a, 29 December 2013). MDG Country Progress Snapshot: India.
Retrieved from
United Nations (Producer). (2013b, 10 January 2014). Millenium Development Goals and Beyond
2015: Report of the UN Secretary-General: A Life of Dignity for All. Retrieved from http://
United Nations (Producer). (2013c, 29 December 2003). Millennium Development Goals and beyond
2015: Fact sheet Goal 2. Retrieved from

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Is Life Getting Better For Young Women? 29

United Nations (Producer). (2013d, 29 December 2013). Millennium Development Goals and beyond
2015: Fact Sheet Goal 3. Retrieved from
United Nations. (Undated-a). Millennium Development Goals Indiators: The official United Nations
site fo rthe MDG indicators: Australia. Retrieved 29 December 2013, from
United Nations (Producer). (Undated-b, 29 December 2013). Millennium Development Goals
Indiators: The official United Nations site fo rthe MDG indicators: India. Retrieved from http://
United Nations Economic and Social Council. (28/02/2006). Commission on the Stautus of Women
Fiftieth Session, 4th & 5th meetings: Absence of women for leadership positions undermines
democracy,. (WOM/1541), Retrieved from
Whitehouse, G. (2003). Gender and pay equity: Future research directions. Asia Pacific Journal of
Human Resources, 41(1), 116-128.
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data India. Retrieved from

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Indira Bhatt*
Prema Mysore **
Vijay Gupta***

Introduction Civilizational Collapse due to water

shortages and food economy that Lester
Beginning of the 21st century marks Brown1 has articulated. We focus on India
the pinnacle of information technology and on the issue of water shortages, and contrast
its resulting communication revolution. it with the central role that water
They play a key role in the evolution of management played in the traditional Indian
humanity giving people the power to connect system of agriculture. In Section-2 we turn
and share viewpoints, ideas and knowledge to the role of Women in Agriculture. This
at an unprecedented speed with the whole context is global, but by way of illustration,
world. People are becoming increasingly we focus on Indian women as the hidden
aware of this emerging interconnectedness face of agriculture. We address important
with each other, the planet, and the entire Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in
universe. How they think and live, or what this section, and briefly introduce the
they eat and do to survive or thrive, are pioneering work of Dr. Vandana Shiva, an
directly related to the human footprint on international force of change, on the
the planet. Resultant global chaos needs sustainable agriculture front.
urgent attention to bring order. By using the
overlapping academic parameters of Theory, Section-3 continues with a focus the
Practice, Experience and Research, we have impact of our Food Choices on a diverse set
designed a roadmap in this paper. We of major issues including personal to
specifically address strategies to fill gaps and planetary wellness. In Section 4, we
suggest an implementation plan in the illustrate that many if not all problems of
context of social work education and modern society can be traced to the
practice. Limitations of the Modern Science based on
the unproven 17th century assumption that
The organization of our paper is nature is only material and without
shown in Figure-1. Each arm extending from consciousness. This assumption has led to
the circle in the figure corresponds to a an even-growing consumerism and great
section in our paper. There are seven imbalance in personal lives with disastrous
effects on the planet: Global warming,
sections. In Section-1 we explain

* Rocky Mountain Institute of Yoga and Ayurveda, Boulder, Colorado, USA

** CPA, Independent Consultant and Wellness Practitioner, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
YANTRA Foundation, Banglore, India
*** Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA Email :
Education Transforming Individuals 31

Figure-1 A Schematic Diagram Showing the Organization of the Paper

massive water shortages, destruction of rain section consist of the latest advances in
forests and ill effects of chemical and Epigenetics: the new science of self-
genetically modified agriculture on human empowerment. An implementation of these
health and serious water pollution, and the advances is explained within the framework
list goes on. In Section 5, explains the of Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY).
Science of Mind, which gives practices to Section 6 gives agriculture and food
transform and reprogram the deeply Sustainability Programs from two American
embedded subconscious thought patterns, Universities that can be widely adopted as
attitudes, and behavior. The findings in this academic models. Section 7 gives two

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

32 Indira Bhatt, Prema Mysore, Vijay K Gupta

existing educational curricula and practices it to the Vedic period. A key component of
based in UK and USA. We propose a the ancient Indian agricultural production
Roadmap to Implement for Faculty of Social was its relationship with skillful and wise
Work (FSW) housed in the Maharaja water-management practices, because entire
Sayajirao University (MSU), Vadodara, rainfall is mostly concentrated in the few
India. monsoon months. Water management
necessitated a certain degree of cooperation
1. Civilizational Collapse and collective spirit in the Indian
countryside, and until the imposition of
Early Sumerian civilization declined colonial rule, it precluded any widespread
and collapsed due to shrinking food supplies, development of private property in India.
rising salt levels in the soilthe result of a Regional rulers, or local representatives of
flaw in their irrigation system1. For the the state were generally obliged to allocate
Mayans, soil erosion exacerbated by a series a certain percentage of the agricultural taxes
of intense droughts apparently undermined on building and managing water-storage,
their food supply and their civilization. For water-harvesting and/or water-diverting
other early civilizations that collapsed, it was structures which facilitated a second crop,
often soil erosion and the resulting shrinkage and provided water for drinking and other
in harvests that led to their decline. Does purposes in the long dry season.
our modern civilization face a similar fate?
Lester Brown states, our food shortages Quoting Brown from Indias
could also bring down our early twenty-first dangerous food bubble1a: India is now the
century global civilization. Our continuing worlds third-largest grain producer after
failure to reverse the environmental trends China and the United States. The adoptions
that are undermining the world food of higher-yielding crop varieties and the
economy forces me to conclude that if we spread of irrigation have led to this
continue with business as usual such a remarkable tripling of output since the early
collapse is not only possible but likely. In 1960s. In recent years about 27 million wells
an update to his book in 2013, he cited have been drilled, chasing water tables
Indias dangerous food bubble due to downward in every Indian state.
unsustainable use of groundwater resources Unfortunately, a growing share of the water
for agriculture. that irrigates three-fifths of Indias grain
harvest is coming from wells that are starting
India developed a sustainable system to go dry. This sets the stage for a major
of agriculture in the ancient period. disruption in food supplies for Indias
Vrikshayaurveda (the science of plant life) growing population.
that developed in India is attributed to sage
Surpala. Sadhale2 dates it around 1,000 AD, What made India get off the track
but references to ancient agriculture predate from its ancient agriculture system and move

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Education Transforming Individuals 33

into a highly unsustainable water also are integral to alleviating hunger and
management system and other practices malnutrition because they are primarily
involving chemical agriculture? This is a key responsible for ensuring that food for their
question that needs a careful examination families is reliably available, accessible and
and analysis in the light of ancient Indian nutritionally balanced 6. On an average,
agriculture history and the adverse impact agriculture provides 64 percent of
of colonization on these practices. employment and represents 34 percent of
gross domestic product (GDP) in the poorest
2. Women in Agriculture countries7. Therefore, by focusing attention
on women in farming, several MDGs (1,3,4,
Connection of women and agriculture 7, 8) can be addressed.
is age-old in ancient civilizations. According
to Swaminathan 3 , the well-known If women farmers across the
agricultural scientist, some historians developing world had the same access to
believe that it was women who first labor, fertilizer, extension services, and seeds
domesticated crop plants and thereby as male farmers, yields would increase by
initiated the art and science of farming. as much as 20-30 percent per household, and
While men went out hunting in search of reduce hunger for 100-150 million people8
food, women started gathering seeds from (MDG 1). Equal access to production
the native flora and began cultivating those resources for men and women would raise
of interest from the point of view of food, total agricultural output in developing
feed, fodder, fiber and fuel. countries by 2.54 percent, contributing to
food security and economic growth9.
Indeed, four decades of research
demonstrates the varied and crucial Recent estimates show that only 5
responsibilities that women hold in percent of foreign aid that is directed to the
agriculture and the value of their agricultural sector focuses on gender
contributions, both economic and social. equality4. Overall; the labor burden of rural
Rural women produce half of the worlds women exceeds that of men and includes a
food and, in developing countries, between higher proportion of unpaid household
60 percent and 80 percent of food crops4. responsibilities related to preparing food,
Women also are more likely than men to collecting fuel and water4. Women and girls
spend their income on the wellbeing of their spend a significant amount of time carrying
families, including more nutritious foods, water. According to Stanford researchers, a
school fees for children and health care. decrease of even 15 minutes in walking time
When credit is provided directly to a woman, to fetch water is associated with significant
it can increase household consumption and reductions in child mortality (MDG 4).
childrens schooling. Loan repayment rates In developing countries economic
are higher for women than for men5. Women growth originating in the agricultural sector

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

34 Indira Bhatt, Prema Mysore, Vijay K Gupta

is at least twice as effective in reducing externalities such as lower educational

poverty as growth originating elsewhere. To attainment for their children and poor
solve the problems of poverty and hunger, familial health.
the agriculture sector in these countries
particularly smallholder agriculture in which 2.1 Women and Sustainable Agriculture
women are the driving force needs to be
more efficient4 (MDG 1). Dr. Vandana Shiva is an international
force of change on the sustainable
The World Trade Organization has agriculture front. She founded Navdanya in
had a negative impact on women in India13, which means nine seeds, and it
agriculture 12. On an average, a woman symbolizes protection of biological and
spends 14 hours a day working in and outside cultural diversity. This women-centered
the home. During harvesting season she network of seed keepers and organic
spends about 16 hours a day. According to producers has spread across 17 states in
the Sustainable Development Department of India. Navdanya has helped set up 111
the Food and Agriculture Organization community seed banks across the country,
(FAO)8a: trained over 5,00,000 farmers in seed
In the Indian Himalayas a pair of sovereignty, food sovereignty and
bulls works 1,064 hours, a man 1,212 hours, sustainable agriculture over the past two
and a woman 3,485 hours in a year on a decades, and helped setup the largest direct
one-hectare farm, a figure, which illustrates marketing, fair trade organic network in the
womens significant contribution to country. Navdanya is actively involved in the
agricultural production. rejuvenation of indigenous knowledge and
culture. It has created awareness on the
The question arises why womens role hazards of genetic engineering, defended
in the economy is not recognized and has peoples knowledge from biopiracy and food
been given such an inferior position? Indian rights in the face of globalization and climate
women represent the hidden face of change. Navdanya has also set up a learning
agriculture. In rural India, the percentage of center, Bija Vidyapeeth - School of the Seed
women who depend on agriculture for their / Earth University, on its biodiversity
livelihood is as high as 84%. Women also conservation and organic farm in Doon
heavily participate in ancillary agricultural Valley, Uttarakhand, North India.
activities. Despite their dominance of the
labor force women in India still face extreme 3. Food Choices
disadvantage in terms of pay, land rights, and
representation in local farmers Worldwide popularity of convenient
organizations. Furthermore their lack of junk/fast food lacking in nutrition is an
empowerment often results in negative American corporate, profit-driven, endeavor

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Education Transforming Individuals 35

that began about 50 years ago. It is environment and public health as well as on
responsible for the rise of obesity, diabetes, the economy. Worldwide meat production
and related serious ailments all over the has tripled over the last four decades and
world. Rise of obesity in the US is wide increased 20 percent in just the last 10 years.
spread, and the consumption of prescription Meanwhile, industrial countries are
drugs has been rising14. consuming growing amounts of meat, nearly
double the quantity in developing countries.
The food habits in India have changed Much of the vigorous growth in meat
due to the western influence and the usage production is due to the rise of industrial
of fast foods is also on the rise. Varieties of animal agriculture, or factory farming, which
instant/ready-to-eat foods available in pollute the environment through the heavy
catering industries as well as at homes are use of inputs such as pesticides, herbicides,
becoming a part of every day life15. There and fertilizers used for feed production.
has been a major shift in food habits in the Large-scale meat production also has serious
metropolitan cities. According to a survey implications for the worlds climate. Animal
undertaken in 2011 by the Associated waste releases methane and nitrous oxide,
Chambers of Commerce and Industry of greenhouse gases that are 25 and 300 times
India, about 86% of households prefer to more potent than carbon dioxide,
have instant food due to steep rise in dual respectively. In India, a country long
income level and standard of living, associated with vegetarianism, and where
convenience, and influence of western slaughtering cows is forbidden, the
countries. The survey on Ready to Eat Food overall meat consumption has grown by 14
in Metropolitan Cities is based on responses percent from 2010 to 2012. Arable land is
from 3,000 representative households with scarce, and it is directly impacting the rate
children or without children, nuclear family of decline in available growing land because
and bachelors mainly because many the animals are gobbling up this
consumers in metros lead time-pressured irreplaceable resource due to meat diet of
lifestyles and have less time available for humans.
formal meals. As a result demand remains
high for products which can be eaten on the The prevalence of obesity is rising
go. It is also estimated that this food globally and in India. Chopra et al. 17
processing industry will show the annual published a survey article with a focus on
growth of 40-60% in next five years15. overweight, obesity and related diseases in
Asian Indian women. This review highlights
According to research done by World the Asian Indian body composition with
watch Institutes Nourishing the Planet regards to obesity and provides a collated
project 16 , global meat production and perspective of gender-specific prevalence of
consumption have increased rapidly in the co-morbidities. Recent data show that
recent decades, with harmful effects on the women have a higher prevalence of

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

36 Indira Bhatt, Prema Mysore, Vijay K Gupta

overweight and obesity as compared with from the earth, nutrients inherent to fertile
men in India and that obesity is increasing soil transform into plant matter. Now
in the youth. Importantly, prevalence of biologically usable by animal and human
abdominal obesity has been consistently alike, this nutrient-infused plant has
higher in women than in men. South India transformed compounds from the soil into
(rural Andhra Pradesh, 2006) reports the digestible sustenance for its consumer19.
lowest prevalence (6.0%) of type-2 diabetes Plants grown in nutrient-rich soil serve as a
mellitus in women, where as the highest vessel by which nutrition is transferred to
(14.0%) is reported in the urban areas. whomever, or whatever, eats them. This
Although the clustering of cardiovascular being the case, it is also true that very few
disease risk factors was generally high, it nutrients exist in plants that have been grown
increased further in post-menopausal in over-farmed soil. Those crops are simply
women. There are a number of factors that void of nutrients that have been extracted
predispose Indian women to obesity; by numerous plants grown on the same lot
sedentary behavior, imbalanced diets, of land previously, each one of lower
sequential and additive postpartum weight nutritional value than the one before.
gain and further decrease in physical activity
The benefits of basing your diet on
during this period and cultural issues. In
nutrient-rich, plant-based whole foods will
view of these data, preventive measures
dramatically reduce your risk of disease, turn
should be specifically targeted to Indian
off your hunger signal and cravings, boost
your overall health and allow you to mentally
Researchers and health professionals and physically outperform those who are on
have long been aware of the consequences junk/fast foods. It will help preserve the
associated with eating fast food, but until environment, and ensure that theres
now, no one realized how quickly the sufficient arable land in which to grow
damage begins. A new study, published in nutrient-rich food. Will increased demand
the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, for meat lead to more competition among
indicates that damage to the arteries occurs farmers and food companies for valuable
almost immediately after just one thats natural resources such as water and land and,
right, one junk food-type meal. Based on rather than solving Indias food problems,
the science, moderation with junk food will further exacerbate it? This is one of most
doesnt really exist. What is even more pressing issue that India and the world face
shocking is the fact that corporate marketing because it is directly tied to civilizational
of junk food is especially targeting collapse explained in Section-1.
children18. So what is nutrition, and why do
we care? 4. Limitations of Modern Science
Food is really little more than a Abraham Lincoln said in 1864 during
median for soil-based nutrients. Drawing the American Civil War, As a result of the

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Education Transforming Individuals 37

war, corporations have been enthroned and corporations have taken control of global
an era of corruption in high places will agriculture. For example, green revolution
follow. What followed is a direct testimony in Indian agriculture in the 1960s introduced
to the visionary prediction that Lincoln pesticides and other chemicals in it.
made. Western multinational corporations Although it greatly increased the crop yields
called the Empire run the world20. The in the short run, the effects of chemical
corporate empire was built on the modern pesticides and fertilizers on human health
technology and the singular profit motive. have been rather grim22. The unfortunate
Modern science, and consequently modern Bhopal gas explosion of a pesticide plant in
technology, is based on the unproven 17th 1984 inspired Vandana Shiva to give up her
century assumption that nature is only career in Physics to become an activist and
material and without consciousness 21 . an organic farmer. The cultivation of the
Understanding consciousness and how it genetically modified crops has drawn
functions in humans as well in other worldwide attention including India due to
manifestations of nature remain largely its adverse effects on the environmental and
elusive to the modern science. Many aware the human health. We suggest Jeffrey Smith,
scientists, activists and environmentalists are who established the Institute for Responsible
using modern technology to assess and Technology23, for his excellent contributions
continuously report the state of the planet16. and information on these topics.
The food and water shortages, health and
health care crises, extensive deforestation, Dr. Shiv Chopra, a Canadian
environmental disasters, growing disparity microbiologist and an activist of Indian
between rich and poor, and exploitation of origin, has widely written giving insightful
the weak and vulnerable, specially women details about the corruption in the
is evident. Brown1 describes the widespread government concerning food safety24. Time
efforts that are being made to reverse many and again, he voiced opposition to the
of these trends through developing solutions. governments attempt to allow dangerous
Although these efforts are commendable, a drugs, agricultural practices, and
balanced approach that also transforms the carcinogenic pesticides to enter the food
human consciousness is urgently needed to supply, and upheld the policies of the Food
expedite the progress. We elaborate on this and Drug Act and its regulations.
statement in Section 5. In this section, our Multinational corporations that make drugs
focus is to briefly explain how corporate and chemicals for agricultural and food
sector is creating major disruptions to the inputs influence and manipulate the
environment and human health through government regulatory agencies in-charge of
modern technologies that they operate and food and drug safety and get approvals. Most
control. We restrict our focus to agriculture importantly, this book contains a blueprint
and food safety in what follows. for the establishment of food safety and
security throughout the world.
The chemical and biotechnological

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38 Indira Bhatt, Prema Mysore, Vijay K Gupta

5. The Science of Mind connection between life force and BioEM.

Indeed, Waechter27 based on an extensive
Inquiry into mind, its origin and how and an independent review of the literature
it functions have a long tradition in hypothesized that Qi or the life-force, is
psychology, neurosciences, philosophy, either the same or closely related to the
religion, as well as the ancient science of modern concept of BioEM energy.
yoga. Yogiraj Vethathiri (1911-2006), a Vethathiri25 postulated that BioEM energy
contemporary philosopher, who developed is transformed for carrying out involuntary
the Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY) functions like breathing, digesting food etc.,
system25, gave a deep philosophical and as well as voluntary functions involving all
scientific understanding of mind26. We take the five senses, and mind. These insights
some highlights from his works to explain imply that BioEM is directly related to mind,
what mind is, and its relevance to which is needed in our explanation given
Epigenetics: The New Science of Self- below that brain frequencies correspond to
empowerment27. Building on this scientific mind frequencies.
foundation, we explain how the deeply
embedded subconscious thought patterns The electrical nature of brain is well
and attitudes towards women could be known to the modern science 27 . It is
tackled, which require a monumental shift supported through an Electroencephalogram
in the human psyche. (EEG), an instrument that records the
electromagnetic activity of the brain through
The fundamental concept of life force attaching electrodes to a persons head.
is necessary to understand mind. It is also Therefore, EEG measurements are
known by other names in the literature, such interpreted as the frequencies that
as Kundalini energy in the yoga literature25, correspond to different states of brain. There
Qi in Chinese holistic healing 28 , and are four ranges of frequencies that pertain
Bioelectricity in Acupressure29. Vethathiri25,26 to the activity of the human brain as a wave30:
defined life force current in a living system Beta (12-35 cycles per second (Hz), Alpha
as a group of very minute life-force (8-12 Hz), Theta (8-4 Hz) and Delta (4-0.5
particles circulating throughout the physical Hz). How do these frequencies correspond
body of a living system. Circulation of the to that of human mind? Mind is not material
life-force particles may be formally and therefore is not the same as the brain.
compared to the flow of electrons in a wire How are the two connected? It is a big
that explains why life force is called challenge to the modern science.
bioelectricity. Life-force particles generate
Bio-electromagnetic (BioEM) field just like To understand how mind and brain are
the flow of electricity in a physical object connected, we consider the life-force
generates electromagnetic (EM) field. Our particles that circulate throughout the
statement supports the hypothesis of a close physical body of a living system including

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Education Transforming Individuals 39

the brain. Therefore, we assert that the them can be used to reprogram the stored
BioEM field that is produced by the life information in the subconscious mind. To
force particles is common to both mind and this list we add the SKY system that is most
brain. According to Dhamodharan31, it is suitable for the modern age. It includes two
impossible to separate the waves of the mind stages of meditation that are directly relevant
and the brain. Indeed, EEG frequencies are to reprogramming the subconscious mind:
commonly used to interpret states of mind. Thuriya and Thuriyateetha25. On the basis
For example, Beta wave frequency of EEG measurements on himself,
corresponds to day-to-day activity like Dhamodharan31 observed Theta frequency in
talking, reading, playing etc. Alpha Thuriya and Delta frequency in
corresponds to a state of calmness that one Thuriyateetha. Once a practitioner goes into
experiences in meditation, taking a walk these states during meditation, affirmations
through wilderness etc. Theta corresponds need to be given for reprogramming the
to deep meditation and relaxation. In Delta subconscious mind. It is a two-step process.
frequency, a person loses body and material
consciousness and experiences what Indian 6. Sustainability Models
sages described as non-dual nature of reality.
In summary, as one reduces mental There is a great need for people of the
frequency, one transitions from material world to get off corporate convenience food
consciousness towards pure consciousness. and start producing clean food. This would
involve initiating grass-root farming projects
The latest advances in epigenetics including student farms in the university
show that the subconscious mind is a settings. The Sustainability Agriculture
repository of stimulus-response Institute (ASI) at the University of California
information that is derived from learned at Davis 32 in 2011 established a new
experiences and from instincts. This undergraduate major in sustainable
information in children is acquired till the agriculture and food systems. ASI provides
age of 6 when they are in Delta and Theta a hub that links initiatives and education in
frequencies. After that they begin to function sustainable agriculture and food systems
in Alpha and then in Beta that is the domain across all divisions of the college of
of the conscious mind. Therefore, to agriculture and environmental sciences,
reprogram the stored information in the across the university of California, and
subconscious mind that is not conducive for across the State of California.
human behavior, it is necessary to bring the
mind to Theta and Delta frequencies, and Various disciplinary academic
then reprogram the stored information departments and programs at the university
through affirmations. can play a role in the farm project, as figure-
2 shows.
Lipton and Bhaerman30 list a dozen
belief-change modalities, and any one of

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

40 Indira Bhatt, Prema Mysore, Vijay K Gupta

Figure-2 A Schematic Depiction of the University of New Mexicos Flagship Student Farm

7. Roadmap to Implementation understand and find solutions for the most

pressing ecological and social concerns of
We have selected two very unique modern life34. We draw attention to the short
academic programs from UK and USA to courses that are offered at the college. Three
guide us in designing a roadmap to an topics are taken for illustration: (i) Eating
implementation plan that covers different Ecologically - Healthy, Local and
issues described in above sections. First is Sustainable Food. This course explores the
the Schumacher College that, through an nutritional benefits of consuming a wide
innovative approach to learning, with experts range of plant foods and how a diverse and
from around the world, has helped thousands healthy diet can be produced locally,
of organizations and individuals to organically and sustainably using

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Education Transforming Individuals 41

permaculture principles. (ii) Schumacher Naropa University is a Buddhist-

Certificate in Ecological Leadership and inspired, student-centered liberal arts
Facilitation Transformative Change in a university in Boulder, Colorado. A
Volatile World. An eight-month learning recognized leader in contemplative
program that explores a new model of education, Naropas undergraduate and
leadership and facilitation, especially graduate programs emphasize professional
designed to meet the challenges and and personal growth, intellectual
adventures of an increasingly volatile and development, and contemplative practice35.
complex future. (iii) Economics of
Happiness: The new science of happiness. A national conference on Integrating
The limitations of gross domestic product yoga in Modern Education is being
(GDP) as a measure of societal wellbeing organized in Vadodara, March 21-23, 201436.
are now widely recognized. Drawing heavily FSW-MSU is a co-sponsoring organization.
on recent insights in fields as diverse as We have taken a schematic diagram from the
psychology, biology and anthropology, this conference web site to illustrate how the
course will explore some of the more conceptual ideas that the two universities,
interesting alternative measures of wellbeing Schumacher College and the Naropa
that have emerged in recent years, including University emulate, can be joined together
the Happy Planet Index. to structure a paradigm shift in education.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

42 Indira Bhatt, Prema Mysore, Vijay K Gupta

For the purpose of illustration, we In conclusion, we quote Mahatma

present a conceptual roadmap for an on- Gandhi: The difference between what we
going seminar courseentitled do and what we are capable of doing would
Transformation for the Modern Agethat suffice to solve most of the worlds
can be offered in any university and college problems.
in India including MSU. A holistic
framework includes four components: Acknowledgements
Theory, Practice, Experience and Research.
The course would involve local faculty, guest We are grateful to several colleagues
speakers, documentaries, book reviews in India and the USA for their cooperation
followed by discussions and instruction in in this project. Dr. Ramanathj Pandey,
meditation, introspection, physical Oriental Institute, MSU, Vadodara, and the
exercises, plant-based healthy diet, and rest Conference Coordinator of ISIS 204,
that is pertinent to personality introduced the first author, a graduate of
transformation. Reforming the existing FSW, to Dean Parmar, FSW, which
education system would transform the generated an invitation to this conference.
consciousness of both men and women, and We are grateful to Dr. Jagdish Kohli for his
motivate women to take leadership role in outstanding help with the graphics in the last
creatively addressing contemporary section of this paper. Ms. Jill Owen kindly
challenges. This course is designed to gave input on references and Patricia
introduce students to global challenges and Eichorn gave professional editing help.
to approaches for implementing solutions.
Seagers book37 is a valuable resource for
Once this pilot project is successful, it can
invaluable data on the women of the world.
be taken to other Indian colleges and also
introduced internationally.
Brown, L. (2009). Plan B.4. Earth Policy Institute, Washington D.C., USA 1a
Chopra S M, Misra A, Gulati S, Gupta R. (2013). Overweight, obesity and related non-communicable
diseases in Asian Indian girls and women. Eur J Clin Nutr. Jul; 67(7):688-96. doi: 10.1038/
Dhamodhran, M. K. (2004). Can the mind be measured? Anbuneri Pub., Dindigul, India.
Food and Agriculture Organization. (2011). The State of Food and Agriculture: Women in Agriculture,
Closing the Gender Gap for Development, United Nations, Rome.

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Education Transforming Individuals 43 article/detnews9.asp?articleid=29019. html. agriculture_b_ 1540751.html
Korton, D. C. (2006). The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community. BK Publishers LLC,
San Francisco.
Lipton, B and Bhaerman, S. (2009). Spontaneous Evolution, Hay House, New Delhi
Lipton, B. (2005). The Biology of Belief, Mountain of love/Elite Books, Santa Rosa, USA
Organization for Economic cooperation and Development (OECD), The Development Report 2011
Sadhale, N. (1996). Surapalas Vrikshayurveda (The Science of Plant Life by Surapala). Agri-
History Bulletin No.1. Asian Agri-History Foundation, Secunderabad, India.
Schultz, T. Paul. (2003). Returns to Womens Schooling. Womens Education in Developing Countries:
Barriers, Benefits and Policy, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Seager, J. (2003). The Penguin Atlas of Women in the World. Penguin Books Ltd., UK
Sheldrake, R. (2012). Science Set Free. Deepak Chopra Books, New York, USA.
Vethathiri, Y. (1992). Journey of Consciousness. Vazhga Valamudan Pub., Erode. India
Vethathiri, Y. (1999). Mind. Vazhga Valamudan Pub., Erode. India
Vora, D. (2001). Health in your Hands, V. 2, Mumbai: NavNeet Publications.
Waechter, R. (2002). Qi and Bio-electromagnetic energy, A minor area paper in partial fulfillment of
PhD, York University, Canada (Published in Here Now Magazine, 8-6, 48 and 49 (Nov.-Dec.
2003 and Jan-Feb. 2004 Issues) Seoul, South Korea, pp. 132-154.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Veena Joshi*
R. Baxi**

Introduction society. Four pillars of Ethics in healthcare

setting are discussed globally and also by
Few researchers have tried to look at Indian Medical Research Council. These are
ethics in Maternal Mortality (MM) studies. Do no harm or non maleficence,
This paper tried to explore if ethical maximum good or beneficence, respect
principles are followed while handling autonomy and promote justice. PH is not
maternal health and mortality from officially linked to any specific ethical
published literature. Introduction starts with theory or school of thought, but its
brief overview of public health ethics. community orientation has many parallels
to the philosophy of communitarism. Unlike
Public Health the duties of clinicians to patients,
Maternal Mortality is a Public Health professional standards for ethical practice
(PH) issue. PH research is mainly are not well defined in public health. In
observational. It is believed that public- general, code of ethics is based on
health policies must be aimed to produce transparency, equity and honesty as well as
the highest benefit of the greatest number. other norms that are unanimously accepted
The role of public health was previously in professional and ethical codes. One of the
limited to control of communicable diseases most significant proposals of ethical code is
but today, the scope of PH is much more the American Public Health Associations
expanded. It is now primarily related to public-health code of ethics. In Europe, after
epidemiology, social, economical and conducting 96 focus group discussions, the
political matters as well as interdisciplinary project proposed a preliminary framework
multiple features related to health such as for public health ethics within Europe that
risks, health effects and prevention reflects the greater respect for values such
as solidarity and integrity that are more
highly valued in Europe. In absence of such
Public Health Ethics
framework in India, we have to depend on
Ethical analysis involves the use of a the American Public Health Associations
certain set of inflexible and evaluative public- health code of ethics. Principles of
categories, such as rights, duties, virtue, ethical practice of public health by PH
justice, responsibility, freedom, respect, leadership society (2002) states key
dignity, and well being. These categories principles of the ethical practice of PH i.e.
comprise the basic moral vocabulary of our what we do collectively to assure the

* Independent Consultant. Email:

** Professor, Department of Preventive &Social Medicine, Government Medical College, Vadodara, Gujarat,
Ethical Issues in Maternal Mortality and Lessons to Learn from the State of Kerala 45

conditions for people to be healthy. The code programs are based on evidence derived
states 11 values and beliefs underlying the from retrospective or observational studies
code and 12 Principles of Ethical Practice where the quality of evidence is low9. Since
of PH. safe motherhood strategies require complex
public health approaches, the programs have
Maternal Mortality (MM) to be more at population level. Various
factors related to MM are well discussed in
The International Conference on the past10- 22 are mentioned below and these
Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994 need to be linked to ethics. The main risk
had recommended reduction in maternal factors of maternal death are sepsis,
mortality by at least 75 percent of the 1990 infection, haemorrhage, eclampsia, ruptured
levels by the year 2015. The Millennium uterus, and anemia. There are risk factors
Development Goals (MDG) of the United associated with health system failures such
Nations has set the target of achieving 109 as medical equipment failure, lack of
per lakh of live births by 2015. (Special personnel at the time of visit, neglect from
Bulletin on Maternal Mortality in India, hospital staff, untrained staff, lack of
2007-2009, SRS). The latest Maternal healthcare systems in rural area etc. There
Mortality Ratio (MMR) for India is 178 is also neglect from patient side such as late
while for Empowered Action Group (EAG) referral, lack of antenatal visit and non-
and Assam it is much higher at 257. (TOI, compliance. The other predictors are
Ahmadabad, 29 Dec. 2013). India has taken previous complications, previous C-section,
considerable efforts by trying out several lack of treatment, socio-demographic
schemes, 5-tier monitoring & review factors, first pregnancy, pregnancy of high
mechanism, imparting trainings for various birth order, environmental factors, being
groups and providing cash incentives for unmarried, illiteracy, low socio economic
institutional deliveries. Despite this wide status (SES) and traditional faiths, beliefs /
range of methods, MMR still remains a customs also appeared as correlates of
challenge especially in eight EAG states, maternal mortality. Mortality is more in
Assam and other states in India. The state of urban slums, villages, rural areas and in low
Kerala stands out among all other states in SES group as compared to urban area and
India by reducing MMR to 81 per one lakh above low SES group. Safety of the pregnant
live births per year (TOI, Ahmadabad, 29 woman depends mainly on delivery by
Dec. 2013). Some authors like Maine D and trained /professional personnel, particularly
Gulmezogue disagree with current safe- through institutional facilities. Ensuring
motherhood strategies and have raised antenatal care of prospective mothers at
concerns that interventions are poorly health centers and recommended doses of
implemented or lack an evidence base iron folic table (IFT) are important factors
strategies to reduce maternal mortality. that help improve maternal health and reduce
While few researchers criticized that some life risk during pregnancy. It is important to

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

46 Veena Joshi, R. Baxi

understand if ethical principles were announcement until recent. The framework

followed while providing services to women. used here is four pillars of Ethics in
There is an argument that access to health healthcare setting together with Principles
services is essential if high rates of maternal of Ethical Practice of Public Health as
death are to be reduced. Nevertheless, defined by Public Health Legislative society
researchers have agreed that a focus on only (2002). This code of ethics states key
access and clinical service to women may principles of the ethical practice of Public
not be the most comprehensive perspective Health. (See Appendix B). We searched
from which to understand the problem of several databases that covered the social and
maternal mortality since it largely ignores behavioral sciences, clinical medicine and
the social, cultural, economic and political life sciences: Medline, Science Citation
determinants of health. Some studies have Index, and, Ethics journals such as Indian
noted the relation between maternal Journal of Medical Ethics, Public Health
mortality and socioeconomic factors, such Ethics and Sociological Abstracts. To
as income per capita, gross domestic product identify the key- words, a thesaurus (such
and educational level. However, little effort as MeSH) was consulted in all the databases.
has been spent on understanding and we used the search equation maternal
researching the influence of social culture, mortality AND [search term] with the
unethical, illegal behavior and political following search terms: Maternal Mortality,
conditions and human right issues on health. Maternal Mortality Ratio, Maternal Health,
Based on all the actualities described above, obstructed labor, unsafe abortion, anemia,
the goal of this study was to review cultural, social, cultural factors, human rights issues
social and human rights issues contributing and Millennium Developmental Goals.
to Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India, Duplicate papers in the databases were
to map these issues with principles of ethical deleted. An extensive search was conducted
code of conduct and recognize and identify with MMR studies in several states in India
the lessons that several states in India can for the years 1995 to 2013 with electronic
learn from The State of Kerala. searching, talks, videos, newspaper reports
and talking to researchers. We excluded
Method papers that dealt mainly with clinical issues
such as obstetric interventions during and
To measure the amount of social and after delivery, the application of medical
scientific interest in the causes of maternal technologies, clinical trials of medicines,
death, we identified papers published maternal health not associated with maternal
between 1995 and 2013 that mentioned mortality, and pregnancy-related diseases
WHO-defined causes of maternal mortality. (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-
The decision to start from 1995 was because eclampsia) and infant mortality. After
to understand the situation of maternal screening 212 abstracts, we prepared a
deaths since five years from MDG checklist and analyzed full text papers to be

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Ethical Issues in Maternal Mortality and Lessons to Learn from the State of Kerala 47

included in systematic review. We conducted Study design: - Scientific flaw

a systematic review of cultural (beliefs, To a large extent the study design
gender equity, literacy/ knowledge, caste), determines the scientific value and
and human rights issues (protection against informativeness of a medical study.
violence and abuse) contributing to MMR Corrections of errors in study design are
using standard methodology for systematic impossible to correct afterwards. Review of
reviews. We then tried to map these with a report written by Khanna, aimed at MDG
ethics (Autonomy, Beneficence, Non 5, mentioned Government of India decided
malfeasance and Justice) in healthcare and to monitor MMR (5.1) and proportion of
with code of ethics. We prepared a protocol births attended by skilled birth attendants
and a checklist for information extraction (5.2) and denied to monitor other MDG
that identified key characteristics like study indicators such as contraceptive prevalence
design, sample size, method & rate (5.3), adolescent birth rate (5.4),
representation of geographic area of the antenatal coverage (5.5), unmet need for
study (Template in APPENDIX A). The family planning (5.6) due to strategic and
Check list looked at Study design, Social / technical reasons. Since 5.3/5.4/5.5/5.6 are
important indicators of MM, neglecting
cultural aspects, any ethical issues, political
these indicators shows flaw in study design.
/ Human rights issue, access to healthcare,
TOI Dec. 2013 reported, Chiranjivi Yojana
other healthcare issues, Government
(claims to bring down infant and maternal
support, perinatal care, care at delivery, mortality rate in Gujarat) as Unsuccessful
family planning and access to trained staff due to the methodology employed in the
or traditional birth attendant, and educational study. Review of several published studies
level of women. 21 studies had mentioned show that the major emphasis for reducing
social, cultural, human rights issues. MM was on institutional deliveries.
Comprehensive systematic review was Millennium Development Goals, India
conducted with these studies to understand Country Report, 2011 had mentioned that the
ethical issues with MM. gap for institutional deliveries between rural
- urban has only slightly narrowed down with
Results rural coverage of 43.4% against urban
coverage of 75.8%. The States, which show
Review was conducted with results marginal decrease in coverage estimates of
from various states in India like Assam, West 2007-08 from the 2005-06 estimates, the
Bengal, Orissa, Bihar, Madhya Pradhesh, decline for Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh is
Chhattisgrah, Gujrath, Rajastan, Delhi, quite significant and not explainable. This
Jarkhand, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, shows lack of transparency. Further it states
A.P., and U.P. 94% studies discussed socio- that unlike in other States, for which the
cultural issues others had mentioned human marginal decreases may be attributed to
rights and political issues. sampling error - again flaw in study design!

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

48 Veena Joshi, R. Baxi

Issues at institutional delivery the nutritional status of mothers and babies,

said Amit Sengupta, public health activist
Even at institutional delivery, studies
with Jan Swasthya Abhiyan. (From Live
have shown that the patient was shifted to
Mint and Wallstreet Journal, 07 May 2013).
five different hospitals due to unavailability
However nutritional status was not looked
of services and finally delay in surgical
at. According to Dutta, early age of marriage
interventions have caused death of the
among women, early age of pregnancy, high
mother. The same study further mentioned
birth rates, and less spacing between two
that the system was not geared to prioritize
deliveries are some social factors which
emergency. A study on Maternal mortality
cause increase in maternal mortality ratio.
the need for comprehensive approach, the
These issues were over looked in many MM
author has given examples of two cases when
studies in India. National Family Health
admitted to the tertiary institution on time,
Survey 3 (NFHS3) was carried out in 29
how the mere presence of a skilled birth
states for 15 to 49 years of age of women.
attendant cannot be of very much help with
NHFS3 reports more than half deliveries still
inadequate and non-functioning support
take place at home and skilled health
systems. The environment was unsuitable for
personnel assisted only about one in seven
the skilled attendant to work in, including
deliveries. 41% women had no
unavailability of adequate supplies,
education.56% women were given free IFA
equipment, infrastructure as well as efficient
but only 23% of them consumed. According
and effective system of communication and
to the NFHS-3 almost 50% of girls are given
referral system. The author further warned
away in marriage before age 18.
pushing women to deliver in institutions in
scenario with inadequate facilities and
Cultural / Social
holding out her hope that this will improve
quality care during delivery is nothing short Verbal autopsy findings from
of unethical. Giri Institute of Development Rajasthan, Bihar, U.P., Jharkhand, Madhya
Studies (GIDS) used regression model to Pradesh and Orissa revealed that very often,
show that, the socioeconomic and women and their families do not recognize
demographic factors have a stronger the life-threatening signs of pregnancy-
statistically significant association with the related complications as well as the
maternal mortality ratio than institutional seriousness of the condition. They do not
deliveries. Deliveries in health facilities will have faith that their medical problems can
not necessarily translate into increased be managed through formal healthcare28. The
survival chances of mothers unless women same study found shockingly low female and
receive full antenatal care services and overall literacy rates, absence of necessary
delays in reaching health facility are avoided. knowledge and power to decide when to seek
help; the unavailability of means of
Nutritional status and MM
transportation to a health Centre. Adolescent
The larger problem with MM is with

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Ethical Issues in Maternal Mortality and Lessons to Learn from the State of Kerala 49

girls and young married women have little author talked to few Gynecologists, it was
power to influence decision-making within revealed that in many cases, women were
their families or vis--vis the wider world. dictated by their husbands decision, they
Husbands played the major role in deciding were not given a choice, they were beaten
to seek care. Proximity, referral, affordability and even some times they were not allowed
and quality of care were main factors to get the necessary treatment. Doctors
limiting womans choice in decision-making. advice on family planning was neglected due
Often, family members did not think that to religious belief that a child is a gods gift.
woman was sick enough. Many believed in Doctors also confirmed there were no
traditional care and were scare of formal awareness campaigns for women. A study
care. Study carried out in Jharkhand reported in Madhya Pradesh showed that giving cash
no woman had received antenatal care, only incentives for institutional deliveries was
10 women received tetanus toxoid. Women unethical. The same study stated patients
generally get help from traditional suffered from verbal and physical abuse.
practitioner till it was too late. Studies have There was lack of accountability and lack
shown inverse relationship between MM and of effective referral 33 . Another study
woman literacy (Kateja 2007) Women often revealed that patients at government
experience gender inequality which can be hospitals were unhappy because Rajasthan
one of the cause of MM. Women often suffer Government allows doctors to do private
from this inequality in direct or indirect practice at home. This affects treatment at
ways. This violence perpetrated upon Government hospitals34. After reviewing
women by the society is known as structural studies from most of the states in India, it
violence as addressed by Govind Kelkar. would be interesting to find out the situation
According to him, the subordinate role of a in Kerala 35,36. Review of literature on Kerala
woman in the family is duplicated in the demonstrated that this small state shows
society as a whole. The family structure excellent maternal health statistics, boasting
legitimizes the subordination of women in the low maternal mortality rate of 81 per
policy making and organization of the every 100,000 births (Bhowmick 2012).
economy. In India, caste and tribe are major Only after independence, Kerala began to
social determinants of access to education, take steps to improve its society and
resources health facilities, vaccines etc. healthcare. In 1982-1986, the maternal
Illiterate women tend to experience mortality ratio in Kerala was 247 per
significantly lower interpersonal quality of 100,000 (Kumar and Devi 2010). The
care in health facilities resulting in morbidity improvement of literacy [female literacy rate
and mortality. As per the international law, of 87.9 percent and a male literacy rate of
the government of India bears a legal 94.2 percent (Kumar and Devi 2010)],
obligation to ensure that women do not die education, easy access to healthcare even in
or suffer complications as a result of rural areas, and the status of women helped
preventable pregnancy-related causes. When to further improve the conditions of maternal

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

50 Veena Joshi, R. Baxi

mortality in Kerala today. Those who are not quality health services to the poorest
able to afford private healthcare, they are households in the remotest rural regions.
covered by the government healthcare Kerala had a comprehensive health plan
programs. The government spends a (CHP) to look at health issues in a holistic
significant amount on public health perspective taking into account the local
programs, like maternal health initiatives. relevance and requirements of each ward/
Educational level has helped people accept block/district. The Institutional Delivery
new methods of treatment (Kutty 2000). The Rate is presently 99.80 %. Primary Health
male- female population ratios are becoming Care Service Delivery remains the backbone
more equal. In recent years, the number of of health service delivery in the state.
females has exceeded the number of males. Managements strategy for male and female
The population ratios are very symbolic of sterilization and IUD insertion is effective.
the elevated societal position of women in Regular health awareness camps are
Kerala today. The longer life expectancy conducted in tribal areas to bring about a
indicates that women are living healthier behavior change in wrong tribal customs and
lives and are living with better conditions practices with regard to health. There is
than in the past. The decrease in female undue influence on family planning.
infant mortality is also significant because Government came up with policies based on
it shows a change in traditional beliefs of inputs from community members. A study
favoring sons over daughters, which is a carried out in Wayanad district, Kerala to
change in societal mindset. Due to these identify social determinants of maternal
factors gender inequality is less prominent. deaths and maternal near misses in
All these factors show that the situation of incidence of delays had got an approval from
women in Kerala is a very positive one and ethics committee. In this state, 100% births
women in Kerala are definitely empowered. and deaths are registered and Future report
The private sector dominates the healthcare is based on review of confidential report of
industry in Kerala with greater numbers of
maternal deaths.
private healthcare facilities and more
advanced and expensive technology. This
combination of government and private
healthcare is beneficial for Kerala because The most striking finding of this study
it provides greater coverage for the is that women (especially in low SES) in
population. Kerala has better health most states of India do not get due
indicators such as Death Rate, Infant recognition and respect. Inviting pregnant
Mortality Rate (IMR) and Expectation of women to the institution with the hope of
Life at Birth than most States in India. providing clinical service and not offering
NRHM of Kerala is determined to provide the required service increases the risk more
accessible, affordable and accountable than the benefit. These violets The Belmont

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Ethical Issues in Maternal Mortality and Lessons to Learn from the State of Kerala 51

principal that benefits should be more than the study was conducted with pregnant
the risks. Women in Kerala seem to be women (vulnerable population), and some
empowered. High literacy rates (especially times interventions were carried out. Some
among women), low fertility rate, emphasis studies were conducted using verbal autopsy
on family planning, 100% institutional when the respondents were asked to sign
deliveries, easy accessibility to heath consent forms. It is not mentioned if these
services especially in rural areas, monitoring were ethics committee approved consent
and auditing projects and data driven action forms. It was noticed that public health ethics
are the key factors of reduction in MMR. approach in MM studies was highly under
Also, since 100% births and deaths are represented. It was observed that the
reported, the state can come up with true fundamental cause of maternal death was not
MMR figure. Several studies have reported always observed. Rights of the individuals
that India lacks an accurate system of were not always respected. Policies were not
reporting maternal deaths 16,38. In the absence designed based on input from community
of the correct number in the numerator and members. Though some efforts were taken
denominator, it would be difficult to report by the government to make available
true MMR number for each state. Few healthcare facility, resources and conditions
studies have reported scientific flaw such as necessary for health care were not accessible
and when accessible, many times they were
sampling error, use of improper study design
not fully functional.
in the conduct of studies. This would have
jeopardized the final outcomes. NFHS3 has At times institutions and the staff did
reported there is lot to do to reduce MM not act in timely manner to provide health
numbers. It is also observed that important services. Review of studies uncovered that
variables such as social (education, do no harm, autonomy, justice and
occupation, income) and demographic (age, beneficence were not always followed. To
race, caste) wise distribution of MM are not see better results of a program, it is not only
reported in NFHS3 results. Mrs. Khanna has stakeholders responsibility to follow ethical
well described ethical issues with principles but it is responsibility of every
community based monitoring health individual including patient herself to ensure
programs and needs attention. It was noticed better heath outcomes. Based on the above
that little thought has been given on fact, it is absolutely necessary for every
prevention and data driven action such Public health research project whether
as target specific well structured awareness conducted by NGO, Government, non
campaigns (especially for illiterate women), government institutions, and /or in
community mobilization and interventions. collaboration with Indian or with
They were carried out only in some parts. International agency to get an approval from
Nowhere there is mention of getting a well qualified independent body such as
approval from ethics committee even though ethics committee.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

52 Veena Joshi, R. Baxi

Conclusion to get better results and health outcomes and

therefore there is need for scientific and
There is lot to learn from the state of ethics committee to review the scientific
Kerala by other states in India to bring down credibility of the project, and to monitor and
MMR. Ethics principles are very important protect participants of the study.

Year of Geograp Study Sampl EC Social/ Healthlaw Other

study hicarea design esize permission, Cultural
conduct ICFtaken

2013 Jharkhand VA 403 No, Unaware Political

of instability
ICF Yes Family leadingtoin
Planni efficient
ng(FP) implementation
of policies.

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Ethical Issues in Maternal Mortality and Lessons to Learn from the State of Kerala 55

APPENDIX A: Sample of systematic analysis table

Appendix B: Principles of the Ethical Practice of Public Health, Version 2.2

1. Public health should address principally the fundamental causes of disease and requirements
for health, aiming to prevent adverse health outcomes.
2. Public health should achieve community health in a way that respects the rights of individuals
in the community.
3. Public health policies, programs, and priorities should be developed and evaluated through
processes that ensure an opportunity for input from community members.
4. Public health should advocate and work for the empowerment of disenfranchised community
members, aiming to ensure that the basic resources and conditions necessary for health are
accessible to all.
5. Public health should seek the information needed to implement effective policies and programs
that protect and promote health.
5. Public health institutions should provide communities with the information they have that is
needed for decisions on policies or programs and should obtain the communitys consent for
their implementation.
6. Public health institutions should act in a timely manner on the information they have within
the resources and the mandate given to them by the public.
7. Public health programs and policies should incorporate a variety of approaches that anticipate
and respect diverse values, beliefs, and cultures in the community.
8. Public health programs and policies should be implemented in a manner that most enhances
the physical and social environment.
9. Public health institutions should protect the confidentiality of information that can bring harm
to an individual or community if made public. Exceptions must be justified on the basis of the
high likelihood of significant harm to the individual or others.
10. Public health institutions should ensure the professional competence of their employees.
11. Public health institutions and their employees should engage in collaborations and affiliations
in ways that build the publics trust and the institution.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Anita Machado*

If it can be said, as it can, that by the have less access to education and HIV
year 2020, the number of deaths from AIDS information and equality in marriage and
in Africa will approximate the number of sexual relations, and remain the primary
deaths, military and civilian combined, in caretakers of family and community
both world wars of the 20th century, then it members suffering from AIDS-related
should also be said that a pronounced illnesses. The emerging concern is to address
majority of those deaths will be women and the factors that continue to put women at
girls. The toll on women and girls is beyond risk. (UN AIDS, 2006)
human imagining; it presents Africa and the
world with a practical and moral challenge The current paper seeks to address the
which places gender at the centre of the issue of HIV/AIDS from the gender
human condition. The Practice of ignoring perspective. The paper assumes to
a gender analysis has turned out to be lethal. understand the key factors contributing to
. . .For the African continent, it means the extreme vulnerability of women and girls
economic and social survival. For the drawing inference from the doctoral research
women and girls of Africa, its a matter of study entitled The Effects of Family
life or death. Functioning and Care giving on the Quality
of life of the Persons living with HIV and
Stephen Lewis, U.N. Secretary AIDS
- Generals Special Envoy on
HIV/AIDS in Africa, July 2002. was envisaged to comprehensively
understand the protective role of the family
AIDS is affecting women and girls in and how the holistic support system
increasing numbers: globally, women enhances the quality of life of the Person
comprise almost 50 percent of women living living with HIV and AIDS and the spousal
with HIV. Nearly 25 years into the epidemic, care giver.
gender inequality and the low status of
women remain two of the principal drivers Gender construct: Factors that enhance
of HIV. Yet current AIDS responses do not, the Vulnerability of Women
on the whole, tackle the social, cultural and
economic factors that put women at risk of - Gender Construct is important in
HIV that unduly burden them with the understanding what is happening in the
epidemics consequences. Women and girls Global HIV

* Assistant Professor, College of Social Work Nirmala Niketan Mumbai, India

Women And HIV And AIDS: Gendered Dimensions of Care: Confronting the Crisis 57

Pandemic (Dowsett, 2003). Women poverty is therefore a facilitating factor.

living with HIV and AIDS experience Countries with the highest HIV/AIDS
difficulties in their psychosocial adjustment incidence, which are mainly in southern
to the illness and they perform multiple Africa, have a history of massive male
social roles, including mother, partner, and migration to work in mines. Poverty pushes
caregiver to infected partners. The some women into risky behaviour or
importance of their care giving roles and the dangerous situations. With no other options
potential threat these roles can pose to in sight, they may resort to sex Work to feed
womens adjustment to their illness, are their families. Women and girls are
evident in the fact that many infected women susceptible to the growing trade of
risk their own health to take care of the trafficking. Poverty in some Asian countries
familial needs. According to McIntyre forces families to send young village girls
(2005), mothers who are diagnosed with to cities to become sex workers to support
HIV positive status carry a triple burden of their families.
being HIV infected, mother of children who
may or may not be positive themselves, and When the girls become infected, they
care givers to their infected spouses frequently return to their villages to die. The
(McIntyre, 2005). It is therefore essential to report also emphasized that the influx of
understand the prevailing Gender divide to labourers on large infrastructure projects
contextualize this presentation. such as dams, railways or roads, can also
increase incidence in the villages that house
As elicited earlier Worldwide, women the workers.
are contracting HIV at a higher rate, are
becoming sicker earlier and are dying faster One also needs to understand that
than men from AIDS related diseases and gender disparities go far deeper than
health complications. Due to physiological, sexual relations. Women in many regions do
social, political and economic reasons, not own property or have access to financial
woman are now considered to be the resources and are dependent on men
population that is most at risk for infection. husbands, fathers, brothers and sonsfor
What are these factors that increase the support. Without resources, women are
vulnerability of Women? susceptible to abuses of power. (UNAIDS,
HIV/AIDS and Poverty is closely
intertwined in cause and effect. The IFAD Perusal of various reports and
report published in the year 2001 points out Research findings clearly reflects the crisis
that in rural areas in developing countries, of gender inequality, with women being
HIV exposure originates with male vulnerable than men to exercise control over
migration and female prostitution. Since their bodies and lives. It must also be
these result largely from rural poverty, understood that universally, cultural

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

58 Anita Machado

expectations have encouraged men to have for unprotected sexual relations, even when
multiple partners, while women are expected they know the eventual risks associated with
to abstain or be faithful. Research findings unprotected sexual relationship. Violence in
have also indicated that monogamous the form of coerced sex or rape may also
married women are also vulnerable and they result in especially as coerced sex may lead
are confronted with many risks. It is not to the vulnerability of becoming Positive.
uncommon for a double standard morality Studies among adolescents from several
to exist, whereby certain sexual activities are countries have found that an important
acceptable for men but denied to women. It proportion of them report that their first
is therefore no surprise that many women intercourse was forced, and this is
become exposed to HIV within marriage, particularly the case for women. Sexual
and it is even accepted by many women that minorities such as homosexual men also
marriage in fact increases their possibility encounter sexual coercion in many
of infection (Urdang, 2006). There is also a countries, and are similarly at risk of HIV
prevailing culture of silence around sexual infection.. Research studies have also
and reproductive health. Simply by fulfilling indicated that Women more than men are at
their expected gender roles, men and women risk of rape and sexual assault in conflict
are likely to increase their risk of HIV situations, and consequently are at high risk
infection. of HIV infection.
Gender inequalities in status and Tens of thousands of women were
power are fundamental when considering raped in the Balkan conflict. In Rwanda,
STD infection in women because most three per cent of all women were raped
women acquire these diseases during their during the genocide. The proportion of
relationship with men (Hoffman & Baker, women testing positive among those who
2003). Power and status differentials in were raped was 17 percent , as compared to
male- female relationship can manifest on a 11 percent among women who were not.
continuum, from women giving up some (World Health Organization, 2003)
power in their relationship regarding safer
sex practices to women who do not have any Gendered Dimensions of care:
decision making power regarding safer sex, Women are traditionally looked upon
but also experience victimization in their as carers of the home, the children, and of
sexual relationship with male partners. the elderly or the sick family members. As
Violence and the threat can also limit noted by Wilson (1992) care giving is
womens ability to protect them- selves from considered to be an important and necessary
HIV and AIDS. They risk violence if they activity for the healthy functioning.
insist on protection. They may stay in violent Historically, the role of care giving has been
relationships because they have nowhere overwhelmingly ascribed to women on the
else to go. They may give in to male demands basis of their presumed natural ability (cited

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Women And HIV And AIDS: Gendered Dimensions of Care: Confronting the Crisis 59

in Campbell, 1999). When combined with faces triple jeopardy as a positive individual,
the workload that women take on as well a mother and a care giver (Mulligan, 2006).
in caring for AIDS patients, AIDS orphans
Many different types of family
and their own families the situation
situations exist in the context of the HIV
becomes untenable(UNAIDS, UNFPA &
disease. Some families have only one
UNIFEM,2004). Maintaining a balance
member who is infected; other families may
between leading a normal life and accepting
have multiple members. There are also
the realities of HIV infection and illness is a
families comprising of a married couple
major challenge for women and their
while others are single parents. Some single
parent families are headed by women, while
The woman assumes multiple roles, certain others are headed by men. As noted
being a daughter, a sibling, a sexual or by Wilson (1992) to understand the care-
marital partner, a mother, a child bearer and giving role in families with HIV, it is
child rearer, a carer in nuclear and extended important to recognize the specific ways in
families and a bread winner. Reversing this which women have come to perceive their
key role through HIV can upset not only pre- identity as women. Clearly, the implication
existing patterns of a relationship but also of this situation for women in families with
the ability of the family unit to function and HIV disease is far reaching. Particularly
survive economically and socially (Miller when they themselves are ill, women who
and Eleonar, 1993). Maintaining a balance are care givers enter an arena full of
between leading a normal life and accepting demands, suppressed needs, and conflicting
the realities of HIV infection and illness is a priorities. It can be overwhelming. Such
major challenge for women and their pressures make women vulnerable and often
families. HIV infections with its destabilize their lives (Wilson, 1992, cited
asymptomatic phases alternating with illness in Campbell, 1999).
may necessitate various role reversals for
Having briefly understood the
women and families.
Gendered Dimensions of caregiving, the
As stated by Mulligan (2006), the succeeding section provides an overview on
impact of HIV and AIDS for many women the major findings of the Research study
needs to be understood as extending beyond entitled The Effects of Family Functioning
the disease itself. Women provide most of and Care giving on the Quality of life of the
the care and emotional support to the family Persons living with HIV and AIDS. The
member who is infected, and should a empirical context for the study is the
woman find herself positive, she is dimensional analysis of the Quality of life
nevertheless expected to be the primary care of Persons living with HIV and AIDS and to
giver in the family. For women the effect of elucidate the contribution of the family
HIV and AIDS go well beyond the suffering functioning and care giving dimensions in
and death of the infected individual, she enhancing the quality of life of the PLHIV.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

60 Anita Machado

The respondents for the study included both with managing the household and planning
the care receiver and the spousal caregiver. for the future. Additionally, the care giver
The research design for the study is both reported encountering stress during the
descriptive and explanatory in nature. The process of care giving. There were several
respondents for the study were selected factors that influenced care giving and the
based on Non probability sample of Persons stress associated with it. The factors include:
living with HIV and AIDS and their spousal the intensity of the care provided, types of
care givers living in the districts of Thane care tasks performed, gender of the care
and Mumbai. The sample was restricted to giver, the personal characteristics of the care
100 care receivers and 100 care givers. The giver, the support they get from others and
major highlights in the findings in the competing obligations of the care giver.
context of Gendered dimensions of care
giving is presented below The care giver plays an important role
providing social, emotional and instrumental
Highlights of the Research study on support for the members infected with HIV.
Gendered Dimensions of Care : Major Care giving can also have an impact on the
findings and Discussions care givers, as they may endanger many
stressors and may be emotionally distressed
Family care in HIV and AIDS is when overloaded with the demands of care
increasingly discussed, investigated, and giving. The stigmatizing nature of the illness
implemented however, little empirical can also alienate them, and they may face
research has been conducted to assess the the dual burden of coping with the
outcomes of family functioning and care debilitating illness and clandestinely
giving dimensions within the context of HIV avoiding the disclosure of the positive status.
and AIDS. The care giver for the present The impact of the illness is more on the
study has been conceptualized as the spousal spousal care giver. A majority of women who
partner who takes care of the positive shoulder the responsibility of taking care in
patient. Most of the care givers were the household, do so with very little material
themselves positive. However, it was evident or moral support. The physical and
from the data that it was the women who emotional stress resulting from the persisting
took up the major responsibility of taking needs of the positive patient when they are
care of the patient. The care givers faced struggling to meet the day-today needs,
multiple problems during the care giving inevitably forces women to neglect their own
process. The care givers continually adjusted healthcare.
their lives to meet the physical and emotional
requirements of the care giving situations.
Multiple care giving roles
The care giver was also responsible
The care givers positive status, to an
for making important decisions associated
extent, poses a threat since they shoulder the

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Women And HIV And AIDS: Gendered Dimensions of Care: Confronting the Crisis 61

entire range of responsibilities which besides taking care of the spouse. Some of
adversely affect their health. The duration the additional responsibilities included
of taking care of the spouse by the caregiver taking care of senior citizens, taking care of
will have a significant impact on the other members who were sick in the family
caregivers health. Large numbers of especially HIV positive children. Families
respondents have been taking care of their with multiple positive statuses had to face
spouse for two years to five years (49 severe problems. The study by Mehta and
percent). The care provided ranged from Gupta has also observed that caring for all
physical care, nutritional and dietary care, other members and pursuing household
medical care, emotional support, financial chores posed a tremendous burden especially
care and managing the responsibilities at because extended family members do not co-
home. The illness involves a display of operate, and they are stigmatized and
continual health management processes that discriminated against them. These findings
includes accompanying the patient to the were similar to the study conducted by
hospital, meeting the doctor, taking care of Krishna et al. (2005). Family members had
the medication, managing the finances and to take up multiple roles, and these changes
managing the responsibilities that the care were perceived as burdensome. The situation
receiver is unable to perform. The findings of women was adverse, especially in sero-
of this research study is similar to the study concordant families. The wife rendered care
conducted by Mehta & Gupta (2006) which and support to their infected spouses,
focused on the dimensions of care and how compromising their health and emotional
women play a central role as primary care needs (Krishna et al., 2005). These
givers, the concept of care covered a wide observations were similar to the present
range of services and activities including study clearly showing the adverse impact of
physical, clinical, psychosocial, emotional, the illness on women.
spiritual, financial, and practical care. The
study pointed out that the woman had to Care giver burden
shoulder the entire responsibility of looking
after the spouse though, in many cases, the The different areas assessed under
caregiver is also positive (Mehta & Gupta, care giving burden include disrupted
2006). schedule because of care giving, lack of
family support and social isolation, negative
Direct and active involvement of the emotions associated with the illness, and,
family in the health management process health as well as financial problems
promotes positive coping strategies. encountered in the care giving process.
However it was observed that, in the present Financial problems were a major area of
study, nearly 51 percent of the respondents burden for the caregivers. The study also
did not have any source of support. The pointed out that a disrupted schedule because
caregiver also had to perform multiple roles of care giving was an area of concern among

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

62 Anita Machado

the caregivers. Due to the increased need for persons living with HIV . Caregiver burden
functional assistance, the caregiver positively associated with increased stress.
encountered problems since there is Caregiver burden was not associated with
disruption in other activities, the most gender, race, or living with the patient.
prevalent disruptions included difficulties in (Patricia, 2006)
managing the daily activities and lack of
involvement in an active social life like time The self-esteem of the caregivers can
for relaxation and visiting friends. Lack of make the process of care giving a positive
family support was also another area of experience. Caregivers had a sense of
burden. The mean percentage score was high responsibility and obligation to help their
for the negative emotions domain. There spouse and may find many joys and rewards
were many negative feelings associated with from care giving. Couple could be drawn
the illness such as anger, anxiety, blame, closer together through the expression of
embarrassment, shame, rejection, stigma, love, and the fulfillment of their commitment
loneliness and withdrawal. Feelings of to care for their partner. The mean score for
distress and depression associated with care the self-esteem of the caregivers clearly
giving also negatively affect the caregivers showed that the self-esteem was high for the
physical health. The physical and the caregivers. The findings of the research were
psychological health of the caregiver are also in tune to the findings of research study by
negatively affected by providing care. Carlisle which emphasized on focusing on
Providing care for a chronically sick person the illness positively (Carlisle, 2000).
can have harmful physical, mental, and
emotional consequences for the caregiver. Low priority to Health Care
Previous studies such as those by
Generally, women who are positive
Molemoeng (2006), Moore & Henry (2005),
have less access to health care than man.
and Simpson (2006) support these findings.
Low priority is given to womens health
The study by Mehta & Gupta (2006) and
needs (Tallis, 2000). Living with HIV and
DCruz, 2002 indicates that the women
AIDS has multiple implications for a
caregivers had to shoulder the entire family
caregivers functional health. It was
responsibility despite their positive status,
observed in the present study that the
and caring for the other members and
primary care givers who were HIV positive,
pursuing household chores often had a
suffer poorer health and physical
tremendous burden on the caregivers. These
functioning, more pain, and poorer role
findings are in line with the observations
functioning and lower quality of life. In the
made by the present study. In a study
current study, the areas of neglected health
conducted by Patricia (2006) to examine the
because of the care giving roles indicated
role of coping on caregiver burden among a
that they do not follow a strict dietary
heterogeneous group of caregivers of
pattern. Some respondents expressed that

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Women And HIV And AIDS: Gendered Dimensions of Care: Confronting the Crisis 63

they do not report about their symptoms and traumatic experience for the family. The
illness to others. The study also pointed out initial reactions that families were going
that due to their multiple responsibilities through also varied. Majority of them
caregivers also defaulted on their medication expressed that they were shocked and
and did not keep their appointments with the disappointed, some families empathized but
doctor. they were embarrassed to disclose their
status to anyone in the family. The other
Access continues to be limited due to reactions included shock, crying spells,
the time and energy women need to spend feelings of betrayal and six percent of the
on caring responsibilities, lack of money for respondents expressed that they wanted to
transportation and power imbalances in the commit suicide since it was a shocking and
household. stressful experience they were going
Access to treatment can ameliorate through. The burden of managing multiple
the drain on womens caring roles, responsibilities was also heavy on women
(Urdang, 2006). as in most cases she might not have
supportive assistance. According to the
According to a study conducted by present study it was observed that 52.54
Karus et al. (1999), which measured the percent of the care givers had supportive
psychosocial adjustment to illness, subscales assistance, the major source of support being
on illness-related psychological distress, their spouses and children.
problematic health care orientation and
problematic extended family relationship According to Mulligan (2006) stigma
had consistently high scores across the attached to HIV infection, particularly for
domains which showed that HIV infected women due to beliefs about acceptable
women face difficulty in adjusting to their behavior, roles and position in the family and
illness in these areas. The study also society can deter HIV infected women from
observed that women with HIV and AIDS involving close relatives in their care. Such
tend to have less favorable scores on the fears can inhibit mothers telling even older
health care orientation subscale. Though children about the status. Families may also
there are new treatment regimens women fear the effect of being associated with the
have less accessibility and also do not infected women. HIV fears may also sever
comply with the treatment requirements. the ties of the family from their vital natural
network of neighbors, friends, and other
support networks. Thus, disclosure of the
Fears Associated with the Disclosure of
positive status is always seen as a threat.
the Positive status due to Stigma and
When a woman reveals her positive status it
is probable that her husband deserts her, and,
It was pointed out in the current study as a result, the positive status is not
that the diagnosis of the illness was a disclosed. (Mulligan, 2006).

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

64 Anita Machado

Some of the major areas of stigma and health. Many studies have supported these
discrimination experienced by women as findings. According to Tallis (2000) women
pointed out in the present study were that have less control over a sexual relationship
women were blamed and condemned by and the sexual behavior of male partners. In
family members on account of the illness. the United States and Europe, a reduction in
Women were also subjected to physical fertility has been shown in HIV positive
abuse because of the illness and some were women. In African studies, HIV infection has
ridiculed because of the positive status. been linked to an increase in spontaneous
Women also expressed the denial of health abortion and still birth (McIntyre, 2005). A
care and were forced to terminate their progressive reduction in fertility was seen
pregnancies. in Uganda from the time of HIV infection to
The research study by Schrimshaw AIDS. A study of women in the European
(2003) provided evidence that the region found that while incidence of
importance of unsupportive social pregnancy decreased with HIV, the number
interactions from family were found to have of induced abortion was high before HIV
a direct negative effect on depressive diagnosis and significantly increased
symptoms. The impact was more when there thereafter particularly among single women,
were unsupportive relationships from women aged 15-25 years and women with
families because women frequently depend multiple partners. (Bentham et al., n.d cited
on their family members for practical in Bruyn, 2003).
financial assistance. In another study
HIV positive women who wish to
conducted by Jones et al. (2003) indicates
terminate a pregnancy often lack safe options
that stressful life events negatively impacted
to do so. In many countries where HIV
HIV positive African American womens
perceptions of their health status. prevalence is high in women of reproductive
age, majority of them do not have access to
Family stress may be particularly safe abortion. Research studies in
detrimental for the quality of life of women Zimbabwe, found that HIV positive women
living with HIV and in turn their families. A may be ready to end child bearing, but often
majority of the women in this study report cannot put that decision into practice because
witnessing family violence. they lack control over contraception and
access to abortion, among other reasons,
Less control over Sexual relationships and include medical cost. (Bruyn, 2003).
Sexual Behavior of Male partners
The participation of women in
It was observed in the present study decision-making is an important area of
that 15.25 percent of women were coerced investigation in the present study. Womens
to abort the fetus on account of their positive involvement in decision-making,
status which could be detrimental to their specifically participation and representation

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Women And HIV And AIDS: Gendered Dimensions of Care: Confronting the Crisis 65

in crucial decisions at home clearly reflected Based on the insights gained from the
the prominent role they play in the families. Research study .The following suggestions
The research study clearly proves that HIV and Recommendations are put forth
positive women have a crucial role to play
1. The programs and policies
in the family and they take all major
formulated for HIV and AIDS must be
decisions related to the family and finances.
gender sensitive and must address gender
The ability to take decisions on reproductive
equality, human rights and vulnerability. The
decisions is comparatively lesser than other
nongovernmental organizations should
areas of decision-making. According to
foster partnerships with human rights
Aniekwu (2002) the risk of HIV infection
institutions, legal services, lawyers
during unprotected vaginal intercourse is
collectives, family court and unions to
two to four times higher for women than
protect and promote the human rights of the
men. Women have a higher risk of HIV
PLHIVs and affected families.
infection than men. This vulnerability is
often reinforced by social constraints on the Treatment seeking behavior is less
womens ability to protect them and insist among women. Care giving
on safe sex, pressures to engage in sexual responsibilities, in addition to the
activities may result from relationship, stigma and discrimination associated
situational, cultural and role expectations with AIDS prevent women from
that dictate when sex occurs and whether seeking early treatment. Hence
safe sex recommendations are followed constant follow up is required to
(Aniekwu, 2002). ensure that women do not default their
Concluding Remarks The health sector could
The findings of this study collaborate with the
comprehensively portrays the care giving nongovernmental organisations
dynamics giving an insight into the to address the nutritional needs
challenges faced by Women caregivers. The of the PLHIVs and provide
emerging need is to realign and provide a adequate food supplements.
holistic family approach to HIV treatment
It is essential to strengthen the
and care. The findings of this research and
HIV positive womens network
the suggestions emerging from this study
at the district level.
clearly highlights the interventions required
at the level of primary care and the need to Maharashtra state AIDS control
strengthen policy formulation on family society in collaboration with
care. nongovernmental organisations can
establish short stay homes and hospice
Suggestions and Recommendations centers to provide care and support to

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

66 Anita Machado

infected women who are abandoned minimized

by their family members.
The policy should be formulated on
Women need to be encouraged important issues such as social
to be recruited in community protection, employment practices and
based organisations working on policies, provision of public health
HIV and AIDS issues. infrastructure, adequate nutrition and
Special socio economic and
supportive services need to be The government also needs to provide
provided to destitute women who special income generation packages
have been deserted by their family for the PLHIVs and their families,
members on account of their illness. since some preferred to be self
employed. For eligible persons,
Home care programme must be
business development, developing
strengthened. There is a need
small enterprises and vocational skills
for a more inclusive care
should be provided after conducting
agenda to help households and
aptitude or qualification tests.
the communities to provide
care and support for those who Special policies and programs need to
are sick and dying from AIDS. be formulated for parents who are
positive and are not in a position to
It is recommended that
work. Such services should cover
interdisciplinary approaches to
health care, educational services for
HIV and AIDS care must be the
children, nutritional supplements,
standard of care. Mental health
housing support, legal services and
sessions and sessions on
health insurance cover.
positive living need to be
organised for the PLHIVs, the It is recommended that Maharashtra
care givers and children on a State AIDS control society needs to
monthly basis. establish free legal aid cell in order to
provide legal support to the PLHIVs
Efforts must be initiated to improve
and their families.
the HIV status disclosure decision
making skills, for effective disclosure During the study it was observed that
may also benefit PLHIVs in reducing childless couple who are forced to
disclosure related stress. curtail family formation on account
of HIV diagnosis expressed deep
Adequate assistance should be
concern to have children to gratify
provided to help clients deal with
their need for parenthood. A review
disrupted or conflicted relationships
within the family and with the of the adoption and foster care
extended family members can be policies is essential.

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Women And HIV And AIDS: Gendered Dimensions of Care: Confronting the Crisis 67

Campbell, C.A. (1999). Women, families and HIV/AIDS: A sociological perspective on the epidemic
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Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Vanisha Nambiar*
Kuhu Roy**
Nishita Desai***

Introduction problem of general under nutrition (4). In

growing children, malnutrition affects
The Indian Constitution assigns intelligence and physical capacity. These in
special status to the Scheduled Tribes (STs). turn reduces productivity, slows economic
Traditionally referred to as adivasis, growth and aggravates poverty. The
vanbasis, tribes, or tribals, STs constitute economic cost of malnutrition is very high
about 8% of the Indian population. There (5).
are 573 Scheduled Tribes living in different
parts of the country, having their own Higher prevalence of under nutrition
languages different from the one mostly in tribal population is due to poverty and
spoken in the State where they live. There consequent under nutrition; lack of
are more than 270 such languages in India
awareness about access to and utilization of
(1). Approximately 8 million persons
comprising 15 percent of Gujarats the available nutrition supplementation
population is tribal. Tribal population is programmes; social barriers preventing the
mainly concentrated in rural areas in utilization of available nutrition
dispersed, hard to reach settlements (2) and supplementation programme and services;
they are particularly vulnerable to poor environmental sanitation and lack of
undernutrition, because of their geographical safe drinking water, leading to increased
isolation, socio-economic disadvantage and
morbidity from water-borne infections;
inadequate health facilities (3).
environmental conditions that favour vector-
With 1/3rd children in the developing borne diseases; lack of access to health care
world being either underweight or stunted facilities resulting in increased severity and
and more than 30% of the developing
/or duration of illnesses (6).
worlds population micronutrient deficient,
malnutrition remains the worlds most Of the many major tribes of Gujarat,
serious health problem. Deficiencies of key the Rathwa Bhils is a distinct tribe dwelling
vitamins and minerals continue to be in the Chhota Udepur, Naswadi, Jetpur and
pervasive and they overlap considerably with Sankheda region of Gujarat. However, no

* Associate Professor Department of Foods and Nutrition, Faculty of Family and Community Sciences, The
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara. Gujarat. India
Email :
Hidden Hunger among the Rathwa Tribal ... Western India A Cross Sectional Study 71

data on the nutritional status of the status of the school going adolescents.
adolescent school going children belonging
to this tribe are available. The present study The indicator used for assessing long
aimed to evaluate the nutritional status of term energy deficit was height for age (7,8).
the Rathwa tribal adolescents registered Weight and height were measured at visits
under the Government run schools of Chota to the Government schools by the
Udepur, Gujarat, Western India. investigators. Weight was measured to the
nearest 0.5 kgs and the platform balance
scale was checked periodically for accuracy
Methods and materials with known weights. Height was measured
Selection of study area and sample size to the nearest 0.1 cm using a measuring tape
The Chhota Udepur taluka, which was was fixed vertically on a smooth wall in the
one of the blocks of rural Vadodara district school; perpendicular to the ground (9)
in Gujarat state, Western India (having a total growth reference standards for children were
of 2348 Government run schools), was used to assess the BMI for age of the subjects
purposively selected for the study under study.
considering the prevalence of the Rathwa All the adolescents were individually
tribe in that area. Five schools out of the 216 examined for the presence of clinical signs
in the Chhota Udepur block namely and symptoms of various micronutrient
Khadakwada, Rangpur, Kacchel, Moti deficiencies, namely, vitamin A deficiency,
Sadhli and Gunata, representing the Rathwa vitamin C deficiency, B complex deficiency
tribals were selected using purposive and iron deficiency anemia by the
sampling technique. investigators. For iron deficiency- clinical
All adolescents enrolled in higher signs assessed were swollen and red tongue,
primary section (6th and 7th standard) from brittle nails, pale skin colour, angular
the 5 schools were enrolled for the study stomatitis, fatigue and pallor signs. For
(n=280) but due to gross attendance Vitamin A deficiency, conjunctival xerosis,
shortage, the final enrollment figure was 150 Bitots spot, corneal ulceration,
students. Exclusion criteria included the xeropthalmic fundus, night blindness,
students who could not be contacted in three corneal xerosis, corneal scar, eye infection
consecutive visits. The prospective cross was assessed. For vitamin C deficiency,
sectional study was conducted in two phases. bleeding and swollen gums were recorded.
Clinical signs for B-complex deficiency
Data on anthropometric indices, included cheilosis, glositis, angular
clinical signs and symptoms of micronutrient stomatitis, dermatitis and odema. For iodine
deficiencies, food frequency patterns and deficiency the goiter stage if evident, was
biochemical estimations for hemoglobin noted down.
were carried out to assess the nutritional
A pretested food frequency

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

72 Vanisha Nambiar, Kuhu Roy, Nishita Desai

questionnaire comprising a list of food items times before measurement. The sample was
rich in iron, vitamin A and vitamin C selected automatically diluted and measured. WBC
from the Nutritive value of Indian foods (10) was differentiated into 3 parameters,
was used. lymphocyte, monocyte and granulocyte.
WBC, RBC and PLT were measured by
To assess the breakfast patterns and electrical resistance detection method. The
type of the diet consumed by the subjects remaining blood was automatically cleaned
under study (n=150), a pretested by the analyzer from the sampling nozzle so
questionnaire was used. it was safe and there was no risk of touching
To measure iron deficiency anemia, blood during measurement. Results and data
hemoglobin levels were estimated for the were displayed on a color TFT LCD screen
children by the gold standard which has 240 x 320 pixel resolution.
Cyanmethaemoglobin method (11). Out of Statistical analysis: Z-scores were
the 150 children, only 60 children submitted calculated for the anthropometric measures
the signed consent form and gave blood using the WHO AnthroPlus software (12).
sample for the study of complete blood count Statistical analyses were conducted using
and red cell morphology. Following SPSS version 13. Mean and standard
parameters were assessed: WBC: White deviation was used to describe the group.
Blood Cell Count, RBC: Red Blood Cell Correlation was used to quantify the
Count, HGB: Hemoglobin Concentration, association between two variables and Chi
HCT: Hematocrit (%), MCV: Mean square test was used to calculate the
Corpuscular Volume (fL), MCH: Mean approximate p values and the level of
Corpuscular Hemoglobin (pg), MCHC: significance (p< 0.05 Significant; p< 0.01-
Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin highly significant, p<0.001- very highly
Concentration (g/dL), PLT: Platelet Count. significant)
The MEK-6410J/MEK-6410K and Ethics consideration: The study was
MEK-6420J/MEK6420K is a fully approved (F.C.Sc./FND/ME/29) by the
automated Hematology analyzer designed Medical Ethics Committee of the
for simultaneous 18-parameter Department of Foods and Nutrition, Faculty
measurement. Once the sample was of Family and Community Sciences, The M
aspirated through the sampling nozzle, all S University of Baroda. Necessary
other operations were performed permissions were obtained from the District
automatically. Two ml of whole blood was education board. Written permissions were
collected in a sample container which obtained from the school authorities and
contained anticoagulant. Then sample was consent forms were signed from the students
gently shaken up and down more than 30 enrolled for the study.

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Hidden Hunger among the Rathwa Tribal ... Western India A Cross Sectional Study 73

Results and Discussion thinness (boys 44.9% vs. girls 44.4%). These
differences however, were non-significant.
Socio-demographic profile of the
students: The results of the socio economic Similarly, based on the height for age
assessment revealed that all the subjects parameters, chronic malnutrition was
were Hindus (100%, n=150), the average recorded. Only 48% had a normal height for
family size was 5-10 members. Majority of age, 25.3% were stunted (girls 26.4% vs.
the mothers (82%) and fathers (53%) were boys 24.4%), and 26.7% were severely
illiterate. Agriculture is the major occupation stunted (girls 29.2% vs. boys 24.4%),
of the people of Chhota Udepur and the wherein the differences between the gender
Rathwas depend on the forest for agricultural were non significant indicating that
land, wild animals for prey, and wood for malnutrition was equally prevalent among
fuel and house building. A majority of Rathwa boys and girls.
students mothers (50.7%) and fathers
(72.7%) earned their living through Clinical signs and symptoms of Iron
agricultural activities. deficiency and vitamin A deficiency:
Symptoms of anemia such as pale nails
Date of birth: None of the students (43.3% -boys, 46.8% vs girls 39.7%), pale
enrolled could tell their date of birth. When conjunctiva (18.7%); pale palm and pale
the attendance and date of birth records were tongue, which was found to be more in girls
checked it was found that a majority of the (32.9% and 8.2%) than the boys (28.6% and
births were unregistered (72.7%), with more 5.2%) were recorded. About 14% reported
girls births (54.12%) as unregistered than breathlessness which was accompanied by
the boys (65.9%). Informal conversations fatigue; prevalence of Spoon shaped nails
revealed that the teachers made a (koilynchia) was observed in one subject.
presumption of the average age of the child, In depth inquiry revealed that 26.7%
and assigned them a birth date of 1st June, adolescents reported to suffer from night
since; 1st June marks the beginning of a fresh blindness which was more in girls (31.5%)
academic year in school across India! Of the as compared to boys (22.1%). The
150 subjects, 109 students had a birth date prevalence of Bitots spot, corneal xerosis
of 1st June, but with different years for each, and corneal scar was found to be higher
ranging from 1992-1999. among boys (26%, 1.3%, and 3.9%) than
girls (16.4%, 0%, and 1.4%) among school
Assessment of the nutritional status children indicating vitamin A deficiency to
by anthropometry: Based on the BMI for be a public health problem.Clinical signs of
age, only 30% of the students were vitamin B complex such as angular
categorized as normal (boys 32.1% vs. girls stomatitis (girls 6.8% vs boys 1.3%);
27.8%); whereas 25.3% of the students glossitis (boys 11.7% vs girls 4.1%);
suffered from thinness (girls 27.8% vs. boys dermatitis (9.6% vs 5.2%) were also
23.1%) and 44.7% suffered from severe

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

74 Vanisha Nambiar, Kuhu Roy, Nishita Desai

reported. Diarrhea was found to be higher few students who consumed fruits rich in
among girls (12.3%) than boys (11.7%). essential micronutrients on a daily basis.
About 10.7% of the students had swollen and Mango was the only fruit which recorded
bleeding gums indicative of vitamin C the highest consumption on a daily basis by
deficiency (scurvy) which was reported 48.6% of the students during season of
equally by boys and girls. availability. However, other vitamin A and
C rich fruits were consumed only by 4.7-
Food frequency consumption of 9.3% children. Wednesday is the only day
essential foods rich in micronutrients: in the week where a local market (haat) is
Cereals and pulses About 79.3% set up and the children can consume fruits.
students were vegetarians followed by 16% The consumption of green leafy vegetables
of the students consuming non-vegetarian was almost negligible. This data supports the
items. Almost all the students (99.3%) fact that several children were suffering from
reported consumption of corn or corn based micronutrient malnutrition as validated by
food every day as compared to pearl millet the data on the presence of clinical signs and
(Bajri). Rice flakes were consumed usually symptoms of IDA, VAD and vitamins C and
in breakfast or evening snack with maximum B-complex deficiencies. Roots and tubers
consumption on a weekly basis by 52% of especially onions, were consumed on a daily
the students. However, pulses and lentils, basis as they are available at a reasonable
which are the protein sources for price and due to seasonal availability.
vegetarians, were not consumed daily by any Breakfast pattern: A majority of the
subject and consumed just once a week by students (91.3%) reported regular breakfast
38% and 58% reported that they had never consumption. Corn being the staple food of
eaten any form of lentil. the region, was included in the breakfast and
Fruits and vegetables There were very 46% reported taking tea in combination with

Table 1: Prevalence of signs and symptoms of vitamin B complex deficiency in

subjects under study (n=150)

Deficiency Total Boys % Girls % Chi

symptoms % (n=150) (n=77) (n=73) square
Vitamin B complex deficiency
Angular stomatitis 4 (6) 1.3 (1) 6.8 (5) 3.1 NS
Glossitis 8 (12) 11.7 (9) 4.1 (3) 2.7 NS
Dermatitis 7.3 (11) 5.2 (4) 9.6 (7) 1.1 NS
Diarrhoea 12 (18) 11.7 (9) 12.3 (9) 0.3 NS
NS = Not significant
Figures in parenthesis indicate number of subjects

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Hidden Hunger among the Rathwa Tribal ... Western India A Cross Sectional Study 75

corn cereal and pulse or vegetable in their WBC count of the subjects was 11030/
breakfast (makai rotla/rotli/bhaat/vaghareli cumm, slightly above the normal reference
khichdi with udad/tuver dal or with ringan values (4000-11000/ cumm). The mean
bataka/dungri bataka/dudhi bataka); About platelet count of the subjects was within the
26.7% students reported consumption of tea reference value (370133/ cumm), but the
with cereal (makai rotla/rotli) or cereal and mean value for girls (403741) was above the
vegetable (makai rotla/rotli/bhaat with reference value (1.5-4.0 lacs/cumm)
ringan bataka/dungri bataka/dudhi bataka).
Table 5 reveals that lesser mothers
About 14% of the students reported
were illiterate (82%) of the subjects
consuming only corn cereal with vegetable
diagnosed with anemia were than non
(makai rotla/rotli with ringan bataka/dungri
anemic subjects (85.7%). The result was
bataka); while 4.7% reported corn cereal
found to be not significant. Maximum
(makai rotla/rotli) and 8.7% consumed only
prevalence of severe thinness (61.5%) was
raavri (corn gruel) or tea in the morning.
found in children who had haemoglobin
Though vegetable consumption was
below 12g / dl. A significant difference was
recorded, they were either roots and tubers
found between severity of thinness and
or brinjal and had no significant contribution
hemoglobin status of the subject. Severe
to micronutrients.
stunting was more prevalent in anemic
Haematological indices of the subjects (25.6%), whereas, more students
students under the study as assessed by F- with normal height for age were found in
620 and red cell morphology: Haemoglobin the non anemic category. However, the
estimation revealed a majority of the subjects difference was not significant. The
(65%) were anemic (65.5% boys, 64.5% prevalence of ocular signs and symptoms of
girls). Out of these 55% were mildly anemic, IDA was higher in subjects diagnosed with
10% moderately anemic and none had severe anaemia, but it was not significant. The
anaemia. The difference was found to be prevalence of ocular signs and symptoms of
non-significant between both the groups. VAD (night blindness and Bitots spot) was
The mean RBC count of the subjects higher in non-anemic subjects than their
was within the normal range (5.28) with anemic counter parts. However, the result
normal mean RBC count for boys (5.42) and was not significant.
girls (5.16). The mean MCV of the subjects
(68.61 fl) was well below the normal range More anemic subjects were non
(79-101 fl), with much lower MCV value vegetarians (15.4%) and non-anemic
for boys (67.11 fl) than girls (70 fl). The subjects were vegetarians (85.7%). This may
mean MCH value (21.7 pg) was well below be likely due to insufficient and infrequent
the reference value (26-36 pg). The mean consumption of heme rich non vegetarian
haemoglobin was 11.39 g/dl indicative of items by the subjects.
iron deficiency in both the genders (boys
11.42 g/dl and girls 11.35 g/dl). The mean

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

76 Vanisha Nambiar, Kuhu Roy, Nishita Desai

Table 2: Frequency of consumption of essential foods rich in various micro

nutrients by the subjects under study (n=150)

Food groups Daily % Once a Monthly/ Never %

week % occasionally %
Corn 99.3 (149) 0.7 (1) 0 (0) 0 (0)
Bajri 6.7 (10) 32 (48) 0.7 (1) 60.7 (91)
Rice flakes 2 (3) 52 (78) 4.7 (7) 41.3 (62)
Pulses and legumes
Lentil 0 (0) 38 (57) 4 (6) 58 (87)
Lemon 4.7 (7) 64 (96) 4 (6) 27.3 (41)
Guava 9.4 (14) 73.4 (110) 2.1 (3) 15.3 (23)
Orange 4.7 (7) 29.4 (44) 0.7 (1) 65.3 (98)
Amla 14.7 (22) 36 (54) 3.4 (5) 46 (69)
Mango 48.6 (73) 46 (69) 1.4 (2) 4 (6)
Papaya 5.3 (8) 70 (105) 6.7 (10) 18 (27)
Green leafy vegetables
Spinach 4 (6) 55.3 (83) 0.7 (1) 40 (60)
Shepu 0.7 (1) 29.3 (44) 0.7 (1) 69.3 (104)
Fenugreek 4 (6) 82 (123) 1.3 (2) 12.7 (19)
Colocasia 0.7 (1) 11.3 (17) 0 (0) 88 (132)
Mint 0 (0) 14.7 (22) 0.7 (1) 84.7 (127)
Drumstick leaves 4 (6) 58.6 (88) 2 (3) 35.4 (53)
Roots and tubers and other vegetables
Tomato ripe 37.4 (56) 55.3 (83) 3.4 (5) 4 (6)
Onion 100 (150) 0 (0) 0 (0) (0)
Carrot 6 (9) 58.7 (88) 2.7 (4) 32.7 (49)
Pumpkin 2.7 (4) 56 (84) 8.6 (13) 32.7 (49)
Meat and Poultry
Meat 0 (0) 5.4 (8) 3.3 (5) 91.3 (137)
Fish 2 (3) 1.3 (2) 0 (0) 96.7 (145)
Chicken 0 (0) 13.3 (20) 2.7 (4) 84 (126)
Egg 0 (0) 2. (3) 2.7 (4) 95.3 (143)
Note: Figures in parenthesis indicate number of subjects

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Hidden Hunger among the Rathwa Tribal ... Western India A Cross Sectional Study 77

Discussion survival or it maybe too costly for parents

or due to lack of awareness of the need of
Poor registration of date of birth for birth and death registration among the public
73% children enrolled for the study highlight and the district officials. The possible reason
several reasons such as, birth registration not for lesser number of girls having their births
considered relevant by the society at large registered could be gender bias (13,14). In
or by families struggling with day-to-day such a situation, the approximate age of the

Table 3: Mean (Mean SD) haematological values of the subjects under study

Total Girls Boys

(n=60) (n=31) (n=29)

Hb ( 12g/dl) 11.4 1.3 11.4 1.2 11.4 1.5

RBC Count (M: 4.6- 5.3 0.6 5.2 0.5 5.4 0.7
6.5 f 3.9-5.6)
PCV (34-54%) 36 4.0 35.9 3 36.3 4.9
MCV (79-101 fl) 68.6 6.7 70 7.2 67.1 5.8
MCH (26-36 pg) 21.7 2.5 22.2 2.8 21.1 2
MCHC (31-37 g/dl) 31.6 1.3 31.6 1.3 31.6 1.4
Total WBC (4000- 11030 3019 11235 3033.3 10810
11000/ cumm) 3043.4
Platelet count (1.5- 370133 81561 403741 69645.3 334206
4.0 lacs/cumm) 78949.9

Table 4: Red cell morphology of subjects screened for anaemia (n=60)

Red cell morphology Types Subjects %
Normal Normocytic normochoromic 53.3 (32)
Abnormal Microcytic hypochromic 43.3 (26)
Microcytic hypochromic severe 1.7 (1)
Microcytic normochromic 1.7 (1)
Figures in parenthesis indicate number of subjects
Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015
78 Vanisha Nambiar, Kuhu Roy, Nishita Desai

Table 5: Correlation between essential parameters in subjects screened for

biochemical estimations (n=60)
Variables Total % Anemic Non anemic Chi-
(n=60) subjects % subjects % square
(n=39) (n=21)

Mothers educational status

Illiterate 83.9 (50) 82.1 (32) 85.7 (18) 4.23 NS
< 7 Standard 6.1 (3) 2.6 (1) 9.5 (2)
7-9th Standard 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)
10-12th Standard 3.7 (2) 2.6 (1) 4.8 (1)
Dead 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)
Dont know 6.4 (5) 12.8 (5) 0 (0)
BMI for age
Severe thinness 42.7 (29) 61.5 (24) 23.8 (5) 8.09*
Thinness 30.4 (16) 17.9 (7) 42.9 (9)
Normal 26.9 (15) 20.5 (8) 33.3 (7)
Height for age
Severe stunting 22.3 (14) 25.6 (10) 19 (4) 0.33 NS
Stunting 37 (22) 35.9 (14) 38.1 (8)
Normal 40.7 (24) 38.5 (15) 42.9 (9)
Signs and symptoms of IDA
Pale nails 49.5 (30) 51.3 (20) 47.6 (10) .073 NS
Pale conjunctiva 19.9 (13) 25.6 (10) 14.3 (3) 1.03 NS
Pale tongue 11.2 (7) 12.8 (5) 9.5 (2) 0.14 NS
Pale palm 34.8 (22) 41 (16) 28.6 (6) 0.91 NS
Breathlessness 19.8 (12) 20.5 (8) 19 (4) 0.01 NS
Koilynchia 1.3 (1) 2.6 (1) 0 (0) 0.54 NS
Signs and symptoms of VAD
Night blindness 39.4 (23) 35.9 (14) 42.9 (9) 0.28 NS
Bitots spot 22.2 (13) 20.5 (8) 23.8 (5) 0.08 NS
Conjunctival xerosis 1.3 (1) 2.6 (1) 0 (0) 0.54 NS
Corneal xerosis 1.3 (1) 2.6 (1) 0 (0) 0.54 NS
Type of diet
Vegetarian 82.6 (49) 79.5 (31) 85.7 (18) 0.42 NS
Non-vegetarian 12.5 (8) 15.4 (6) 9.5 (2)
Ovo-vegetarian 4.9 (3) 5.1 (2) 4.8 (1)
p<0.05 = significant, NS = not significant.
Figures in parenthesis indicate number of subjects

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Hidden Hunger among the Rathwa Tribal ... Western India A Cross Sectional Study 79

child can be determined by the school carotene content in this corn and its
authorities by making use of a local events bioavailability needs to be assessed since the
calendar when parents bring their child for prevalence of the clinical signs and
enrolment. Determining the correct age of symptoms of VAD are exceeding the
the child is of utmost importance to make tolerable limits concluding it to be a public
correct judgments about the nutritional health problem.
status of the child.
High prevalence of IDA reported in
The India State Hunger Index (ISHI), the study could be due to poor dietary intake
has categorized 12 of the 17 states in the of iron, poor bioavailability of iron coupled
alarming rates of hunger category, and with high intake of inhibitors and poor intake
unfortunately, Gujarat state is one of them. of enhancers, infections and parasitic
The report further stated that ISHI scores infestation and also the high requirements
were closely aligned with poverty, but there of iron during adolescence (19). High
was little association with state level prevalence of anemia was also reported from
economic growth. High levels of hunger Rajasthan (18) where (60.2 %) of the
were seen in states that were performing well children were moderately anemic (7-10 g/
from an economic perspective (15). A study dl/), 32.9 per cent were severely anemic (<7
from Karnataka on tribal children also g/dl) and 0.6 per cent mildly anemic (10-
reported high prevalence of mild (41.5%) 11.5 g/dl). In another tribal area of Orissa
and severe (6.7%) stunting (16). In depth almost all children of age group 5-14 years
study of the clinical signs and symptoms were anemic, amongst them 59.4% were
reveal the presence of VAD as well as moderately anemic and 5. 4% were severely
anemia, which may be of iron deficiency or anemic (20). Thus, the problem of hidden
vitamin B complex deficiency in nature. The hunger must be rampant in tribal areas. But
prevalence of Bitots spot was much higher lower prevalence of anemia was reported
in comparison to the figures reported by from tribal regions of Maharashtra where
NNMB (17) where, 0.1% children in Gujarat 32.47% children aged 5-15 years were
had Bitots spot. A study (18) had reported categorized as anemic (21).
the prevalence of ocular signs of IDA in
tribal areas of Rajasthan where, 95.1% of The hematocrit values of 20%
the children had clinical anemia, pale subjects in the present study were below
conjuctiva (77.6%), flat and pale nails reference values; majority (91.7%) subjects
(24.3%), atrophic lingual papillae (12.4%) had a below normal MCH, this can mean
and koilynchia (44.3%). Though 99.3% the subjects have iron-deficiency anemia
students reported consumption of corn or (65% anemia was recorded in the present
corn based food everyday, which is the staple study). The MCHC values of 75% of the
crop of Chhota Udepur and this area can subjects were normal in the present study,
boast of at least 20 varieties of corn. whereas, 23.3% had below normal MCHC
However, the amount of vitamin A/ beta suggesting microcytic anemia. These results

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

80 Vanisha Nambiar, Kuhu Roy, Nishita Desai

are further validated by the presence of the subjects; this type of anemia results from
microcytic hypochromic cells in 43.6% of a variety of conditions that are caused by
the subjects. The mean corpuscular volume, disorders of iron metabolism, porphyrin and
or mean cell volume (MCV), is a measure heme synthesis, or globin synthesis.
of the average red blood cell volume (i.e. The study suggests that measures to
size) that is reported as part of a standard combat macro as well as micronutrient
complete blood count. It is the MCV malnutrition (vitamin A deficiency, anemia
measurement that allows classification as as well as vitamin B-complex deficiency)
either a microcytic anemia (MCV below need to be initiated immediately as acute
normal range) or macrocytic anemia (MCV malnutrition may hamper both growth as
above normal range). It was shocking to find well as development in these tribal
only 10% of the subjects having normal adolescents. Further indepth studies on the
MCV. A majority of the subjects (90%) had dietary patterns along with school based
MCV in below normal range indicative of interventions for prevention of malnutrition
microcytic anemia. Thus there is a need to are required.
further investigate on high prevalence of low
MCV values. Acknowledgements
Results of the red cell morphology The investigators extend sincere gratitude
reveal that more than half of the subjects to the Government authorities of MDM Dept
(53.3%) of the subjects had normocytic and for their cooperation and to UGC DSA,
norochromic red cell morphology, whereas, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Faculty
1.7% of the subjects had microcytic of Family and community Sciences, The M
normochromic anaemia. Microcytic- S University of Baroda, Gujarat for their
hypochromic anemia was seen in 43.3% of support.

1. India Education Report, 2002. Tribal education in India.

2. USAID (2009) Thinking innovatively for tribal welfare in health and nutrition in Gujarat.
3. Rao K, Balakrishna N, Laxmaiah A, Venkaiah K and GNV Brahmam (2006). Diet and
nutritional status of adolescent tribal population in nine States of India Asia Pac J Clin Nutr
15 (1):64-71
4. Kotecha, P.V. (2008) Micronutrient malnutrition in India: Let us say no to it. Indian J
community Med; 33:9-10
5. Mason, J.B (2003) Atleast one third of poor countries diseases burden is due to malnutrition:
diseases control priorities project: working paper no.1, March 2003.
6. NNMB (National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau) 1999.
Diet and nutrition survey on tribal population. Available at:
7. WHO (1995). Physical status: The use and Interpretation of Anthropometry. WHO Expert
Committee Report. WHO technical report series 854

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Hidden Hunger among the Rathwa Tribal ... Western India A Cross Sectional Study 81

8. Cogill B (2003) Anthropometric Indicators measurement guide (revised edition). Food and
nutrition technical assistance project, academy for educational development, Washington,
9. WHO (2007) Growth reference data for children aged 5-19 years. Available at: http://
10. NIN (2004) Nutritive value of Indian Foods
11. To measure iron deficiency anemia, hemoglobin levels were estimated for the children by the
gold standard Cyanmethaemoglobin method
12. Z-scores were calculated for the anthropometric measures using the WHO AnthroPlus software,
13. Community Development foundation (2004). Birth Registration: A background note.
14. Registrar General, India (1999) for birth registration. Registrar General,India, Registrar
Generals Report on Working of the Registration of Births & Deaths Act,1969,(for the year
1996), New Delhi, 1999b. http://www. agrarianstudies. org/ UserFiles/File/
15. Welthungerhilfe (2008) The India State Hunger Index: Comparisons of Hunger across States.
Available at
16. Prabhakar S and Gangadhar M (2009). Nutritional Status of Jenukuruba Tribal Children in
Mysore District, Karnataka. Anthropologist, 11(1): 49-51.
17. NNMB (2002) Diet and nutritional status of rural population. Indian Council of Medical
Research, National Institute of Nutrition. No. 21. Available at:
18. Vyas S. and Choudhry M (2005) Prevalence of anaemia in tribal school children. Journal of
Human Ecology; 17 (4): 289-291.
19. World Bank (2003). Adolescent nutrition. WBSITE/ EXTERNAL/
20. Sahu T, Sahani N, Patnaik L (2007) Childhood anemia - A study in tribal area of Mohana
block in Orissa Indian journal of community medicine. Vol: 32:(1): pp 43-45
21. Awate RV, Ketkar YA, Sowmiya PA (1997). Prevalence of nutricional deficiency disorders
among rural primary school children (5-15 yrs). Journal of Indian Medical Asoociation, 95
(7): 410-415.
Figure 1: BMI for age of the students under study

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

82 Vanisha Nambiar, Kuhu Roy, Nishita Desai

Figure 2: Height for age of the students under study


Figure 3: Prevalence of ocular signs of iron deficiency anaemia in subjects under study


Figure 4: Prevalence of ocular signs of vitamin A deficiency in subjects under study


Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Hidden Hunger among the Rathwa Tribal ... Western India A Cross Sectional Study 83

Figure 5: Prevalence of iron deficiency anaemia (IDA) in subjects under study


Figure 6: Haematological indices in subjects screened for anaemia


Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Chhaya Patel*
Divya Vasava**

(1) Child Health and Child Mortality Infant mortality is defined as the
infant death (less than one year) per thousand
The depiction of India as an emerging live births.India is among the countries
power is based on the macro indication of where child mortality rate is alarmingly high.
grass domestic produce, growth rate, The problem has caught attention of policy
increase in rural income and FDI. However, makers and researchers for several decades.
these economic indicators differ with several The data collected and published by the
other social indicators such as: Maternal Office of the Registrar General and Census
mortality rate and associated child mortality Commissioner, India, show that although
rate. Massive mis-match between these two
mortality rate among infant and under 5
economic and social indicators of
children is declining over the years, there
development are noticed. India has recorded
are some states where mortality rates are
212/1000 (SRS-2007-09), Maternal
very high. This shows that despite progress
mortality rate and 44/1000 (SRS-2011)
in health sector in the recent decades in India,
infant mortality rate while in Gujarat MMR
precious young lives continue to be lost due
is 148/1000 (SRS-2007-09) and IMR at 41/
to early childhood diseases, inadequate
1000 (SRS-2011) According to the figures
newborn care and childbirth-related causes.
of India: Malnutrition Report available on
The mortality status of children in India
website. The growths of 48% of children in
reflects the threats in child health.
India under the age of five are stunned and
43% children are underweight. One in four Social, cultural, economic and
infant is born with low birth weight. The environmental factors are also found to
adverse effect of poor child health is resulted affect infant mortality especially during the
in increased risk of mortality-particularly post neonatal period. Post neonatal deaths
from infectious diseases. There is a positive are therefore mainly due to various causes,
and significant co-relation between maternal such as communicable diseases, both of the
health status and child health status. The digestive systems, such as diarrhea and
anti-natal care and the post natal care of enteritis, and of the respiratory system, such
pregnant and lactating mother is directly as bronchitis and pneumonia, as well as
linked with the child health and its care. It is faulty feeding practices, and poor hygiene.
an important factor in the survival of the
child. Children die due to pre-maturity of In the developing world 39% of
birth, birth injuries and congenital children under age 5 are chronically
malformation. malnourished, about 54% of deaths
* Professor, Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat. India
Email ;
** Research Fellow, UGC-DSA Programme, Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of
Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat. India Email ;
Assessing the Potentials of Community Participation in Reducing Child Mortality 85

occurring among children of the age group 41.02% during the last two decades
are associated with malnutrition (UNICEF
2000). According to World Health Countries with the highest numbers of
Organization (WHO-1995) children who are neonatal and U5 child deaths
underweight or stunted are at a greater risk
for childhood morbidity and mortality, poor WHO Estimates of neonatal deaths
physical and mental development, inferior for the year 2000, forthcoming. WHO/
school performance and reduced adult size UNICEF/UNFPA estimates of maternal
and capacity for work. mortality for the year 2000 Black, Morris,
Bryce. Lancet 2003.
Causes of Childhood Mortality
India is home for 200 Million food
insecure people, which is one of the largest
numbers of hungry people in the world.
(FAO 2008). The incidence of child mal-
nutrition in India is greater than income
poverty and its pace of reduction is slow. As
per the report of the world Health
Organization and UNICEF-2009, India ranks
1st in Neo natal deaths and deaths among
under five.
Under-nutrition contributes to 53% of The Millennium Development Goals
all child death has goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality targeting
to reduce the under five mortality rate by
SRS based U5MR in India for the year
two thirds between 1990 and 2015. Infant
2010, stands at 59 and it varies from 66 in
Mortality rate is one of the indicators to
rural areas to 38 in urban areas. The under
measure the progress of achievement of this
five mortality rate is higher for females than
target. Given to reduce U5MR to 42 per
males as in 2010, U5MR stood at 64 for
thousand live births by 2015, India tends to
females whereas it is 55 for males. Infant
reach near to 52 by that year missing the
mortality has declined for males from 78 in
target by 10 percentage points. With the
1990 to 46 in 2010 and for females the
historical rate of decline, the States of Delhi,
decline was from 81 to 49 during this period.
Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Sikkim, Tamil
The per year decline in IMR was 1.6 points
Nadu, West Bengal & Kerala are likely to
for both males and females and the
achieve their respective MDG target by
percentage decline in female IMR is 39.5%
and the percentage decline in male IMR is

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

86 Chhaya Patel, Divya Vasava

Ranking for Ranking for

numbers of (numbers of under-5
neonatal deaths child deaths)

India 1 2.5 million 1 6.6 million

China 2 neonatal 3 U 5 child
Pakistan 3 deaths 4 deaths
Nigeria 4 2
Bangladesh 5 Approx 7 Approx
Ethiopia 6 66% 6 61%
Dem.Rep.Congo 7 of global 5 of global
Indonesia 8 total 10 total
Afghanistan 9 8
Tanzania 10 9
Demographic, socio-economic and health profile of Gujarat states compared to
India figures (RHS Bulletin, March 2012, M/o Health & FW, GOI)

Indicator Gujarat India

Total population (in 6.03 121.01
Crore) (census-2011)
Decadal Growth (%) 19.17 17.64
Infant Mortality Rate 41 44
(SRS 2011)
Maternal Mortality 148 212
Rate (SRS 2011
Total fertility rate 2.4 2.4
Crude Birth Rate (SRS- 21.3 21.8
Crude death rate(SRS 6.7 7.1
Natural growth rate 14.6 14.7

In spite of the recent progress in health indicators, the situation is not adequate to
sector, as exhibited by the statistical ensure a bright future to the children of India.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Assessing the Potentials of Community Participation in Reducing Child Mortality 87

Under Five mortality rate: Status of achieving Millennium Development Goals in


This is a multifaceted problem which is empowering process in which the people

directly linked to a large extent to mothers identify their common needs or concerns,
health conditions and the safe delivery plan a collective action and assume
conditions and also the socio economic responsibilities to manage control and assess
conditions of the family along with the collective action and its results. It essentially
countrys health care system. Over the time, involves getting people together for a
the nation has implemented a number of common concern and goal. For the purpose
child centric programmes, much remains to of this paper community participation is
be done to guarantee better health conditions viewed in reference to achieving Millenium
to the children Development Goal of reducing child
mortality. This paper seaks to revisit and
(2) Community reassess the potential and prospects of
community participation as an effective
In social work profession, the term
mechanism to reduce child mortality
community participation is used with a
special connotation. It simply means peoples
participation as a collective-be at group or (3) Changing Character of Community
community. The Oxford English Dictionary
The concept of community has been
defines participation as to have a share in
viewed and reviewed by experts time and
or take part in. It is an educational and
again. What is the nature and character of

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

88 Chhaya Patel, Divya Vasava

community today is the question here. Is it In India, the unevenness in the

homogeneous, composite, cohesive as it was availability of work, work condition and
traditionally believed or has globalization disparity and uncertainty of income have
brought about major changes in its character affected around 25% of the people who live
and composition. If we assume globalization below poverty line.
has brought changes in economy, culture,
society and polity then how any community (4) Examing prospects of community
can-be it rural, urban, tribal, regional, participation in Child care and
national or caste, ethnic, linguistics or Mortality
religion remained unaffected or immuned
Child care is the responsibility of the
from these macro changes.
family but mainly of the mother in the family
The community today is to be viewed and then the community comes in the
in context of market economy first. Members picture. In order to bridge the gaps in
of any community are primarily engaged in reducing child mortality through child health
per suit of individual economic self care, the role of community is to be
interest.priorites have shifted, ways of life examined.
have changed, more nuclear families are There are three classical assumptions
seen, more and more women are engaging
inherent in the process of community
themselves in work and income generating
participation they are
activities. Processes of nuclearization of
family, collectively and community are People as a community know,
happening rapidly. The spirit of collectivity feel and accept responsibility for themselves
is increasingly reduced. and their development
The advent of the LPG (Liberaliza- People develop their own
tion, Privatization and Globa-lisation) resources to meet their needs-personal,
process has created newer communities and material, financial etc
therefore a need to redefine community and
its composition. Migrant communities are on People are capable of focusing
the rise and stable communities are fading. on their own problems, mobilize resources
These changes are then to adopt newer and plan actions according to community
culture, life style, work ethics, work priorities.
condition and social norms. This has hugely
impacted inter personal relation among the In social work discipline, it is
members of the same community. The traditionally believed that the enabling
perennial need for money is changing their process of helping individuals and groups/
relationship with their own community. communities can be best attained by the
Hence it is likely that communitys hold on involvement of the concern community. The
it member is changing too. community can promote care and
development of one and all concerned. We
Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015
Assessing the Potentials of Community Participation in Reducing Child Mortality 89

further believed that the people and Human communities in 21st century
communities have an inherent capacity to are no more change proof societies. The
organize themselves to ensure that their basic ethics and values are impacted. The market
needs are met, problems are solved and forces of production and consumption have
opportunities for advancement are created acquired primary dominance over social,
(Midgleyt: 1995). That is to say the cause cultural, economical and political aspects of
of child health care can be promoted within life. Never before the global and local market
the context of a given community. forces have been so pervasive as now. An
individual and community are on radar of
If we see historically, we find that the the market.
variety of social intervention always
emphasized on community participation as The 1st casuality of this change is time.
an effective strategy. Social work saw big People do not have time from work and job.
potential and promise in it Demands of work have changed. Time for
(Gangrade.G.1984). In many social family is becoming scare and less. So too is
interventions it is found that community the case with regards to time. One has on
participation nearly ensures success of any hand for community. Evidence collects from
programme. (Gangrade1984). The extent of fieldwork done on continuous basis show:
participation spreads through the entire Simply collecting community
process of formulation, implementation and
people for a meeting is becoming more
evaluation of any significant issue like
difficult than it used to be. Distances have
reducing child mortality.
increased not only child care and family care
The questions this paper sets out to but self-care too is found to have become
raise and answer is. Is there any change in somewhat more neglected and
the nature and character of the community compromised.
or it has remained unchanged? As stated it
is changed. Even if a few people are
collected for a meeting on repeated
(5) Changes in Nature of Community persuasion for a discussion on issues like
Participation child health care, mortality rate etc, they do
not have relaxed time as their other pressing
The attempt here is to view day to day chores-like cattle care, cooking;
community participation in efforts for purchasing daily supplies, fetching water,
reducing child mortality. How can farm work etc. make them edgy to leave.
community participation be considered as a
means of helping people accomplish better Inter personal relations in the
child health care and associated maternal family, neighborhood and community are
health care. Thus in a comprehensive sense, also impacting process of collective
community participation is an end, a means deliberations, discussions and actions.
and a process.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

90 Chhaya Patel, Divya Vasava

A way out in the changing community To provide a healthy growth and

profile for eliciting community development of the child,
(1) This is possible with proper formal
In the changed circumstances what anti-natal care, proper nutritional/diet
alternative strategy for eliciting community be given to the mother, proper
participation can be thought about or immunization to the mother, proper
visualized by the community worker- rest during pregnancy.
development worker. Can Community of the
pregnant mothers, lactating mothers, their (2) Adopting of family planning and birth
husband, mothers-in law, father in law, and spacing methods freely available at
their relatives be the target group for active health centres and hospitals. Seek
participation in reducing child mortality? guidance from local health experts.

Where can you meet them? (3) Encouraging them to follow legal
norms of age at marriage of 18thyears
How can you meet them
and more. For positive impact of child
What do you discuss with them health
individually or collectively?
(4) The family members, the relatives, the
Hospitals, Anganwadi centres, neighbors with whom you are in close
Primary health care centres and Mahila contact, can help you to attain good
Mandals are the contact points, where the health care by contacting trained
mothers and their relatives who accompany health workers and doctors. Health
them for check-ups and social gathering for care of the child and mother is of
celebration utmost important to reduce child
Join them by participation in the
ongoing process and discuss the health This is an alternative strategy, which
issues, more so child care, child mortality can be adopted and suitably to the existing
and maternal mortality focusing on why situations in the communities, to attend the
child care is important. issue of reducing child mortality.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Assessing the Potentials of Community Participation in Reducing Child Mortality 91


Gangrade, K.D. (1984). Development and people-A Participatory Approach, Indian Journal of
Social Work, 45(2)

IIPS and Macro International (2007). National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), 2005-06: India,
Volume 1 (Mumbai:IIPS)
Kumar, A.K.Shiva (2007). Why Are Revels of Child Malnutrition Not Improving? Economic and
Political Weekly, 42(15) 1337-45
Miagley, James. (1995). Social Development. The Development Perspective I Social Welfare US.
Sage Publications.

Poel, Ellenvan de, Ahmad Reza Hosseinpoor, Caroline Jehu-Appiah, Jeantta vega and Niko
Speybroeck (2007). Malnutrition and The Disproportional Burden on the poor: The case
of Ghana, International Journal for Equity in Health, 6:21
Radhakrishna, R. and Ravi C. (2004). Malnutrition in India: Trends and Determinants Economic
and political Weekly, 39(7) : 671-76
Smith, L.C. and Haddad, I. (2009). Explaining Child Malnutrition in Developing Countries. A
Cross-Country Analysis, Research Report III, International Food Policy Research Institute,
Washington DC.

UNICEF (2000). The State of WorldsChildren,2000" United Nations Childrens Fund, New York,
World Bank (2009). World Bank Report on Malnutrition in India (Washington DC: The World

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Melody Kshetrimayum*

1. Introduction foeticides which provide evidences that

women are subordinate to men.
The interest in studying women and
their empowerment started in later half of There are several ways to empower
1970s when it was increasingly discussed women but it is important to understand that
and promoted by Third World feminists and one way with which women are convenient
womens organisations (Kumar and and confident of themselves to seek their
Varghese 2005). A more recent initiative was own empowerment through it. Women,
taken up by the United Nations by including across countries of the world, organise
gender equality and empower women as one various informal associations that
of the eight Millennium Development Goals accumulated funds from their small savings
(MDGs). This goal is often considered as to meet their economic needs. These
an essential goal to the achievement of all associations are mainly organised among kin
the other seven Millennium Development relatives, friends and neighbours. More
Goals. Women being vulnerable, powerless commonly known as the rotating savings and
and subordinate in the contemporary social credit associations (ROSCA), these informal
context seek suitable interventions to associations flourish even today when more
empower them. Women in most of the sustainable and viable institutions are
countries lack support for fundamental present and surprisingly more predominant
functions of a human life as they face greater (in terms of its outreach) than the formal
obstacles and discrimination. They are the ones in some regions. It is also practiced in
key agency who can bring about changes and remote areas where there is inaccessibility
development but are less well nourished than of the formal credit institutions.
men, less healthy, more vulnerable to
physical violence, sexual abuse, are less The rotating savings and credit
literate and have fewer opportunities associations are found in four continents,
(Nussbaum 2000). According to Human namely Africa, Asia, the Americas and the
Development Report 1997 of United Nations Europe. Since such associations were not
Development Programme, there is no documented, their existence could only be
country that treats its women as well as its traced back till then when social scientists
men, according to a complex measure that started studying them. The existence of
includes life expectancy, wealth and similar associations were documented as
education (Nussbaum 2000:2). Other cases early as 1794 in Sierra Leone, West Africa
include gender discrimination, domestic but rotating credit associations were
violence, exploitation, dowry and female certainly in use by 1880s in the same region

* Ph D Scholar, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Email :

Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP ... Women in Manipur Valley 93

(Ardener 1964). It existed in 1843 among disseminating the phenomenon of marup

the Yorubas (Nigeria) which was called esu. (which is an informal credit institution of
It seems that women dominated these the Meiteis) in Meitei society. Seventeen in-
associations (Low 1995) and in India, these depth interviews were conducted with the
associations are said to be found only among participants to gain comprehensive insights
women (Ardener 1964). Groups of five to and capture field reality from them and only
fifteen women living near each other pay the data relevant to this paper are presented.
small sums monthly and the allocations of Observation of the researcher also provided
the fund are given to those who are in a clear picture of the functioning of marup
immediate need. One of these associations, and the process of interaction among
known as kameti was started in Madras and members. The interviews were conducted in
then extended in Travancore and Cochin and New Checkon area of Imphal East district.
other regions of the country and today, it is
found in Northern and Southern parts of the In Manipur, people are deprived of
country in the form of chit funds (ibid). basic facilities including drinking water,
However, such associations are also electricity, communication, banking system,
practiced in the north eastern region of India opportunities, and other material and non-
as a part of culture to help each other. Many material resources. In short, people are
such indigenous community based deprived of development. While poverty
institutions operate successfully to meet their declined in most of the states in the country
financial requirements. Sonchays, got, nam in the last decade, Manipur is one of the five
ghar and puja ghar practiced by Assamese, states where poverty rate increased by 9.2
mahari associations practiced by Garos, sum percentages between 2004-05 and 2009-10
lom practiced by Kuki, khabak or ngasotnao and 12.5 lakh of the total population are still
practiced by Tangkhul Naga and singlup below poverty line in 2009-10 (Dey 2012).
practiced by Meiteis of Manipur are some The main credit delivery methodologies of
of the indigenous institutions that are Manipur include microfinance, banking and
prevalent in the region. informal credit institutions. There were
It is the intent of this paper to seventy seven scheduled commercial banks
understand one such institution called marup as on 31st March, 2007 and average
which is organised among the Meiteis (major population per bank offices of the state was
ethnic group of Manipur) to meet their credit 38.1 thousand (Economic Survey 2007-08).
needs. The paper aims to establish a The number of banks increased to eighty one
comprehensive understanding of the in the year 2009 (Economic Survey 2010-
phenomenon of marup and its outcome on 2011). However, a large section of
the position of Meitei women in Manipur. households is still not covered by banks and
The paper is part of a larger qualitative study most of them engaged in the traditional
undertaken for the purpose of gaining cooperative savings and credit institution,
information on womens role in marup.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

94 Melody Kshetrimayum

2. Conceptualising Women and the outcome is the process of women

Empowerment empowerment.
Conceptually, empowerment is a Thus, women empowerment is
process interrelated with and contingent to defined as a continuous process in which
the context where women belong to, marup women becomes capable to make decision
which is the organisational strategy, social in terms of their financial issues and strategic
capital, incentives and the outcome. The life choices, where these capabilities were
contextual factors consisting of social, previously denied to them, as an outcome
economic, institutional, and cultural aspects of interaction between women as members
influence formation of marup. For instance, of marup and this process is interrelated with
socio-economic problems like poverty and contingent to the context where women
induce the formation of groups to get access belong to. Here, financial issues refer to
to credit needs and cultural beliefs to be part issues relating to their income, savings,
of traditional practices induced women to investment and sustainability of their income
participate in marups. The organisation of generating activities. And strategic life
marup is also influenced by social capital choices refer to choices relating to a)
which is rooted in social network and social movement from one place to another and
relations of women. However, the security, b) affiliation with others,
functioning of marup is in turn induced by engagement in social interactions and social
an incentive to give rise to the collective support, c) participation in paid work and
action. Incentive could be monetary and/or other projects which is the capability to
non-monetary. During the collective participate in paid work and organise or
activities undertaken by women, they participate in a social event or associations,
interact with each other to function their and d) engagement in recreational like
group effectively. The informal interaction practicing arts and playing games.
between women as members of marup
during organisation and functioning of 3. Understanding Marup and Women
marup create the outcomes. The outcomes Empowerment in Manipur Valley
explain the capability of those women in
decision making over financial issues and Marup is an organisational strategy
strategic life choices. In the process of for the Meiteis to meet their economic and
empowerment, women exercise choices social needs. The phenomenon of organising
through marup in relation to their context. and functioning of marups is influenced by
As an outcome of the process, womens the contextual factors consisting of socio-
control over financial issues and exercise economic conditions, cultural condition and
strategic life choices is affected. This again institutional condition. Due to the interaction
influence back to the context. This cyclical between women as marup members, their
relationship of context, marup, social capital capability is affected as the outcome. The

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP ... Women in Manipur Valley 95

following sections discuss the event marups and asset marups that are
interrelationship between context, social organised to meet the expenses for rituals
capital, marup and the outcome. and for purchasing household assets.
3.1 The Marup- Structure and Marup is the collective efforts of
Functioning relatives, friends and neighbours who save
and accumulate assets together to meet their
Etymologically meant friend in familial and societal needs. It also means
Meiteilon (language of the Meiteis), marup sharing of responsibilities and supporting
is a self generated informal credit institution each other to organise social events, rituals
that is organised by groups of people in and ceremonies that binds them in one
Manipur to gain access to credit, accumulate community. It is enhanced by cooperation,
savings and help each other at times of crisis. sharing and mutual support among close and
Marup is embedded in the Meitei culture and distant relatives, friends and neighbours as
it is not just a means for financing economic marup members. This personal relationship
activities but rather is interwoven into each and the commitment to help each other at
individuals life in Meitei society. It is a form times of hardship days cultivated trust
of cooperation that governs their behaviour among them. Marup is also an institution
and brings about economic and social which generates social capital that improves
stability. It is formed by a group of people the efficacy of the society by providing
(consisting of both men and women but economic benefits, enhancing social values
mostly women) who make regular and interactions between them and
contributions that is given, in whole or part, accentuating self-management in their
to each member in rotation. A marup is neighbourhood.
initiated by an organiser who guides the
functioning of marup by making resolutions 3.2 The Context
relating to punctuality, arrangements of
marup draws, interest, records, conflict and The context of the study is the factors
compensation. The organiser is also or the circumstances that influenced the
responsible for tackling the issues which widespread phenomenon of marup in both
affects the efficient organisation of the rural and urban communities and affects the
group. Meetings are organised every month participation of Meitei women in marups.
(or fortnightly) and the pay-outs are given The practice of marup among Meiteis is
to the members sequentially who win the influenced by a number of contextual factors
lottery (or bidding). This particular marup including social, economical and cultural
rotation, known as cash marup comes to an aspects of the social system. This section
end after all its members receive the amount attempts at understanding those factors that
of money equal to his or her contribution influenced Meitei women to participate in
altogether made in all the rotations. There marups and prefer it over formal credit
are many more marup types including social institutions.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

96 Melody Kshetrimayum

Socio-economic factors People are unable to afford basic necessities

due to financial deprivation and
Poverty is one persistent problem in unemployment. Low income households
Manipur that the people adjust and adapt to despite their struggle are unable to initiate
the vulnerability and lack of resources. The economic activities or sustain their
accessibility and the use of resources are
livelihood due to lack of capital. Meeting
limited. The condition is worsened by
needs of family and society is constantly
frequent adverse economic conditions like
obstructed due to persistent poverty. While
economic blockades and strikes. People are
attempting to fulfill familial and societal
so familiar with the word deprivation that
needs, women engage in marup through
it is becoming a part of their culture.
which they could get access to credit needs.
Deprivation induces them to deal with
By contributing small savings, they receive
different livelihood strategies. A diversity of
the lump sum which are used as capital for
livelihood strategies has been adapted by
initiating economic activities or used during
people in such a way that they are able to
emergencies of the family. The small scale
live with deprivation without knowing that
businesses that they started with help from
they are deprived. Poverty is one factor that
induces people in Manipur to gather together marup reduces their deprivation. Knowing
and generate their own mechanism to that marup would ensure a basic level for
overcome their problems. Hijam Ibem economic stability, women engage in marups
shared: and induced their familial and social
networks too to meet their economic needs
We live in and with poverty. In my through marup.
family, there is always deficiency of one
thing or the other, when we are struggling to Cultural factor
buy one extra kg of rice for tomorrow, our
Cultural factor encompass values and
children will ask money for tuition fee and
beliefs that influence behaviour of the people
when we give them, the singlup collector
would come for monthly contribution and in a community. Women participate in marup
then one more marriage invitation for which due to the influence of cultural values and
we have to give potyeng (gift-giving). There beliefs of Meitei society. As mentioned,
is no end of deficiency. Poor people like us marup is embedded in the Meitei culture
become poorer day by day. In this condition, which is a form of cooperation that governs
marup reduce some of our suffering. It their behaviour and brings about economic
fulfills our basic needs. I join marups and social stability. Due to the social values
because I can utilise the money at times of and beliefs that are attached in organisation
emergencies, I can request the group and get and functioning of marups, women
financial help. influenced each other to participate in
marups. Cooperation, trust and reciprocity
Poverty and unemployment are the being the basis of marup formation, women
main reasons that women engaged in marup.

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Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP ... Women in Manipur Valley 97

come together to help each other to reduce by mutual support, cooperation and
deprivation and organise social and religious reciprocity. The social relationship shared
events through marup. H. Pravila, 41 said: between them in society keeps traditional
practices changeless. Since marup is a
We had seen our parents and traditional institution and is still practiced
grandparents practicing marup and now, we as a part of culture in addition to meeting
also depend on marups for savings and their material needs, it carries cultural
accumulation of assets. Among neighbours, values. The cultural values and beliefs
among friends and among kins, we see attached to marup help them to engage in
marups binds people together. When a various types of marups and consequently
member organise utsav, other members contribute to the development of marup as a
would assist them in arranging and preparing family of social and economic institutions.
for the function. Its not just about want of Different kinds of marup are organised to
money, but also the tradition of practicing meet social needs of leikai and economic
marup for get together among people, we needs of their families. The cultural values
engage in this practice. Once we join a and social base of the Meitei society that
marup, its assured that we will support and binds them together as leikais influences
trust each other to fight adversities. women to engage in traditional practice of
The younger generations had marup.
observed elders of their families receiving
social and economic security from marup Inaccessibility to formal credit institutions
and alleviating their deprivation. Marup
Formal credit institutions such as
members cooperated and reciprocated to
banks and microfinance institutions that
support each other at times of adversities.
constitute as the most integral part of
The mutual commitment shared by the elders
financial transactions are less in number
to achieve their goals collectively through
against the population of Manipur.
marup encouraged the younger generations
According to Economic Survey 2007-08,
to organise and operate marups in a similar
there were seventy seven commercial banks
way. By observing the social and economic
of Manipur (as on 31st March, 2007) in
benefits that marup provided, they have firm
which a bank covers an average population
belief on the assurance and the feeling of
of 38.1 thousand. In the following years, four
togetherness provided by marup.
more banks were added. A large section of
The norms of trust, cooperation and the population is not aware of the banking
reciprocity shared between women in the facilities provided by financial institutions
leikai are propagated in marup and vice as there is absence of these institutions even
versa. These values help in disseminating the in urban areas and obviously in remote areas.
practice of marup among women. As a The goal of banks to achieve financial
traditional society, Meiteis are held together inclusion of the poor does not reach a large

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

98 Melody Kshetrimayum

section of population. There are no banks provided by banks that includes savings and
and post office branches in New Checkon deposit services, credit and insurance
area and the surrounding neighbourhoods services and payment and transfer services.
which compel people to make effort on their Less number of banks and difficulties in
own to get access to credit. Sorokhaibam getting access to credit needs from banks
Suba Devi, 30 said: induced women to join marup which is
convenient and easier means to meet their
There are no banks and post office credit needs. As compared to banks, marup
branches in New Checkon. And if we go to is easily accessible and could avail the lump
bank which is located in bazaar, bank staffs sum upon request to other members during
will ask hundred questions and hundred emergencies. Besides, marups are governed
documents, and finally a small amount of by collective action rules and social norms
money which we got a time limit to return. rather than remuneration interests.
So people find a way to make money or save
money without being troubled. If one wants Thus, organisation of marup takes
to start a business, one needs capital. From place when contextual factors including low
where do we get that amount? No one lets socio-economic condition, cultural belief to
us borrow for free. Either we have to be part of traditional practices and lack of
exchange with gold and return with a high formal institutions induced women who have
interest. And once, we do, we will never be common interest to organise marups to fulfill
able to get the gold back as the interest their needs. Economic necessity is the main
charged will double the amount taken within reason that women start operating marup to
a short time. We have to stick to our long- carry out economic activities and organise
established marup, as it gives money rituals. Economic necessity acts as incentive
immediately without documents and request for women to operate their marups
to others. collectively. And the phenomenon of
organising and functioning of marup is
The bank procedure which is a time enhanced by social capital embedded in
consuming process also restrain women Meitei society in the form of trust,
from getting access to the benefits provided cooperation and reciprocity.
by banks. Even when women make effort to
reach nearest banks, they are not provided
3.3 Women becoming Capable as the
financial services as they lack tangible
collateral assets. Since banks look for credit
worthy individual or groups, women often
Decision on financial issues
find difficulties in availing and repaying
loans due to lack of documents and Financial issues refer to issues relating
collaterals. Besides, women do not to womens income, savings, investment and
understand the range of financial services sustainability of their income generating

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP ... Women in Manipur Valley 99

activities. The household decision making 1 lakh and started lending money to
capability of financial issues of women is groceries, vendors and individuals with an
analysed in this section. interest of eight percent. We started this
business two years ago and now we managed
Lack of money and other economic to accumulate more than one and half lakhs.
necessities of family led women to engage We have expanded this lending business
in marup and start operating it as both a even in the market too. We collectively
savings and mutual aid institution. Women decide the repayment schedule, interest,
who have the common interest to fulfill their investment, book keeping and our respective
economic necessities operate marups responsibilities. We five women share our
collectively. Women belong to one or several respective payments from the interest
marups at a time and the main attraction of collected. This business has helped us in
marup (cash marup) is economic. When establishing a source of regular income and
most women contribute money from the acquiring knowledge of financial
income they earned through small scale transactions. Our husbands do not bother us
businesses, housewives are known to skimp about the money we keep to ourselves.
to keep aside small amount of money from
their daily household expenses to contribute Salam Vandana Devi, 24 is an
for marup (as savings). Many women who entrepreneur who started her embroidery and
felt the need to generate income have been stitching enterprise in her own house with
using money received from marup as capital the help of marup.
for starting their own businesses or for
investing in their family businesses. The As my parents could not provide the
availability of credit through marup helped capital or the requirements, I joined a marup
women to become skilled entrepreneurs and three years back to accumulate money. I
achieve economic independence. In addition, purchased five sewing machines
the relationship and the values they shared immediately after I received my share from
as members of marup helped them in that marup. I am managing six girls who are
exploring varied forms of economic skilled in embroidery and tailoring. All the
activities collectively. For instance, girls who are assisting me are my friends
Konthoujam Tina Devi told: from my neighbourhood and this makes it
easier for me to cooperate with them.
Due to lack of money to fulfill family Cooperation and trust between us helped us
needs, I and my friends were always looking to acquire entrepreneurial, handiwork and
for something which could give us a capital financial transaction skills from each other.
to start our joint business. We joined one While the five girls are occupied with the
marup which started that time in our leikai. handwork, one girl travels to take contracts
I, along with four other members of our and deliver to neighbours and the markets. I
leikai marup collectively accumulated Rs. and my friends opened a joint bank account

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100 Melody Kshetrimayum

in which we deposit Rs. 5000 every month some women, economic independence
and we take their payment from the simply means engaging in economic
remaining income. activities. As Hijam Ibem mentioned:

Marup provides the opportunities to Most of the time, my husband decides

enhance their livelihood and explore varied where and how to use the money as he is the
forms of economic activities which they head of the family. He had been doing this
carry out for collective benefits. The lump since we got married. He would give me the
sum amount provides funds for capital and money and advice me where to use it. After
investment in their businesses. The above all he is working for us, so its okay. My
illustrations of two separate private husband wants to deal with the financial
enterprises that are supervised and managed issues as he thinks I cant handle it. Though
by three women started with help of marup we discuss regularly, he is the one who
and their fellow marup members. These decides our expenses. Even when he thinks
enterprises have helped women to increase that its of no use to join marups, he is happy
their income and learn financial literacy to take the lump sum amount when I win.
which in turn helped them in making Then he arranges everything by himself from
appropriate decisions related to their going to the bank for saving, paying off debt
personal finances. They decide on savings, and paying fees for children to investing in
income, expansion of enterprises and our business.
investments. Besides improving the Although women contributed for
livelihood strategies, marup also aids to the marup and handles businesses single-
quality of life by providing resources. It handedly, they are not the decision maker
helps them to get self-employed and become of financial issues of their family and
economically independent by engaging in business. They do not have control over their
various income generating activities income, savings and investment as husbands
collectively as well as individually. Women decide over financial issues as head of their
start owning financial resources and means families. Women achieved economic
of production and no longer depend on mens independence through their abilities but lack
income for household expenses, personal capability as decision makers of their own
assets (ornaments) and carrying out their income, savings and other financial
businesses. Marup promotes womens transactions. As many women felt that their
economic independence and helped women husbands are head of families and work for
become capable to deal with financial issues the development of their families, it is
related to their income, savings and other acceptable for them to let their husbands
transactions. However, the economic decide on financial matters.
independence they achieved with the help
of marup does not necessarily allow them Strategic life choices
to decide on matters of credit utilisation. For Strategic life choices refers to choices

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Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP ... Women in Manipur Valley 101

of women relating to their bodily integrity not allowed to participate in the lottery of
regarding movement from one place to that meeting but are asked to pay fine. Such
another, affiliation with others, engagement mandate makes women to join the meeting
in social interactions and social support and on time. The marup culture established
participation in paid work and other projects based on disciplinary procedures like
and engagement in recreational activities. punctuality and compulsory attendance need
womens active participation as marup
Movement from one place to another members. Women fulfill these
Meitei womens mobility is often responsibilities for individual and collective
limited within the leikai and till the benefits. While doing so, they move from
workplace for working women. The beliefs one place to another more frequently and
and values attached to the conduct of a regularly that is from their household to the
woman in Meitei society does not allow leikai where marup meetings take place and
them to move around like men. Following meet people from different leikais. This
their participation in marup, they move movement is not questioned by other
freely to more leikais and market for the members of their families as they are aware
purpose to attend marup and engage in of marup culture and its norms. However a
economic activities. more extensive movement is seen among
women who undertake economic activities
Hijam Prema Devi said: to make profit in the market. Completing the
tasks of making profit and developing more
One marup starts and another ends but
economic opportunities requires regular
we continue to engage in different marups
movements from one place to another. Their
to fulfill our needs [.]. Participation in
movement is not limited to one area or two
marups has given me opportunity to visit the
but extended in the market where more
locality (where marup takes place) and for
economic opportunities are available and
this visits, I dont need to bother about
they make effort to further extend the
uncompleted household work. My family
business with sound investment.
doesnt mind as they know I am going for
marup. And during marup meetings, I get to Affiliation with others
know of many friends from other leikai who
were earlier unfamiliar to me. At the end of Affiliation with others means
meetings, we spent lot of leisure time talking engagement in social interactions, being able
about life, children, husband and our to be a part of social networks, and to give
problems. and receive social support. As marup is
formed by group of women who share same
The marup members attendance is values and beliefs, women influence each
mandatory to receive the rotary amount and others mutual behaviour to support,
usually members who do not attend the cooperate and reciprocate while striving to
meeting or contribute before the lottery are attain their goals. They encouraged each

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

102 Melody Kshetrimayum

other to participate in marups. Organisation these friends at times when they face
of marup helps women to affiliate to one problem. When the winner is announced and
another and to the group and build a better refreshment is served by the winner, the
social network. H. Sana Devi said: group start relaxing and sharing familial and
personal issues. They express amusements
As members of marup, we all engage and entertain one another and at the same
in carrying out the procedures of a marup time, share problems when in distress.
meeting. Only one or two people cant carry Marup also provides the opportunity to
out all the procedures alone. We all are increase support, guide and secure one
saving together, carrying out the procedures, another when needed. By interacting during
having refreshments and contributing for marup organisation, they establish
other members when they cant contribute cooperation, reciprocity and mutual support
on time. We also talk on family, children, between them to solve problem and strive
their problems, women related health to attain their goals together.
problems, relatives and so on.
Participation in paid work and other
Participation in a marup itself is to be projects
a part of an extended social network of
friends and neighbours who trust and Paid work refers to any economic
cooperate with each other. During activities through which women can earn
organisation of marup, women work income and other projects include activities
together to save, carry out marup procedures that enhance womens skills to undertake
and make resolutions. In marup, women economic activities. Due to lack of financial
interact on money transaction and book assistance and non-availability of capital,
keeping (of marup), work related, family, women could not carry out economic
health and personal issues. During activities which could provide them
interactions, women first give emphasis on economic independence. With participation
marup related issues such as ways of in marup through small savings, women
performing the lottery, excluding those received lump sum amount and this helped
names who did not contribute on time and them engage in self employment activities.
giving a member to take away the lump sum Such economic activities include lending
without lottery for meeting urgent need. business, tailoring, charcoal, groceries, road
When interpersonal conflict arises due to side hotel and other petty business such as
different opinions, women solve it by poultry farming, pickle and incense stick
cooperating and adjusting to one anothers making which could be carried out at home.
requirements. Women sometimes contribute As mentioned above, Konthoujam Tina and
money for their friends when they are absent Salam Vandana are some of the women who
or cannot contribute due to unavoidable engage in paid work to fulfill their needs.
circumstances and the favour is return by
Although marup may not have

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Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP ... Women in Manipur Valley 103

significant contribution towards other skills. Marup gives women the opportunities
projects, women receive information about to enjoy organised recreational activities
such projects through the social network such as practicing arts and participation in
formed during marup organisation. H. Sana excursions. Such activities are intrinsic
Devi illustrated: aspects of womens well being as it provides
relaxation and pleasure. K. Bheiga Devi told:
Last month, one of my friends
informed me about a workshop to be held at We gather eleven women from three
the local club for women. One NGO had leikais. Our group of thirteen women started
organised it for women to learn blouse rehearsing under a good teacher near the
cutting-making and mosquito net making. palace compound. She gave us two more
We, in group of four went and gave girls who could really sing well. Our marup
interview. Three of us got selected as we had serves us two purposes, both money and
shown interest and could do something on hobby. We started singing during holi,
our own after the workshop. It was a one janmasthami, durga puja, rathjatra and
month workshop. Three teachers had come during religious functions in many leikais.
to supervise us about cutting and stitching. We collected a huge sum of amount during
Its really nice that we acquired this skill. festivals and religious gatherings. The
We are planning to join a marup to get capital collected amount is kept with me and one
and buy some sewing machines and start a member withdraws Rs. 1500 who wins the
dressmaking business. lottery. All procedures of marup are followed
and we also contribute Rs. 50 every month
The extended social network formed as marup members.
during organisation of marup help women
to get information about projects to enhance Marup organises women to engage in
their economic skills. Women feel confident recreational activities either to raise fund for
when participated in groups in such projects. them or simply for pleasure. While
Social network of marup friends help them organising art activities, they collect funds
participate in projects that enhance their from the viewers or the organisations where
skills and provide opportunities to undertake they performed their activities. The marup
economic activities. members may or may not contribute to the
saving of marup. The fund collected is used
Engagement in recreational activities for group outings, pilgrimage and sometimes
Spending time together with friends distributed among members. Among married
in recreational activities provides pleasure women, practicing arts and organising social
that is an important capability for a healthier gatherings in the leikai are some of the
mind and happier life. Meeting more people recreational activities they engage in through
with common interests and developing new marup. Recreational activities promote
relationship with them improve interpersonal active social involvement which reduces

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

104 Melody Kshetrimayum

depression. Since aging and deprivation marup to meet their needs which is more
causes depression among women, they take convenient for them. Organisation of marup
pleasure in recreational activities with is also influenced by cultural factor such as
friends and neighbours to reduce depression. womens belief to be part of traditional
Many women join marup for practicing arts institutions. Since marup is embedded in the
with friends which require them to travel Meitei culture and a form of cooperation that
from place to place during festivals, social governs their behaviour, it is every Meitei
and cultural functions. This type of marup womans belief to be part of marup to
also organises social gatherings such as organise rituals, to be part of their leikai and
feasts where all leikai members are invited. to meet their social and economic needs
Social gatherings are often accompanied by collectively. Institutional factor is another
entertainment by girls and boys and marup important contextual factor that influenced
members. Marup, on one hand facilitates organisation of marup. Inaccessibility to
organised recreational activities, on the other formal credit institutions and its services
hand, it help people feel togetherness and induced women to look for other means to
feel connected to community life. Through meet their credit needs. Thus, marup is also
marup, recreational activities provide social organised due to absence of financial
cohesion by allowing women to connect and services provided by formal credit
network with people. It gathers like- minded institutions like banks. In the process of
people who enjoy practicing arts, outdoor organising marup, they share values of trust,
activities and being a part of socially active cooperation and reciprocity that enhanced
group. Involvement in recreational activities the functioning of the group. Womens
not only provides physical rest from daily economic necessity acted as incentive to start
routine but also contribute to womens their marups functioning. Womens
quality of life. It provides physical and capability is affected as an outcome of their
psychological benefits by reducing participation in marups.
depression and stress due to deprivation, and
economic and domestic responsibilities. Women increased their income,
savings and enhanced their livelihood
Thus, the contextual factors including through the financial assistance by marup
the social, economic, cultural and but their capability as decision makers on
institutional condition collectively financial issues could be argued in two ways.
influenced women to participate in marup. Women as individuals still depend on their
Contextual factors such as low socio- husbands for decisions relating to financial
economic condition makes women deprived issues while women as groups are capable
of their basic needs and deprivation to decide themselves. In the family, husband
influenced them to seek for a means to is the head and makes important decisions
reduce it. Women having low socio- and womans incapability of making
economic condition gather and organise financial decisions can be explained by her

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Women Towards Achieving 3rd MDG: Role of MARUP ... Women in Manipur Valley 105

submissiveness to the husband. While mobility in order to meet the requirements

women view money as financial security, of marup procedures and to extend their
their husbands view it as power through economic opportunities. Womens increased
which they can exercise their control over movement is not resisted by family members
their families. This concept of gaining since their movement is associated with
controlling authority by men makes women marup. And their contribution to household
disengage in decision making relating to income maintains cordial relationship with
financial issues though they contribute to the their spouses thereby reducing chances of
household income. The traditional notion domestic violence. Women interact with
that requires Meitei women to obey and be more people supporting and cooperating
submissive to their husbands in the family each other and extend their social network
does not allow them to take decisions on of friends and neighbours. This extended
financial issues. Thus, the patriarchal social network helps them explore economic
structure of Meitei society does not support opportunities and joint economic ventures.
womens capability as decision makers of Women also engage in paid works and
financial issues within the family. On the projects during the process of accessing
other hand, women who carried out economic opportunities. Apart from
enterprises in groups were capable to decide accessing economic and social needs
on financial matters. Women handle the through marup, women also engage in
financial transactions themselves and tackle recreational activities by participating in
the issues by sharing their experiences and marups. And women gained all these
knowledge. Mens controlling authority is capabilities as the social structure of Meitei
limited within the family and is not extended society does not impose complete
to womens affiliations to marup and marup subordination of women thereby allowing
members. Besides, existing favourable to change and exercise choices.
conditions for Meitei women to participate
in women collectives and take decisions with 4. Conclusion
their associates encouraged them to decide
on financial issues with their colleagues and Marup which is an eminent
prevent their husbands from controlling their manifestation of Meitei culture acts as a
decisions outside the household. medium for women to get economically and
socially empowered. Although not
Women both as individuals and recognised as a viable institution to be linked
groups become capable to decide on strategic to formal institutions, marup continue to
life choices through marup. This can be remain as the most convenient means of
explained by womens affiliation to marup savings and credit institution for Meitei
and the absence of complete subordination women and their community as a whole. It
of women in Meitei society. Due to alleviates the challenges of deprivation faced
affiliation to marups, women increased their by Meitei women. It contributes to the

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

106 Melody Kshetrimayum

process of empowering women by indigenous institutions practiced in various

influencing them in gaining capabilities to parts of the world could play an instrumental
decide on financial issues and strategic life role in achieving the third MDG. Indigeneity,
choices. And these capabilities gained are female dominance (in terms of membership)
enhanced by common values and beliefs and presence of social capital are some of
shared among marup members. the women-friendly nature of these
Undoubtedly, marup has the potential to associations that could act as tool for
become a viable tool for women empowering women. However, empowering
empowerment and their financial inclusion. women through informal associations
Since women as groups are more capable as depend on the diversity of local social,
decision makers on financial issues, women economic, cultural and political aspects.
could be encouraged to organise into groups Also the presence of incentives like
to engage in economic activities. At the local economic necessity and social pressure is
level, it can be of particular interest to needed to enhance the collective action of
investigate on how informal credit women to work out their common interests.
associations like marup can act as catalyst Since economic empowerment is often
of development in a state like Manipur where considered as the key to social and political
there is no systematic means of earning and empowerment, it is important to employ such
where there is lack of infrastructure. informal credit associations that are more
widely distributed, has variety of forms and
To conclude, rotating savings and functions, and more durable to withstand
credit associations and many other similar adversities than the formal credit

Ardener, Shirley. 1964. The Comparative Study of Rotating Credit Associations, The Journal of the
Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. Vol.94. No.2. 201-229.
Dey, Supratim. 2012. Poverty Increases in four NE states: Planning Commission, Business Standard.
Economic Survey 2007-2008. Government of Manipur.
Economic Survey 2010-2011. Government of Manipur.
Kumar, Hajira and, Varghese, Jaimon. 2005. Womens Empowerment- Issues, Challenges and
Strategies, Regency Publications: New Delhi.
Low, Alaine. 1995. A Bibliographical Survey of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, Oxfam
GB: Oxford.
Nussbaum, Martha. C. 2000. Women and Human Development- The Capabilities Approach,
Cambridge University Press: United Kingdom.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Uma Iyer*
Nitya Elayath*

Introduction that come into play while administering

health services to women in India, that are
In an age where obesity, beyond the purview of health services,
cardiovascular and metabolic diseases are include reasons that are social in nature. A
rampant across all populations, a group that considerable proportion of women in India
is vulnerable to all these conditions: shy away from seeking health services for
menopausal women, undeniably needs reasons ranging from economic constraints
special focus. Women have been found to to lax attitude towards their health to
suffer from higher comparative prevalence sidelining their health to accommodate the
of obesity and cardio-metabolic disorders as familys well being (6).
compared to men (1, 2) . The repeated
hormonal variations at various stages of For this reason, it was felt essential
reproductive life, for e.g. puberty, pregnancy to study the health seeking practices of the
and finally menopause, leads to changes in women to see whether women if despite
body composition, redistribution and being informed that they are suffering from
expansion of adipose tissue, especially the certain risk factors proven to predispose
metabolically active abdominal fat them to adverse health events, seek medical
deposition, all of which partly explains the help or not.
higher occurrence of obesity in women(3).
This is accompanied by a number of other METHODS AND MATERIALS
clinical-biochemical changes that are For the study 186 women (44 women
reflective of the metabolic disturbances in the age group of 30-40 years, 66 women
underneath and can become the reason for in the age group of 40-50 years and 76
development of adverse cardio-vascular women in the age group of 50-70 years) were
outcomes (4). enrolled from the free-living population
Given that the health situation of during the time span of October 2009 to
menopausal women in India is highly April 2010 from each four zones of Vadodara
compromised due to high prevalence of city namely, north zone, south zone, east
multiple risk factors and aberrations in zone and west zone.
metabolism, it is reasonable to plan The information about the enrolment
intervention strategies in order to target the in the study was passed on employing the
situation(5). However, certain other factors snowballing technique, wherein one or
* Department of Foods and Nutrition, Faculty of Family and Community Sciences, The Maharaja Sayajirao
University of Baroda, Fatehgunj, Vadodara-390002 Email :
108 Uma Iyer, Nitya Elayath

couple of individuals in each zone of the city During the exploratory research, the
was informed about the enrolment of women who had elevated levels of risk
subjects for the study. The potential subjects factors, were informed of their high risk
were notified that the incentives for situation and were asked to see a doctor for
participation in the study included a free further diagnosis and treatment, if any.
health check-up at their households and
provision of the health report following the After a period of two years, of the 186
health check up. It was made clear to all the subjects studied in the exploratory research
subjects that they would not incur any cost phase, 107 could be followed up, for
for participating in the study. All the studying the longitudinal outcomes of the
consenting individuals were asked to read health check-up conducted as a part of the
and sign a consent form, those who were not formative research. Of the total 186, only
able to read, were explained clearly, the 107 could be contacted, because 27 had
objectives of the study, the information permanently moved, 42 were temporarily
required to be provided by the subject upon unavailable because of either being out of
enrolment. When the required number of station or having changed their contact
subjects from a particular zone was achieved details, 7 were not willing to share any
(roughly 50), the enrolment was stopped. details and 3 unfortunately, had expired.

Once the subjects were enrolled after The 107 subjects were followed up to
obtaining the written consent, an observe what action pertaining to health was
appointment was scheduled for one or two taken immediately after they obtained the
hours as per their convenient time and during results from health check-up, and track the
this allotted time period, the collection of anthropometric changes undergone by them
information pertaining to socio-economic over a period of 2 years. The follow-up also
status, medical obstetric history, dietary tracked if the women had taken any health-
habits and intake, lifestyle habits, physical seeking action after the health check-up till
activity, anthropometric measurements and 2 years. In follow-up, the subjects whose
blood pressure measurements were contact details were valid after 2 years were
conducted at the subjects place of residence. called on for an appointment at a time
convenient to them and at the scheduled
The parameters that were studied
appointment the reported data and the
included reported data (information on
physical and biophysical measurements were
socio-economic status, medical obstetric
history, dietary habits and intake, lifestyle
habits and physical activity), physical The parameters that were studied
parameters (height, weight, waist included reported data (information on the
circumference and hip circumference) and action taken after the subjects got the results
biophysical parameters (blood pressure and of the health check-up), physical parameters
bone mineral density). (height, weight, waist circumference and hip

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Health Seeking Practices of Women: A Key Issue ... Care Sustainability 109

circumference) and biophysical parameters women in India is abysmally low, awareness

(blood pressure). needs to be created among them so that they
realize that health consultation if sought
Results And Discussion early, will revert most of the adverse health
conditions they are predisposed to.
The results indicated that the mean
weight of the subjects during the time of the A number of studies have reported
initial health checkup was 64.47kg, which that menopausal women in India do not have
had mildly increased to 64.50kg after a avail the health services available and most
period of 2years (Figure 1). The mean waist of them remain untreated (7) . Despite
circumference of the subjects had also availability of evidence based medicine, a
increased slightly from 95.54cm at baseline large proportion of women goes untreated
to 95.97cm at the end of 2 years (Figure 1). or relies on unproven alternative therapies.
The mean blood pressure of the subjects had
reduced from 130mmHg to 127mmHg SBP, Salient Observations
which was still in the pre-hypertensive
category. The DBP had reduced from Following observations and
82mmHg to 79mmHg (Figure 1). A fact to conclusions can be made from this small but
be considered here is that a considerable significant study:
number of people were freshly diagnosed as 1. The longitudinal data on body
hypertensives in the initial health checkup composition did not reflect any
and in the subjects who were followed up significant changes in the body
had started on anti-hypertensive medication. composition measures, namely
Regarding the health seeking Weight and WC.
practices of the subjects, it was observed that 2. The longitudinal effect on blood
indeed the women had shockingly low health pressure of the subjects was that the
seeking practices, as reflected by the fact that there was a mean reduction in the
very few of them actually took some action blood pressure values over a period
when they discovered they need health of 2 years, this could implicate
consultation (Table 1). Of the 107 subjects initiation of hypertension therapy,
that were followed up, only a mere 3.04% which indicates that women sought
had seen a doctor and more than half medical help.
(57.7%) of the subjects had not taken any
action after getting the results of the health 3. Thus from this small but significant
check up. The remaining 39.9% reported that study, the main finding is that despite
they did not consult a doctor because the being informed that they need medical
results were normal. This takes attention to consultation and despite adequate
the fact that the health seeking practices of health facilities being available,

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

110 Uma Iyer, Nitya Elayath

middle aged menopausal women attitude can hinder and affect the outreach
refrain from seeking health of health services.
The health seeking practices of Indian
women has a long way to go and need
Conclusions & Recommendations
improvement through counselling and
From the results summarized above, electronic media in order to prevent
it can be concluded that women tend to clustering of risk factors and early
refrain from seeking health care even in the prevention of cardio-metabolic events, also
face of presence of innumerable risk factors. to improve the outreach of health programs.
This is a cause of concern because this lax

Figure 1 Longitudinal Trends in Body Composition and Blood Pressure in

the Subjects (N=107)







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Health Seeking Practices of Women: A Key Issue ... Care Sustainability 111

1. Mankad R and Best PJM. (2008). Cardiovascular disease in older women: a challenge in
diagnosis and treatment. Womens Health,4(5): 449-464.
2. Davis S.R., Castelo-Branco C., Chedraui P., Lumsden M.A., Nappi R.E., Shah D. et al. (2012).
Understanding weight gain at menopause. Climacteric: Vol 15, 419-429.
3. Prez-Lpez FR, Larrad-Mur L, Kallen A, Chedraui P and Taylor HS. (2010). Gender
Differences in Cardiovascular Disease: Hormonal and Biochemical Influences. Reprod Sci.,
17(6): 511531.
4. Gaur, P. and Iyer, U. (2013). Non-Invasive Risk Factors of Non-Communicable Diseases in
Pre and Postmenopausal Women of Vadodara: A Pilot Study. IJABPT. 4(3): 73-80.
5. Puentes-Markides C. (1992). Women and access to health care.SocSci Med., 35(4): 619-26.
6. Sengupta A.(2003). The emergence of the menopause in India.Climacteric, 6(2):92-5.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

M. N. Parmar*
Snehal Raut**

Introduction approach is to identify, rather than

define indigenous peoples. This is
Understanding the term indigenous based on the fundamental criterion of
Considering the diversity of self-identification as underlined in a
indigenous peoples, an official definition of number of human rights documents.
indigenous has not been adopted by any The term indigenous has prevailed
UN-system body. Instead the system has as a generic term for many years. In some
developed a modern understanding of this countries, there may be preference for other
term based on the following: terms including tribes, first peoples/nations,
1) Self- identification as indigenous aboriginals, ethnic groups, adivasi, and
peoples at the individual level and janajati. Occupational and geographical
accepted by the community as their terms like hunter-gatherers, nomads,
member. peasants, hill people, etc., also exist and for
all practical purposes can be used
2) Historical continuity with pre- interchangeably with indigenous peoples.
colonial and/or pre-settler societies. In many cases, the notion of being termed
3) Strong link to territories and indigenous has negative connotations and
surrounding natural resources some people may choose not to reveal or
define their origin. Others must respect such
4) Distinct social, economic or political
choices, while at the same time working
against the discrimination of indigenous
5) Distinct language, culture and beliefs peoples.
6) Form non-dominant groups of society It is estimated that there are more than
7) Resolve to maintain and reproduce 370 million indigenous people spread across
their ancestral environments and 70 countries worldwide. Practicing unique
systems as distinctive peoples and traditions, they retain social, cultural,
communities economic and political characteristics that
are distinct from those of the dominant
8) According to the UN the most fruitful societies in which they live. Spread across

* Dean & Head, Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, India
** Anand Institute of Social Work, Anand, Gujarat, India. Email:,
Millennium Development Goals and Uplifftment ...Than Promises 113

the world from the Arctic to the South 2001). Since Indigenous peoples inhabit
Pacific, they are the descendants - according some of the worlds most challenging, most
to a common definition - of those who vulnerable but also most biodiversity-rich
inhabited a country or a geographical region environments, it is now widely
at the time when people of different cultures acknowledged that indigenous peoples play
or ethnic origins arrived. The new arrivals a crucial role in the sustainable management
later became dominant through conquest, of these lands and waters, and the natural
occupation, settlement or other means. resources and species that share these
habitats with indigenous communities. But
Among the indigenous peoples are when discussing, planning and
those of the Americas (for example, the implementing sustainable development and
Lakota in the USA, the Mayas in Guatemala environmental conservation project, a most
or the Aymaras in Bolivia), the Inuit and important voice often tends to remain
Aleutians of the circumpolar region, the unheard: the voice of indigenous women.
Saami of northern Europe, the Aborigines Being ignored, remaining invisible in
and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia and development planning is what indigenous
the Maori of New Zealand. These and most women have in common with many non-
other indigenous peoples have retained indigenous women.
distinct characteristics which are clearly
different from those of other segments of the Indigenous women have always been
national populations. part of their peoples struggles, whether
nationally or at international forum. There
Indigenous peoples have historically is a legacy of extraordinary women, who
faced social exclusion and came to the UN since the very first year of
marginalization. They are disproportionately the Working Group on Indigenous
represented among the poor and extremely Populations, in 1982 in Geneva,
poor, their levels of access to adequate health Switzerland. Today, at the UN Permanent
and education services are well below Forum on Indigenous Issues indigenous
national averages, and they are especially women participate in great numbers and
vulnerable to the consequences of have a strong voice.
environmental degradation.
The interface between indigenous
Indigenous peoples have the right to womens movement and the international
maintain and develop their political, womens movement varies through the
economic and social systems or institutions, years. Not always were they close, most of
to be secure in the enjoyment of their own all due to particularities in the situation of
means of subsistence and development, and indigenous women who live in communities
to engage freely in all their traditional and in struggle. However, in recent years the two
other economic activities. (UN Declaration movements are getting closer. For instance,
on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Art.

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114 M N Parmar, Snehal Raut

indigenous women are now raising stronger indigenous families often give priority to
voices in claiming the Beijing Declaration boys. Thus, many women remain uneducated
and Platform for Action. and they may not be able to speak the
countrys official language. When there are
Despite their enormous assets and community consultations in connection with
contribution to society, indigenous women development planning and projects these
still suffer from multiple discrimination, women are often excluded. It does not occur
both as women and as indigenous to those responsible for conducting the
individuals. They are subjected to extreme consultations to take extra efforts, like using
poverty, trafficking, illiteracy, lack of access indigenous languages and a time-schedule
to ancestral lands, non-existent or poor respecting womens work-loads, to ensure
health care and to violence in the private and that indigenous women are fully involved.
the public sphere. This violence is
exacerbated when indigenous communities
Why it is important to listen to indigenous
find themselves in the midst of conflict and
womens voices?
women become the target of violence with
political motives, when going about their Ignoring indigenous women in the
daily work, fetching wood or water for the planning and execution of sustainable
family. development initiatives not only means that
the rights of these women are violated. It
Why indigenous womens voices are not also means that valuable, sometimes even
heard? critical contributions and thus opportunities
for better planning and implementation are
But when discussing, planning and lost. This is the case because men and
implementing sustainable development and women
environmental conservation project, a most
important voice often tends to remain Have different needs and different
unheard: the voice of indigenous women. priorities in connection with resource
Being ignored, remaining invisible in use and management
development planning is what indigenous Have different access to and control
women have in common with many non- over natural resources, in accordance
indigenous women. with the customary laws and practices
of the respective communities
Indigenous women, however, are
facing even greater challenges in asserting Are using the environment in different
their right to equal participation. Being both ways: they may use different
indigenous and women, they are doubly resources found there or they may use
discriminated. They are discriminated by the the same resources differently
wider society but often also within their own Have different knowledge of the
societies. For example, in education poor environment and natural resources

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Millennium Development Goals and Uplifftment ...Than Promises 115

suffer in different ways from of access to resources indigenous women

environmental degradation as a result become economically more dependent on
of unsustainable resource exploita- men, which further weaken their status in
tions and destructive infrastructure society. At the same time, the burden to take
and other development projects. care of and provide for the children
continues to rest on their shoulders. Their
The Millennium Declaration, signed role in ensuring food security is seriously
by 147 Heads of State and Government, has threatened, while increased resource
provided an opportunity for a renewed focus scarcity, environmental hazards and disasters
on indigenous peoples in the international make their reproductive health conditions
development debate. As the United Nations even more vulnerable. As indigenous women
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues are forced to seek other sources of
stated during is fourth session, Indigenous livelihood, they become more vulnerable to
peoples have the right to benefit from the sexual and other forms of violence.
Millennium Development Goals and from
other goals and aspirations contained in the Most of the MDG reports shows
Millennium Declaration to the same extent poverty of explanation about the situation
as all others. Indigenous and tribal peoples of indigenous women (in the context of
are lagging behind other parts of the MDGs 3 and 5) and is rarely mentioned
population in the achievement of the goals anywhere. The only report that made any
in most, if not all, the countries in which more than a passing reference to indigenous
they live, and indigenous and tribal women peoples in the context of these Goals was
commonly face additional gender-based the report by Vietnam, which discussed the
disadvantages and discrimination. social challenges in achieving gender parity
for indigenous women.
Modernization is the imposition of
the dominant political, economic and socio- MDGs and UNPFII
cultural systems on indigenous peoples. It
has dire consequences for indigenous The Forum recommends that
peoples since it is based on massive resource agencies and bodies of the United Nations
exploitation, market-driven production and and other inter-governmental organiza-tions
unfair trade and competition without regard rethink the concept of development, with the
to cultural diversities, local economies and full participation of indigenous peoples in
the sustainable resource management development processes, taking into account
systems of indigenous peoples. Moderniza- the rights of indigenous peoples and the
tion often results in systematic and large- practices of their traditional knowledge. (E/
scale displacement of indigenous peoples, C.19/2003/22, Report on the Second Session
the destruction of their resources and of the UNPFII, Para. 26)
livelihoods, and the weakening of their
The United Nations Permanent Forum
socio-cultural systems. As a result of the loss
on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) has devoted

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116 M N Parmar, Snehal Raut

a great deal of attention to the Millennium Issues, Indigenous peoples number about
Development Goals. Its fourth session 300 to 370 million. While they constitute
(2005) addressed MDG 1 (eradicate extreme approximately 5% of the worlds population,
poverty and hunger) and MDG 2 (achieve indigenous peoples make up 15% of the
universal primary education) within the worlds poor. Furthermore, indigenous
context of indigenous peoples issues and its peoples make up about one third of the
fifth session (2006) was devoted to the worlds 900 million extremely poor rural
special theme The Millennium people. Indigenous peoples face huge
Development Goals and indigenous peoples: disparities in terms of access to and quality
Redefining the Goals. of education and health. In Guatemala, for
example, 53.5% of indigenous young people
The adoption of the United Nations aged 15-19 have not completed primary
Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous education, as compared to 32.2% of non-
Peoples by the General Assembly in indigenous youth. In Bolivia, the infant
September 2007, in particular, Articles 41 mortality rate among the indigenous
and 42, provides a crucial opportunity and population is close to 75/1000, as compared
call to action for states and the UN system to 50/1000 for the non-indigenous
to integrate indigenous visions of population.
development into their work towards the
achievement of the MDGs. During the fifth session of the United
Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous
Indigenous peoples have historically Issues, many indigenous peoples, through
faced social exclusion and marginalization. their organizations, made statements about
They are disproportionately represented the urgent need to redefine the Millennium
among the poor and extremely poor, their Development Goals. While the Permanent
levels of access to adequate health and Forum on Indigenous Issues appreciates that
education services are well below national it is not possible to redefine the Goals, it
averages, and they are especially vulnerable also recognizes that there is a clear need to
to the consequences of environmental redefine approaches to the implementation
degradation. If the Millennium of the Goals so as to include the perspectives,
Development Goals are to be met, states concerns, experiences and world views of
need to give priority attention to the situation indigenous peoples. Statements also
of indigenous peoples. confirmed that there was a need for
Although there is little data on indigenous peoples to provide their own
indigenous peoples and the Millennium definitions of poverty and development and
Development Goals, a few figures illustrate that there should be full and effective
the situation faced by indigenous peoples participation of indigenous peoples in the
around the world. According to United implementation of the Goals.
Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous

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Millennium Development Goals and Uplifftment ...Than Promises 117

Achieving gender equality and the including for monitoring and enforcement
empowerment of women, including of resource use and management rules.
indigenous women, is an important part of Designing appropriate social services to
achieving the MDGs. Owing to the cross- meet the needs of indigenous communities
cutting nature of gender equality, it is also in general, and indigenous women and
critical that gender perspectives be fully children in particular.
integrated into the implementation and
monitoring of all the other objectives If the Millennium Development Goals
associated with the United Nations are to be reached by 2015, they must be
Millennium Declaration and the Millennium underpinned by a human rights-based
Development Goals. approach to development that emphasizes
universality, equality, participation and
There is a genuine need of Identifying accountability. Working with indigenous
priorities with regards to the development peoples on the MDGs also requires a
needs of communities, in particular those of culturally sensitive approach, based on
the weaker sections, i.e. children, women respect for and inclusion of indigenous
and in particular widows, single mothers etc. peoples world-views, perspectives,
Identifying and proposing management experiences, and concepts of development.
solutions for resources that are critical for a For achieving MDGs related to Indigenous
communitys sustainable livelihood. women, stresses on the involvement of
Conserving the diversity of native indigenous women in planning, executing,
domesticated plant varieties that are co-ordinating and also evaluating the
necessary for maintaining resilience in projects related to their upliftment. The
agriculture and ensuring food security for importance of a rights-based approach and
the community also enhancing the cultural sensitivity has been repeatedly
knowledge on agricultural and seed emphasized by the UNPFII, particularly in
conservation, medicinal plants and healing the reports of its fourth and fifth sessions,
practices that can be integrated in which include a series of recommendations
community health programmes. Monitoring
on this issue to states, the UN System and
and documenting the resources that are under
indigenous peoples organizations.
stress and the causes thereof, i.e. over-
exploitation, habitat destruction, climate The Permanent Forum has adopted
change etc. more than 100 recommendations directly
referring to the situation of indigenous
Proposing viable alternative land use
women. The recommendations of the
practices or income sources to reduce
UNPFII regarding indigenous women have
pressure on endangered species or resources
reflected its broad thematic mandate,
that are critical for local livelihoods.
addressing a wide range of issues, including
Mobilizing the existing knowledge and skills
education, culture, health, human rights,
for sustainable community development,

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

118 M N Parmar, Snehal Raut

environment and development, conflict and During the fifth session of the United
political participation. Recommendations on Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous
these and other topics have been addressed Issues, many indigenous peoples, through
to States, UN agencies and bodies, their organizations, made statements about
indigenous peoples and civil society. the urgent need to redefine the Millennium
Development Goals. While the Permanent
During its eighth session, the Forum on Indigenous Issues appreciates that
Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on it is not possible to redefine the Goals, it
Indigenous Issues prepared an Analysis on also recognizes that there is a clear need to
progress in the implementation of the redefine approaches to the implementation
recommendations of the Permanent of the Goals so as to include the perspectives,
Forum on Indigenous Issues regarding concerns, experiences and world views of
indigenous women, which is available in indigenous peoples. Statements also
all official UN languages. confirmed that there was a need for
The International Indigenous indigenous peoples to provide their own
Womens Forum (FIMI) also prepared definitions of poverty and development and
an Analysis and follow-up of the UN that there should be full and effective
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues participation of indigenous peoples in the
recommendations related to Indigenous implementation of the Goals.
Women, which is available Achieving gender equality and the
in English and Spanish. empowerment of women, including
During its fourth session a Task Force indigenous women, is an important part of
on Indigenous Women (TFIW) was initiated achieving the MDGs. Owing to the cross-
on 11 June 2004 following a decision of cutting nature of gender equality, it is also
the Inter-Agency Network on Women and critical that gender perspectives be fully
Gender Equality (IANGWE) at its February integrated into the implementation and
2004 session and the recommendations of monitoring of all the other objectives
the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous associated with the United Nations
Issues (UNPFII) at its Third (2004) Session Millennium Declaration and the Millennium
regarding indigenous women. The TFIW Development Goals.
was formed with the purpose to integrate and The MDG report by Guyana makes
strengthen gender mainstreaming as regards little direct mention of indigenous peoples,
indigenous womens roles and the special Amerindians. There is also no indication
concerns of indigenous women as an of consultations with indigenous peoples
emerging key issue in the work of the United organizations in the making of the report or
Nations system. Therefore, the duration of in the development projects that are
the TFIW was from 2004 to 2006. described. It is recognized, however, that the

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Millennium Development Goals and Uplifftment ...Than Promises 119

hinterland regions lag behind the national in future reporting. From the current report,
averages on almost every target, and that though, it appears that indigenous peoples
they therefore pose special challenges to are not directly addressed in the context of
national development. It is also recognized the development goals. There is also no
that Amerindians are the majority in these indication of participation from indigenous
areas. Therefore it would be beneficial for peoples organizations in the report or related
future reporting in development programmes and projects. The
report does recognize that the regions that
Guyana to provide further disaggre- lag behind developmentally are in the border
gation of data on this target group and more region, and at times there is recognition of
detailed reporting on Amerindian-focused specific areas in those regions, though no
policies. mention is made as to the ethnic groups in
Kenya: Commentary on MDG those areas who are indigenous peoples. The
Country Report: report would benefit from greater
disaggregation of data by ethnic state and in
In conclusion, the MDG report for reporting on how indigenous peoples or
Kenya offers no direct description of the national races are consulted in the
situation of indigenous communities. It does, development process, and in reporting on
however, sometimes disaggregate the data Goals which seem disproportionately to
at the provincial level, making it possible to affect them, such as the spread of malaria.
highlight the areas where indigenous peoples
are concentrated. The report also at times Nepal: Commentary on MDG Country
indicates that ASAL areas and pastoralist Report:
communities are particularly marginalized,
though there is little or no elaboration. While In conclusion, the MDG report for
the report is especially thorough in providing Nepal includes some mention of indigenous
a wide scope of the challenges in meeting peoples throughout the sections. The role of
each MDG, and presenting the proposed indigenous peoples in ensuring Goal 7,
interventions to address the challenges, it environmental stability, is particularly
would have been desirable to include the role emphasized. Elsewhere, the data is
of indigenous peoples especially in the disaggregated in a way that provides a
sections on environmental sustainability and picture of the situation of indigenous
sustainable development. peoples.

In conclusion, the MDG report by Recognizing the ethnic disparities

Myanmar overall lacks sufficient data to gain statistically is a crucial first step in then
a full picture of its progress to the goals, and developing targeted policies, so it is a
the country reports that the results of its positive step that Nepal has presented some
indication of this in the MDG report. There
recent comprehensive survey will be useful
is no indication, however, of participation

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120 M N Parmar, Snehal Raut

from indigenous peoples organizations in MDG Report By Vietnam

the report.
The MDG report by Vietnam
establishes widely that across all
South Africa: Commentary On Mdg Country
development indicators, there is a disparity
between rich and poor, and that the poorest
South Africas MDG report contains are disproportionately in the remote, rural,
no mention of indigenous peoples and the and isolated areas where indigenous peoples
data is not disaggregated at the regional or or ethnic minorities live. The report is
provincial levels to allow for inferences to therefore strong in its disaggregation of data
be made. There is also no disaggregation of by region and ethnic group in a way that
the data by ethnic group at the national level, allows for inclusion of the situation of
which may allow for a better picture of the indigenous peoples in the reporting.
situation. Indigenous peoples are especially discussed
in the context of the countrys own set of
There is no indication of participation development indicators, the VDGs. The
from indigenous peoples organizations in report would benefit from reporting on how
the preparation of the report. indigenous peoples or national races are
consulted in the development process that
In conclusion, the MDG report by the
is described. There is no indication of
Russian Federation includes some mention
participation from indigenous peoples
of indigenous or small-numbered peoples
organizations in the preparation of the report.
when the data is examined by the regions
where indigenous peoples live. The report Special findings reveals that Twenty
is especially strong in its recognition that percent of the MDG reports reviewed
indigenous communities experience lower sufficiently include indigenous peoples by
living standards. However, it would be consistently reporting on their situation
beneficial if indigenous peoples were (Nepal and Vietnam). Another 50% address
consistently highlighted throughout the indigenous issues to varying degrees
report, as the snapshot provided by the report (Guyana, Myanmar, Russian Federation,
remains unclear as to their situation and their Suriname, Thailand), while the remaining
inclusion in the development process. 30% do not include any mention of
Beyond an acknowledgement of the poverty, indigenous peoples (Kenya, South Africa,
for example, it is unclear if the education and Zimbabwe).
systems reflect indigenous cultures or if the
conservation systems described involve 2. None of the country reports under
management by indigenous peoples. It is also review indicate that they were prepared with
not completely evident if indigenous peoples consultation from indigenous peoples
were consulted in the preparation of the organizations.

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Millennium Development Goals and Uplifftment ...Than Promises 121

3. None of the MDG reports provide medicinal plants and healing practices
disaggregated data for indigenous peoples that can be integrated in community
in a consistent manner, for every goal. health programmes
Monitor and document the resources
that are under stress and the causes
The following are a few key thereof, i.e. over-exploitation, habitat
recommendations to better integrate destruction, climate change etc.
indigenous peoples issues into MDG
Propose viable alternative land use
programmes and policies:
practices or income sources to reduce
Indigenous women are important part pressure on endangered species or
of a communitys social capital that can resources.
contribute to the designing and
Mobilize existing knowledge and
implementation of sustainable development
skills for sustainable community
initiatives. With their gender-specific
development, including for
knowledge, skills, social relations and
monitoring and enforcement of
networks they can make contributions which
resource use and management rules.
are critical in designing viable, practical
solutions to the challenges of sustainable Design appropriate social services to
development. meet the needs of indigenous
communities in general, and
Identify priorities with regards to the
indigenous women and children in
development needs of communities,
in particular those of the weaker
sections, i.e. children, women and in The human rights-based approach is
particular widows, single mothers etc. needed for the development and
should be operationalized by states,
Identify and propose management
the UN system and other
solutions for resources that are critical
intergovernmental organizations. The
for a communitys sustainable
recognition of indigenous peoples as
distinct peoples and the respect for
Conserve the diversity of native their individual and collective human
domesticated plant varieties that are rights is crucial for achieving a just
necessary for maintaining resilience and sustainable solution to the
in agriculture and ensuring food widespread poverty that affects them.
security for the community
Policies must be put in place to
Enhance the knowledge on ensure that indigenous peoples
agricultural and seed conservation, have universal access to

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122 M N Parmar, Snehal Raut

quality, culturally-sensitive monitoring and reporting,

social services. Some areas of including the production of
particular concern are inter- national MDG reports, as well
cultural/bilingual education as in the implementation,
and culturally sensitive monitoring and evaluation of
maternal and child healthcare. MDG-related programmes and
policies that will directly or
MDG-related programmes and indirectly affect them.
policies should be culturally
sensitive and include the active Improved disaggregation of
participation and free, prior and data is indispensable to
informed consent of indigenous properly monitor progress
peoples so as to avoid loss of towards MDG achievement in
land and natural resources for countries with indigenous
indigenous peoples and the populations, and should be a
accelerated assimilation and key priority for Governments
erosion of their cultures. For and the UN System. Several
example, United Nations initiatives are currently
Country Teams in Bolivia and underway to improve data
Kenya have established disaggregation at both national
indigenous peoples advisory and regional level. ECLAC,
committees to guide for example, has played a key
programming on indigenous role in improving data on
peoples issues. indigenous peoples in Latin
America and UNPFII has
States and the UN System must organized a series of regional
make greater efforts to include meetings on indicators of well-
indigenous peoples in MDG being for indigenous peoples.


Mander, J. and Tauli-Corpuz, V. (Eds.). (2006). From Paradigm Wars: Indigenous Peoples Resistance
to Globalization, Sierra Club and International Forum on Globalization
Guyana Population and Housing Census (2002). Chapter 2.1.1. Available from the Guyana Bureau
of Statistics website: retrieved on dated 8/

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Millennium Development Goals and Uplifftment ...Than Promises 123 retrieved
on dated 8/1/14 retrieved on dated
8/1/14. retrieved on dated
8/1/14 retrieved on dated 8/1/14. retrieved on dated 8/1/14
IFAD (2007). Statistics and key facts about indigenous peoples. IFAD (2007), Statistics and key
facts about indigenous peoples ECLAC (2005), Millennium Development Goals: A Latin
American and Caribbean Perspective.
Heartely, B. (2008). MDG Reports and Indigenous People, A Desk Review, No-3, United Nations
Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.
UNDP (2012). Millennium Development Goals and Indigenous People, End of Poverty, Rio+20
Earth Summit.
UNPFII (undated). The National MDG Reports.
The Rights of Indigenous Peoples, (A/RES/61/295) esp. Article 19.
UNPFII (2005). Report on the Fourth Session (E/C.19/2005/9).
UNPFII (2005). Report on the fourth session, E/C.19/2005/9.2)
UNPFII (2006). Report on the fifth session, E/C.19/2006/11

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Bella Uttekar*
Kanchan Lakhwani**
Vasant Uttekar***

Introduction and LPG for cooking with 6 percent.

Similarly, around 14 percent have television.
Health and nutrition profile in India Eighty seven percent of households belong
is alarming.Each year, 27 million to low SLI and only 42 percent of households
pregnancies occur in the country, yet have BPL cards.
considerable proportions of women do not
access government health services for A study of marriage and fertility
antenatal care. Only 16 percent pregnant pattern reveals that in Banswara, 35 percent
women schedule three or more visits for of girls marry before 18 years, and 48 percent
antenatal care.Thirty percent children are of these married girls have 3 or more
born with low birth weight, a condition that children. There are no rail transport facilities
contributes to malnutrition later in life and poor road condition in Banswara. Most
(World Bank). (92 percent) of the villages have been
officially electrified but power supply is
Banswara is one of the predominant irregular and unreliable. The basic services
tribal districts of southern Rajasthanwith are non-existent in the region (DLHS-3,
population of 1,798 thousands inhabited by 2007-08; Provisional census data, 2011).
Bhils, Bhilmeenas, Damor, Charpotas and
Ninamas tribes. Thearea is predominately The present paper is based on the
having ST (72 percent) and SC (4 percent) study conducted in three districts of
population. The sex ratio is 979 females per Rajasthan for Save the Children India.
1000 males andfemale literacy rate is only
44 percent as compared to 72 percent among Objective of the Study
males. The tribal belt of Banswara is lacking
basic amenities and infrastructure with only The aim of the paper is to assess the
31 percent households having access to impact of the integrated approach of health,
electricity, and still low having access to nutrition and water and sanitation on
toilet facilities (7 percent), piped drinking maternal health in the tribal area of
water (9 percent), pucca house (12 percent) Banswara, Rajasthan.

* Research Director, Center for Operations Research & Training, Vadodara, India.
Email :
** Research Executive Center for Operations Research & Training, Vadodara, India.
*** Computer Programmer, Center for Operations Research & Training, Vadodara, India.
Integrated approach to maternal and ... among Tribal women in Banswara, Rajasthan 125

various mediums. Growth monitoring was

Methodology one of the important components of health,
which was taken care off.
A quantitative cross-sectional
household study using structured interviews Under the intervention, activities
was conducted with 300 mothers of children related to water and sanitation were
aged 0-24 months across 30 villages of undertaken as they are linked with health.
Ghatol block of Banswara, Rajasthan. Community and child friendly toilets were
Qualitative techniques werealso used to constructed, awareness about importance of
collect requisite information from key village and home cleanliness, keep toilet
stakeholders, government officials, members clean were spread along with motivating
of PRIs, and frontline workers on people to use toilet. Emphasis was given on
intervention on health, nutrition and hand wash practices and people were
WATSAN component. encouraged to inculcate hand wash practices
showing them demonstration and benefits of
Intervention by Save the Children hand wash. People also learnt to throw
garbage in dustbin and to keep surrounding
clean. Water purification and its
management was emphasized. Residents
were given dandidarlota (handle glass) for
taking out water from pot; and oriented to
boilwater, keep water in safe place, put
chlorine tablet in water, etc. Hand pump
mechanics were trained to repair hand pumps
in Banswara. Certain activities related to
waste water management like kitchen garden
and making soak pits were undertaken.
The intervention focused on
BCC/IEC activities were carried out
integrating health, nutrition and water and
by frontline workers. Posters were given to
sanitation. In health and nutrition focus was
on mother and children. Registration of
pregnancy, regular checkup during I visit community regularly to immunize children. But,
pregnancy, ANC and PNC care, and in one of the home, the childs grandmother was not
allowing me to immunize her 3 years old
importance of institutional delivery were granddaughter. She even scolded me and asked me
emphasized. In child care, campaigns and to leave the home and not to return again. I didnt
lose hope and tried again to explain the grandmother
rallies on exclusive breast feeding were the importance of immunization. After my several
organized. Awareness about supplementary attempts for two months at last she was convinced
foods, hygiene of children and nutrition to and the girl got immunized.
be given to children was spread through

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

126 Bella Uttekar, Kanchan Lakhwani, Vasant Uttekar

anganwadi; campaign and rally were were created and visits were planned to learn
conducted on hand wash and breast feeding, and apply the same. The Intervention proved
drama and street play, wall painting were helpful in facilitating linkages between
organized on topic of health and nutrition, Village Health and Sanitation Committee
various days like hand washing day, (under Development Committees (VDC)),
immunization day, MCHN day were which were responsible for operation and
celebrated. Various competitions were held maintenance of water and sanitation
like healthy baby competition. Due to BCC infrastructure and the
activities, awareness has increased, people communities.Intervention demonstrated
started taking treatment from hospital and models of integrated approach towards water
minimized traditional practices, institution and sanitation, solid and liquid waste
deliveries have increased, motherswere management, health, and nutrition; along
focusing more on childs health, the practice with mobilizing community through support
of pre lactalfeeding to child soon after birth groups and community health volunteers for
reduced. CHV played a vital role in creating hygiene promotion.
awareness and due to her efforts people
started availing services. Also Women Key Findings
Support Groups and Men Support Groups
(150 each) were formed across 30 villages Characteristics of respondents:Majority of
and they worked toward spreading respondents were in age group of 2029
awareness regarding health, nutrition and years, and 98 percent respondents were
water and sanitation. In their words, Hindus. As Banswara being a tribal district,
82 percent were schedule tribe. Majority (64
As a member of WSG, we encourage percent) respondents had no education and
women to go for health checkups, and to breast only 22 percent had completed middle and
feed children, immunize them, inform them about secondary (6-10 years). Forty percent
nutrition of both mother and child. We also
women were involved in agriculture,
provide seeds to the lactating mothers and
housewives (30 percent), manual labour (23
encourage them to grow kitchen garden so that
they get vegetables to eat. percent), skilled work and domestic help (7
FGD with WSG
Majority of the families included in
If transportation is to be arranged to
take a pregnant woman to hospital for delivery the study had their own house, mostly
we arrange that. We also look after bank kaccha (83 percent). Most (93 percent) used
transactions of SHGs and matters related to wood for cooking food and 71 percent
water and sanitation. households reported to be below poverty
FGD with MSG line. Eighty seven percent of women were
from low standard of living (SLI).
Model village and model anganwadi

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Integrated approach to maternal and ... among Tribal women in Banswara, Rajasthan 127

about antenatal care, went for 3 or more ANC

(72 percent) and women received
information on specific pregnancy
complication like vaginal
bleeding,convulsions and prolonged labour
(74-79 percent). Most (94 percent) women
registered themselves and 90 percent women
weregiven two injections of Tetanus during
last pregnancy, received any iron folic acid
tablets or syrup (97 percent), and took IFA
tablets or syrup for at least 90 days (87
percent) during the pregnancy (Table 1).
Water and sanitation facilities Nearly 89 percent women received
complementary nutrition from
Availability of water is essential to
Anganwadicentre and most of the women
improve sanitation, safe hygiene practices
were contacted by the health worker during
and better health standards of people. Hand
the last three months of pregnancy, little
pumps were the major source of water for
more than half met at home.
95 percent of the respondents. Nearly 97
Table 1: Antenatal car e received by the respondent
percent of the respondents treated drinking Banswara
water to make it safer to drink. Almost half Baseline Endline
Total number of respondents 330 300
of the respondents kept drinking water on Percent received first received ANC for index 87.3
platform made of kaccha materials and 29 pregnancy by 3r d months of pregnancy
Percent of women receive 3 or more antenatal care 63.5 72.0
percent make permanent platform and kept Percentage of women received selected
on it. services during ANC *
Weight measured 61.9 92.7
Blood pressure measured 61.9 86.3
Proper sanitation promotes health by Urine test done 63.8 91.0
preventing contact with wastes. After Blood test done 50.5 91.0

intervention,21 percent had toilet facility in Abdomen checked-up 48.3 82.0

Delivery advice given 35.6 77.3
their house, which included flush to pit Delivery date calculated 40.3 57.7
latrine and flush to septic tank. Nearly 84 Nutrition advice given 35.6 71.3
Percentage of women told where to go if had any 97.3
percent of the respondents used toilet pregnancy complications
facilities and it is encouraging to know that Percentage of father present during (any of) your 88.3
antenatal visits
95 percent women used soap for hand
washing. Most of women received advice on
breastfeeding, keeping cleanliness, ways of
Maternal Health:Pregnancy history, keeping baby warm, family planning and
antenatal, natal and post care birth preparedness. Most (95 percent)
Women in the intervention area knew women went for institutional delivery, and

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

128 Bella Uttekar, Kanchan Lakhwani, Vasant Uttekar

stayed in hospital after delivery for 56.8 Further, women were also enquired
hours, on average. The major reasons for about their visit to any health facility and
home delivery were far distance of facility, services availed during that visits. Enhanced
lack of transport and costs too much.This quality of services and increased contact
shows that CHVs had visited and motivated with front line workers could be the reason
pregnant women for antenatal care and for for increased utilization of health services.
institutional delivery. Eighty two percent
Table 2: Use of services pr ovided to mothers by Anganwadicentre
women received the postpartum health Baseline Endline
checkups in first two months after discharge. Total number of respondents
330 300
Percentage of women benefited from Anganwadi centre 59.7 84.0*
Benefits availed from Anganwadi by
Number of women benefited from Anganwadicentreduring 197 253
Pregnant and Lactating Mothers pregnancy

Percentage of women received following benefits during

Pregnant and lactating mothers are pregnancy
expected to receive supplementary food, Complementary food 84.3 95.7
health check-up and health and nutrition
Health check-ups 78.2 92.5
education from an AWC. Table 2 indicates
Health and nutrition education 44.2 92.9*
that 84 percent women received some
services from an AWC during pregnancy Percentage of women who received benefits from
Anganwadi centre when child was breast feeding
46.1 81.7*

which was 59 percent before intervention.

Number of women benefited from Anganwadi centre during 152 245
Pregnant mothers in the intervention
Percentage of women received following benefits during
areas received complementary food (96 lactat ion
percent), health and nutrition education and Complementary food 83.6 88.2
health check-ups (93 percent each). Eighty
Health check-ups 90.1 89.0
two percent lactating mothers received
Health and nutrition education 40.8 89.4
benefits from AWCs in the endline compared
to 46 percent in the baseline survey, which **p<0.01 percent *p< 0.05 percent

is statistically highly significant. These

services included receiving of
complementary food (88 percent), followed
by health and nutrition education (90 Child Health: Child feeding Practices
percent) and health checkups (89 percent). Breast feeding is an important aspect
The analysis shows that and as it is known that children need to be
Anganwadicontact pregnant and lactating breast fed immediately or within an hour of
tribal mothers who get counseling related to birth, as breast milk acts as a natural immune
health and nutrition, which was more for children and is good for growth. Most
emphasized after the intervention. (99 percent) of women had ever breastfeed
their last child and 89 percent breastfeed

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Integrated approach to maternal and ... among Tribal women in Banswara, Rajasthan 129

immediately/within one hour and 10 percent There was statistically significant

had given pre lacteal feeding in first three improvement in babies aged 6-24 months
days after delivery which included majorly receiving minimum dietary diversity (54
milk and water (55 and 51 percent resp.). At percent), having minimum feeding
the time of survey, 69 percent of babies frequency (46 percent) and in children
between 0-5.9 months were exclusively receiving minimum acceptable diet (34
breastfeed. percent), which was almost nonexistent
before intervention.
Minimum dietary diversity
Nutritional status of the children
A sufficient diverse diet with adequate
intake of essential nutrients is a key in The analysis of nutritional status
ensuring the development of the child. The shows that children in Banswara were
WHO minimum dietary diversity indicator malnourished. There were improvements in
is based on children six months old and weight-for-height and weight-for age, but
above consuming food from at least 4 food height for age did not show improvement.
groups thereby ensuring mixed and balanced
diet. Essentially children should be Immunization
consuming a mix of foods a) grains, roots
and tubers, b) legumes and nuts, c) dairy Encouragingly,62 percent of children
products (milk, yogurt, cheese), d) flesh were fully vaccinated compared to only 20
foods (meat, fish, poultry and liver/organ percent before intervention, 33 percent were
meats), e) eggs, f) vitamin-A rich fruits and partly vaccinated and 5 percent have
vegetables, and g) other fruits and received no vaccination(Figure 2).

Table 3: Nutrition Indicators and Revised Intervention Targets

Key Indicators Banswara
Baseline Endline
Number of surviving children aged 6-8.9 months 42 52
Children 6-8.9 months receiving solid/semi-solid food 35.7 40.4
Number of surviving children aged 6-23 .9 months 250 168
6-2 3.9 month children receiving the minimum dietary diversity 2.8 53.6
Minimum feeding frequency in children 6-23.9 months 38.1 45.9
Minimum acceptable diet 6-23.9 months 1.6 34.5
** p < 0.01 percent *p < 0.05 percent

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

130 Bella Uttekar, Kanchan Lakhwani, Vasant Uttekar

Table 4: Nutritional status of the children

Baseline study Banswara
Sample MalnourishedSeverely MalnourishedSeverely
Measure size (<-2 SD) Malnourished(<-2 SD) Malnourished
(<-3SD) (<-3SD)
Weight for Age 937 39.3 17.2 39.5 17.1
Height for Age 846 33.9 15.8 46.8 25.8
Weight for Height 883 35.1 17.7 17.9 7.1

Discussions in village level community

Regarding topics discussed in village
level community groups, 94 percent said that
they discussed about sanitation, hygiene and
health (90 percent), and water management
78 percent).

Basic indicators by Background

Table 5 clearly states that by and large
(more than 90 percent) all the households
had accessed to improved source of drinking
water. However, within the age group, older
25+ years and over had more access to
source of drinking water. Similar is the
pattern about households that treat water to
make it safe, and wash hands with soaps/
ash before eating was high among 25-34
years age group. difference however was found to be marginal
between hindu and muslim.
When compared by education,
religion and caste, hardly any difference is Table further reads that SCdo
seen. So women had better access to drinking relatively better in terms of access to
water and treat water to make it safe. The improve source of drinking water, treating

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Integrated approach to maternal and ... among Tribal women in Banswara, Rajasthan 131

Table 5: Respondents having access to improve drinking water, treating water to make it safer,
sanitary latrine in their premises and hand wash practices by background characteristics
Households Households Households Washing Total N
with access that treat their having a hands with
to improved water to make sanitary soap or ash
sources of it safer from latrine and water
drinking biological within the before
water contamination premises eating

Total 98.3 96.7 21.0 79.0 300

15-24 98.4 94.4 25.0 88.2 124
25-34 98.1 98.7 19.1 82.8 157
35+ 100.0 94.1 11.8 74.2 17
Illiterate 97.7 96.4 14.5 77.4 221
Primary (1-5) 100.0 95.2 14.3 76.2 21
Middle (6-7) 100.0 100.0 21.4 92.9 14
Secondary (8-10) 100.0 96.9 53.1 81.3 32
Higher secondary 100.0 100.0 72.7 90.9 11
or more (11+)
Hindu 98.3 96.9 20.3 78.6 295
Muslim 100.0 66.7 100.0 100.0 3
SC 100.0 100.0 19.0 100.0 21
ST 98.0 96.4 19.4 76.5 247
OBC 100.0 100.0 16.7 79.2 24
None of them 100.0 83.3 100.0 100.0 6
BPL Status
APL 100.0 98.8 23.8 82.5 80
BPL 100.0 96.2 19.7 78.4 213

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

132 Bella Uttekar, Kanchan Lakhwani, Vasant Uttekar

water and washing hands with soap before percent were advised about birth
eating. This clearly could be attributed to preparations and 95 percent deliveries were
the project interventions amongst the SC. institutional. Difference by age in terms of
the receiving of 3 ANC, birth preparedness
Interestingly enough the BPL are
and the proportion of institutional delivery
fairly better in terms of accessibility to
was marginal. Education wise middle class
improved water, washing hands before
were little better than others.
eating, which may be because of thrust of
the programme to the BPL. Interestingly enough, the coverage of
women who had received 3 ANC among was
Table 6 illustrates that about 77
67 percent among Muslims as compared to
percent women received at least 3 ANC, 74
76 percent among Hindus. The pattern

Recently delivered Pregnant women Percentage of Number

women received at advised on birth institutional of
least 3 ANCs preparedness in last 3 deliveries respon-
months of pregnancy dents

Total 76.7 74.2 94.7 300

15-24 76.6 75.4 95.2 134
25-34 76.4 74.7 94.9 157
35+ 82.4 70.6 88.2 70
Illiterate 74.1 71.9 94.6 231
Primary (1-5) 81.0 68.4 90.5 21
Middle (6-7) 85.7 78.6 100.00 40
Secondary (8-10) 78.1 89.7 96.9 32
Higher secondary 90.2 90.9 99.9 11
or more (11+)
Hindu 76.6 74.5 94.6 295
Muslim 66.7 33.3 100 3
SC 81.0 81.0 95.2 21
ST 76.0 74.3 94.3 247
OBC 79.2 77.3 95.8 24
None of them 83.3 60.0 100.00 6
BPL Status
APL 83.8 84.2 95.0 80
BPL 73.2 71.6 94.4 213

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Integrated approach to maternal and ... among Tribal women in Banswara, Rajasthan 133

however was reversed in the case of pregnant phase and also it sustainability. More so the
women going for institutional delivery. integrated approach is more needed in such
tribal district with less or hardly any
Caste wise there was hardly any
accessibility to the basic facilities.
difference in the women receiving 3 ANCs,
advise on birth preparedness and women
Based on the finding the reco-
going for institutional delivery.
mmendations are
Further, the APL had slight edge,
o Community needs to be strengthened
though marginal, in terms of the receipt of 3
by creating forums and groups and
ANC, birth preparedness and institutional
empowering people to take active part in the
intervention, be accountable to the results,
and govern the progress. This would ensure
that the efforts are sustainable and it can be
The intervention has worked due to replicated for the rest of the areas.
overall integration not only in terms of
o An integrated approach need to be
integrating components of health, nutrition,
adopted to create overall impact and improve
water and sanitation but also in terms of
maternal and child health. Working on only
integration of reactivation of the government
one of the aspects i.e. health may not have
institutions like Anganwadicentres and
the optimum effect, there is need to integrate
laying down structures wherever needed.
health, nutrition and WATSAN to improve
Involvement of religious and influencing
the overall wellbeing of mother and child.
persons in village, community itself along
with stakeholders at various levels, had given o To multiply the effect, intervening
impetus to the intervention and increased it agencies needs to remain in the intervention
value at both at community level along with area for a long duration. To summarize, this
reminding government their responsibility is the stage when government, stakeholders
towards people. and community at large have started
realizing the importance of WATSAN and
Linking advocacy at government,
health and nutrition backed up with the push
community and individual level along with
from MDG goals. This opportunity needs to
providing services and follow ups increases
be fully utilized.
the chances of behavior change at little faster
Office of Registrar General, India. (2011). Population Census
International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS). (2010). District Level Household and Facility
Survey (DLHS-3), 2007-08: India. Mumbai: IIPS.
World Health Organization and UNICEF. (2006). Meeting the MDG drinking water and sanitation
target, the urban and rural challenge of the decade.
WHO (undated).

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Katherine Butt*

The Context of our Programme approximately 60 million people. The term

translates literally as adi or, earliest time
A new paradigm; local solutions and and vasi or resident of and refers
empowerment of tribal community commonly to aboriginal peoples. Currently
members as educators. 533 tribes are recognises by government and
The OECD (2011) recognises that, mostly inhabit rural, forested areas. Some
across nations, there is compelling data to of these tribes are nomadic in habitat. At the
ensure teacher training is integrated into both time of colonial rule many Adivasi were
teachers careers and school and systems criminalised by 1871 their land tenure and
settings. The most recent international PISA basic freedoms were forfeit, with further
and TALIS9 surveys underline this, as does extension to the Criminal Tribes Act in 1921.
the effectiveness of allowing non Post Indian independence the practical
traditional entries into the teaching situation for this community provided little
profession whilst broadening selection improvement, other than the official criminal
criteria. Given the acute shortage of teachers status removed under the Denotified Tribes
prepared, or able, to work in remote Adivasi Act. The contemporary situation for tribal
villages we considered a non-traditional peoples emerges from this historical context.
approach of training up local community Being politically and physically isolated,
members to teach in informal classroom they remain a vulnerable group, with high
settings. R2T brought teaching professionals illiteracy with scant knowledge of the law.
from the high performing state sector UK Additionally Adivasi communities have been
schools to work, in the field, with local NGO targeted by moneylenders and carry a legacy
staff over the last five years. Our of debt. There are significant barriers for
methodology is based on this on-going and Adivasi children wishing to attend school:
reflective collaboration, and anchored in our poverty rates are 20 years behind the average
belief that the local adivasi community has population, with high infant mortality and
the capacity to provide quality primary malnutrition 10 their own lack of literacy in
education, when given the appropriate official state languages, little acceptance of
scaffold from basic teacher training and tribal languages or cultures and an
appropriate resources to support learning. unwillingness of teachers to attend remote
schools. Fragmentation of community,
The Adivasi community often referred heritage and language has severely
to as Scheduled Tribes or the Denotified and challenged these peoples (Devy 2006 and
Nomadic Tribes of India consists of Gupta 2007).

* Director of Education, Reach to Teach.

Educational inclusion for the tribal female children ... : teaching the unreached 135

In partnership with Bhasha, we community para teachers so that they could

surveyed villages in the Pavijetpur, more effectively run education provision at
Chhotaudepur, Naswadi and Kanwant the STC for a two-year period before
talukas. Data revealed a number of remote mainstreaming takes place. The
tribal communities where there was a mainstreaming process required a
significant proportion of children, girls in transformation in pupil skills and
particular, either dropped out of school, had disposition, but also the very active support
never attended or were highly irregular in of stakeholders. As such we are not seeking
their attendance. Consequently we to replace the developing state education
developed a strategy to provide Special system, but to support access to it.
Training Centres (STCs) within these
Our Adivasi teacher/mentors were
remote villages to cater for the specific needs
typically Grade 10-12 students; they had
of these children, providing basic skills
rarely accessed higher education and very
training and developing the dispositions of
few had any formal qualifications as primary
communities toward the value of primary
teachers. Following an initial two week
education. The overall objective was to
intensive induction course, we trained these
create a dynamic where these children might
Adivasi community teachers for one full
attend mainstream state schools successfully.
day every week, on-going, with our team of
Our model works to compliment the UK and Indian teacher trainers. Training
Indian Right to Education Act providing took place at the Adivasi Academy located
informal Special Training Centres in the town of Tedgadh.
envisioned by the Act with a view to
At the same time we supported and
mainstreaming drop out or non-attending
funded the tribal communities to construct
Adivasi children into state education. In
their own STC building on village common
order to achieve this we secured basic
land. These structures were low cost, using
literacy and numeracy skills, addressed
natural materials from the local environment
wider pupil dispositions and attitudes
and, unlike the formal classrooms found in
towards education and undertook significant
state schools, the design was open plan and
advocacy and relationship building with
styled largely on a traditional tribal house.
stakeholders such as parents and state
For the Adivasi children, it is familiar,
education officials. By engaging local
comfortable and fit for purpose as a centre
Adivasi as para teachers with an existing
of learning. Similarly the education
stake and voice within these villages they
resources provided were commonly sourced
were able to cajole, persuade and inspire
from simple, accessible local materials.
their neighbours, friends and families to send
their girls (and boys) to the Special Training From the start the STC is constructed
Centre set up in the village. Our professional and owned by the community and staffed by
education team trained these local community members who resided in the

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

136 John Towers

village. It was truly a community resource. the Gujarat State curricular requirements,
international curricular and the specific
The community teachers know the
needs reported by the tribal community
children, are familiar with the families and
the key local issues. Trust is vital. We found Access, in first 2 years, to mother tongue
that by recruiting directly from these learning11
marginalised rural communities we
discovered young people who aspired to Emphasis on using and applying skills,
teach, had significant moral values and particularly linked to pragmatic everyday
interest in doing so and who retained life in an Adivasi village
postings. Teacher retention was strong with Emphasis on pupil centred pedagogy
less than 15% turnover in staff across the characterised by a high proportion of
programme. In order to further encourage active learning and pupil participation
the attendance of girls we made an
adaptation to our initial objective of Development of age appropriate core
supporting 6-11 yr olds. We noticed that skills in primary maths, language and
within the tribal communities young girls science, as defined by State curricular
were often required to look after their standards
younger siblings (2-5 years old) and that this Significant space for local Adivasi
responsibility often prevented school learning and traditions to broaden and
attendance. The solution seemed simple: we enrich provision
opened up access and provision for 2-5 year
Provision of exemplar resources and not
olds. In addition girls (and boys) were often
complete textbooks: in this way we sort
expected to support the family with animal
to encourage space for the local para
husbandry and manual tasks. Considering
teachers to develop and implement their
this we designed the programme to start at
own planning and practice
around 9 am and to finish by around 1 or 2
pm, allowing space to co-exist for children Explicit within operational planning was
to undertake such work. the recruitment of 50% female children
on the roll of all Special Training Centres
Curriculum and Resource Development
Our approach to lesson planning and
With local NGO colleagues we resourcing included:
developed a bespoke curricular and training
Clear and deliverable learning objectives
package, which better reflected the needs of
together with assessment prompts and
tribal children compared to standardised
pupil activities
national curricular and textbooks. Its key
features included: A four part lesson design with a
starter/warm up activity, main interactive
Initial comparison and consideration of teaching session followed by opportunity

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Educational inclusion for the tribal female children ... : teaching the unreached 137

for direct pupil application of learning to then construct their own series of lessons.
objectives via group, paired or individual This did not always come easily to these
study and then a plenary session to revise young para-teachers as their own educational
and build upon the lesson experience was often based on an early 20th
Century model of industrial didactical
Teacher pedagogical prompts in the text
teaching. Above all we encouraged a
and use of visual symbols to promote
localised context and a pupil friendly
high pupil participation in activities
consideration of the needs and interests of
Prompts for para teachers to undertake Adivasi girls. The local tribal para-teachers
formative assessment throughout lessons were well placed to bring there indigenous
Use of local, sustainable, everyday knowledge and heritage to appeal to these
resources to support learning, rather than localised interests, for example relating
a reliance on externally sourced and Adivasi creation myths to climate study
expensive items within the Gujarati State Environment
Science curriculum.
Links to Gujarat state textbooks and
grade levels to ensure pupils have Assessment and Evaluation
exposure to, and are prepared for typical
coverage in state sector Our approach to school setting
inspection was based upon international best
All our materials were produced in practice (such as UK Ofsted12) but adapted
English and Gujarati. The local Adivasi to local requirements. The programme para-
teaching staff would take a Gujarati lesson teachers were not used to being inspected
plan and deliver it in local tribal dialects such and graded, so we ensured our evaluation
as Rathwa and Bhil where required. Usually framework was delivered as a constructive
the children required inputs in tribal dialect tool for professional development and not
with the state language introduced alongside as a punitive judgement. We used a set of
and gradually as they attend the programme. observable teaching and learning behaviours
to assess teaching and learning and to
We avoided over-reliance on
provide structured formative feedback to
textbooks with the STCs, instead we
para-teachers. This approach met the
challenged and supported teachers to try and
recommendations set out by CfBT global
plan lessons themselves, referencing state/
research findings 13 regarding effective
national age related standards, but
education evaluation.
constructed to better meet the needs of local
Adivasi children. During weekly interactive We broke down concepts, skills and
training seminars we provided model knowledge within the State curricula into
lesson structures containing specific discrete and more easily measurable steps
strategies and resources to enable teachers to support assessment; for example we
created a resource to define small steps

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

138 John Towers

relating to Gujarati State standards 1-4 apprenticeship model as para-teachers,

against reading, speaking and listening and receiving a wage and on-going training.
writing. Linked directly to this work, we These para-teachers reported that their
developed tracking and data handling standing within the community was
systems so help local para-teachers better transformed, as they were seen to be adding
understand the academic progress of their value to the tribal community as a whole. At
pupils and plan their next steps in learning. the end of the first quarter this year, using
the R2T Evaluation Framework14 we judged
Our education team, based from the 63% of para-teachers performance to be
town of Tedgadh, used 4 wheel drives and good, 12% satisfactory and 24% in need
long walks to reach tribal villages, the of further development.
nearest an hour or so, the furthest requiring
an overnight camp to visit. We conducted The qualitative data was compelling
formal evaluations of all STCs at least and in particular what the children and
quarterly and worked with Bhasha and stakeholders had to say. Here we have found
community self-help groups to ensure these the grass roots approach had transformed
remote STCs received a support visit every the attitudes and aspirations of children,
week. parents and community members. The
programme children were happy. In May
Impact of the Model 2012 structured interviews, carried out
independently by Bhasha, found that 85%
Nearly 5,000 young tribal children
of the 100 children interviewed felt very
attended R2T STCs with 50% on pupil roll
strongly that they were happy and safe,
girls. By providing quality teacher training,
receiving good teaching and care and
learning resources and a constructive
learning a lot, that STCs were reliable
appraisal system we helped accelerated pupil
and that they were fully supported by their
progress; in the 2012-2013 years cohort we
saw 944 pupils reach age related standards
in maths and literacy at Standards 1, 2 and Some comments from the Adivasi
3. Our education team applied rigorous communities in 2013:
standards to judge and moderate pupil and
teacher performance. Our testing of pupils I will now be a Doctor or a local
shows that nearly all pupils make expected craftsman. I get to school at 5 mins to eight
progress each year (i.e. at least one defined sharp!
standard level each academic year in maths - Parimala Rathwa (9 years old)
and literacy) with over a quarter moving two
grade boundaries. Even in the math lesson get to do
games. I want to learn more things for my
We worked with local young tribal future. I will be a scientist and develop my
adults and provided them with an village

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Educational inclusion for the tribal female children ... : teaching the unreached 139

Fig 1 snapshot of outcome indicators

- Sapanapen Rathwa (5 years old) lenders, so the mathematics lessons are

helping us out of this difficulty
After graduating I was going to have
to leave and go to the city, but then I heard - Rathwa Chharyyabhai Rayalabhia
of Reach to Teach in the villages and I knew (R2T Para Teacher)
I would have to come. Teachers are getting
more and more status in the villages, the They (R2T students) were more
parents are now praying for us because we ready for school and they are able to read
teach their children well. Because the R2T and write letters, other children were just
Teachers are getting good training, our able to recognize them. It was easier to teach
knowledge of health and cleanliness is the children who had come from the Centres,
improving life in our village relationships they settled much faster. The children very
between teachers and children have got much know how to use resources to aid their
better; so have relationships between learning.
teachers and parents. Mr Dahdal Patel, Teacher, Shihada
- Kanbi Bhal Bhil (R2T Para Teacher) State Primary School )

There is a problem with debt in our Case Study: Arsingbhai Para Teacher at
village; we want to be free from the money Padvani Khal Special Training Centre

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

140 John Towers

Provide opportunities for

children to work independently
and to apply their learning
This feedback was provided verbally
following the time the visit with practical
suggestions of how to address these areas.
We also made sure the teacher training
sessions we provided covered these areas.
Arsingbhai has been a para teacher
Arsingbhai responded well to these
at Padvani Khal Special Training Centre
interventions, quickly applying the new
(STC) for almost four years. He was one of
strategies acquired from our training and
the very few local people able to attended
feedback sessions; I like how everything
school to the 10th standard. Padvani Khal is
involves much more active learning, I like
a rural village; around 3km from the nearest
the new way of teaching. The children are
government school and about a 45 minute
now taught in distinct groups and the Centre
drive from the town of Kawant in Vadodara has an ample range of learning resources
District. The STC has been running for four that are clearly displayed and accessible to
years is well attended with over 30 children the children, creating an interesting and
on roll, between 4 and 12 years old, with lively learning environment. He has now
51% girls. Arsingbhai teaches the younger developed a more relaxed and easy manner
children, whilst his partner teacher, with the younger children, understanding the
Kesubhai, teaches the older children. importance of building strong relationships
Arsingbhai regularly attends the weekly with the children, regularly praising them,
training sessions, provided by R2T at the ensuring they feel happy and secure in their
nearby training hub is an active and learning
reflective participant.
Over 50 children from Padvani Khal
Early on we identified a good
have successfully transferred to the local
potential from Arvindbhai and after our
government school, literate and numerate,
initial training we were able to regularly with some progressing to high school, due
observe him teaching and provide coaching. to the academic and pastoral intervention
Using our framework we agreed on some from the STC.
keys areas for professional development,
these included; Advocating the Model and its Limitations
To make more effective use of The Indian Right to Education Act
teaching resources 2009 15 was a milestone in the journey
To divide the class into groups towards achieving the goal of universal,
to provide age appropriate equitable and quality education in India.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Educational inclusion for the tribal female children ... : teaching the unreached 141

However, while the Act is a step in the right Hand holding arrangements for
direction, there are still several key issues transfer to ensure students had a
to address during its implementation period smooth transition to mainstream
in particular the resourcing of its mandates, schools
teacher shortages, quality and inclusion.
NGOs have a defined role to play and by Monitoring arrangements to check
working collaboratively with district pupil attendance and achievement
government we have found a role in post transfer and to encourage
addressing barriers to learning and helping progress via additional mentoring
to create a systemic change in the behaviour support
and attitudes toward education in rural Both internal and external evaluations
communities. The Act notes the need for demonstrated that programme outcomes
better access for traditionally excluded were limited due to variety of factors. The
groups including girls in general. In the following issues were notable:
Baroda District we have been fortunate to
engage with a reforming executive who are Migration, due to families seeking
keen to implement the RTE Act and to work seasonal labour work, was high in the
constructively with NGOs. area and the drop out was
approximately 20%. With no hostel
As we progressed with this model our
facility to hold these students in their
level of intervention decreased as the
home community we lost opportunity
students mainstreamed into state provision
to mainstream this group
(see Figure 2 overleaf). This was
advantageous as it freed our education team The State sector schools, although
to scale our work in new areas whilst prepared for transfer, often had
encouraging local ownership. limited resources and functionality
By sharing objectives and pupil data The School Management Committees
with Mr Rakesh Shankar, District were not functioning in many State
Development Officer, District Panchayat, schools and so were unable to assist
and his team we were able to prepare Adivasi programme objectives
pupils and their nearby state schools for
mainstreaming. This activity included: The programme was external to State
schools, therefore at risk of being
Briefings for local state school Cluster perceived as intrusive or competitive
Resource Co-ordinators, School by state schools or administrators
Management Committees and
teachers The programme did not fully involve
State administrators such as Cluster
Logistical arrangements for transfer Resource Co-ordinators so their
and data sharing

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

142 John Towers

Photo Girls attending Padvani Khal Special Training Centre 2012

knowledge, inputs and collaboration These children had mainstreamed

was very restricted into State primary schools and so we
would work with Bhasha to;
The programme provided child
friendly pedagogy delivered by local Provide additional early morning
staff highly sensitised to the needs of support classes, in the village STCs,
tribal children and girls. When these to assist with this transition and help
girls transferred to State sector there retain children within mainstream
was a risk that the classroom process settings
would be very different and not as
well matched to their needs Eighty of programme para-teachers
would extend their remit and provide
Consequent to this evaluation we activities to support the strengthening
adapted our planning. Firstly we decided to of the interface between community
continue the programme to a phase two for and government schools, for example
a further twelve months in fifty-four of the working with local School
programme villages where we would: Management Committees
Provide additional support to help Secondly we applied upon the
2080 children who attended the following strategy for our new programmes
phase one project on 2012/2013. in 2013-2014:

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Educational inclusion for the tribal female children ... : teaching the unreached 143

Fig 2 illustration of mainstream process

Work with a local/regional NGOs Continue to focus on enrolment of

who have a developed strong 50% girls across programmes but
relationships with disadvantaged rural extend from tribal groups to include
communities and have capacity to rural Scheduled Caste, Migrant and
undertake education based Other Backward Class Groups
collaborations with R2T
The outcomes of our phase 2
Continue to focus of teacher handholding programme, in terms of pupils
professional development, attendance and achievement will be
collaborating with government and published on our website by the end of
higher education bodies February 2014 (
Collaboration directly with State
education functionaries from onset to
help develop sustainability and impact
Continue to provide informal Special
Training Programmes in remote areas
where required, but link these directly
alongside or even within State schools

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

144 John Towers

ASER, Annual Status of Education Report (2011). Available at:
Banerjee, A. V. and Duflo, E. (2011). Poor Economic: a Radical rethinking of the way to fight
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Bryman, A. (2004). Social Research Methods. 2nd ed. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Devy, G. N. (2006). A Nomad Called Thief. Orient Longman Private Limited. New Delhi
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International Journal of Educational Research 43, 351369.
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from 35 countries. Population and Development Review 25 (1), 85120.
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general report (2007). Available at:
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Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

(Dangi Womens Views on Gender Equality and Community Participation:
A Study of Women Living in Ahwa Taluka of Dang District, Gujarat, India)
Bhavna Mehta*
Jayalaxmi Mahanty**

Introduction future seems to have not yet replaced their

spirit of community living, caring and
The living status of women is a
sharing attitude and love towards nature.
significant reflection of the level of social
justice in the society. Womens status is often However the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP)
described in terms of their level of income, strategy is being implemented since 1972,
employment, education, health and fertility for achieving rapid socio economic
as well as the roles they play within the development of tribal people. The object of
family, the community and society. In tribal the strategy is to provide for a budget
communities, the role of women is component (8% for Central Ministries/
substantial and crucial. They constitute Departments and in proportion to tribal
about half the total population but in tribal population of States/UTs in State Budget)
society women are more important than in to be spent on programmes and schemes for
other social groups, because they work the tribal. The goal of holistic empowerment
harder and the family economy and of tribal women whether social, economic
management depends on them. Even after or political, cannot, however, be achieved
industrialization and the resultant in isolation and would require proactive
commercialization swamping the tribal participation of other stakeholders such as
economy, women continue to play a State Governments, civil society groups and
significant role. Collection of minor forest grassroots level organisations. It also
produce is done mostly by women and necessitates reform of existing legislations,
children. Many do seasonal migration and wherever required, as well as the
work as labourers in industries, households sensitization of law enforcement agencies
and construction, contributing to their family and the judicial system. It would also entail
income. Despite exploitations, meagre a radical transformation in the mindsets and
income, problems and challenges in getting societal perceptions within the family, the
a sustainable livelihood and a decent life due community and the nation as a whole. An
to environmental degradation and the integrated approach which focuses on the
interference of outsiders; tribal as a holistic empowerment and development of
community in general and tribal women in tribal women is therefore, necessary to
particular are quite contented and happy go ensure that the constitutional vision of
lucky by nature. Money, power, worry for equality is fully realized.

* Professor, Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat, India
** Assist.Professor, Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat,
India Email :
146 Bhavna Mehta, Jayalaxmi Mahanty

This paper is based on the empirical respondents (48.77%) were illiterate, as the
study undertaken in the Dang region of entire family is engaged in farming to sustain
Gujarat highlights the Dangi womens itself.
awareness regarding their rights as citizens,
their views on gender equality, issues faced Out of the total, more than half of the
in the community and their perception of the population, 62.9% of the women were
role they could play to resolve the same. The engaged in farming (subsistence farming)
paper comprehend the participation of which is the main occupation of the people
women and their activism as potential groups in that area. One third of the
in the tribal community. population,34.5% of them were also engaged
in labour work- in sugarcane factories, or
Objectives of the Study were : work in fields owned by other people or of
their own.
1) To study the socio-economic profile
of tribal women in the study area. There were almost 15% of families
2) To know their perception on gender whose daily income was not even 100 rupees
equality & gendered roles. and there almost 7% of families whose
yearly income is less than 36000 rupees.
3) To know their awareness with regard
Almost 60% of the respondents could not
to government schemes.
respond to the question because most of
4) To learn of their level of them were in unorganized sector, they only
empowerment and their activism in get their income after harvest (seasonal
their community. farming). Another reason which may be
interpreted is womens unawareness
Universe regarding their husbands business and
The universe of the study was 311 income because of lack of participation and
villages among tribal hamlets of Dang involvement in such matters.
district where Kanooni Sahay Kendra works.
Views on gender equality & gendered
Sample design: roles.

The sample consist of 568 women. With respect to Education of the

The sampling method used were purposive sexes, more than half,70.59% of the women
sampling method. agree that boys have a right to study more,
than girls. This clearly illustrates that the
RESULTS male in the family is considered the bread
Socio-economic characteristics winner, the sole pillar of the elderly parents
in their old age and hence his education is
The sample consisted of 568 women. of utmost importance. A small number are
Of the total population almost half of the of the view- that both, girl child and the male

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

A Kaleidoscopic View of Tribal Women of Gujarat, India 147

child should have equal right to education Majority of respondents believed in

and they even thought educating women giving equal rights to both male child and
means educating the family. girl child when it came to distribution of
property as they said that both are equally
The high costs of providing education their children and they have equal rights on
and the need for children to work contribute
the property. But almost 38% respondents
to the high dropout rates in higher levels of
disagreed with the fact that girl child and
education. This is particularly true for girls
male child do not have equal right to the
as poor families with limited resources
would rather invest money in their sons
education rather than in their daughters Awareness of women regarding
education for reasons discussed earlier. government schemes for them & adolescent
While education at the lower level is free, girls:
there are other costs, including books and
learning materials, which impose a Most women are only aware about
significant financial burden on low-income widow pension scheme (37.50%) and
tribal families1 sakhimandal scheme (42.43%). As a matter
of fact, womens awareness towards other
With respect to, Consent for marriage schemes provided for them is very less.
and selection of partner in marriage. 84% Moreover, almost 32% women were
of women think that it is necessary to take completely unaware regarding all the
consent for marriage in case of both, the girl schemes.
as well as the boy. This depicts that decision
of both is equally considered at the time of Majority of women (38.20%) were
marriage. completely unaware about schemes for
adolescent girls. This implies that awareness
View regarding Domestic violence among women regarding these is very less.
against women were: Nevertheless, there were a few women who
30% of women felt that they should were aware about schemes like Free
never be beaten for any reasons. But almost education, Economical and financial
17-25% women still responded that government help.
domestic violence is okay in the following
Level of empowerment for community
cases- the woman doesnt take proper care
of the house or children or if the husband
has a doubt on her character or if she doesnt Role to resolve:
cook properly or if she doesnt respect elders
etc. 1. Issue of anganwadis not providing
Views regarding disbursement of
property between female & female child 43% of the women agree that they can

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

148 Bhavna Mehta, Jayalaxmi Mahanty

take steps to resolve the issue of anganwadis There were a few villages where there
not providing proper services by either was no problem of scarcity of water which
reasoning with the aanganwaadi worker is again a positive thing for people living in
itself or coming together against the such areas. Nevertheless, there were a few
problem. women who felt that they cannot do anything
about the problem of scarcity of water as
But, 33% disagree that women can
they think that no one would listen to them
take steps to resolve such an issue as they
or consider their complaint, or may be due
feel that an individual alone cannot go
to lack of knowledge as to what is to be done
against it and if they want to do something
to solve such problems. Other reasons given
regarding the problem, they cant as no one
by them for not being able to do anything
would listen to them or support them.
about this problem is that they do not get
2. Issue of alcoholism support from their family members or
Half the population agreed that they
would take steps to resolve the issue of 4. Participation in Panchayats and
alcoholism, the remaining half disagreed Gram panchayats
with the same. Many of the women
themselves consumed alcohol. And those The above table explains that almost
who did not consume could not do anything 80% women were aware about Gram
to stop the problem as Panchayat Meetings taking place in their
villages. 68% women are a part of Gram
an individual alone could not do Panchayat meetings which is a good number
anything about it considerably. But only 44% women attend
their families and relatives wouldnt the Gram Panchayat meetings regularly.
support them and There were a few women who were
completely unaware about the Gram
nobody would listen to them. Panchayat system in their villages. A lot of
There were a few women who agreed awareness regarding the same is required for
to go against the problem by either filing a the same.
police complaint or writing an application
Conclusion and Discussion:
and coming together against the problem.
3. Issue of water scarcity Tribal women play a major role in the
co-management of their natural, social,
50% of the respondents think that they economic resources and agricultural
can resolve the pertinent issue of water development including crop production,
scarcity. This means that they have some livestock production, horticulture and post
power in their village and their decisions are harvest operations but they remain backward
considered and looked into. due to traditional values, illiteracy,

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

A Kaleidoscopic View of Tribal Women of Gujarat, India 149

superstitions, and dominant roles in decision different individual and social groups.
making, social evils and many other cultural
factors. One reason for such paradox is that
the tribal women of the region (for that
The participatory role of tribals in matter of any other region) are not a
improving their living conditions by fully homogenous group although they are known
exploring natural endowments and by the generic category tribal women. It
alternative uses must find an appropriate is important to remember that tribal women
place in the strategic approach. The social are diverse ethnically, linguistically,
dynamics of tribal welfare and development geographically and also historically. Often
is such that effective strategies to protect progress made by the middle class tribal
tribals and their livelihood imply negotiating women is that the majority of them are found
some kind of social consensus about criteria in the rural areas where they are
concerning tribal development and values of disadvantaged in terms of education,
the society that evolves from such occupation, etc. one may also note that
programmes. This also implies a broad social women in tribal societies could be
consensus about the basic rights and considered doubly disadvantaged, in the first
opportunities that tribals should enjoy and instance as tribal people and in the second,
the responsibilities that should be taken by as women.

Chaudhary, S.N. (Ed.) (2015). Tribal Women: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Jaipur: Rawat
Furer- Haimendorf, C. (1989). Tribes of India the Struggle for Survival. New Delhi: Oxford University.
Mathur,P.R.G.(1977). Accountration and Integration in Tribal Life. New Delhi: Inter India Publishers.
Menon, G. (1988). Tribal Women : Victims of Development Process, Social Action, June (2): 18-21.
Mishra, S., Behera, D. & Babu, B. (2012). Socialisation and gender bias at the household level
among school-attending girls in a tribal community of the Kalahandi district of Eastern India.
Anthropological Notebook 18(2): 45-53.
Das , S.K., An analysis of Constraints in Women Empowerment in tTribal area: Evidences from
Assam. Asian Journal of Research in Social Science & Humanities Vol.2 Issue 4: 61-74.
Sisodia,Y. & Dalapati,T. (Ed.) (2015). Development and Discontent in Triabl India. Jaipur: Rawat
Vyas, N. & Mehta, P.(1994). Changing Land Relations in Tribal India, Jaipur: Rawat Publications.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Nagmani Rao*

Patriarchy, Womens Agency and common as they are cross cut by other
Empowerment inequalities such as class, caste, ethnicity and
race. These intersections are significant
Patriarchy refers to the systemic determinants in the opportunities they offer
societal structures that institutionalize male to negotiate spaces and also the limits they
physical social and economic power over impose in the boundaries of such spaces.
women. (Reeves and Baden, 2000) This
results in womens subordination by macro Agency is being able to use
and localized structures which privilege men endowments to take advantage of
and exclude or constrain women in their opportunities to achieve desired outcomes
choices and opportunities. The roots of the ability of people to advance the goals that
patriarchy are located in womens they value (World Bank - Gender and
reproductive role and their presumed Development-Womens Agency and
vulnerability to sexual violence which are Participation). The use of agency has an
interwoven with the processes of capitalist intrinsic value by creating the ability to make
exploitation. As sexual objects women are choices and exercise control over ones life
seen as prey and men as perpetrators of as as a consistent aspect of feeling a sense of
well as protectors against such violence. The well being and an instrumental value through
main sites of patriarchal oppression are its impacts beyond the person. The
played out within the household (the opportunity to experience this sense of
patrilocal and patriarchal monogamous agency comes through the process of
empowerment or, in the absence of real
family system), in paid work (unequal wages
empowerment through a negotiation of
and the undervaluation of unpaid household
work which is a predominantly womens
domain), culture (religious practices, Empowerment is believed to be the
traditions and norms that subordinate ability to make choices as well as being able
womens roles and social position), the state to shape these choices. Thus empowerment
(which reflects and legitimizes patriarchal does not merely mean women breaking
patterns as the norm) and the control of hitherto held male bastions and making a
womens sexuality and mobility seen as a mark but rather, transforming the nature of
measure to reduce their vulnerability to power relations wherein women themselves
sexual violence. The experience of gender become active agents of change. (Welby,
inequality however is not universally 1990)

* Associate Professor, Karve Institute of Social Service, Pune, INDIA

Womens Quota, the 73rd Amendment And Womens Political Participation 151
Potentials and Challenges for Intervention in the Context of Mdg 3
In the context of women, causes of their subordination, break out of
empowerment has been looked at in different this by making choices that might be
ways. Oakley has used empowerment within contrary to socio-cultural expectations. In
the framework of development studies as this process they develop greater self esteem
encompassing five dimensions: economic and confidence and build their capacities to
improvement, individual empowerment, move from a state of dependence to one of
capacity building, democratization and relative independence. This helps them to
participation. Oxfam has looked at form a political vision of change which they
empowerment as essentially concerned seek to bring about through mobilization and
with analyzing and addressing the dynamics collective action.
of oppression and thereby rejects the notion Kabeer has referred to empowerment
that mere participation in donor driven as a process by which those who have
projects leads to empowerment. (Oakley, been denied the ability to make strategic life
2001 as cited by Mosedale, Sarah, 2003, pg. choices acquire such ability through the use
12). UNIFEM has referred to economic of three inter-related elements:
empowerment as having control over the
means of production over a sustainable, long - Resources : material, human, social
term basis such that this access and control - Agency : ability to define ones goals
leads to material benefits. The UN Beijing and act upon them through
Declaration and Platform for Action (1985) bargaining/negotiation/manipulation/
recognized that the barriers to empowerment subversion/resistance
of women and girls to enjoy all human
rights and fundamental freedoms lay in the - Achievement: which helps to build
multiple subordinations of race, age, strength, confidence and self esteem
ethnicity, culture, religion, etc., along with (Kabeer, 1999 as cited by Mosedale,
their gender position. Sarah, 2003, Pg 15).

Batliwala defines power as control Vijalakshmi and Chandrashekhars

over material assets, intellectual resources study of womens power in PRIs in
and ideology and empowerment as the Karnataka highlight four determinants of
process of challenging existing power power:
relations and gaining greater control over the Positional Power as a result of
sources of power (Batliwala, 1994, as cited officially held positions that create
by Mosedale, Sarah, 2003, Pg 14). Nelly greater accesses to the political sphere
Stromquist has looked at empowerment in a
Social Power which is derived from
socio-political context encompassing
ones position within social structures
cognitive, psychological, economic and
thereby influencing ones inclusion or
political components. This means that
exclusion from resources that add to
women develop consciousness about the
the sphere of power

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

152 Nagmani Rao

Discursive Power exercised by a Access to Resources and

reproduction of power relations in the opportunities (including access to economic
political sphere, defined by prevailing assets, such as land and infrastructure;
values and norms resources, such as income and employment;
Human Capital expressed through and political opportunities such as
individual attributes such as expertise, representation in political bodies);
knowledge, etc., that enhance
capability for exercise of power. Security (including reduced vulnerability to
(Vijaylakshmi & Chandrashekhar, violence and conflict).
2002) In the 1970s 3 rd World feminists
Kumud Sharma has referred to talked of empowerment in the context of
empowerment from a grassroots perspective struggle for social justice and womens
as one that encompassed a range of activities equality through transformation in the
from individual self-assertion to collective economic, social and political structures at
resistancesthat challenge basic power the national and international levels, which
relations.In case of subordinated groups, would then have local impacts. To be able
she says, that empowerment begins when to effect the politics of transformation
they not only recognize the systemic forces women need to engage actively and in larger
which oppress them, but act to change numbers with processes and institutions that
existing power relationships (Sharma, 1991,
influence and shape change. This means an
as quoted in Hust, 2004)
active engagement with and taking on
The concern for womens leadership in governance and formal
participation in leadership and governance institutions of power.
has been defined as one of the key
The discussion above brings out that
parameters in the realization of Millennium
Development Goal 3, Promoting Gender while there are variations in the notions of
Equality and Womens Empowerment. The power and empowerment, the common
Millennium Declaration was categorical in thread running through all these is that they
stating that if women were empowered are sensitive to the contexts in which these
enough to be in the mainstream of decision have to be seen and therefore premise that
making it would lead to the achievement of to move from a state of powerlessness one
all the MDG targets. has to become aware of the structural forces
that subordinate and oppress women and the
The UN Millennium Project process of empowerment therefore involves
suggested that gender equality encompasses engaging, resisting and changing unequal
three main aspects: power equations. This comes through a
Capabilities (including basic human conscious participation in political
abilities in education, health and nutrition); processes.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Womens Quota, the 73rd Amendment And Womens Political Participation 153
Potentials and Challenges for Intervention in the Context of Mdg 3
As we inch towards the end of the against women. The Beijing Declaration and
Millennium Development Goals what is the Platform for Action took this vision forward
reality of womens participation in political with a specific focus on enhancing womens
leadership and how have these translated into visibility in the political sphere. This was
gendered impacts? This is discussed in the further ratified in the Cairo Conference. The
following two sections. endorsement for womens agency in the
Beijing +20, gave a further impetus to
Women, Political Participation and the establish the imperative of promoting
Debate about Quotas womens participation in public policy
formulation and legislating processes.
Women constitute almost half of the
worlds population. Yet, they have remained One of the key measures to enhance
subordinated in almost all aspects of womens presence and visibility in politics
development. Although there has been a has been the mechanism of quotas. Quotas
trend of increasing political participation and are a form of affirmative action to create
influence of women in several countries, spaces and opportunities for excluded
there is a clear under-representation of groups. In terms of quotas in electoral
women in political governance. As on politics three kinds of mechanisms have been
October 2013, women occupied a mere one implemented in different countries
fifth of all seats in national legislatures Specific reserved constituencies (usually
across the world. Although these showed through a rotational process); legislated
regional variations, with the Nordic quotas; voluntary nominated quotas by
countries displaying the highest level of parties. It is presumed that when women
representation and the Arabic and Pacific are represented in sufficient numbers in the
regions the least, in most countries womens seats of power, a more gendered direction
representation was substantially below the would take place in development.
UNDP recommended 30% that would
India, thus far, has not shown a very
constitute the minimal critical mass
promising picture on the gender front. The
required for women to make meaningful
Gender Development Index of the United
impacts through their politics of presence
Nations Development Program equals 0.545
(as enumerated by Anne Philip).
in 1998 and a marginally improved 0.591 in
Internationally the negative impacts 2004, which puts India at positions 108 and
of half of humankind remaining 96 in a worldwide comparison of 136 and
subordinated and backward has been 143 countries in 1998 and 2004, respectively.
recognized as an impediment to national and The Human Development Report 2006
world development. Amongst the early placed India at 128th out of 178 countries. In
instruments to address such inequality, the sub-continent, India also shows the
CEDAW (1979) recognized the need for lowest level of womens representation in
removal of all forms of discrimination political positions at the higher levels.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

154 Nagmani Rao

Country Women in Upper IPU 22 countries holding elections. With

Single/ House Ranking legislated quotas, women took 24 per cent
Lower House
of seats and with voluntary quotas they
Pakistan 20.7 16.3 67 gained 22 per cent. Where no quotas were
Bangladesh 19.7 72 used, women took just 12 per cent of seats.

India 11 10.6 110 Despite these empirical evidences the

Source:IPU as cited in McCannan, 2013 issue of quotas for electoral representation
has been a site of much debate. Arguments
Gender inequality does not that favour the provision for quotas state
exclusively depend on economic conditions, that:
but are conditioned by a complex set of
interacting factors. These include the extent These provisions are in consonance
to which the political and institutional with the well thought out international
system - discourse and resolutions that
recommend quotas to remove
a) Recognizes the need for gender discrimination and exclusion and
mainstreaming serve to bring greater gender equality.
b) Supports the interests of women in the The notion of an inclusive society
policy decision-making process, and implies equal citizenship, which in
c) Installs and operates (informal) turn implies equal opportunities to
support and enforcement mechanisms women to have their voices
for gender mainstreaming. articulated. Thus, quotas would help
set right historical wrongs that
It is here that the significance of excluded half the world from full
quotas for political representation becomes participation in democracy.
contextualized. In 2000 the United Nations
Security Council passed a resolution on Quotas help to bring in pluralism and
Women, Peace and Security and, during the diversity, which are healthy for
debate, the then UN Secretary-General Kofi democracy and contribute to bring in
Annan stated that peace is inextricably a more representative public policy.
linked to equality between women and men If women have proved their
maintaining and promoting peace and managerial and decision making
security requires equal participation in capabilities at the household level
decision-making. they can become equally capable of
Women appeared to fare better when doing so at the macro level.
either legislated or voluntary quotas were The course of gender equality would
used. In 2012, electoral quotas were used in be fast tracked through the quota

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Womens Quota, the 73rd Amendment And Womens Political Participation 155
Potentials and Challenges for Intervention in the Context of Mdg 3
system. Though a still slow process, their own merit are elected because
quotas have helped to enhance of their gender. They may therefore
proportion of womens representation suffer political stigma for being mere
from 11.7% in 1997 to about 21% by quota entrants.
Would foment social divisiveness.
As of October 2013 womens representation
Could encourage proxy ruling and
in political leadership showed the following
manipulation when elected women
are those who are low on knowledge,
Region % of Womens information and economic assets
Representation would be dependent on others who are
better equipped to handle power.
Nordic 42
It is fallacious to assume that only
Asia 18.5 women can effectively represent
womens concerns. Also, women do
Arab States 15.9
not constitute a homogenous category
Pacific States 15.9 where commonalities cut across class,
caste and ethnic interests. They may
Source: IPU- Women in National Parliaments, October
2013, as cited in McCannan, 2013.
therefore get further entrenched in
existing power politics.
When elected women representatives
learn to stand their own ground and The 73rd Amendment and Thereafter
give a gendered tilt to political The passing of the 73rd Constitutional
processes, particularly in the rural Amendment in 1993 brought in the
context they would serve as inspiring guarantee of regular elections and fixed
role models for other women to terms for elected members and a rotational
emulate. reservation system.
There have however also been voices The mandatory reservation of seats for
that have dismissed the quota for women. women had substantial repercussions on
These arguments say that quotas: local governance and rural service provision.
Operate against the principle of merit Studies for West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra
thereby depriving men who are more Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu
capable yet left out of the electoral show that the womens reservation policy
race. has:

Go against the spirit of equality as a) Led to shifts in rural service provision

women, rather than being elected on to public goods that reflect womens

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

156 Nagmani Rao

preferences (Chattopadhyay and the public domain. Has this led to them
Duflo 2004; Beaman et al. 2006) and becoming more confident, conscious and
gender sensitive? The last stage is the
b) Stimulated the attendance and/or examination of the wider impacts they make
participation of women in Gram by empowering other women and changing
Sabha (village assembly) meetings the perspectives of men toward greater
(Chattopadhyay and Duflo 2004). gender sensitivity.
However, these findings have Several field studies (Ramesh and Ali 2001,
remained contested in the policy debate, Hust, 2004, Rao and Adagale, 2011,
especially in light of the persistent and Deshpande and DSouza, for example) have
pronounced gender bias in human brought out that the effectiveness of EWRs
development and human well-being, that is, is impacted by a combination of factors such
longevity, education, and the control over as their education, attitudes and ambition and
resources. family encouragement and support systems
Hust, while talking about the potential of and the environment in their work situation.
empowerment raised through the process of Women who are members of SHGs or have
political representation by Elected Women been active in womens mobilization through
Representatives (EWRs) also warns that party or non party initiatives are more likely
these are not easily achievable. These have to be better equipped and more confident and
been borne out by a number of field studies articulate if they have received exposures
including that carried out by this author in through these associations. An academic
two districts in Maharashtra. Discussing the associated with a dalit OBC party reiterates
linkage between political representation and that this particularly true of those women
empowerment in the context of EWRs, Hust who are associated with the Phule Ambedkar
distinguishes four successive stages of movements. Some NGOs have also
empowerment. In the first stage one needs experienced that when SHG initiatives go
to examine how many and who move into beyond mere credit activities they can lead
positions of power. The second stage would to greater politicization of members.
analyze the extent to which EWRs are Field experiences also highlight numerous
exercising the power and how they have obstructions and challenges women face,
equipped themselves to do so and if this particularly when they are new entrants.
engagement leads to bring in new (gendered) Some of these are highlighted here:
issues in new ways. At the third stage she
asks that the impact of womens political 1) The burden of household
engagement as leaders be examined by responsibilities and cultural
assessing the expansion of their knowledge restrictions obstruct their physical
and interest in politics and the status and mobility and the amount of time they
visibility they have attained at home and in can spend in catering to their

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Womens Quota, the 73rd Amendment And Womens Political Participation 157
Potentials and Challenges for Intervention in the Context of Mdg 3
constituents. Thus the husband/father/ 4) EWRs presence at meetings is often
son or other male family members in the form of tokenism as they either
either openly operate on their behalf dont speak up or are not given
or the EWRs take decisions only in sufficient opportunities to express
consultation with them. For example, their views and the decisions taken by
officials and elected representatives men prevail more often.
from Kolhapur ZP indicated this to be
the case in relation to the ZP 5) The single term rotation system puts
President. In one of the villages in potentially capable women at a
Nandurbar district both mother and disadvantage in terms of motivation
son are panchayat members; the son as by the time they learn some things
is the Sarpanch. The son is quite and develop their confidence to
knowledgeable and active and the handle responsibilities the term has
mother candidly said that since her ended and there is no guarantee that
son is managing all affairs she doesnt they would get renewed opportunities
see the need to attend all meetings as to contest elections again. In this
he tells her what to do! context many women talked of
alternatives such as two terms before
2) Women are unable to attend all rotating seats or having a panel system
necessary trainings to pick up the wherein men and women would
ropes of their functions. When they contest as a joint panel from all wards.
are illiterate or have limited education Party based reservations did not find
this further enhances their dependence much favour as women felt that the
on men and increases their patriarchal party system would then
vulnerability to being misled or field women in weak constituencies.
manipulated. Many village level
EWRs admitted the practical 6) The motion of No Confidence or the
constraints they faced to go for threat to use it has been used as a
trainings and how they merely mark potential instrument by powerful
their attendance on record. vested interests to obstruct or oust
inconvenient elected
3) Women are largely confined to such representatives. These can be quite de-
committees as women and child, motivating and in case of women
social welfare, education, health and reinforce the feeling that power
sanitation with very low or no politics is a dirty game. (A woman
representation in committees for member of a Dalit-OBC party in
public works, finance thus reinforcing Maharashtra however said that this
the stereotypical image of womens notion exists more amongst the
functions. privileged classes and castes who

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

158 Nagmani Rao

have led rather sheltered lives while Aalochanas experience as well as the
the toiling classes have much greater Mahila Raj Satta Andolan in
grit and determination to resist Maharashtra and the capability
opposing forces.) At the same time a developed through training in states
study on no-confidence motions in like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, etc.
Osmanabad district of Maharashtra by When such trainings are regular they
the rural campus of Tata Institute of also offer an opportunity to develop
Social Sciences was quite revealing networks amongst EWRs.
and showed that in case of such
Caught in the Crossfire of Caste Politics:
motions against EWRs these were
A Woman Sarpanch Fights Back
moved or manipulated by male ERs.
Vidya Chandrakant Suryavanshi is a
7) EWRs who are from subordinated
36 year old graduate woman Sarpanch. She
classes or castes and show a sense of
was elected in a village in Hatkalangale
purpose are also sometimes seen as a
taluka of Kolhapur district in 2006. Being a
threat by the established elite. In the
Sarpanch she implemented Nirmal Gram
absence of family or organizational
Yojana (total sanitation programme) and
support such women face a lonely
school developmental activities successfully.
battle with seemingly little success.
The village has a minor irrigation tank where
Yet these are the women who also
Gram Panchayat (GP) can auction fishery
bring to the fore how the reservation
rights. During her tenure she could gain an
quota also creates the opportunity to
enormous income of almost 3.69 lakh for the
challenge norms and resist cooption.
Gram panchayat through this auction. The
[See box below for case story from
present Sarpanch could make a historical
Kolhapur district.]
record by availing this extra income of the
8) EWRs are able to function in a more GP. Besides, GP also got 1st prize of Nirmal
effective and assertive way when the Gram and was honoured by the President,
womens front within parties is strong Pratibhatai Patil. She had also negotiated
so as to be able to form a caucus of with the Ghodawat group of Industries from
support and mutual consultation and this region to financially support building
also show solidarity against of the school wall.
patriarchal mindsets.
Over a period of time, the established
9) Training which addresses their needs leadership felt threatened by her
and also reaches out to male achievements and the progress of GP that
counterparts to develop greater gender she had achieved and the assertiveness that
sensitivity has been found to be useful she had shown by not succumbing to their
when carried out in a participatory controls. She perceives that as a dalit woman
way. This has been borne out by leader, her being under the spotlight did not

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Womens Quota, the 73rd Amendment And Womens Political Participation 159
Potentials and Challenges for Intervention in the Context of Mdg 3
go well with the established leadership from magistrates court. There are two different
the Maratha community. She suffered mental Maratha clans in the GP leadership contest -
harassment when a section began obstructing Bidkar and Patil. The former is a newly
her from discharging her functions in the GP. emerging leadership in the village and the
In one such incident they compelled her to latter is considered to be an established
sign on the cheque in which the work was traditional leadership. It is observed that both
not verified and assessment was pending. leadership factions play clan politics via
This resulted in splitting the panchayat body Dalits. She is also under pressure from a
into 2 factions and the rival group kept section of the district bureaucracy to step
targeting her for this. On 15th August, this back so that the situation doesnt get further
faction prohibited her from hoisting the flag out of hand.
and carried out a smear campaign against
As a result of this experience and the
her. Under the influence of this, some people
social boycott that shes had to undergo in
from her own community were involved in
the village she has now taken a decision to
the group that attacked her and members of
withdraw from political contests for all time.
her faction outside the village and disrupted
Her parting shot to the research team was -
her meeting. The police complaint was
one should be involved in politics, but carry
registered from both the sides under the
this out beyond the village, At the village it
Atrocities Act in which the Maratha GP
is better, rather there is necessity to develop
members from both the groups were accused
the village and staying out of local politics
and Dalits were the complainants. But no
is the only way to achieve this!
immediate arrests were made. This led to a
great deal of tension in the village and an The Need for Social Work Engagement
MLA intervened with the suggestion to come with Political Processes
to a mutual settlement and withdraw the
complaint. During the incidence a Dalit Social Work professionals and women
political organization showed her support engaged in non party formations within the
and asked her not to withdraw. Nevertheless womens movement often seem to reflect the
under pressure to keep the village middle class perspective of steering clear of
environment peaceful and a sense of physical electoral politics. However the philosophy
threat Vidyatai ultimately agreed to resolve of social work reflects the values of equality,
the conflict outside the court and withdrew justice and human rights. As agents of
her complaint on 19th August 2010. change our aim is to empower the
underprivileged and support and facilitate
But as both the parties did not sign on their efforts to bring about transformation
the final mutual agreement-cum- in their own lives and in the structures that
compromise sheet and also the mental affect them. Maharashtra, along with many
harassment of Sarpanch continued the case other states has brought in changes in the
has now been reopened in the district state panchayati raj acts following the 110th

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

160 Nagmani Rao

Constitutional Amendment that enhanced Evidence based documentation of

the reservation for women in local self field processes and unique case
government bodies to 50%. Given the fact studies of success stories and
that as social workers we work with client struggles of womens political
groups who live in communities, the engagement.
provisions of the reservations quota have
Being part of networks that are
opened the doors for expanding the scope
actively lobbying for the extension of
of our interventions beyond the remedial to
the womens quota to state and
the developmental approach within a rights
national level elected bodies.
based perspective which seeks to empower
women and sensitize society about what Training to elected representatives
women can do when given the necessary (men and women) and functionaries
support and opportunity. As practitioners, as and bureaucrats to shape attitudes
trainers and as researchers we can engage towards gender sensitive attitudes and
ourselves at various levels. Some of the behaviours.
possible ways that such engagements can be Pushing for such measures as gender
developed are proposed for further mapping and gender audits of PRI
discussion: budgets through community
Placements of students with mobilization.
Panchayats or organizations that form Encouraging and preparing women to
a bridge between communities, become active participants in gram
panchayati raj institutions and the sabhas.

Aalochana (Undated). Moving from Visibility to Effectivity, Report of the Project, Towards
Strengthening Networks of Women in Panchayati Raj in Pune District 2000-2003, Pune:
Aalochana Centre for Documentation & Research on Women.
Batliwala, S. (1995). Defining Womens Empowerment: A Conceptual Framework in Education for
Womens Empowerment ASPBAE position paper for 4th World Conference on Women,
Beijing, 1995, New Delhi:Asia South Pacific Bureau of Adult Education
Dahlerup, D. (2005). revised edition) Increasing Womens Political Representation: new trends in
gender quotas, in J Ballington and A Karam, eds, Women in parliament: beyond numbers,
Stockholm: IDEA.
Deshpande, R., DSouza, M. (2009). Panchayati Raj on the Ground: Issues in Village Level Panchayati
Raj Operation, Pune: WOTR
Government of India (2005). Millennium Development Goals India Country Report

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Grigoria, H. (2007). Impact of Gender Mainstreaming in Rural Development and Millennium
Development Goals, Doctoral Study based paper presentation at UNDP Gender Mainstreaming
Annual Conference, Islamabad, Pakistan (January, 2007).
Hust, E. (2004). Womens Political Representation and Empowerment in India- A Million Indiras
Now? New Delhi: Manohar
Kulkarni, V. (2007). Redefining Politics: Women in Local Self Government Bodies in India, Pune:
Aalochana Documentation Centre
McCann, J. (2013). Electoral Quotas for Women: an international overview, Parliament Library
Mosedale, S. (2003). Towards a Framework for Assessing Empowerment, working paper series No.
3, Manchester: Impact Assessment Research Centre, Institute for Development Policy and
Management Working paper 88, Bangalore: Institute of Social and Economic Change
Mundle, S. (2011). Millennium Development Goals: how is India doing, Working Paper 2011-93,
New Delhi: National Institute of Public Finance and Policy
Ramesh, A. and Ali, B., (2001). 33 1/2 % Reservation Towards Political Empowerment, Bangalore:
Books for Change.
Rao, N., Adagale, R. (2011 unpublished). Status of Panchayati Raj in Maharashtra (A Commissioned
Research through SOPPECOM, Pune)
Rao, N. (2011). Potentials And Challenges to Womens Political Participation In PRIs: Scenario
After the 73rd Constitutional Amendment, [ Paper presented at the national seminar on Issues
And Challenges in the Wake of Rural Development CSRD Ahmednagar, February 24-27th]
Reeves, H. and Baden, S. (2000). in Gender and Development: Facts and Figures (Report No. 56),
Brighton: BRIDGE (IDS, Sussex).
Vijayalakshmi, V. & Chandrashekhar, B. (2002). Authority, Powerlessness and Dependence: Women
and Political Participation Working paper 106, Bangalore: Institute of Social and Economic
Wach, H., Reeves, H. (2000). Gender and Development: Facts and Figures (Report No. 56), Brighton:
BRIDGE (IDS, Sussex).
Walby, S. (1990). Theorizing Patriarchy, Oxford: Blackwell

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Dinesh Kapadia*

Introduction was gradually reduced to nothing more than

a chattel required to be at back and call of
It is said that women hold up half her husband and in-laws.
the sky. We could persuasively argue that
they hold up more than that. Yet virtually in Post independence scenario-
every country in every period of history; in
every culture and tradition; in every region, The framers of the Indian constitution
religion, caste, class, race, creed, ethnicity; were fully aware of this stark reality and that
in the diversity of our shared past and varied is why they have conscientiously
present, women have always been incorporated certain provisions in the
disadvantaged compared to men in almost constitution to ensure protection of social
all spheres of life. They have been and economic rights of women. No nation
discriminated against systematically in their can make sustainable development by
access to food, work, education, health care excluding its almost half of the population.
and opportunities to participate in Women constitute almost 48% of
development, to lead, think, dream and to Indias population; as shown in the above
realize their dreams. They are, and have graph. The importance of women as a
remained through millennia, truly the valuable human resource was recognized by
worlds largest minority. Harsh Mander, the Constitution of India, which not only
Ash in the Belly Indias Unfinished Battle accorded equality to women but also
against Hunger Penguin Books, (Page empowered the state to adopt measures of
no.-43.) positive discrimination in their favour.
Harsh Mander a retired bureaucrat A number of Articles enshrined in the
and a well-meaning activists assertion is not Constitution specially reiterated the
a sweeping statement made with an iota of commitment towards the socio-economic
personal sentiments. He has vividly narrated development of women and upholding their
certain real cases of pitiable plight of socially political rights and participation in decision
harassed women struggling hard to feed her making. The Article 15(3) of the constitution
and her offsprings stomach. Gender empowers the state to make special
discrimination is a universal phenomenon provisions for women and children.
and despite Indias glorious past in which a
woman was equated with a Goddess and she India has witnessed the worlds largest
used to enjoy certain rights to participate in experiment in grassroots local democracy,
academic and scholarly activities; her status triggered by the 73rd and 74th Amendments

* Director, Gender Resource Centre, Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Gujarat.
INDIA. Email :
Gender Mainstreaming a Sine Qua Non for Sustainable Development 163

to the Indian Constitution, which created a India has endorsed the eight
three tier of governance Panchayati Raj Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
Institution (Village Councils) and urban established in the Millennium Declaration
local bodies. These are elected bodies and at the General Assembly of the United
cannot be dissolved by administrative order. Nations in the year 2000. These include
Since 1995, regular rounds of elections have Promote gender equality and empower
been held; and as one-third of seats women and Improve maternal health.
(proposed to be increased to 50 per cent) are Though only these two are explicitly gender
reserved for women and as a result of this specific, gender equality is at the core of
revolutionary constitutional provision a achievement of other 6 MD Goals- Eradicate
sizeable number of elected women extreme poverty and hunger, Achieve
representatives are found in the PRIs and Universal Primary Education, Reduce Child
local self-governments. mortality, Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and
other diseases, Ensure environmental
India has also ratified various sustainability and Develop a global
international conventions and human rights partnership for development.
instruments committing to secure equal
rights of women. Key among them is the As part of fulfilling obligations under
ratification of the Convention on the constitutional provisions and
Elimination of All forms of Discrimination international conventions; a number of
against Women (CEDAW) in 1993. The schemes have been floated and a plethora of
Mexico Plan of Action (1975), the Nairobi laws have been enacted to ensure sustainable
Forward looking Strategies (1985); the development through gender equity in India
Beijing Declaration as well as the Platform after independence and some of the schemes
for Action (1995) and the Outcome focus on welfare of women and children. A
Document adopted by the United Nations sizeable quantum of fund is poured into these
General Assembly Session on gender schemes so that their benefits percolate down
Equality and Development & Peace for the to the socially and economically backward
21 st century, titled Further actions and women.
initiatives to implement the Beijing
Declaration and the Platform for Action There cannot be gain said that the
have been unreservedly endorsed by India central government and the state
for appropriate follow up. The Beijing governments have been endeavoring for
Platform for Action lays down critical areas upliftment of the downtrodden people and
of concern for women. The commitments also mainstreaming gender equity and
made in the international conventions are as equality in the development process through
far as possible reflected in the Plan various schemes and projects.
documents and the National Policy for the In the context of the above
Empowerment of Women. background; an attempt is made in the

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

164 Dinesh Kapadia

present paper to study economic Purpose of the Study

empowerment of rural women through
Mission Mangalam scheme at the zero This study will throw light on
ground level in the selected areas of Gujarat. economic empowerment of rural women
through mission mangalam scheme and
The present paper provides a glimpse some success stories associated with it. The
of success of mission mangalam scheme and study will enable academicians, sociologists
its projects in the area which are part of the to ponder over better implementation of the
universe of the study. Govt. programmes/scemes on women to
create a gender just society.
MISSION MANGALAM; An initiative of
Primary data collection Gujarat

o Qualitative:- Focus Group discussion On the occasion of the Golden Jubilee

(FGD) Year celebration of Gujarat State, an
ambitious campaign by the name
o Personal interview MISSION MANGALAM was
o The researcher and his team met as launched in the year 2010.The
many as 50 women, and their family objective is to organize the poor into
members and Taluka Development Self Help Groups/ other organizations
Officer and the local manager of the poor, link them with banks build
mission mangalam with a view to capacities in them and lead them
getting first-hand information on its towards sustainable livelihoods.
implementation in Bayad block of To implement this Mission a company
Arravalli (S.K.) district. was formed in April 2010 by the name
Secondary data collection Gujarat Livelihood Promotion
Company Limited (GLPC) and a
o Census reports budgetary provision of Rs. 95 Crores
was made for 2010-11 for Mission
o SRS bulletin (Sample Registration Mangalam. The manpower for the
Statistics System) GLPC was approved on 4th
o Materials published by N.M.E.W. September, 2010. Mission Mangalam
(Ministry of Woman and Child is launched on the pattern of NRLM.
Development, Govt. of India). & UN- Under NRLM, every State is required
WOMEN., Newspapers & Books. to form its own State Livelihood
Purposive Sampling Mission and a dedicated structure to
implement the mission at the state
level. Mission Mangalam would be

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Gender Mainstreaming a Sine Qua Non for Sustainable Development 165

the State Livelihood Mission for Accounting and Internal Financial

Gujarat and GLPC would be its Management
implementing agency.
The district level office of GLPC
Mission Mangalam would adopt would be integrated with the DRDAs.
certain innovative state specific District Development Officer would be the
initiatives within the broader Chairperson of the District level Steering
framework of NRLM. committee of Mission Mangalam / GLPC.
The manpower structure at the district level
Institutional structure would be as below
Two-tier structure District Livelihood Manager

Mission Mangalam Advisory Council Expert in Social Mobilization and

Institutional Building
Gujarat Livelihood Promotion
Company GLPC has its offices at Expert in Micro Finance and
State level, District level, Taluka level Financial Inclusion
and Cluster level. The State level Expert in Agriculture & Dairy Sector
office would have broadly 11 verticals
Expert in Cottage Industries Services
reporting to the Managing Director.
Social Mobilization and Institution
Taluka Development Officer would be
the Chairperson of Taluka level Steering
Skill Training, Placement and Committee of Mission Mangalam / GLPC.
Capacity Building The manpower structure of GLPC at Taluka
Microfinance & Financial Inclusion level would be as under

MIS and IT system Management Taluka Livelihood Manager

Livelihood Promotion Agriculture & Assistant Taluka L i v e l i h o o d
Agro based sector Manager (Institution Building &
Livelihood Promotion Animal Microfinance)
Husbandry and Dairy Sector Assistant Taluka Livelihood Manager
Livelihood Promotion Cottage (Livelihood Interventions)
Industries Service Sector Salient objectives
Livelihood Promotion Horticulture Empower the Poor by organizing them
Marketing Interventions into SHGs/ Federations/other Collectives
H.R & Administration 250,000 Sakhi Mandals /SHGs to be
formed / strengthened, covering

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

166 Dinesh Kapadia

30 Lakh households, of which stabilize and immediate consumption

majority would be from within the needs are taken care of
BPL category.
Insurance on a group basis, for health
Follow a saturation approach by and life, crop, livestock and assets
ensuring inclusion of at least one
Micro Credit - for consumption needs,
member of every rural BPL
contingency needs and swapping of
Household into SHGs.
costlier loans from non-formal
20,000 Producer Groups to be formed banking sources
covering 10 Lakh poor households to
Livelihood Credit - for income-
provide access to Agriculture,
generation activity, dove-tailing it
Livestock and Non-Farm Business
and support services for income with existing subsidy schemes of
enhancement central and state governments.

Reviving the existing co-operatives / Thus, it can be asserted that both the
industrial co-operatives by market central Government and State Governments
driven approach through infusion of leave no stone unturned to bring about Socio-
microfinance, skill up gradation, economic transformation through various
technology up gradation and market measures.
commitments. However, periodical studies on
Form over 1,000 Cluster Federations implementation and its impact on the socio-
followed by Taluka, District and State economic conditions of the people in general
Federations of Sakhi Mandals / and women in particular are necessary to
Producer Groups to create enable the policy makers and role players of
empowerment. its implementation to make such schemes
really purposeful. The present study is an
Empower the poor through ensuring exercise in this direction.
access to Financial Services
Gujarat has approximately 2.14 lakh
Access to Banking - through no-frills
Sakhi Mandals with savings worth
accounts, in the name of the
Rs. 256.76 crores linkages built with
woman of the household Mission Mangalam for sustained
Payment Services - NREGS wages, economic development of members.
pensions and other social security A provision of 45 crore has been made
schemes towards 5% interest assistance on the
bank loan of 1122 crores (November
Remittances - from migrant family
members 2013).

Savings - once the above cash-flows

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Gender Mainstreaming a Sine Qua Non for Sustainable Development 167

The case studies depicting self reliant Case Study - II

and confident women Inroads in a male
Rekha Rasikbhai Valand is the
bastion: -
founder member of the sakhi mandal named
as jay yogeswar in Ambaliyara village,
Case Study - I
where she has been residing since her
Running a flour mill in a rural area is marriage in April 1988.At the time of her
marriage she had cleared her S.S.C. exam,
indubitably a male bastion. However, the
but her husband, despite being a primary
researcher and his team were pleasantly
school dropout, inspired her to pursue further
surprised to meet Meena Shah, the owner of
study and she completed H.SC. She
Mahalaxmi flour mill in a tiny village encouraged her two sons to pursue their
Ramos. study in Diploma in Engineering and
graduation in Science (B.Sc.), respectively.
Originally hailing from Maharashtra;
Not only has that she also inspired her
Meena came to this village after tying a daughter in law to study in Business
nuptial knot to a Gujarati man, about twenty Administration (B.B.A.)
years ago and she has become both a de facto
and a de jure Gujarati woman. She formed The researcher and his team found
SHG under the banner of Jay Ambe Sakhi during interactions with the family members
mandal and persuaded other women of her of Rekha that her active participation in the
village to make efforts to earn their Mission Maglam Scheme linked 16 Sakhi
mandals from 2012 onwards, transformed
livelihood through small business. She opted
her socio-economic status; nevertheless, she
to run a flour mill from last 15 years after
was associated with the SHG scheme and as
obtaining a small amount of loan through a
part of her domain as an A.W.W.-ICDS and
bank. Today, She herself operates the mill, She had founded some Sakhimandals in the
confidently deals with her clientele and earns year 2008.Every member of a SHG regularly
approximately RS 10,000 a month and not contributes 100-200 Rupees per Month as
only financially supports her family but also part of saving and in turn they can avail a
pays attention to her childrens education small loan with a nominal interest thereon.
with the result that her daughter is pursuing The rural women meet their minor social and
a post-graduation-(B.Ed.) and her son is an other encumbrances, out of the loan amount
under graduate student. Meena commands from SHG, which keeps their family out of
respect of both men and women of her the clutches of money lenders.
village and she is a source inspiration to all
Rekha approaches a bank manager
rural women.Meena Shahs is a classic
with oodles of confidence in connection with
example of woman empowerment through saving accounts of the members of the SHG
livelihood linkages. led by her and she regularly maintains

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

168 Dinesh Kapadia



Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Gender Mainstreaming a Sine Qua Non for Sustainable Development 169

accounts of all the SHGs.Thus, she has been villages, Khergam also conducts Gramsabha
associated with Sakhimandals for the last for discussing about the wellbeing and other
about 5 years and this activity has not only issues of the village. Among many topics
made herself economically self-reliant but discussed in the meeting, one topic for
also has enhanced her confidence. She discussion was about the employment and
triumphantly said to the researcher, livelihood schemes and its benefits for the
rural folk. During such discussions, Sakhi
I had not seen a bank before I was
mandal Scheme was emphasized with a
30 and I was virtually afraid of bank officials.
motto of spreading awareness among rural
However, after my association with SHGs,
BPL Women. Having been inspired with the
I have to frequently visit a bank and I
benefits of the Schemes launched by the
consider it my right to approach the Branch
Government, Saraswatiben, a resident of
Manager in case of a grievance; as he keeps
Khergam village motivated other local
our own money, as part of his official duty.
women residing near her house and formed
Rekha has herself availed a loan a group which was collectively named as
facility as a member of SHG and she earns Om Parmatma Sakhi Mandal. The group
extra money through animal husbandry opened a saving account in Bank of Baroda
and today she possesses two buffaloes, two in the same village and started their internal
cow and two calves. Happiness in Rekhas saving of Rs. 50 from each member.
family is palpable and it is beyond all doubts
They also qualified for the Revolving
attributable to her successful participation
fund of Rs. 5000/- and by this amount along
in SHGs linked with Mission Mangalam.
with the savings, they started internal
Jay Yogeshwar- SHG in Bayad, lendings. After looking into the progress and
consists of 10 members and each member financial situation of the group,
regularly deposits RS 100-200 every month, Saraswatiben thought of starting an
towards saving. This sakhimandal has economic activity which resulted into
received a loan from the local branch of formation of Om Parmatama Dairy center.
Dena Bank. The SHG members with whom The group started with the collection of 60
the researcher and his team mates interacted; liters milk. Gradually the collection of milk
were found to be full of confidence. rose to 350-400 liters per day which was sent
Case Study - III to a local cooperative dairy. The dairy used
to provide cattle fodder to the group on
A Success story of Khergam:- Block
monthly credit basis which was then
Chikali, Dist.- Navsari
deducted from the monthly income through
The village named Khergam is one of milk delivered to the dairy. The profit
the famous market areas of the Chikali Block amount is equally divided among the
of Navsari District. Majority of the members of the group providing them a
population of this village consists of decent livelihood platform. These women
Dhodiya- scheduled caste. Like other have now become economically empowered

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

170 Dinesh Kapadia

because of sustainable income and they Case Study - V

support their families too. A Saga of success- Lakshmi Mahila
Case Study - IV SHG of Dhumli Village
Lily Farming - A Success story Lakshmi Sakhi Mandal, one of the
pioneer women SHGs has contributed
In the age of Science and Technology, greatly to the erstwhile State sponsored
even today, Agriculture is the major source Sakhi Mandal Scheme.
of income. The profession of agriculture/ Lakshmi Sakhi Mandal comprises of
farming can become a profitable income 12 members all of whom belong to backward
generation activity by adopting new communities. Adversity brought them
techniques instead of following the old trend together and these strong willed women
of farming. Floriculture can bring a started a shop at the Gramhaat located at the
tremendous change in profit of the income. Tourist spot of Dhumli Village. The capital
The term farming has changed due to the for the shop was raised by utilizing the
innovative thoughts of the people. groups monthly savings which begun with a
The floriculture has changed the life per member contribution of Rs.100/-each.
of the eleven (11) members of Radhaswamy The shop sells items such as artifacts made
Sakhi Mandal living in Tarmaliya village of of China Clay (Chinai mitti), handicraft
Pardi Taluka. The members thought of items, cutlery, etc. These items are sourced
cultivating lily garden in the unused land of from nearby towns viz. Rajkot, Surendra-
their Leader of the group, Smt. Tinkal ben nagar & Junagadh. While a few members
Patel by taking the benefit of the Cash credit work at the shop, the others remain
of Rs. 1 lakh which they received after associated with daily wage work and agri-
joining the SHG group. All the women culture activities. The GramHaat shop which
members jointly did the farming like otherwise started as a leisure time activity for
removing weeds, sprinkling pesticides/ the members has now become an important
medicines, plough, watering etc. source of sustainable income for supporting
their families. One of the Members, Ms.
The idea of lily flower farming came Rekhaben says excitedly, As Tourism
in due to the tremendous demand of the grows, our Gramhaat will also progress. The
flower. They purchased 2000 saplings of lily Members of Lakshmi Mahila SHG have now
plants from their savings of Rs. 1500/- and become pillars for growth and sustainability
now harvesting is also completed. As the for the rest of their family members. In
leader has the knowledge of Horticulture. Bhanwad Taluka, more than 4400 women are
This lily cultivation has profitable income included in SHG who have saved Rs. 80
due to its demand and price in the market. lakhs and have done the internal landing of
The lily flowers are sold for Rs. 65/- per around Rs. 50 Lakhs and have proved to be a
bunch which provides them a lot of profit. supporting hand for their family.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Gender Mainstreaming a Sine Qua Non for Sustainable Development 171

concluded that the livelihood related

Major Findings and Observations
Schemes by the Centre and the State
There is a modicum of transformation have definitely resulted into economic
in the lifestyle of rural women and empowerment of the rural women; at
elevation in the socio-economic status least to some extent despite certain
of rural women who are members of bottlenecks in implementation at
S.H.G.s under Mission Mangalam ground level and reported decline in
N.R.L.M. is indeed visible. number of S.H.G.s in some parts of
the country.
Rural women have become
economically self-reliant at least to Limitation of the present study
some extent and they are able to The researcher could not widen the
provide support to their family. universe of the study due to time constrain
It has provided them an exposure to and therefore a need is felt for an depth study
the World outside their family; covering as many districts of Gujarat as
resulting into awareness on their basic possible to get a clear picture of acceptability
rights and importance of providing and fruitfulness of Mission Mangalam
education to their children; both boys scheme in Gujarat. However, a few case
and girls. studies shown above are the concrete
The rural women have of late started examples of growing awareness on women
understanding significance of small empowerment in the rural areas of Gujarat.
saving and availability of loan for Acknowledgement
earning livelihood.
The researcher ought to acknowledge
The Governments policy to provide valuable support and timely help in
subsidy on interest of a loan under undertaking this study within a short time,
Mission Mangalam has encouraged by the following colleagues working at
the rural women to be part of S.H.G.s G.R.C. / S.R.C.W. - Gujarat, under NMEW.
and to earn livelihood on their own,
Ms Bijal Bangdiwala Research Officer
nevertheless, it is difficult and
somewhat cumbersome to obtain a Mr Gaurav Thakker Asst. State Coordinator
loan from a bank whose prime Ms Himali Joshi Asst. State Coordinator
concern is recovery. It can be Ms Mita Patel Gender Resource Officer
Case Studies - III to V, Source-,
GOI (1991). Census of India Report. New Delhi.
GOI. (2001). Census of India Report. New Delhi.
GOI. (2011). Census of India Report. New Delhi.
Mander H.(2012). Ash in the Belly : Indias Unfinished Battle against Hunger. New Delhi: Penguin

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Neelima Deshmukh*

Introduction Governance & NPM tenets apart from

various gender sensitisation programmes to
In order to achieve the Millennium
advocate gender equality are the basic
Development Goals for all practical
parameters of the empowerment selected for
purposes various tailor made programmes
meeting the ensured Millennium
have been designed, introduced &
Development Goals and results have been
implemented to achieve the welfare
very encouraging and visible contributing
objectives for women empowerment and
substantially to the cause of MDG.
gender sensitisation in Indian society. India
being one of the signatories to this treaty it Although engendering development is
has started focussed efforts in that direction. now a days much spoken topic for everyone.
yet there seems to be a less than adequate
As per the objectives & goals of
understanding of the basic concepts and the
millennium development are concerned,
issues involved in this crucial development
poverty alleviation, education for all, gender
dialogue .It is now widely accepted fact that
issues & women empowerment programmes
in India despite many spectacular advances
have been given the priority. So far as
in different sectors there remains an
Maharashtra govt. is concerned it has tried
undeniable gap between men and women
its best to address the issues of capacity
regarding their political, economic, and the
building of women in real sense, which
social conditions. referring to Indian
include their financial capacity building
conditions Dreze and Sen wrote : Inequality
through the huge successful network of self
between men and women is one of the
help groups, political capacity building by
crucial disparities in many societies and this
their inclusion in the decision making
is particularly so in India *1 Further Martha
process through the constitutional
Nussbaums classics- Women and Human
amendment representation / 50% reservation
Development: The Capabilities Approach -
to women in local governments, various
which starts with the startling Statement :
facilities & introduction of right to education
women in much of the world lack support
act, efforts to stop dropout rate of girl
for the fundamental functions of human life
students and quality education to women,
Referring to India Nussbaum observes
streamlining and simplifying the rules &
even when they (Women) live in
regulations of the administration taking it to
constitutional democracy such as India,
the doors of the citizen through e -
where they are equal in theory, they are
* Director, Centre for Womens Studies & Development & Head, PG. Deptt. of Public Administration & Local
Govt., RTM Nagpur University, Nagpur, India
Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 173

second class citizens in reality.*2 In this developing countries which uses more
context the following comment from holistic perspectives and recognises the
UNDPs landmark Human Development importance of social, economic, and political
Report 1997 is worth quotation: A Creative factors in womens lives. A complimentary
commitment to gender equality will stream of thought and movement much
strengthen every area of action to reduce the broader in scope and more radical in spirits
poverty because women can bring new emerged in 1990 known as DAWN :
energy , new insights and the new basis for Development Alternatives with women for
the organisation *3 New Era. Third World Womens Pers-
pectives became little blue bible of the
To enable the inclusion of women in
womens movement for the years to come.
development process, women oriented
DAWNs analysis focussed on the ways that
policies were needed with the ambition to
the growth oriented macro economics, neo
enhance womens efficiency and
colonial international relations, militarism
consequently advance the economic
connect and perpetuate the marginalisation
development. This required improvements
of women in the developing world. This
in the access to the education, training,
platform injected womens movement with
property, and credit to be able to improve
macro economics and perspective and
and facilitate the possibility of the
initiated the conceptual change from women
employment. Women were supposed to be
in Development to Gender and
integrated in often in the activities those were
specific for women and they were viewed
only as a passive recipients. The WID III) Policy Planning and
approach increased womens income , Mainstreaming
improved their health, strengthened their
Gender concerns need to be integrated
resources in short term but the sustainability
with the overall development policies of
faltered as because it disregarded unequal
public authorities at all levels of the
relations between men and women. The
governance. Attempts are now being made
focus on the women in development thereby
to reposition the entire governance system
tended to be blind to the roles and
in each country to have practical reflections
responsibilities of men regarding womens
of gender concerns in the overall governing
position in society. This confirmed to liberal
system of different nations. The
feminist position as it was less concerned
Governments in particular and other
about empowerment or bringing about the
prominent major organisations like The
radical changes in the position of women in
World Bank, UNDP, etc are seeking to
advance the equity and equality through
II) Gender As a Development Issue : mainstreaming of gender in development ,
Another approach emerged from the grass planning, budgeting, project planning and
roots of organisations and feminists from the implementation Gender mainstreaming

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

174 Neelima Deshmukh

requires that the gender be brought in to the have the vision of the types of roles,
centre of discussions about development and responsibilities, relationships, that it wants
not marginalised as womens issue*4 thus to see in the country for men and women,
gender mainstreaming makes the gender girls and boys, and design fund and
central to all aspects of Development implement policies and programmes to move
planning and practices. Broadly it refers to towards the goals. Therefore more emphasis
the application of the gender perspectives be placed on introducing and implementing
to all legal, social norms and standards, to the gender responsive budgeting at all
all policy development research, Planning, levels, particularly in the local government
advocacy, development, implementation and institutions which practically ensures the
monitoring as mandatory for all the benefits are reaching to those for whom they
participatory institutions and agencies. are meant. The budget is the most important
Womens empowerment through gender policy instrument of the government because
mainstreaming is expected to bring about no other policy will work without money.
overall societal development by addressing As such the government budget can be a
the gender inequalities in all aspects of the powerful tool in transforming our
development across all sectors and country which should be precisely
programmes especially in decision making designed to address the needs of the
structures at all government levels. Policies women in particular.
and programmes are seldom gender neutral, IV) Millennium Development Goals : A
in fact as Elson(1999) contends: gender path to the Developed Nation
neutral policies are often gender blind.*5
At the millennium summit 2000 the 189
Since gender based differences and
member states of united nations made
discrimination are built into entire
commitment to the Millennium Declaration
socioeconomic political fabric of almost all
to achieve 8 goals now termed as Millennium
the societies and a gender neutral policy is
Development Goals(MDGs) ranging from
bound to reach and benefit the men more
elimination of poverty & hunger
than women unless concerted efforts are
to elimination of HIV /AIDS ,Malaria etc
made to correct gender based discrimination
which includes goal3 as a commitment to
to implement those policies.. Therefore the
promote Gender equality and women
government needs to think about both gender empowerment at large.
and sex while making policies and allocating
the budgets to implement them. In respect In order to achieve the Millennium
of sex the government needs to have ensure Development Goals for all practical
that programmes and policies are available purposes various tailor made programmes
and adequately financed to address the have been designed, introduced &
different biological needs of women, men implemented to achieve the welfare
including child bearing for women. In objectives for women empowerment and
respect of gender the government needs to gender sensitisation in Indian society. India

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 175

Table 1: Eight Goals of MDG with their 12 time bound targets relevant to India

Source: Millennium Development Goals India Country Report 2011 : Economic Survey of
Maharashtra 2012-13)

being one of the signatories to this treaty it commitments to the Primary

has started focussed efforts in that direction. Education.
Further to ensure that MDG3 is met by time 2) Guarantee sexual and reproductive
bound year 2015the task force has identified health and Rights.
seven strategic priorities which are
3) Invest in Infrastructure to reduce
interdependent and minimum necessary to
women & Girls time burden and
empower the women and alter the historical
legacy of female disadvantage that exists in
most societies of the world. 4) Guarantee women & Girls property
and inheritance Rights.
A) Desired Strategic Priorities:
5) Eliminate gender inequality in
1) Strengthen the opportunities for the employment by decreasing womens
post primary education for the girls reliance on informal employment,
while simultaneously meeting closing the gender gaps in earnings,

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

176 Neelima Deshmukh

and reducing occupational meeting the ensured Millennium

segregation. Development Goals and results have been
6) Increase Womens Share of seats at very encouraging and visible contributing
national, state, local level respectively substantially to the cause of MDG.
in Parliament, State Assembly, and
local government bodies like
Municipal Corporation, and
Panchayati Raj Institutions which are
Maharashtra is the second largest state in
the institutions of Governance at
India both in terms of population and
Urban & Rural areas.
geographical area (3.08 lakh sq. km.). The
7) Combat Violence against the girls & State has a population of around 11 crore
women. (Census 2011) which is 9.3 per cent of the
As per the objectives & goals of millennium total population of India. The State is highly
development are concerned, poverty urbanised with 45 per cent people residing
alleviation, education for all, gender issues in urban areas.Maharashtra occupies the
& women empowerment programmes have western and central part of the country and
been given the priority. So far as has a long coastline stretching nearly 720
Maharashtra govt. is concerned it has tried kilometers along the Arabian Sea.
its best to address the issues of capacity
building of women in real sense, which The State has 35 districts which are divided
include their financial capacity building into six revenue divisions viz. Konkan, Pune,
through the huge successful network of self Nashik, Aurangabad, Amravati and Nagpur
help groups, political capacity building by for administrative purposes. The State has a
their inclusion in the decision making long tradition of having statutory bodies for
process through the constitutional planning at the district. For local self-
amendment representation / 50% reservation governance in rural areas, there are 33 Zilla
to women in local governments, various Parishads, 351 Panchayat Samitis and
facilities & introduction of right to education 27,906 Gram Panchayats. The urban areas
act, efforts to stop dropout rate of girl are governed through 23 Municipal
students and quality education to women, Corporations, 221 Municipal Councils, 5
streamlining and simplifying the rules & Nagar Panchayats and 7 Cantonment Boards.
regulations of the administration taking it to Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and the
the doors of the citizen through e - financial capital of India, houses the
Governance & NPM tenets apart from headquarters of most of the major corporate
various gender sensitisation programmes to & financial institutions. Indias main stock
advocate gender equality are the basic exchanges & capital market and commodity
parameters of the empowerment selected for exchanges are located in Mumbai.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 177

Table 2: Maharashtra State Demographic Details

Source : RGI

The gross state domestic product (GSDP) at progress of key development indicators. As
current prices for 2010-11 is estimated at per India Human Development Report, 2011
10,68,327 crore and contributes about 14.9 Human Development Index of India is 0.467
per cent of the GDP. The GSDP has been and State ranks 3rd in the country with
growing at a rapid pace over the last few Human Development Index of 0.572.*1
years. Presently industrial and services Among major states, Kerala ranks first in
sector both together contribute about 87 per Human Development Index (HDI) followed
cent of the States domestic product. The by Punjab and Maharashtra.
agriculture & allied activities sector
contributes 13 per cent to the States income. The State is well known for its
Maharashtra is the most industrialized state. administrative acumen and innovative ideas
The State is pioneer in Small Scale which is first State to implement womans
Industries. The State continues to attract policy and engendering the budget by
industrial investments from both, domestic establishing separate Woman & Child
as well as foreign institutions. It has become Development Department. It is pioneer in
a leading automobile production hub and a implementing its Employment Guarantee
major IT growth centre. It boasts of the Scheme which is replicated by the
largest number of special export promotion Government of India. Maharashtra is not just
zones. a geographical expression but an entity built
on collective efforts of its people. Natural
Progress on Human Development Index is as well as cultural diversities have helped in
often depicted as a benchmark of a states the development of a unique Marathi culture.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

178 Neelima Deshmukh

Table 3: Depicts the Human Development index of Maharashtra states and India.

Health Income Education HDI Health Income Education HDI

State Index Index Index 1999- Index Index Index 2007-
2000 1999- 1999- 2000 2008 2007- 2007- 08
2000 2000 2008 08
India Health Income Education 0.387 Health0. Income Education
0.497 0.223 0.442 563 0.271 00.568 0.467
Maharashtra 0.601 0.297 0.606 0.501 0.650 0.351 0.715 0.57

Source: IHDR 2011 :Economic Survey of Maharashtra 2012-13

A) State Human Development Report considering taluka as a unit for human

development and 125 talukas have
- The State published its first Human
been identified for this purpose. For
Development Report - Maharashtra
the implementation of the human
(MHDR) in 2002 using following
development programmes in these
talukas, GoM has budgeted 425 crore
Longevity in terms of Infant Mortality (375 crore under General Plan and 50
Rate (IMR). crore under SCSP) for 2011-12, of
which expenditure of 255 crore was
Knowledge in terms of Literacy Rate
incurred. For the year 2012-13, GoM
and Mean Years of Schooling.
has budgeted 359 crore( 354 crore
Economic attainment in terms of Per under General Plan and 5 crore under
Capita District Domestic Product. SCSP) of which, upto January, 2013,
HDIs were computed for each of the districts expenditure of 68 crore has been
using index of deprivation method. The State incurred.
HDI was 0.58. Gadchiroli had the lowest - Action plan for the implementation of
HDI (0.21). various schemes is designed taking
B) Maharashtra Human Development into consideration the individuality of
Mission the talukas. These programmes will
be implemented in the selected talukas
- To improve the HDI of 12 most by Maharashtra Human Development
backward districts identified in Commissionerate. Physical progress
MHDR, the Government has (upto January, 2013) of various
constituted Maharashtra Human schemes implemented is as follows:
Development Mission in June, 2006.
Special classes are conducted for
- The GOM has decided to broaden the
students who have failed in Std X and
base of human development by

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Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 179

Std XII. During 2012-13, out of training of 11,752 youths is in

47,015 students enrolled, 31,045 progress.
students appeared for the examination During 2012-13, required equipments
and 6,912 students cleared the have been provided to 17,137
examination. beneficiaries to implement kitchen
Solar lights, furniture and books were garden scheme via Self-Help Groups
provided to newly commenced 2,472
C) Millennium Development Goals :
libraries in the secondary schools of
Targets and Achievements
the villages.
About 625 buses were provided for -The Millennium Declaration adopted eight
rural girls to travel from villages to development goals, the targets of which have
school. Around 70,347 girls from to be achieved by 2015. The eight Millenium
4,935 villages were ferried across Development Goals (MDG) with their 12
1,928 schools. time bound targets relevant to India are given
in Table 2 and for the state of Maharashtra
Of the 3,435 approved laboratories to
in Table 3.
be setup in the Secondary / Higher
Secondary Government / aided D) Human Development in the XII
schools, apparatus were provided to FYP : Focus on Social sector
3,322 laboratories. -The XII FYP lays special emphasis on the
Established 113 Bal Bhavan science development of social sectors in view of their
centres at taluka level. impact on human development and quality
Coverage of Kasturba Gandhi Balika of life, especially of the under privileged
Vidyalaya was increased to Std. X and sections. It is proposed to attract resources
approval to construct 31 such schools from the private sector to ensure that targets,
has been granted. in physical and financial terms, are met by
the end of the XII FYP period.
Organised 12,084 camps through 615
primary health centres and 7,92,642 Social sector plays a significant role in a
beneficiaries viz., pregnant women, developing and emerging economy.
mothers and 0-6 month infants were Inclusive growth and faster development of
provided the health check-up and social sector will accelerate removal of
medication during 2012-13. disparities. Substantial progress has been
About 79,057 SC/ ST / BPL women made by the State in the development of this
were provided post-natal leave wages sector. Investments in education play a key
role in meeting the social development
during 2012- 13.
objectives that support inclusive growth.
During 2012-13, around 16,407 rural Good governance and qualitative services
youths have been trained in business through public participation will provide
skills to enable self employment and best results in the social sector development.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

180 Neelima Deshmukh

1) Livelihood sources: of December, 2011, 7.89 lakh women from

12,243 villages were participating in 61,072
The State Government has announced
SHGs. The total savings of these women was
Mahila Aarthik Vikas Mahamandal
about 176 crore and the total internal loan
(MAVIM) as an apex body for various
was 493 crore. Loan received from various
development schemes promoted by the
banks to SHGs was 384 crore. Tejaswini,
Central and State Government. It acts as a
Maharashtra Rural Women Empowerment
liasoning between SHGs, financial
Programme is being implemented in the
institutions, voluntary organizations and the
State since July, 2007 with the help of
concerned Government departments.
International Fund on Agricultural
For economic empowerment, it is necessary Development for social, political and
for a woman to have access to and control economic empowerment of poor women.
over productive resources and to ensure The scheme up to 31st December, 2011 also
some degree of financial autonomy. aimed at womens individual and collective
Congregation of women plays a dominant progress through SHGs. Since inception
role in women empowerment. SHG is a good 27,813 SHGs have been formed with
medium to congregate women. By the end 3,68,822 members.

Table 4: Number of women SHGs and members therein (as on 31st December, 2011)

Source : MAVIM, GoM SGSY Swarnajayanty Gram Swarojgar Yojana SCSP- Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan
TSP- Tribal Sub-Plan RSY Ramai Mahila Sakshamikaran Yojana MSN Mahila Swavalamban Nidhi.

2) Education: for social and economic transformation. Use

of technologies in the delivery of education
Education is the key parameter for services and promotion of technological
inclusive growth and is the key instrument

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Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 181

interventions in this sector is likely to have why so many girls do not attend school is
a significant impact not only on the quality because of their workload, both within and
of education services but also on its outside the household. Daughters are often
accessibility to the rural poor, in particular kept at home to help the family because the
the disadvantaged sections of the society. social and economic value of educating girls
Access to quality basic education will reduce is not recognized. It is a little known fact
the social and regional disparities, so as to that among the worlds exploited child
achieve balanced growth and development. workers, girls outnumber boys. Without
Right of children to free and compulsory access to education, girls are denied the
Education (RTE) Act, 2009 will facilitate knowledge and skills needed to advance their
children to demand eight years of quality status.
elementary education. During 2010-11, the
expenditure incurred by State on education 2.1 School Education
was 2.9 per cent of GSDP. Elementary education, consisting of
The enrolment figures in schools, for primary and upper primary is the foundation
girls are comparatively lower than those for of the pyramid in the education system and
that of boys indicating that many girls do is well established in the State through the
not get enrolled in schools. Thirty four Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The
percent of girls drop out before they programme of Universalisation of Primary
complete Class 5. One of the major reasons Education requires that the facilities should

Table 5: Educational Institutions and enrolment therein

(Teachers and enrolment in 000)

Source: Directorate of Primary Education, As per 8th All India Education Survey Economic Survey of
Maharashtra 2011-12

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

182 Neelima Deshmukh

be available within walking distance of 1.5 above the national average, in blocks
km. from the residence of the students. To of districts having at least 5 per cent
implement this policy, grants are being SC/ST population & where SC/ST
disbursed to the Zilla Parishads. Table 5 female literacy is below 10 per cent
gives details of schools and enrolment and in selected urban slums. It gives
therein for 2010-11 and 2011-12. emphasis on improving access to
quality education to upper primary
2.2 Girls Education: level girls from SC, ST, OBC,
minority & BPL families residing in
Education of girls has been a high
EBBs through innovative
priority of the Government. Gender
programmes like vocational training,
disparities persist in enrolment of girls,
life skill development, early
especially in rural areas and among
childhood care and education, etc.
disadvantaged groups. The disparity is more
acute in the enrolment of SC and ST, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya
especially at upper primary level. The (KGBV) : This scheme was launched
decision of the State Government to provide in 2004 for setting up residential
free education to girls up to Class XII, has schools at upper primary level with
proved to be a boon for the promotion of an objective to ensure access and
girls education. quality education for out of school
girls belonging to SC, ST, OBC and
The need to encourage all girls to enrol in
minority families from EBBs. In 10
school and to retain them in the school
districts of State 43 KGBVs are
system is imperative as education not only
operational with capacity of 100 girls
improves the worth and self esteem of the
girl child but also enables her to become an
economically productive woman and delays Attendance Allowance Scheme: In
her marriage age. Some of the schemes that order to reduce the drop out rate of
are being implemented for the promotion of the girls studying, in Primary Schools,
girls education are : the State Government introduced
Attendance Allowance Scheme in
National Programme for Education of January, 1992. Under this scheme `
Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL) One per day and maximum ` 220 is
: The Government of India launched paid to the parents of the girl studying
NPEGEL to promote girls education. in standards I to IV with attendance
NPEGEL provides additional more than 75 per cent of working days
resources in Educationally Backward in an academic year. It covers all girls
Blocks (EBB) where the level of rural from Tribal Sub Plan Area, and those
female literacy is less than the belonging to SC, ST & BPL families
national average & the gender gap is in other areas.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 183

Ahilyabai Holkar Scheme: This Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan: Since

scheme is being implemented in the inception (2001-02) Sarva Shiksha
State since 1996-97 to provide free Abhiyan has made considerable
travel concession to girl students. progress in universalization of
Under this scheme, girls from the rural elementary education (UEE) by
areas studying in standards V to X are providing elementary education to
provided free travel in buses run by children in the age group 6-14 years.
Maharashtra State Road Transport It aims to bridge all gender and social
Corporation to attend school, if school category gaps at primary stage with
facility is not available in their village. focus on elementary education of
satisfactory quality.

Table 6 : schools under coverage of SSA and enrolment Details of beneficiaries under
schemes mentioned above .Schemes implemented for girls education ( in lakh)

Table 7 : Performance of the scheme for last five years

Source : DISE-2010-11

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

184 Neelima Deshmukh

Inclusive Education of Disabled in local self institutions. Fifty per cent

programme is being implemented in the State reservation for women is also applicable for
to ensure quality education to Children With the posts of Chairman of Zilla Parishads,
Special Needs (CWSN) in normal set up Sabhapati of Taluka Panchayats and
with normal peer group, to integrate them Sarpanch of Grampanchayats in the State.
socially and to progress emotionally. This Analysis of trends of womens participation
programme includes identification and to contest elections to the State Legislatures
medical assessment of CWSN, providing indicate that there is a gender discrimination
rehabilitation & educational support services which is responsible for poor representation
like Braille book, spectacles, hearing aids of women in India. Womens role in decision
making is one of the most important

& appliances, speech trainer, etc. During questions for consideration in the movement
2011-12, up to February 2012, in all 3.86 for their empowerment. The 73 rd and 74 th
lakh children were benefitted and total Amendments(1992) to the Indian
expenditure of ` 59.55 crores was incurred. Constitution have served as a major
3) Participation in Political Decision breakthrough towards ensuring womens
Making : equal access and increased participation in
political power structures. This Amendment
Although Indian women played a
provided for reservation of one third of seats
major role in the freedom movement, it did
for women at level of local governance in
not translate into continued participation of
rural-urban areas. There is also a one-third
women in public life in the post-
reservation for women for posts of
independence era. The Central Government
chairpersons of these local bodies. This
has decided to provide one-third reservation
amendment has initiated a powerful strategy
for women in local self institutions.
of affirmative action for providing the
However, the State Government has
structural framework for womens
extended this reservation up to 50 per cent
participation in political decision-making

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 185

and provided an opportunity to bring women base of womens participation in politics at

to be forefront and centre of city city level. Limits and constraints
development and develop new grass-root that prevent women from participating
level leadership. There are about 1 million equally with men in formal and informal
elected women representatives in forums. Involvement of women in the
Panchayats and Municipal Bodies in India. political arena and in decision-making roles
After 1993, womens participation in local is an important tool for empowerment as well
governments increased quite radically, with as monitoring standards of political
the enactment of the legislation providing performance at local level. However, in the
33 percent reservation of seats for women present political process of entry into
in local bodies. The legislation and its decision making political institutions, there
implementation have added another level in is growing influence of money and muscle
political participation. Reservation of seats power, backroom dealings, communalisation
for women in Panchayats/Municipal bodies and criminalisation. In many respects
have shown that it has tremendous women and men elected representatives face
implications, not merely in terms of the similar problems on election to office. Above
number of women entering the public arena all there is a need to understand just how to
and holding public office, but also in terms be a good local politician. The role of
of the social, economic and political impact political representatives at local level is
that these reservations have had for the total demanding and all new recruits need time
system. It is for these reasons that women to gain experience and to understand the
are increasingly demanding political roles rules, regulations and procedures governing
for themselves. They recognise that the administrative bureaucracy with which
constitutional guarantees do not ensure they now have to work often quite closely
effective participation and that these cannot in the urban service delivery system.
ensure political equality. Hence the need to
3.1 Some of the major constraints that
gain entry into political institutions and in
prevent women from effective
the functioning of the state, and to share
participation at local level are as
control over the power the state exercises.
This alone would lead to a situation where
women are able to reverse the existing 1. Lack of orientation / training in urban
situation, which has consistently been development issues and municipal
against their interests, and bring about the administration. India Report
necessary changes in policy and the social
structure so as to ensure a more equitable 2. No proper knowledge / orientation
and humane order. This is of great about municipal acts and rules and
significance, since this grass-root level regulations.
participation has considerably broadened the 3. No prior experience about dealing

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

186 Neelima Deshmukh

with multidimensional urban local governance :

development issues / civic issues and
its complexities. Reservation for women in local
government is not just a question of getting
4. Lack of knowledge about technical in- a certain number in; it also develops their
puts related to urban service delivery capacities to play their rightful roles in the
system. development process and makes an
important difference as the local
5. Lack of support from senior male/ governments deals mostly with the quality
female colleagues in the party/ of life for citizens. Municipal responsibilities
municipal body. relate both to womens practical needs and
6. Less co-operation from municipal their strategic needs. The better we meet
officials understanding about various womens strategic needs, the better they are
facets of the budget, such as allocation able to contribute to good city governance.
of budget at ward level (at central / Good Local Governance, in turn, enables a
ward level). better response to womens practical needs.
Most local governments have initiated
7. Lack of party support and poor orientation / training programmes to
organisational structure. encourage women to participate in local
governance by organising city-specific
8. Lack of money and resources to
induction or theme-based training
sustain the electoral campaigns
programmes, wherein intensive training is
(inspite of code of conduct by election
given in various subject areas, such as,
municipal acts and its implementation, laws
9. Discrimination in decision making at of meetings, municipal budgeting, budgeting
party level. at ward level, municipal taxation,
mobilisation of resources, urban service
10. Specific notions towards politics and delivery systems (solid waste management,
political atmosphere. water supply, sewerage, health care services,
11. Fear and insecurity. traffic and transportation), poverty
alleviation schemes, community
12. Lack of confidence in public management, environment management,
speaking. shelter programmes, new reforms in
13. Criminalisation of politics and use of municipal administration, functioning of
money power. ward committees, motivation techniques,
communication skills, women and
14. Family responsibilities.
development, handling the media etc
3.2 Local government initiatives to participation in elected bodies should not be
encourage women to participate in undervalued. . A very active role for women

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 187

in local governance is envisaged as This will one of the important

compared to governance at the state and components of the scheme. Unless the
national levels in India. These provisions outdated beliefs and customs, which go
have provided great opportunities and against girl child, are changed it would be
challenges to women in India. The challenge difficult to achieve improvement in the
now is to transform this large presence of nutritional status of the girl child. This would
women at local government level supported be achieved by involving the panchayats in
by the real delegation of power and improving the awareness levels of the
responsibilities. Womens role in decision community. Also the community will be
making is one of the most important question involved in the supervision of the
for consideration in the movement for their programme. Sensitization programmes for
empowerment. The Ministry of Urban the parents and the panchayat members
Development, Government of India and would be taken up.
Urban Development Department of State 2) Research and creation of database:
Governments organise a number of training
programmes, workshops, seminars for Growth monitoring charts similar to
women elected representatives at local level the ones used for child growth monitoring
through various training institutions. Many would be developed for adolescent girls.
municipal bodies have initiated a series of ICMR would be requested to take up this
in-house training in municipal assignment. Besides a database about
administration and urban development, in adolescents and the problems confronting
collaboration with premier training them would be developed.
institutions in India. State governments 3) Role of Panchayats and Municipal
through their State Training Centres organise Corporation:
capacity building programmes for women
elected members from municipal bodies in PRIs would be involved in
their States. Special training / orientation supervising the implementation of the
programmes are organised by Ministry of programme. PRIs are expected to provide
Urban Development and Poverty funds for activities of the Balika Mandals.
Alleviation, Government of India under the Additional Honararia to the AWC: Because
UNICEF assistance and governments funds of the increased workload the AWW and the
in the area of poverty alleviation schemes AWH would be provided an additional
and its implementation in urban areas (e.g. honoraria of Rs 300 and Rs 150 p.m.
SJSRY, NSDP, etc.) important questions for respectively.
their movement in the employment. 4) Gender Responsive Budgets and
Suggestions: Gender Budgets: A Must for MDG
1) Community involvement and
Awareness Generation: Efforts to analyse the national and
local budgets have been growing since last

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

188 Neelima Deshmukh

few decades and refers to the method of the highest proportion of its total expenditure
looking at the budget formulation process in GB Statement followed by Department
budgetary policies and budget outlays from of Health and Family Welfare and
the gender lens.* 6 Gender budget with Department of School Education and
regards to government does not refer to Literacy at the centre but at the local
separate budget for women rather it is an government institutions level of various
analytical tool which scrutinises the districts, DPDC plans does not reflect its
government budget to reveal its gender inclusion at the appropriate levels and extent
differentiated impact and advocate for the which is the present need of the hour. The
greater priorities for the programmes and urban and rural District Agencies such as
schemes to address the gender based Panchayati Raj Institutions, Municipal
disadvantages faced by the women. Further Corporations can play very effective and
the gender budgeting is concerned not only successful role in capacity building of
with the public expenditure but also with the women through their SHG networks, BPL,
gender differentiated impact of revenue APL beneficiaries in particular while
mobilisation by the govt. In fact it is an enhancing their livelihood opportunities
approach not confined to Govt. Budgets through Pro Poor welfare schemes.
alone but also includes analysing various Conclusion :
socio economic policies from the gender
perspectives. The objective for the XII th Plan
should be to holistically empower the girl
In 2004, Ministry of Women & Child child in all aspects so that she can become
Development (MWCD) recognised Gender an equal partner with boys on the road to
Budgeting as a tool for women development and progress. This requires
empowerment and as a way of addressing addressing the various constraints /persisting
the observed inequality. The MCWD problems facing the girl child. Towards this
adopted and Departments to submit a report end, the strategy and action laid out in the
of Budgeting for Gender Equity as a mission National Plan of Action for Children,2005
statement, framed the strategic framework will be given priority and attention with
of the activities to implement this mission focus on her survival, protection and
which is disseminated to all Ministries & wellbeing. Special importance will be
Departments of Government of India. accorded to ensuring all girl children the
Ministry of Finance mandated all ministries right to life and liberty, and to upholding
to establish Gender Budgeting Cells by their dignity and security in family and
January 2005, asked 18 Ministries and society, with utmost attention to their right
Departments to submit the report to equality and social justice.
highlighting the budgetary allocations for
women. Out of which as expected Ministry Maharashtra Government needs to focus
of Women and Child Development reports its attention on the challenges like :

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Millennium Development Goals Achievements ... Problems and Prospects 189

1) Pro women policy designs 8) Moral support and motivation to carry

2) Formulation and implementation of on the business of the House, rather
Gender Budgeting than proxy performance and
conducive working environment for
3) Appropriate vigorous training
women at large.
programmes to be conducted
seriously followed by refresher Special measures are required for this
courses. purpose to protect the girl childs prospects
of survival and security, from conception to
4) More gender sensitisation
birth, in her early years, and throughout the
programmes at the officials-non
period of her childhood. Both child
official level
development and primary health services
5) Using sex-disaggregated data for must be on alert to address these challenges,
policy and programme formulation. and the community must be motivated to
Collection of gender segregated data play a protective role. The focus should be
at the local govt. institutional level. on four Es- equality, education, enabling
6) Massive computerisation environment and empowerment so that she
programmes for the specialised is provided with equal opportunity for
training. survival and development, protected against
7) Wide coverage to the livelihood neglect and abuse, and offered the enabling
programmes specially for women who means to develop to their full potential, and
are APL and above lead a productive and healthy life.

Anand, S. Sen, A. (1995). Gender inequity in human development: theories and measurement,
Occasional paper 19, paper prepared for the Human Development Report, UNDP , New York
: Cambridge University Press.
Das, S. et al (2006). Gender Budgeting study of West Bengal, Development and Planning Department
Government of West Bengal, 1.
Elson, D. (1999). Gender Budgeting Initiative, background papers, Commonwealth Secretariat, 3.
Ester, B.(1970). Womans Role in Economic Development, London : Earth scan.
Friedrich E. S. (FES). (1992). Women in Politics: Forms and Processes.
Jean D., Sen, A. (1996). India : Economic Development and Social Opportunity. Delhi : Oxford
University Press.
GOI (undated). Working Group on Development of Children for the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-
2012)- A Report. New Delhi.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Sunita Nambiyar*

The Self Help Group is considered as were even elected as gram pradhans (heads
a viable organization of the rural poor of the local government at the village or
particularly women, who are the small town level) in 170 out of
marginalized groups of our society due to 669 panchayats 2 in villages. In those
socio-economic constraints in the rural areas. operations, the country programme
SHG works for delivering micro credit, in evaluation also found unequivocal advances
order to undertake entrepreneurial activities. in the self-confidence and assertiveness of
It is undoubtedly necessary vehicle for the self-help group members. In the Tamil Nadu
purpose of improving economic status of Womens Development Project, 50 per cent
women, protecting their relevance to and of women self-help group members reported
significance in the society and above all, that, for the first time in their lives, they had
effectively implementing the employment visited new places and travelled long
support practices of the government. distances, while 90 per cent had interacted
with institutions such as banks, NGOs and
Self-help groups are generally project agencies. The impact study on the
facilitated by NGOs, and increasingly advise Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh Project reveal
and train members in a variety of on- and that access to finance through group savings
off-farm income-generating activities. and lending to members had allowed women
Indeed, in a number of recent projects, to become increasingly involved in
NGOs were substituted by trained economic activities such as the collection
facilitators and animators drawn from self- and sale on local markets of non-timber
help groups. Through promoting self-help forest products. However, the study also
groups, IFAD-funded projects have noted that greater effectiveness would have
contributed to improving the overall status been achieved if the project had stressed
of women in terms of income, value-addition and promoted market
empowerment, welfare, etc. linkages.
In the Rural Womens Development The Study
and Empowerment Project, for example, 90
per cent of the beneficiaries reported This paper brings out a study
increased access to and control over conducted to know about the different
resources such as land, dwellings and aspects of Self Help Groups attending the
livestock. Under the Livelihood Saras Mela, 2013 at Vadodara. The weeklong
Improvement Project in Himalayas, women event was organized by Gujarat Livelihood
self-help group members in Uttarakhand Promotion Company Limited inviting people

* Professor, Faculty of Social Work, The M. S. University of Baroda, Gujarat, India

Email :
Self Help Group A Medium of Empowerment 191

from different parts of India. There were Data Collection

different people who put up their stalls like
working for a Self Help Group, Interview Session
businessman, NGOs, etc. A small session with the members of
Students of Faculty of Social Work, Self Help Group was conducted to interact
M.S. University of Baroda carried two days and discuss the different aspects related to
survey where the participants of the event the survey conducted by the students of FSW
were interviewed to know about their and also to know about their growth in their
functioning and their struggle before career.
achieving the success in present.
Significance Of The Study Questionnaires were filled by the
The study was conducted to analyze respondents present in the SarasMela, 2013.
about the Self Help Groups in the Saras The questionnaire covered various aspects
Mela, 2013. The study focused on the related to their life, earning, family, etc...
development of the Self Help Group
members after joining their respective group Objective of the study:
and to find the changes in the members in
To study and analyze the development
terms of monetary gains, skill development,
of the Self Help Group members and to study
and social aspects. Also, success story of
whether they have been improved financially
different groups have also been recorded as
and able to live in a better manner after
their story could be an inspiration for others
joining their respective groups. Also, the
and a path for success and growth.
study covered an important aspect to know
Universe about the SHG members social interaction
with the society and communities.
The universe of the research is all the
stalls that were present in the Saras Mela, Challenges
2013 organized by the Gujarat Livelihood
Promotion Company Ltd. There were 250 Apart from weak market linkages in
stalls (approx.) from different states of India. the context of income-generating activities,
This was a National Event filled with there are also a few other concerns in relation
enthusiasm and excitement for the to womens empowerment. First, is the
participants and the viewers. capacity building of self-help groups, which
are in need of support in accounting,
Sample financial management, and organisational
development. The second concern is about
The sample of the study is 64 stalls
the gender focus in rural financial services.
present in the SarasMela, 2013.
Despite the focus in project design, there

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

192 Sunita Nambiyar

were gaps during implementation. In Goals

Maharashtra Rural Credit Project, women
tended to be small borrowers and were able Self-help groups are started by non-
to capture only 32 per cent of the bank credit governmental organizations (NGOs) that
that was provided. Therefore gender focus generally have broad anti-poverty agendas.
in designing and implementing rural Self-help groups are seen as instruments for
microfinance services should be enhanced. a variety of goals including empowering
The third challenge is about how to link self- women, developing leadership abilities
help groups to agricultural activities, which among poor people, increasing school
are of key importance for the livelihoods of enrolments, and improving nutrition and the
small farm holders in India, but at the use of birth control. Financial intermediation
moment self-help groups have not taken is generally seen more as an entry point to
much agricultural activities, as the decisions these other goals, rather than as a primary
on agriculture are mainly taken by men. objective. This can hinder their development
as sources of village capital, as well as their
efforts to aggregate locally controlled pools
of capital through federation, as was
A Self-Help Group may be registered historically accomplished by credit unions.
or unregistered. It typically comprises a
group of micro entrepreneurs having GUJARAT LIVELIHOOD PROMOTION
homogenous social and economic COMPANY (GLPC)
backgrounds, all voluntarily coming together
to save regular small sums of money, Introduction
mutually agreeing to contribute to a common
fund and to meet their emergency needs on Gujarat Livelihood Promotion
the basis of mutual help. They pool their Company (GLPC) is the executive arm of
resources to become financially stable, Mission Mangalam, the implementation
taking loans from the money collected by agency for NRLM. It has been registered
that group and by making everybody in that under The Companies Act, 1956. GLPC
group self-employed. The group members works through strategic partnership between
use collective wisdom and peer pressure to large industries and SakhiMandals / Self
ensure proper use of credit and timely Help Groups / Producer Groups / Service
repayment. This system eliminates the need Groups / Collectives of the poor, through
for collateral and is closely related to that decentralized Micro Enterprise Ventures.
of solidarity lending, widely used by micro The promoting companies / entrepreneurs
finance institutions. To make the book- redesign the process where intensive tasks
keeping simple enough to be handled by the as job-works are undertaken by Self Help
members, flat interest rates are used for most Groups in their respective homes or villages
loan calculations. as self-employment activities. Main

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Self Help Group A Medium of Empowerment 193

objectives of GLPC are capacitating their Groups and creating

sustainable livelihoods. We ensure
Empowering the Poor by organizing convergence of prevalent development
them into SHGs/Federations/other programmes and schemes as well as forge
Collectives. partnerships with other non-government
Empower the poor through ensuring organizations and corporate houses for
access to Financial Services. inclusive growth and the empowerment
of the members of the groups served. In
Augmenting existing livelihoods and order to provide quality member-services,
enhancing incomes we strive to remain financially sound and
secure. We will work towards establishing
Explore livelihood opportunities
ourselves as a unique organization with
through newer ventures in rural
deep abiding human values and
service sector
maintaining the same.
Developing Inclusive Value Chains
Action Plan
Vision And Mission
In Golden Jubilee Year of Gujarat,
Self-Help Groups (SHGs) are found Hon. Chief Minister of Gujarat launched
to have not only positively impacted the Mission Mangalam as an umbrella program
social capital and economic empowerment to improve the Human Development Index
of the members but also generated positive (HDI) of the poor residing in the state of
social externalities. The vision of the Gujarat Gujarat. Gujarat Livelihood Promotion
Livelihood Promotion Company could be Company Ltd. is set-up under the aegis of
stated as: Rural Development Department, Govt. of
Gujarat with a mandate to implement
Create a socio-economically Mission Mangalam.Annual Action Plan is
developed Gujarat through inclusive the business plan of GLPC detailing the
growth strategies for empowering the targets for various activities of the company
underprivileged members of vulnerable like formation of collectives of poor,
communities/groups, resulting in them supporting them with credit linkages,
leading a dignified life. capacity building with external stake-
holders, providing livelihood linkages in
The mission of the company could be
farm & non-farm sectors and enhancing their
stated as:
income through market linkages.
We strive to serve the
The key points of the GLPC Annual
underprivileged women as well as
Action Plan 2012 13 are as follows
members of vulnerable communities/
groups in the state by organizing and For strengthening the poor, a target to

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

194 Sunita Nambiyar

Form approx. 40,000 New SHGs of private training & placement agencies
which 15,000 BPL SHGs and 25,000 and corporate houses for providing
non-BPL SHGs jobs to 1,00,000 beneficiaries across
226 Talukas in Gujarat.
Form and register Block Level &
District Level SHG Federations in 50 Organize approx. 400 RojgarMelas
Blocks and 6 Districts for providing placement to trained and
skilled beneficiaries into jobs in
Producer Groups / Producer organized sector.
Companies and Service Groups /
Service Companies in 50 Blocks Target to place approx. 25 candidates
per Rojgarmela and approx. 450
Target for training and developing a candidates per taluka during the year
strong community based cadre of
Financial Empowerment through
5,000 Community Resource Persons
(CRPs) Interest Subsidy of 5% to 1,50,000
SHGs amounting to Rs. 4500 Lakhs
1,200 Book Keepers for A/cs of SHGs
Promotion of Stamp Duty Exemption
6,000 Agri-Horti Para Workers for loans upto Rs. 2 Lakhs
2,000 AH Para Workers Financial Discipline, Financial
1,200 Laghu UdyogMitras Literacy Trainings and Utilization of
Microcredit for approx. 18,00,000
250 Rozgar Mitras members of SHGs

Target to Provide training to Capacity Building of Bank Branch

Managers through sensitization
Approx. 20,00,000 SHG Members workshop and training on SHG
Credit, ACC, KCC, etc.
Approx. 4,00,000 SHG Leaders
Approx. 45,000 to be trained, credit
linked and provided marketing
support for Self Employment through
Rural Self Employment Training
Institutes (RSETIs)
Skill Training & Placement
Special focus on partnership with

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Self Help Group A Medium of Empowerment 195

Table 1: State wise distribution of stalls survey at SarasMela, 2013

States No Of Stalls Percentage %

Andhra Pradesh 2 3.1

Bihar 3 4.7
Chhattisgarh 3 4.6
Delhi 1 1.5
Gujarat 13 20.3
Goa 4 6.2
Haryana 1 1.5
Jammu & Kashmir 3 4.6
Maharashtra 2 3.1
Madhya Pradesh 6 9.3
Odisha 6 9.3
Punjab 5 7.8
Rajasthan 3 4.7
Tamil Nadu 4 6.25
Uttrakhand 5 7.8
Uttar Pradesh 3 4.7
Total 64 100

20.3% of the respondents rooted from respondents came from the states of Goa and
Gujarat state, 7.8% of the respondents Tamil Nadu and 4.6% of the respondents
belong to Punjab, Uttrakhand, 6.5% of the belong to the states of Chhattisgarh, Bihar,
Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015
196 Sunita Nambiyar

Table 2


Marital Status Number of respondents Percentage%

Married 49 76.56%
Unmarried 14 21.8%
Separated 1 1.6%
Total 64 100%

A total of 76.56% of the respondent a majority of the respondent received help

were married while 21.875% were from their spouse.
unmarried. It can be seen from the trend that

Table 3
Representing the Nature of Enterprises that are carried out by the stalls surveyed
Nature Number Percentage %
Weaving 13 20.3%
Pottery 5 7.8%
Handicraft 17 26.5%
Embroidery 9 14.0%
Others 20 31.2%
Total 64 100%

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Self Help Group A Medium of Empowerment 197

26.5% of the respondents carried out Groups, 14.06% respondents were involved
the Handicraft activities in their Self Help in embroidery activities, 7.8% respondents
Groups, 20.3% of the respondents carried were engaged in pottery with their groups.
out weaving activities at their Self Help
Table 4

Change in the financial status of the respondents

Financial Condition Number Of Respondents Percentage%

Very Much Improved 19 29.6%
Improved 33 51.5%
Slightly Improved 9 14.0%
Not At All 3 4.6%
Total 64 100%
29.6875% Respondents financial condition has improved dramatically. And
51.5625% Respondents financial condition improved to a certain extent. While 4.6875%
Respondents financial condition has notimproved. Overall, from the above table, it can be
concluded that engaging in the Self Help Group activities has improved the conditions of
95% of the respondents to a certain extent.

Table 5: Reason for joining the Self Help Group

Reason for Joining Number of respondent Percentage %
Economic 43 67.2%
Social 17 26.5%
Both 2 3.1%
Other 2 3.1%
Total 64 100%
67.1% of the total respondents have joined their respective Self Help Groups for
development of their own economy, i.e. to earn their bread and butter whereas 26.5% of the
respondents joined their SHG for development of the society. This shows that there are few
people in the society who are still extending their support towards the society.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

198 Sunita Nambiyar

Table 6: Representation of respondents received professional training.

Training Received Number of Respondents Percentage%
Yes 42 65.6%
No 22 34.3%
Total 64 100%
Out of total respondents, 65.65% respondents have received training from different
institutes for the growth of the Self Help Groups and its members. The trained members
train the rest of the members of the group so that their skills are also developed.
Bank Number of Percentage%
Transactions Respondents
Yes 46 71.8%
No 10 15.6%
Sometime 8 12.5%
Total 64 100%
Out of the total respondents, 71.8% respondents stated that they were independent and did
not require someone elses help to carry out their bank transactions. Only 15.625%
respondents accepted that they were dependent on others for their bank transactions.
Table 8: Purchase Of Productive Assets
Purchase of Number of Percentage %
Productive assets Respondents
Yes 24 37.5%
No 39 60.9%
N/A 1 1.6%
Total 64 100%
From the above table, it can be observed that 60.9% of the respondents have been
unable to purchase any productive assets for themselves since they have joined the Self
Help Groups whereas only 37.5% of respondents are capable of buying a productive asset
for themselves. The productive assets include Land, houses, etc...

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Self Help Group A Medium of Empowerment 199

Conclusion not improved after joining the SHG, rest of

the members financial conditions have
The study brings out the development improved after joining their respective
of the Self Help Group members before and groups. It was observed that dependence for
after joining of their respective groups. It daily expenses of the members was reduced.
was observed that majority of the stalls were Majority of the members have opened their
put up by the Gujarat based Self Help Groups respective savings account for themselves
from different districts in the states of and have sufficient saving after joining of
Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab and their respective SHGs. Apart from Savings,
Uttarakhand. Majority of the Self Help some of the members have been able to
Groups produced Handicrafts in their SHGs purchase productive assets like house, lands,
followed by Weaving, Embroidery and etc from the income generated by them. This
Pottery. The SHGs present in the Saras Mela shows the development after joining their
had members varying from 1 to 92. Out of respective SHGs have been fruitful to the
the members surveyed, most of them were members. Even they are able to carry out
married and are staying in joint family and their all the bank transactions without any
have one or more children in their family. assistance of others. Observing their social
On the Financial aspect, most of them belong status, many of the people are able to
to BPL category and have joined the SHGs socialize and have started to attend various
to improve their financial conditions. Very social gathering events in their respective
few members have joined the SHGs for villages and communities. Hence, the SHGs
social and economic reasons. Among the have played a significant role in
people studied, there were about less than development of the members especially,
6% members whose financial conditions has women.

Dattatreya, B. NSDM.
Skill Development Initiative Scheme (SDIS)
Suguna, B. (2006). Empowerment of Rural Women Through SHGs. New Delhi: Discovery Publishing

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

AN Kavita Sindhav
Kavita Sindhav*

Introduction multidimensional in its approach and covers

economic, political, social, cultural and
The Millennium Development Goals familial aspects. Of all these facts of women
(MDGs) have been the most fruitful global development, economic development is of
anti-poverty push in history. Significant utmost significance in order to achieve a
progress has been made in meeting many of lasting and sustainable development of
the targets - including halving the number society. Provision of microfinance through
of people living in extreme poverty and the self-help groups is an important means for
proportion of people without sustainable attaining poverty alleviation. According to
access to improved sources of drinking the accepted definition, micro finance is the
water. The proportion of urban slum dwellers provision of thrift, credit and other financial
declined significantly. Remarkable gains services and products of very small amounts
have been made in the fight against malaria mainly to the poor in rural, semi-urban and
and tuberculosis. There have been visible urban areas for enabling them to raise their
improvements in all health areas as well as income level and improve living standards.
primary education .In more than a decade of
experience in working towards the MDGs, The micro finance industry, which
we have learned that focused global began in 1976 with the establishment of
development efforts can make a difference. Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, is now a
Through accelerated action, the world can worldwide movement comprising thousands
achieve the MDG sand generate momentum of specialist banks, credit unions, co-
for an ambitious and inspiringpost-2015 operatives, village credit societies, NGOs
development framework. Now is the time to and charities spanning across both the rich
step up our efforts to build a more just, and the poor countries. Their common
secure and sustainable future for all. purpose is to extend the outreach of banking
services especially business credit to those
Women are a central part of every who do not qualify for normal bank loans.
family and economy. All round progressand Micro credits are granted at commercial
harmonious growth of a country would be interest rates, though at much lower rates
possible only when women are considered than those charged by the informal money
as equal partners in progress with men. lenders. Micro finance has several other
Empowerment of women is essential to developmental objectives like mobilization
harness the women labour in the main stream of savings. It has also been used as an inducer
of economic development. Women in different community development
empowerment is a holistic concept. It is activities, as an entry point in the
* Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. Email :
kavita.sindhav@gmail.comSocial Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015
An Innovative Experiment of Sewa Bank for Poverty Alleviation through Micro Credit 201

community-organizing programme and as an workers. The Bank is run by qualified

ingredient in a larger education or training managers, accountable to the board.SEWA
exercise. All these programmes aim at the began as a trade union in 1972 to address
empowerment of poor people especially the needs of self employed women who
women and eradication of poverty. Self Help works in job such as head-loading. As a
Groups are the voluntary organizations, union, they have united against labour and
which disburse micro credit to the members wage injustice from textile mills. However,
and facilitate them to enter into women were still suffering from financial
entrepreneurial activities. Formation of Self exploitation from informal credit lending
Help Groups of women in India has been sources, as a result they established SEWA
recognized as an effective strategy for the Bank in 1973 as a savings and loan Centre
empowerment of women in rural as well as for poor, self-employed women. SEWA
urban areas. Since the overall empowerment Bank is divided into eight departments:
of women is crucially dependent on Savings, Credit, Shares, Recovery, Training,
economic empowerment, women through Research, Computer Service and Rural
these Self Help Groups are enabled to Service. SEWA Bank is considered the
involve in a range of areas such as health, formal financial institution that is one branch
sanitation, nutrition, agriculture, forestry, of the organization.
etc., besides income generation activities
availing micro credit .NABARD has defined A structure has evolved that gives
micro-finance as provision of thrift, credit SEWA great flexibility to grow and respond
and other financial services and products of tomembers needs. Apart from the formal
very small amount to the poor in rural, semi- election and governance arrangements there
urban and urban areas for enabling them to are three main ways in which members are
raise their income levels, and to improve engaged:
living standards. The terms micro finance aunion, with both urban union and
and micro credit have been used rural branches, that helps members in
interchangeably in the thesis.This paper their collective struggle for fair
attempts to make out a case of poverty treatment and access to justice, to
focused initiative of SEWA (Self Employed markets, and to services;
Womens Association) Bank through its
microfinance initiatives. cooperatives, that help members
produce and market the fruits of their
SwashrayiMahila SEWA Sahakari labor and build their assets; and
Bank is SEWA members largest
cooperative, the first of its kind in India. The member services, that are financed
bank is owned by the self-employed women partly by user charges, but also in part
who are shareholders, and policies are made by donors, and by government
by their own elected board of women departments that have been

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

202 Kavita Sindhav

unsuccessful in providing the services SEWA Cooperative Federation

for which they are responsible by
statute. Gujarat Mahila Housing Trust
Midwives Cooperative

SEWA members evoke the image of Kutch Craft Association

a banyan tree in describing these activities SEWA Gram MahilaHaat (local
and theirinteractions. SEWA is the central marketing)
trunk that draws its strength from the grass
roots. The trunkputs out branches that cater By far the largest cooperative is SEWA
to the needs of poor women in one trade or Bank. Access to assets, and their
another, or in providing aservice that is much accumulationand preservation, are central to
needed. Each branch then lets down roots the goal of self-reliance for poor women,
that connect it to the soil, nurturingand who are almost alwaysin debt, and are easy
sustaining the branch, and at the same time prey for unscrupulous money lenders and
strengthening the whole tree. traders. The need was so obviousto SEWA
members that they launched SEWA Bank in
A list of some organizations in the 1974, only two years after SEWA itselfwas
SEWA family and their founding dates is founded. In the years since, SEWA Bank has
illustrative: been a major source of SEWAs strength
SEWA Cooperative Bank andachievements, and an innovator in the
field of micro-credit
Anasuya (newsletter)
SEWA Bank: Access to Micro-Credit
SEWA National Association Criteria
Artisans Cooperative SEWA Bank has introduced the habit
of regular saving to tens of thousands of poor
Video SEWA women. They still have debts, but they are
First Child Care Cooperative able to see progress in paying them down.
They pay significant interest rates to SEWA
Vegetable and Fruit Vendors. Bank (currently over 20 percent a year while
Cooperative the rate of inflation is around 5 percent), but
no longer feel powerless and exploited by
SEWA Academy
the money lender. And they can seize
Health Care Cooperative opportunities when they arise to improve
their lives through microenterprise by setting
Salt Farmers Cooperative up a shop-in-a-cart, by embarking on a share-
cropping scheme with a local land owner,
Vimo SEWA (SEWA Insurance)

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An Innovative Experiment of Sewa Bank for Poverty Alleviation through Micro Credit 203

by buying a mill to grind grain for the price) of what they sell. They can also
neighborhood, by investing in machinery borrow for purposes that economists have
that will improve the quality (and raise the traditionally regarded as .unproductive such

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

204 Kavita Sindhav

as weddings. SEWA Banks attitude toward and designing schemes suitable to them, like
such loan requests has become more collecting daily savings from their places of
permissive over time, in recognition that if business or houses or providing saving
members are to be self-reliant, they must also boxes. It requires special loan procedures
be allowed to make their own choices. The which take into account their economy. It
bank is also aware that if it denies a loan for requires saving and credit schemes which
such a culturally important purpose, the allow for small amounts of savings, and
member will probably borrow the money adapts to their crises situations. A major
elsewhere on less favorable terms. factor which leads the self-employed into the
cycle of poverty, is the lack of assets in their
SEWA has pioneered the provision of name. For women the situation is even
insurance to poor women, drawing on both worse; when a family does acquire an asset,
SEWA Bank and the government insurance it is rarely in the name of the woman. Asset
companies. Typically the woman saves Rs. creation with the ownership of women has
1000 (about $22)and puts it in a fixed been the priority of SEWA Bank. This
deposit. The annual interest pays the includes transfers of agricultural land and
premium and assures uninterrupted houses in the womans name, and acquiring
coverage, which includes maternity benefits implements, tools, shops, handicrafts,
as well as payments in the event of various livestock in their own name. In addition,
calamities, such as illness, death, and loss SEWA Bank promotes womens own capital,
of property. SEWA is now planning an bank accounts, shares and savings
insurance cooperative, drawing on the certificates.
example of SEWA Bank.
SEWA Banks integrated approach Sanjivani Scheme of SEWA Bank:
distinguishes it from other micro-credit
Ahmedabad was known as the
efforts. Access to markets, information,
Manchester of India. But with the
technical know-how, and social support
establishment of small power loom factories
services is as important as money if the poor
in 1980, the cotton textile mills started
are to share in economic growth. SEWA
closing down. Closure of mills created
Bank works closely with SEWA, the trade
unemployment among mill workers and their
union and with other economic organizations
economic conditions deteriorated. A whole
of the SEWA movement such as the
generation of workers families have been
Womens Cooperative Federation and the
driven into poverty. In fact, more than one
Rural District Associations.
lakh erstwhile mill workers have been
Banking with the poor and illiterate affected, not to mention the ancillary
requires special procedures and mechanisms industries with workers dependent on the
suited to their culture, their needs and their textile industry. Textile mill workers who
economy. This requires adopting procedures once had legal protection and work security,

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

An Innovative Experiment of Sewa Bank for Poverty Alleviation through Micro Credit 205

have now been forced to make a living in 2. How to obtain a credit and credit plus
the unorganized sector, for the first time in services from the financial institutions
their lives. Their incomes have fallen and
their work has become very insecure. 3. How to get insurance facilities

In 1997 SEWA Bank started a scheme 4. Financial and business planning,

by which the women family members of implementation and management
millworkers began revitalizing and When a woman joins SEWA Bank,
strengthening their families by taking loans she also begins the process of capitalisation
for new ventures. SEWA Bank also offered in her life. At SEWA Bank, capitalization is
trainings for increasing their capacities and understood as the process of formation of
insurance to protect them against risk. A list capital towards sustainability and growth, at
of affected mill workers and their families the level of the individual as well as at the
was prepared, and the Bank resolved to help level of the household.Usually when she
one member from each family obtain a loan joins SEWA Bank, it is her first exposure to
for self-employment. The Bank is also (formal) banking. She is usually already in
providing technical and other services a debt trap and hence has to first redeem her
linkages, assistance to access raw materials, debts before building up her capital base
and market information to loaners. Further, through savings and then loans.Women
social security services are being provided workers, especially those in the informal
to loanees and their families. In this way, sector-have been largely bypassed by the
SEWA Bank hopes to assist families of formal banking institutions. However, they
unemployed millworkers obtain stable work are economically active, and have distinct
and enhanced incomes. expenditure patterns, depending upon their
trade or work, their family situation and their
AmrutJharna mobile financial literacy socio -economic conditions.
Many women cannot join in the Conclusion
financial literacy training for various Initiatives of SEWA Bank in poverty
reasons, including lack of time. Also, there alleviationclearly supporta role for
are still several areas where women are not microfinance in achieving the
linked to SEWA Bank. Thus, SEWA Bank MillenniumDevelopment Goals, a key
takes financial literacy training to the women challenge in measuring the impact
through a mobile van fitted with audiovisual ofmicrofinance is obtaining reliable data.
equipment and teaching aids. The topics Sometimes clients arerecipients of more than
covered by AmrutJharna this year were: one product, which are provided by
1. How to do saving morethan one microfinance institution
(MFIs). For MFIs, it becomeshard to obtain

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

206 Kavita Sindhav

measures on the exact impact of their products with baskets on their heads and now
services andproducts on their clients lives. have their own little street-corner shops with
The SEWA Bank has thus contributed a municipal license.The SEWA Bank is
directly in achieving, to some extent, the innovative in many ways
larger SEWA goals of organizing and organizationally, institutionally and
creating visibility for self-employed women, financially. It is most important contribution
enabling them to get a higher income and to has perhaps been to encourage the women
have control over their own income. A large to participate fully in all phases of banking,
number of members now have their own lending and saving activities. The SEWA
hand-carts, sewing machines, looms and Bank has targeted its efforts of banking not
andtools of carpentry to work with. Many just towards the symptoms of
of them have upgraded their skills and homelessness or poverty and their
developedmore business. For example, alleviation, but on the structural causes,
vegetable vendors who used to sell their including long-term capacity-building of the
poor women and their institutions.

Amis, P. (1995). Making sense of poverty, in IIED. Urban Poverty: Characteristics, Causes and
Consequences, Environment and Urbanization, Vol 7 No 1.
Amin, S., Rai, A. S., & Topa, G. (2003). Does microcredit reach the poor and vulnerable? Banking
with the Unbankables: A Study in Kalahandi District, Orissa
Blaxall, J. (2004). India's Self Employed Women's Association )SEWA) - Empowerment through
Mobilization of Poor WomeN on a Large Scale. Geneva: World Bank.
Government of India (2011). Eleventh Five Year Plan. New Delhi.
Government of India (1974). Report of the Committee on the Status of Women in India, New
Delhi : Ministry of Education and Social Welfare.
Haskar, N. (1988 ). Draft Perspective Plan for Women, Mainstream, 26(38), (July2).
Nanda, Y.C. (2000). Role of Banks in Rural Development in the New Millennium, Mumbai :
Nanda, Y.C. (1999). Linking Banks and Self Help Groups in India and the role of NGOs: Lessons
learned and future perspectives, National Bank News Review, 15(3), (Jul-Sept), 63-68
Sahai. (1985). Women in a Changing Society, New Delhi: Mittal Publications.
Narayana, U.(1996). Women Empowerment through Reservations. New Delhi : Discovery Publishing
UNDP (2000). Human Development Report 2000, New York : Oxford

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An Innovative Experiment of Sewa Bank for Poverty Alleviation through Micro Credit 207

SEWA Bank. (2012). Annual Report : Ahmedabad : SEWA

World Bank. (1991). Gender and poverty in India. A World Bank Country Study. Washington, DC:
The World Bank.
Yelue and Sahool, (2002). A study on SHGs and Tribal Women Empowerment in Maharashtra,
Economic and Political Weekly, Vol.4, pp.14-18.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Rameshwari Pandya*
Atanu Mohapara**

Introduction harmful traditional practices (including

honour killings and infanticide) and other
Violence against women is the most discriminatory practices based on gender.
pervasive form of human rights abuse in the (IFJ Guidelines: 2008)
world today. It includes assault, battery, rape,
sexual slavery, mutilation, and murder, The World Health Organisation lists
witchcraft, sexual abuse of children at home the following as additional categories
and school, and many other invisible and examples of sexual violence against women:
invidious forms of violence. It is not tied to
poverty or economic upheaval alone or not Rape within marriage, in dating
related to the social displacement of peoples. relationships and by strangers
Instead, it cuts across social and economic Systemic rape during armed conflict
situations and is deeply embedded in (including kidnapping of young girls
cultures around the world so much so that for impregnation)
millions of women consider it a way of life.
Unwanted sexual advances or
The 1993 UN Declaration on the harassment, including demanding sex
Elimination of Violence Against Women, in return for favours
defines violence against women as any act
that results in, or is likely to result in, Forced marriage or cohabitation,
physical, sexual or psychological harm or including the marriage of children
suffering to women, including threats of
Denial of the right to use
such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations
contraception or to adopt other
of liberty, whether occurring in public or in
measures to protect against sexually
private life. It includes: domestic violence,
transmitted disease
sexual violence, emotional and
psychological abuse, forced prostitution, Violent acts against the sexual (or
trafficking for forced labour or prostitution, bodily integrity) of women, including
sexual exploitation, sexual harassment,

* Head of Department, Dept. Extension & Communication, Faculty of Family & Community Sciences,The
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat. India
** Assistant Professor, Dept. Extension & Communication, Faculty of Family & Community Sciences,The
Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, Gujarat. India
Role of Media in Combating Violence against Women in India 209

female genital mutilation, obligatory patriarchal system which regards women as

inspections for virginity and forced inferior to men and its toxic interaction with
abortion the new global culture of consumerism and
its relentless sexualisation of womens
Forced prostitution and trafficking of bodies is a reality today.
people for the purpose of sexual
exploitation According to the national survey, the
statistics on violence against women in India
Over the past decade, national and are stark. Nationally, 8% of married women
international groups have turned a spotlight have been subject to sexual violence, such
on the hidden brutality of violence against as forced sex, 31% of married women have
women. They have called on the been physically abused in a way defined as
international community to value a womans less severe, such as slapping or punching,
right to be free from violence as a human while 10% have suffered severe domestic
right. This focus on violence against women violence, such as burning or attack with a
has spurred the development of strategies weapon. (Ghosh: 2013) Hence, most of the
and programs to address the problem. Still violence against Indian women is in the form
the efforts to build a gender-sensitive of domestic violence, dowry deaths, acid
community are in an embryonic stage. attacks, honor killings, rape, abduction, and
Nevertheless, the idea of a world free of cruelty by husbands and in-laws. One of the
discrimination and violence against women key challenges is dowry a practice of the
has become part of public discourse and brides family giving gifts of cash and kind
action. Violence against women in India is to the groom and his family. In some cases
an issue rooted in societal norms and the grooms family mistreats the bride if such
economic dependence. Discriminatory demands are not met. To protect women
practices are underlined by laws favoring against this threat the Indian government had
men. Inadequate policing and judicial enacted the Dowry Prohibition Act and the
practices deny female victims proper Protection of Women from Domestic
protection and justice. Although female Violence Act and cruelty under Sec 498A of
participation in public life is increasing and the Indian Penal Code. In 2012, according
laws have been amended, India still has a to the National Crime Records Bureau
long way to go to make Indian women equal (NCRB), dowry deaths or murders of
citizens in their own country. women by the groom or in-laws because of
True that, the gender gap in education unmet high dowry expectations constituted
in India is closing, many more women are 3.4% of all crimes against women. In other
now in the labour force than ever before. And words, last year in India on average 22
political quotas and reservations have women were killed per day because their
increased the percentage of women in families could not meet dowry demands. The
elected offices. Nevertheless, the age-old NCRB statistics indicate that an Indian

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210 Rameshwari Pandya, Atanu Mohapara

woman is most unsafe in her marital home functions, where it is considered like a mirror
with 43.6% of all crimes against women to the society which monitors the ongoing
being cruelty inflicted by her husband and social, economic and political process and
relatives. These numbers do not include plays an important role as a mediator in all
incidences of marital rape, as India does not the issues. Subsequently it motivates the
recognize marital rape as an offence. Of the people when required and mobilizes the
24,923 rape incidences in India in 2012, 98% masses for a positive cause and lastly acts
of the offenders were known to the victim, as a mystifier.
which is higher than the global average of
approximately 90%. This may also mean that It is true that we live in the 21st
children boys and girls in India grow up century, but even to this date, social malice
in a situation where they see violence against and malpractices are still very much
women as the norm. (John, Ahmad & prevalent which are reminiscent of the past.
Schneider: 2013) One of such social atrocities is Violence
Against Women (VAW). It is an accepted
Media has immense power to fact that this is a malevolent that world we
influence the masses and communication live in, and despite liberalization and
and technological advancement has further modernization of woman in the West and
increased its importance. The role of media urban locales within our country, women at
has become very important in shaping large still face social brutality, torture,
present days society. Media is the part of the limited opportunities in the public sphere,
life, all around, from the shows one watches etc. Every institution such as Legislative,
on television, music on the radio, the books, executive, judiciary and media has got their
magazines and newspapers. It educates respective role to play in combating the
people about the current issues and violence against women in any society. We
influences the public opinion. The common will examine the role of news media in
people rely on media to know about combating the violence against women in
happenings in the society. Media is often India.
considered as the fourth pillar of the society
and democratic medium of information. Media and violence against women
Media has the power to pressurize and (VAW): A critical view
criticize the drawbacks of democracy. It is
instrumental in bringing about unity among The role of media is crucial to the
the masses and is backbone of the nation. issue of violence against women, both in
The reach of media to common people has terms of how media cover the issue, and how
increased and undoubtedly media has media may be used as a tool to help activists
attained the role of a very powerful organ in and governments raise awareness and
virtually all spheres of life. Thus role of mass implement programs on this issue. Media
media can be understood from its 6 M should also project the means to combat

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Role of Media in Combating Violence against Women in India 211

violence. The visual media, be it television consequences of media ignorance and bias
or cinema, is a very powerful vehicle for are horrific. In India, the amount of coverage
communicating ideas and images. In their in mainstream media is inversely
paper, S.K Srivastava and Sweta Agarwal proportional to the actual prevalence of the
(2004) explain how the images of women kinds of violence and gives a false
are being projected as pitiable, tortured impression. Most disturbing is the
beings tormented by malevolent atrocities disproportionate coverage of sensationalized
by the visual media, in a country like India violence. Invariably, rape stories get far more
where women are traditionally given high coverage than domestic violence stories. In
esteem and worshipped as archetype deities. all likelihood, this is because rape stories
It must be said that most of the violence and usually focus on one individual woman. If
crimes perpetrated on women goes she is attractive, she is a very marketable
unreported in India, like elsewhere around victim. It is no accident that rape is a frequent
the world. Such crimes, which do make it to theme in pornography. The sexual
the news bulletin, depict just a fraction of brutalization of women is a highly
the reality and are extremely small in marketable business and a profitable story
numbers compared to crimes perpetrated on for the news media (Purnima: 2011).
men. (Srivastava & Agarwal: 2004)
While criticizing the media, Pratyoush
Many experts criticize the news Onta stated in his report The mainstream
dissemination on VAW issues with a view media is very much politicized and it picks
of hard news sell and so does violence, which up women issues according to the political
is considered primarily as a hard news-value. interest of patron political parties. Due to
In todays globalizing world, information the lack of resources and trained work force,
(such as news) is heavily commoditized, far the media is not capable to produce widely
exceeding the thresholds set in the earlier impressive materials. Some of the women
half of the last century. News business is issues like trafficking, prostitution and rape
rapidly driven by hard news-values, such as come in the media just to create sensation.
the nature, cause and the brutality of violence Hence, much of the criticism that media
(but certainly not limited to these). Further often draws in violence against women and
media also draws criticism on the ground that girls remains under reported, or badly
it implicitly ranks the importance of the reported, in the news. Very often media fails
public issues according to the amount of to take account of or give prominence to the
press coverage devoted to an issue. Lack of systemic sexual violence occurring as a
appropriate media coverage of an issue leads result of armed conflict, often from both
to the implication that the topic is not sides. (Sarup: 2005) Additionally, the 2005
important. Public awareness is significantly Global Media Monitoring Project reveals
lessened if a story is not reported. Violence that domestic and sexual violence are the
against women is a global pandemic and the least reported subjects among those where

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212 Rameshwari Pandya, Atanu Mohapara

women are portrayed as a victim. While meets the needs of the survivor. A
realizing the need of the proper reporting of female interviewer should be on hand
the issues on violence against women, and the setting must always be secure
International Federation of Journalist has and private, recognising that there
issued some guidelines for the same (IFJ may be a social stigma attached.
Guidelines: 2008). Media must do everything they can
to avoid exposing the interviewee to
1. Identify violence against women further abuse. This includes avoiding
accurately through the internationally actions that may undermine their
accepted definition in the 1993 UN quality of life or their standing in the
Declaration on the Elimination of community.
Violence Against Women.
5. Treat the survivor with respect. For
2. Use accurate, non-judgmental journalists this means respecting
language. For instance, rape or sexual privacy, providing detailed and
assault is not in any way to be complete information about the topics
associated with normal sexual to be covered in any interview, as well
activity; and trafficking in women is as how it will be reported. Survivors
not to be confused with prostitution. have the right to refuse to answer any
Good journalists will strike a balance questions or not to divulge more than
when deciding how much graphic they are comfortable with. Journalists
detail to include. Too much may be should make themselves available for
sensationalist and can be gratuitous; later contact; providing contact details
too little can weaken the victims case. to interviewee will ensure they are
At all times, the language of reporting able to keep in contact if they wish or
should avoid suggestions that the need to do so.
survivors may be to blame, or were
otherwise responsible for the attack 6. Use statistics and social background
or acts of violence against them. information to place the incident
within the context of violence in the
3. People who suffer in such an ordeal community, or conflict. Readers and
will not wish to be described as a the media audience need to be
victim unless they use the word informed of the bigger picture. The
themselves. The use of labels can be opinion of experts on violence against
harmful. A term that more accurately women such as the DART centre will
describes the reality of a person who always increase the depth of
has suffered in this way is survivor. understanding by providing relevant
4. Sensitive reporting means ensuring and useful information. This will also
that contact for media interview ensure that media never give the

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Role of Media in Combating Violence against Women in India 213

impression that violence against 10. Provide Useful Information: reports

women has an inexplicable tragedy that include details of sources and the
that cannot be solved. contact details of local support
organizations and services will
7. Tell the whole story: sometimes
provide vital and helpful information
media identify specific incidents and
for survivors/witnesses and their
focus on the tragic aspects of it, but
families and others who may be
reporters do well to understand that
abuse might be part of a long-standing
social problem, armed conflict, or part
Media Interference in VAW Beginning
of a community history.
of new era
8. Maintain confidentiality: as part of
It is true that media has ignored many
their duty of care media and
such incidents in the past in giving space in
journalists have an ethical
the media discourse. Hence, news coverage
responsibility not to publish or
often receives criticism on the issue of
broadcast names or identify places
violence against women because of
that in any way might further
sensational, exploitative, and lacking in
compromise the safety and security of
serious analysis of the prevalence. However,
survivors or witnesses. This is
media coverage and depictions of sexual
particularly important when those
assault and domestic violence have begun
responsible for violence are the
to change, particularly in the last two
police, or troops in a conflict, or
decades media intervention has remarkably
agents of the state or government, or
increased. Many a times, it has been seen
people connected with other large and
that due to the interference of the media,
powerful organisations.
certain cases have got pushed into the
9. Use local resources: Media who take limelight which in turn attracts the attention
contact with experts, women groups of the masses. Media employs several tactics
and organisations on the ground about (debates, discussions, talk shows, etc) to help
proper interviewing techniques, bring these critical issues into the public
questions and places will always do sphere thus helping people to get their rights.
good work and avoid situations such This has often led to aggrieved parties
as where it is unacceptable for male getting much needed justice. Medias
camera workers or reporters to enter growing role in highlighting violence against
a secluded place which can cause women and stressed the need for creating
embarrassment or hostility. There is awareness among the victim women about
always virtue in reporters educating their rights, mobilizing the people and
themselves on the specific cultural creating pressure in legislative and judiciary
contexts and respect them. can be better understood from the following
incidents happened recently.

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214 Rameshwari Pandya, Atanu Mohapara

The murder of Delhi model Jessica was finally delivered. (Vipul Tripathi: 2010)
Lal by Manu Sharma is perhaps one of the
most prominent cases of media interference This case study proves that media
resulting in justice. The incident took place interference dramatically changed the course
on April 29, 1999 when model Jessica Lal of the case. Media acted as a regulator and
was shot dead in a party hosted by socialite mobilized the society to help the deceased
Bina Ramani, in her restaurant Tamarind Jessica Lal get much needed justice. Fiery
Court. Lal was working as celebrity barmaid headlines like No One Killed Jessica,
in Ramanis restaurant. The main accused Miscarriage of justice, Jessica Lal- 11
was Siddharth Vashisht, better known as year-long battle for justice from various
Manu Sharma, the son of Venod Sharma, a newspapers and journals provoked the
prominent Congress leader in Haryana. masses into starting public protests and
standing for others rights. Such was the
The final verdict, which was passed magnitude of the fight for justice by the
on the Jessica Lal murder case, was a shining masses that this case was made into a topic
example of media interference. NDTV of a Hindi film No One Killed Jessica by
channel received thousands of text messages Raj Kumar Gupta in 2011. Never before had
from various people urging that immediate India witnessed public protests of such a
action be taken against Sharma and the other magnitude. The formation of public opinion
accused. People were losing faith in the regarding this case can be credited entirely
Indian judiciary and the media had thrown to the media. (
light on this very fact. The media, along with
Sabrina Lal (Jessicas sister) successfully The rape and murder case of
organized a candle light vigil in front of India Priyadarshini Mattoo and its subsequent
Gate in New Delhi. Various support groups lengthy trial came into the limelight soon
were formed to support the cause of after the Jessica Lal murder case.
miscarriage of justice, as termed by the Priyadarshini Mattoo was a 23-year old law
media. On 9th September, 2006; student, living in Delhi. She was found raped
newsmagazine Tehelka organized a sting and murdered at her New Delhi residence
operation on the witnesses of the case in on 23rd January, 1996. The prime accused in
which they revealed that Venod Sharma had this case was Santosh Kumar Singh,
bribed them hefty amounts of money in order Mattoos senior in her college. Singh had
to stay mum about the truth in court. This been harassing and stalking Mattoo, both in
sting operation was aired by news channel person and over the phone for about two
STAR News. Manu Sharma was finally years prior to killing her in the most
pronounced guilty of killing Jessica Lal and gruesome way. It is also said that Mattoo
he was given life sentence on 20th had filed a police complaint against Singh
December, 2006. The efforts of the media and was provided with a personal security
helped the case to be reopened and justice officer, after Mattoo stated in her complaint

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Role of Media in Combating Violence against Women in India 215

that Singh was stalking her for quite some High Court. This was considered a milestone
days. However, this did not have any desired achievement by the Indian media. Intense
effect as Singh belonged to an influential media coverage by various news channels
family; his father J.P. Singh was the then and newspapers was creating a strong
Inspector General of Police of the Union pressure on the CBI and the judiciary.
Territory of Pondicherry (Nandi: 2011). Finally, on 17th October, 2006, the Delhi
High Court pronounced Santosh Kumar
The final verdict of this case met with Singh guilty under sections 376 (rape) and
severe public outcry and heavy criticisms 302 (murder) under the Indian Penal Code
from the media. The case had occurred right and was awarded death sentence. This only
after the acquittals in the Jessica Lal murder proves the efficiency, power and social
case, which had sparked off massive wave responsibility of media in a democracy.
of public protests in the country and heavy (Garg: 2010)
criticisms from the media. In the same way,
the acquittal of Santosh Singh had caught Shivani Bhatnagar, principal
the collective attention of the media as well correspondent with The Indian Express was
as of the public. This was followed by killed by two men in her east Delhi flat
widespread mass protests and media arose Navkunj Apartment on January 23, 1999.
to this occasion. Chaman Lal Matoo, Her murder on January 23, 1999 became a
Priyadarshinis father, was giving frequent scandal that reached into the top levels of
interviews to the media, demanding justice Indian politics. Indian Police Service officer
for his deceased daughter. Media picked up Ravi Kant Sharma was charged with the
on the fact that despite so many clinching murder. Investigations revealed that Sharma
evidences, Singh had managed to walk out had hatched a plan to eliminate Shivani when
of jail, as a free man, without being proven she started pressuring him to marry her.
guilty of a single charge. In the course of a Despite the case being a relatively high-
few years after his acquittal, Singh had even profile one, involving as it does the murder
got married, fathered a child and had started of a woman journalist of a national daily,
his career as a lawyer in Delhi. Media used who also happened to be the wife of a senior
its powerful tool of investigative journalism journalist, investigations initially remained
to find out the lapses in the murder case and tardy. With the regular media intervention
very soon it was bringing into the publics and debate for three and a half years after
notice, how justice was denied to Shivanis murder, Delhi Police made the first
Priyadarshini Mattoo. This created a massive arrest in the case. Sharma had spent nearly
wave of uproar in the masses who were 10 years in jail, before he was acquitted by
demanding that the case be reopened (Nandi: the high court on October 12, last year.
2011). On 29th February, 2000 the CBI (Rajalakshmi: 2002)
ultimately submitted an appeal against the
verdict of the District Court in the Delhi The above three successful cases in

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

216 Rameshwari Pandya, Atanu Mohapara

media intervention paved the way for more Mahipal Maderna, a minister in the
media activism in the subsequent years. Rajasthan government and senior Congress
There have been many instances where politician was implicated. It is believed
medias effective intervention has yielded Bhanwari was blackmailing him with a video
immediate result and strengthened the CD that showed the two of them in a sexual
democratic system in India. Mainstream position. Maderna lost his ministerial job due
media catapulted with social media in the to the scandal. The CBI had told the
early decade of new millennium has Rajasthan high court that Maderna and
witnessed a more progressive role of media another Congress MLA, Malkhan Singh,
in combating violence against media. organised the murder, and paid Bhanwaris
husband as well. The two senior politicians
A young and aggressive poetess got a person killed and then had the body
Madhumita Shukla was murdered in her burnt, Bhanwaris life and lifestyle have
apartment in Lucknow. Madhumita was six drawn media attention. (Indian Express:
months pregnant, when she was shot dead 2013)
in her Paper Mill Colony home in Lucknow
Geetika Sharma, a former air hostess
in May 2003. Madhumitta was alleged to with MDLR, committed suicide on 5 August
have relations with former UP minister 2012 and in her suicide note she accused
Amarmani Tripathi. The reason for Kanda of harassment. Allegations have been
Madhumittas murder apparently has been made that before her suicide Kanda sent a
because Amarmanis legal wife did not letter to Emirates saying that she had been a
approve her husbands illicit relationship. poor employee and had defaulted on a loan,
Then Minister Amarmani Tripathi, with and her family said that he had sent her
whom she was having an affair, was alleged threatening e-mails using several identities
to have engineered the murder and is now (Mail Today). Kanda has denied the
cooling his heels in jail. Immediate after allegations and stated that he had encouraged
the murder, entire news media was active Sharma by sponsoring her on an MBA
and continuously tried to debate and course. He also said She was also made the
investigate the matter. Widespread coverage chairman of the trust which managed an
in media could help the case for a speedy international school at Sirsa. Sharma wrote
trial (Indian Express: 2013). two suicide notes. Sharma had alleged that
Gopal Goyal was having an illicit
Bhanwari Devi murder case attracted relationship with another woman Ankita
widespread media attention nationally and with whom he has a child. On 7 August 2012
internationally. On September 1, 2011, India TV published the suicide note that
Bhanwari Devi, a health worker in Jodhpur, Geetika wrote before she committed suicide.
disappeared. After thorough investigations, Following the incident Kanda resigned from
it was established she was murdered. the post of home minister in Haryana. Delhi

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Role of Media in Combating Violence against Women in India 217

Police, later booked Kanda for abetting On 22 Aug 2013, a 23-year-old female
Sharmas suicide. (Maitreyee: 2013) photojournalist was gang-raped by five men
while on assignment in Mumbai. The
The young woman who was raped had journalist, who has not been identified, was
been one of the few from her village who said to be working as an intern for an English
had made it into college, she had promising magazine. She was admitted in the hospital
professional career ahead of her and she was
with multiple injuries and survived. Media
the citizen of a country with a long track
took no time to give a proper coverage and
record of democracy and increasing numbers
next day all the five culprits were arrested.
of women elected into office. None of this
was sufficient to protect her from a sexual The high profile arrest of Asaram
assault the sheer ugly brutality of which has Bapu and his son is another example of
brought thousands of horrified and grieving media intervention where a minor girl was
protestors onto the streets across the country. sexually harassed. Even in most recently on
Named Nirbhaya (without fear) by some 7th of February 2014, the health minister Mr.
of the press who, in an unusual show of Sabir Khan of J & K government has
sensitivity have not revealed her real name, resigned due to aggressive media
the woman was returning home from the intervention in a sexual harassment case in
cinema with a male friend at 9 oclock in the state. Among all the above cases, the
the evening. They boarded a bus in the belief most important one which gives a real credit
that it would take them closer to home. is the latest sexual harassment case of
Instead her companion was beaten badly and subordinate journalist of Tehelka Magazine.
she was subjected to an extended period of Media even did not spare to criticize Tarun
rape and violence that left her brutalized and Tejpal who was accused of the same charges
unconscious. Their naked bodies were and finally he was booked by the cops. This
thrown out of the moving bus to be found was the first case after the enforcement of
by passersby. Nirbhaya recovered new law on violence against women.
sufficiently to give a statement to the police
but died on the 29th December. She was Despite the growing consumerism and
named fearless because of the fight she put privatization of news media, the constant
up against her attackers (she left teeth marks vigil and interference of media has to a large
on at least one of their bodies), because of extent proved its role as the fourth pillar of
her determination that her attackers be the society. In all the above medias
brought to justice and because of her struggle successful stories often also receive criticism
to live, despite horrific injuries to her internal because, all the cases either are of high
organs (Hundal: 2013). This was the first profile in nature or metro based. There are
such brutal incident which gets widespread many incidents where media has neglected
attention where media catapulted with social reporting of many such cases have been
media helped to enact the new law on under reported, particularly in small towns
violence against women in India.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

218 Rameshwari Pandya, Atanu Mohapara

or in the rural areas. Hence, the need for a media use in India again has poised theart
responsible regional media and extensive to the mainstream news media which was
reporting by the mainstream media is evident in Janlok Pal and Nirbhaya case
required for giving space to violence against where social media has played an effective
women. Only hard news story is not enough role in contributing for a big protest. The
for bringing change rather a progressive monopoly of the news media has been
media activism is needed for speedy trial and restricted due to the use of social media
justice. which would certainly result the effective,
timely and accurate reporting of the violence
Conclusion against women in years ahead. Hence, it
would be unfair to call media is trapped in
In last one decade, many incidents of the consumerism and sensationalizing the
violence have come to lime light for demand VAW issue. It is true that there lot more to
of justice where media has been an be done for the effectiveness coverage of
instrumental to it. In most of the crimes violence against women. Some of the
media has played a vital supportive role, it suggestion based on this research finding
is a catalyst and has started the trend of where media can further strengthens its role
bringing the culprits to justice. Incidents like as follows:
gang rape of a women journalist in Mumbai,
1. In order to mitigate the violence
Delhi gang rape, Bhanwari Devi case,
whatever are the forms, media should
Jalgaon rape case or the Jessica lal case,
come forward fostering a social
media has acted more promptly even against
change. It can be instrumental by
the political will. Besides, there have been
taking the women, government,
continuous media initiatives for women
organizations working for rights and
empowerment and their safety. One such
the general public for a productive
example is of Zee Business channels which
debate. Media must stay away from
air a program in the evening on two
stereotyping the issues.
weekdays Tuesday and Thursday called
Money Matters for women. The core idea 2. The medias role should not be just
of the program is to provide financial advice limited to expose and garner
to women audiences. The program is a 30 awareness against violence against
minute call in show with a different financial women rather than critical of the
expert every day. In 2009 the North East issue. It should abstain from cheap
Television Group (Registered as Positive publication or show off in order to
Television Private Limited) announced the enhance the readership or television
launch of Focus TV which was placed as rating point (TRP). It should be
Indias only news channel targeting only maximum sensitive in this connection.
women audiences. It can exhort the women to the
defensive mode by resorting to
The manifold increase of the social various martial arts.

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Role of Media in Combating Violence against Women in India 219

3. Most of the issues pertaining to 7. Several communication experts argue

women are not getting space in for citizen journalism for the
newspapers or time in television replacement of mainstream
because of faulty gate-keeping in the journalism which is stoic to the issues
media organizations. As media houses of women in India. They claim for
are market-driven and lay stress on community media which can be
advertisements, they ignore the bolstered by conscious citizens to act
socially interest stories. In addition, as a watchdog of the rights of women
they do not treat the violence against in order to curtail the violence
women as newsworthy, rather to significantly against women in the
make hype among the media India society.
consumers. Media organizations 8. Media had been exhibiting a great
should allocate a beat on women like deal of violence, but the problem
other beats like business, national arose because the morals and ethics
news, politics and sports. The of a particular incident were under-
concerned journalists must be adept emphasized and the acts of violence
with the skills to report on womens were over-emphasized, which needs
issues and take stock of situations to be changed. Hence, mainstream
pertaining to rules and regulations and media should encourage stories from
their amendments as well. social media users.
4. It is often criticized that media merely 9. Finally the networks of NGOs,
cover the violence against women. It advocating for womens cause, should
does not cover in-depth and there are try to include media in their network,
generally no follow up stories. Media they should not see media as their
just cover the violence against adversary.The womens advocacy
celebrities and business personalities NGOs, networks alliances should
and does not consider the same maintain transparency in their
happen to common women. organizational structure, financial
Therefore, its coverage are limited to source and activities. They should feel
class and yet to be mass. Thus, media free to provide information about their
must be mass-oriented in order to organizations and activities. It is not
attain social harmony leading to social enough to inform people that VAW is
development of a nation. And the increasing in our society, it is also
mainstream news media must imperative to let them know that there
effectively develop greater are ways to diminish the VAW and
coordination with regional media for what actions can be taken to deal with
extensive coverage on the issue. particular case of VAW.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

220 Rameshwari Pandya, Atanu Mohapara

We are now looking ahead to the post- the post-MDG agenda committed
MDG era and discussions are taking place themselves collectively, loudly and clearly
in various forums as to what the priority to a policy of zero tolerance and put in place
goals should be for the next phase. There the enforcement mechanisms that
are many new and burning issues require demonstrated the seriousness of their
attention such as climate change and commitment, would certainly be a great
growing global inequalities and the list will achievement of MDG. More emphasis
go on. The growing violence against women should be given on coordination among the
is and old issue which requires more activists, Government and media. Besides,
attention. Making zero tolerance on violence a new guidelines and principles may be
against women a central platform in post- deliberated upon for a more progressive and
MDG agenda would have, at the very least, effective media intervention on issues
a powerful symbolic impact. If the worlds related to violence against women.
leaders who came together in 2015 to discuss

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Pandya, R. (2008). Women Welfare and Empowerment in India: Vision for 21 Century , New Century
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Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Christina Parmar*
Jagdish Solanki**

Introduction dates for achieving those targets. To

accelerate progress, the G8 Finance
The Millennium Development Ministers agreed in June 2005 to provide
Goals (MDGs) are eight international enough funds to the World Bank,
development goals that were established the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and
following the Millennium Summit of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to
the United Nations in 2000, following the cancel $40 to $55 billion in debt owed by
adoption of the United Nations Millennium members of the Heavily Indebted Poor
Declaration. All 189 United Nations member Countries (HIPC) to allow them to redirect
states at the time (there are 193 currently) resources to programs for improving health
and at least 23 international and education and for alleviating poverty.
organizations committed to help achieve the
Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Criticisms accompanied the MDGs,
the goals follow: focusing on lack of analysis and justification
behind the chosen objectives, the difficulty
1. To eradicate extreme poverty and or lack of measurements for some goals and
hunger uneven progress, among others. Although
2. To achieve universal primary developed countries aid for achieving the
education MDGs rose during the challenge period,
3. To promote gender more than half went for debt relief, with
equality and empowering women much of the remained going towards natural
4. To reduce child mortality rates disaster relief and military aid which do not
further development.
5. To improve maternal health
6. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and As of 2013 progress towards the goals
other diseases was uneven. Some countries achieved many
7. To ensure environmental goals, while others were not on track to
sustainability realize any. A UN conference in September
2010 reviewed progress and concluded with
8. To develop a global partnership for the adoption of a global plan to achieve the
development[1] eight goals by their target date. New
Each goal has specific targets and commitments targeted womens and

* Faculty Member, Shree J.M.Patel Institute of Social Work, Anand. Email :
** Professor, Faculty of Social Work, Baroda, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara. Gujarat.
Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women 223

childrens health and new initiatives in the inequality in the African societies placing
worldwide battle against poverty, hunger and the male folks at advantage over the women
disease. folks exacerbated by culture, religion and
believes which undercuts womens rights
MDG 3: Promoting Gender Equality and politically, economically and socially. It is
Empowerment of Women Where do we therefore our view that until equal numbers
stand? Violence against Women, Women of girls and boys are in school, it will be
in War/Conflict Situations. impossible to build the knowledge necessary
to eradicate poverty and hunger, combat
The third Millennium Development disease and ensure environmental
Goal (MDG), on gender equality and sustainability. To this we recommend the
womens empowerment. It explores the deliberate formulation of practicable policies
concept of womens empowerment and to enhance the position of the women in our
highlights ways in which the indicators societies. Such as the government genuinely
associated with this Goal on education, empower the position and situation of
employment, and political participation women in our societies like economic
can contribute to it. opportunities, political empowerment,
educational encouragement and health/well-
Promotion of gender equality and
being opportunities.
women empowerment is goal number three
of the Millennium Development Goal. While Eliminate gender disparity in primary
most of the Millennium Development Goals and secondary education, While most of the
face a deadline of 2015, the gender parity Millennium Development Goals face a
target was set to be achieved a full ten years deadline of 2015, the gender parity target
earlier - an acknowledgement that equal was set to be achieved a full ten years earlier
access to education is the foundation for all - an acknowledgement that equal access to
other development goals. Recent statistics education is the foundation for all other
show that for every 100 boys out of school, development goals. Yet recent statistics show
there are still 117 girls in the same situation. that for every 100 boys out of school, there
Despite the enlightenment of emancipation are still 117 girls in the same situation. Until
of women from restrictions and protections equal numbers of girls and boys are in
and their entry into equality with their men school, it will be impossible to build the
counterparts, women are still regarded as the knowledge necessary to eradicate poverty
inferior sex, relegated by culture and and hunger, combat disease and ensure
traditions as the centre of home and family environmental sustainability. And millions
life. The paper reveals that irrespective of of children and women will continue to die
the Millennium Development goal of gender needlessly, placing the rest of the
parity and women empowerment, statistics development agenda at risk.
reveal that there still exist much of gender

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

224 Christina Parmar, Jagdish Solanki

Eliminate gender disparity at all levels property, so households without a male head
of education by 2015 and empower are at special risk of impoverishment. These
women.Advancing the rights of women and women will also be less likely to immunize
children advances humanity.Two-thirds of their children and know how to help them
the worlds 799 million illiterate adults ages survive.Gender bias undercuts womens
15 and over are women.Many children in rights in other areas. Practices such as early
developing countries start life without marriage or poor health services result in
adequate means of nutrition, learning, and high rates of maternal mortality. Some
protection. Women and girls are particularly 529,000 women died giving birth last year,
challenged.Some 67 countries have primary 99 per cent of them in developing countries.
school attendance and enrolment rates for For each birth-related death, 30 other women
girls less than 85 per cent. Globally, there were injured or disabled. Having a missing
are just 96 girls for every 100 boys in or disabled mother severely undercuts a
primary school, with disparities at the childs chances of survival and health as
secondary level even more acute. Yet well.
uneducated girls are more at risk than boys
to become marginalized. They are more The world has recognized the
vulnerable to exploitation. They are more importance of gender equality. The
likely than educated girls to contract HIV/ Convention on the Rights of the Child
AIDS, which spreads twice as quickly (CRC), the most widely ratified human rights
among uneducated girls than among girls treaty in history, sets forth provisions that
that have even some schooling. Nearly a include civil rights and freedoms, family
third of all adults living with HIV/AIDS are environment, basic health and welfare,
under the age of 25, and almost two thirds education, leisure and cultural activities and
of these people are women. special protection measures for all children.
The Convention on the Elimination of All
As unschooled adults, these girls will Forms of Discrimination against Women
be less likely to have a say socially and (CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN
politically and to be able to support General Assembly and acceded to by 180
themselves. Womens rights and access to States, sets down rights for women, of
land, credit and education are limited not freedom from discrimination and equality
only due to legal discrimination, but because under the law. Realizing the rights and
more subtle barriers such as their work load, equality of women is also the key to the
mobility and low bargaining position in the survival and development of children and to
household and community prevent them building healthy families, communities and
from taking advantage of their legal rights. nations.
These problems affect their children:
Women earn only one tenth of the worlds Target 3A: Eliminate gender disparity in
income and own less than one per cent of primary and secondary education preferably

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women 225

by 2005, and at all levels by 2015 countries start life without adequate means
of nutrition, learning, and protection.
Ratios of girls to boys in primary, Women and girls are particularly challenged.
secondary and tertiary education
Share of women in wage employment Some 67 countries have primary
in the non-agricultural sector school attendance and enrolment rates for
girls less than 85 per cent. Globally, there
Proportion of seats held by women in
are just 96 girls for every 100 boys in
national parliament
primary school, with disparities at the
Target by 2005: secondary level even more acute. Yet
uneducated girls are more at risk than boys
Eliminate gender disparity in primary to become marginalized. They are more
and secondary education. vulnerable to exploitation. They are more
While most of the Millennium likely than educated girls to contract HIV/
Development Goals face a deadline of 2015, AIDS, which spreads twice as quickly
the gender parity target was set to be among uneducated girls than among girls
achieved a full ten years earlier - an that have even some schooling. Nearly a
acknowledgement that equal access to third of all adults living with HIV/AIDS are
education is the foundation for all other under the age of 25, and almost two thirds
development goals. Yet recent statistics show of these people are women.
that for every 100 boys out of school, there
As unschooled adults, these girls will
are still 117 girls in the same situation. Until
be less likely to have a say socially and
equal numbers of girls and boys are in
politically and to be able to support
school, it will be impossible to build the
themselves. Womens rights and access to
knowledge necessary to eradicate poverty
land, credit and education are limited not
and hunger, combat disease and ensure
only due to legal discrimination, but because
environmental sustainability. And millions
more subtle barriers such as their work load,
of children and women will continue to die
mobility and low bargaining position in the
needlessly, placing the rest of the
household and community prevent them
development agenda at risk.
from taking advantage of their legal rights.
These problems affect their children: Women
Target by 2015:
earn only one tenth of the worlds income
Eliminate gender disparity at all levels and own less than one per cent of property,
of education by 2015 and empower women. so households without a male head are at
special risk of impoverishment. These
Advancing the rights of women and women will also be less likely to immunize
children advances humanity. their children and know how to help them
Many children in developing survive.

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

226 Christina Parmar, Jagdish Solanki

Gender bias undercuts womens rights afford school fees for only one child, it will
in other areas. Practices such as early likely be a boy who attends. If someone
marriage or poor health services result in needs to fetch water or do housework instead
high rates of maternal mortality. Some of going to school, a girl will likely be
529,000 women died giving birth last year, chosen. If someone needs to stay home to
99 per cent of them in developing countries. care for younger siblings or sick or infirm
For each birth-related death, 30 other women household members, this will most likely be
were injured or disabled. Having a missing a girl: girls will also most likely be
or disabled mother severely undercuts a withdrawn from school early in adolescence
childs chances of survival and health as as the age of marriage approaches.
Yet study after study shows that
The world has recognized the educating girls is the single most effective
importance of gender equality. The policy to raise overall economic
Convention on the Rights of the Child productivity, lower infant and maternal
(CRC), the most widely ratified human rights mortality, educate the next generation,
treaty in history, sets forth provisions that improve nutrition and promote health. Girls
include civil rights and freedoms, family with at least six years of school education
environment, basic health and welfare, are more likely to be able to protect
education, leisure and cultural activities and themselves from HIV/AIDS and other
special protection measures for all children. diseases. Educated mothers immunize their
The Convention on the Elimination of All children 50 per cent more often than mothers
Forms of Discrimination against Women who are not educated, and their children have
(CEDAW), adopted in 1979 by the UN a 40 per cent higher survival rate. Moreover,
General Assembly and acceded to by 180 mothers who have had some education are
States, sets down rights for women, of more than twice as likely to send their own
freedom from discrimination and equality children to school as are mothers with no
under the law. Realizing the rights and education.
equality of women is also the key to the
survival and development of children and Getting girls into school and ensuring
to building healthy families, communities that they learn and thrive in quality, child-
and nations. friendly learning environments are key
UNICEF priorities, fulfilling Millennium
Goal 2 of universal primary education as
UNICEF responds by:
well as this Goal. As lead agency for the
Getting girls into quality school United Nations Girls Education Initiative
environments helping them stay (UNGEI) UNICEF is coordinating efforts of
there. Some 121 million children are not in a broad range of partners at global, regional,
school, most of them girls. If a family can and national levels to meet the goals of
gender parity and equality in education.

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Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women 227

By working with these partners, by UNICEF is key to strengthening partnerships

raising awareness via our field offices in 158 with UNAIDS, multinational agencies,
countries and territories and through academic and research institutions, non-
international media campaigns, by funding governmental organizations and the private
and supplies procurement, by assisting sector. UNICEF also leads UN efforts in
governments with policy and problem monitoring and reporting situation analyses,
solving when invited to, and by helping behavioural assessments, and programme
communities to mobilize around these results.
issues, UNICEF is working to ensure girls
right to education is realized. Improving maternal health.
UNICEF efforts in girls education give a
Helping women and girls avoid boost to this area as well. If a girl is educated
HIV/AIDS. In some countries in sub- six years or more, as an adult her prenatal
Saharan Africa, HIV prevalence among care, postnatal care and childbirth survival
teenage girls is five times higher than among rates will dramatically and consistently
teenage boys. The danger of infection is improve.
highest among the poorest and least
powerful, particularly children who live The single biggest factor in a healthy
among violence, suffer sexual exploitation birth, however, is the presence of skilled
or have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS. assistance, particularly in emergency
obstetrics. UNICEF helps key partners work
Through government advocacy and with governments and policy makers to
community outreach, UNICEF helps young ensure that emergency obstetric care is a
women (and men) have access to the priority in national health plans, and assist
information and services they need to governments with training and logistics.
prevent and reduce their risk of HIV
infection. At policy levels, these include Maternal care is also an important
drives to influence social norms regarding goal in community health. Along with
sexual behaviour as it relates to the stopping vaccination campaigns for children,
the epidemic, and introducing supportive UNICEF procures and distributes tetanus
legislation and policies. Other risk vaccines, micronutrient supplements and
prevention activities include widening insecticide-treated bed nets (to fight malaria)
access to youth-friendly, gender-sensitive for expectant women. Work within
health services that provide voluntary, communities includes help coordinating
confidential HIV testing and counselling and health care services for maximum
provide condoms and treatment for sexually effectiveness maternal care with newborn
transmitted infections. care, for example.

Broad partnerships are vital to Giving girls a good start in early

conquering the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and childhood. A childs earliest years are

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

228 Christina Parmar, Jagdish Solanki

critical. Skills such as language acquisition, each year. They are abducted from their
social competence, coping, the ability to homes and schools and recruited into armed
think critically and the capacity to learn, all conflicts, exploited sexually, or trafficked
develop in the first years of life. Without and forced to work in abominable
adequate nutrition, nurturing, health care and conditions. Girls in particular are
psychosocial stimulation, a childs potential vulnerable, particularly when not in school.
for a competent and productive life is They also suffer from abuses that may have
sapped. their societys mandate, but severely curtail
their rights: they are victims of violence in
Because of entrenched gender bias in the home, they arent allowed to attend
many regions, young girls fare less well than school, or are forced into early marriage, or
boys in many aspects of early childhood, to undergo genital mutilation.
including receiving a worse diet and health
care. In fact, there are an estimated 60-100 Increasing access to water and
million fewer women alive today than there sanitation. Out of 100 people in developing
would be in a world without gender countries, 17 will not have safe drinking
discrimination and without social norms that water (43 in sub-Saharan Africa) and 42 will
favour sons. not have adequate sanitation facilities. For
families without, the burden of finding and
To ensure that all young children get hauling safe water usually falls to girls,
the best start in life, UNICEF advocates and which often means they arent able to attend
helps governments and communities form school. Too often, too, they are prevented
policies and programmes in health, nutrition, from attending school because of unhygienic
water and environmental sanitation, psycho- latrines or a complete lack of facilities for
social care and early learning, child girls.
protection and womens rights. Emphasis is
on strengthening the capacities of families
India and the Gender Gap
and other caregivers as most health care
takes place at home in developing The World Economic Forums annual
countries mobilizing community health Gender Gap Report(2007) affirmed that
and child learning services, and coordinating there are just six countries - Iran,
and integrating maternal health interventions Bahrain,Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and
with those focused on early childhood. Yemen - performing worseagainst economic
parameters, with women constituting amere
Promoting child protection. The UN
3 per cent of legislators, senior officials and
Millennium Declaration stressed protection
managers and making up 90 per cent of
of the vulnerable, and for good reason: Tens
informal workers in the economy. Against
of millions of children across the globe are
other major indicators, there is also immense
victims of exploitation, abuse and violence cause for concern: India has the largest

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Promoting Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women 229

number of maternal deaths in the world and pronounced in South Asia (44% of boys of
shocking rates of female malnutrition, and a secondary school age in secondary school
woman in India has lesser chance of survival compared with only 36% of girls) and in the
than in all but 2 of 128 countries. The oft- Middle East and North Africa (54% of boys
discussed imbalance in the sex ratio can be compared with 43% of girls).
attributed - not only to female infanticide,
as is often assumed - but to sustained neglect Global Progress
from infancy of female health, nutrition and
wellbeing. A girl child is up to 3 times more In 1990, the United Nations
likely to be malnourished than her brother Economic and Social Council endorsed the
(UN), and is also significantly more likely implementation of measures to reach a target
to drop out of school before completing a of 30% women in national legislatures by
full eight years of education. As well as 1995. Nearly 20 years later, women occupy
passive neglect, violence against women and only 18% of parliamentary seats around the
girl children is on the rise: the number of world, and at the current rate of progress it
rapes per day has increased by nearly 700 has been estimated that gender parity in
per cent since 1971, and thousands of dowry parliaments will not be achieved until the
deaths occur each year (National Crime turn of the twenty-second century
Records Bureau). (Norris:2004). More countries are therefore
deciding to implement a fast track route
Progress to tackling structural discrimination and
increasing female participation. During the
Despite significant progress in last 15 years, nearly 50 countries have
achieving gender parity in primary schools, introduced legal quotas for women, which
UNICEF projections for 2005 continue to guarantee a minimum representation of
indicate a global gender parity index (GPI) women in their highest decision making
of 0.96, meaning that there are still only 96 bodies. Percentage of women representatives
girls for every 100 boys in primary school, in Parliament:
with significant variations between and
within regions and countries. Gender Nordic countries - 41.4%
inequalities in primary school are greatest Americas - 21.8%
in Western and Central Africa, South Asia, Europe (excluding Nordic countries)
the Middle East and North Africa. - 19.1%
Meanwhile, at secondary level, of 75 Asia - 17.4%
countries surveyed, only 22 are considered Sub-Saharan Africa - 17.2%
on course to meet the 2005 gender parity Pacific - 13.4%
goal, while 21 will need to make additional Arab states - 9.6%
efforts and 25 are far from the goal. At
secondary level, the gender gap is most In the high performing Nordic

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

230 Christina Parmar, Jagdish Solanki

countries, no constitutional clause or law intending to make any genuine difference

demands a high representation of women; within the existing power dynamics. This is
rather, womens groups have exerted particularly the case in countries where the
sustained pressure on the major political chosen quota type does not match with the
parties to voluntarily ensure increases in the electoral system - as in Uganda, for example,
number and calibre of female candidates when a womans seat is merely attached to
being fielded through party lists. However, that of an existing male members. Such
this was not introduced until women were policies rarely induce lasting change once
already present in the Parliament, and the quota is removed, since women fail to
already holding between 20 and 30% of the gain their own power base and networks . In
seats. Elsewhere, there have been numerous contrast, Taiwan has introduced an
problems with implementation and outwardly complicated but well-functioning
enforcement of party quotas. In France, for system of reservation. In addition to a
example, many political parties have stipulated number of seats reserved
preferred to pay fines rather than put their specifically for women, there is also a policy
women candidates up for election. In of reserving every fifth seat in a district for
October 2003, Rwanda came closer than any the best performing female candidate. It is
other country to achieving parity between therefore in the interests of the parties to
men and women in a national legislature, nominate women of the highest possible
with reservation of seats securing 48.8% calibre so as to guarantee winning the
women in the Lower House and 34.6% in womans seat. Moreover, the women are
the Upper House. Neighbouring countries directly elected and are therefore treated as
such as Pakistan and Afghanistan have laws legitimate political actors. Currently, women
that currently give women a higher ministers remain concentrated in social areas
representation than India (about 25%) in (14%) rather than legal (9.4%), economic
their national parliaments. However, many (4.1%), political (3.4%) and executive
countries have implemented only symbolic (3.9%), and there are just 13 female heads
policy under external pressure from interest of state across the globe (International
groups and the international community, Womens Democracy Centre, June 2008).
desiring to appear modern without
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Baranyi,S. and Powell, K.(2005). Fragile States, Gender Equality and Aid Effectiveness:A Review
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Buvinic , M., Morrison, A.R., Ofosu-Amaah, A.W.,and Sjoblom, M. (eds.).(2009).Equality for
Women: Where Do We Stand on Millennium Development Goal 3?. Geneva: World Bank.
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UN Partnership on Gender Equality for Development and Peace, European Commission
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achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Report of the Expert Group meeting.
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Development Goals at the local level in the Gambia.
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Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Neeloferr Lokhandwalla*
Renu Sharma Shah**

Introduction strategies are used with varying degrees of

success. A significant number of womens
It is impossible to think about the groups, NGOs, institutions and governments
welfare of the world unless the condition of from around the world are working to ensure
women is improved womens safety and to build safer
-Swami Vivekananda communities and cities for all.

The welfare of the world is in danger Womens safety involves strategies,

as the condition of women is disheartening. practices and policies which aim to reduce
Gender-based violence and womens safety gender-based violence (or violence against
is increasingly recognized as a key health, women), including womens fear of crime.
development and human rights issue. Womens safety involves safe spaces. Space
is not neutral. Space which causes fear
Women are at risk of violence both in public
restricts movement and thus the
and private spheres, in and around the home,
communitys use of the space. Lack of
in neighbourhoods and at city level. Women
movement and comfort is a form of social
experience a higher degree of insecurity
exclusion. Conversely, space can also create
which can restrict their access and use
a sensation of safety and comfort, and can
of the city. Many women and girls face
serve to discourage violence. Therefore
domestic violence not only in their homes
planning and policy around safety should
and in relationships, but also in public spaces
always involve and consider women.
due to poor choices in urban design and poor
management of those spaces. In practical Not everyone is at equal risk of
terms this can relate to factors such as becoming a victim of violence (Homel, in
inadequate street lighting, unsafe press). Recent victimisation research has
underpasses, ineffective community policing focused on identifying who is at the greatest
and lack of rehabilitation programmes for risk of becoming the victim of violence.
those involved in antisocial use of public Identifying high risk groups increases our
spaces. During times of conflict or social understanding of the dynamics of violence
unrest, those factors can further exacerbate and helps in designing and targeting
the risk of gender-based violence. prevention strategies.

Many different approaches and Age has been consistently identified

* Assistant Professor, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, India. Email:
** Assistant Professor, College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai, India.
234 Neeloferr Lokhandwalla, Renu Sharma Shah

as a major risk factor for violence victim and the perpetrator as well as the age
victimisation. Young people are more at risk of victimisation is examined it is apparent
of being the victim of a violent offence than that young women are at risk of victimisation
older people (Stewart & Homel 1995). Data from a range of people. Over 70% of
from the 1991 Queensland Crime Victim victimisation experienced by young women
Survey (Government Statisticians Office, in the 12 months prior to the survey was
Queensland, unpublished) indicated that perpetrated by someone other than a partner
15% of females in the 15-19 and 16% of or an ex-partner. This included boyfriends,
females in the 20-24 year age group were dates, friends, work colleagues and
the victim of violence. In the 25-29 age group strangers.
this had halved and 7% of women were the
victims of violence. This decreased again in Indian Scenario Magnitude of the
the 30-39 (5%) and the 40-54 (4%) age Problem
groups. In the 55 and over group the risk of
being the victim of violence was very low. The National Crime Records Bureau
(NCRB) data shows that 2.44 lakh cases of
Similar trends between physical crimes against women were reported in 2013
assault and age were apparent in the across the country as compared to 2.28 lakh
Womens Safety Survey (WSS) data. In the in 2011 with an increase of 6.4%. Crimes
12 months prior to the survey being against women have registered a steady
conducted, 16.1% of women in the 18-24 increase for the last five years.
age reported being the victim of physical
violence. The percentage of women Delhi was the most dangerous of the
reporting being the victim of violence five megapolises, with 3.2 in every 1,00,000
decreased as the age of the woman increased. population reporting having been raped in
In the 25-35 age group 8.3% of women 2010, followed by 1.2 in Mumbai, 1.1 in
reported being the victim of violence. This Bangalore, 0.7 in Chennai and 0.2 in Kolkata
was further reduced in the 35-44 (5.2%) and the last the lowest figure in any Indian
the 45-54 (3.06%) and the 55 and over city, along with Varanasi.
(0.9%). A Mumbai police report shows that
All women are less likely to be the nearly 3,500 crimes against women (rape,
victim of a sexual assault than a physical outraging of modesty, sexual harassment and
assault. However, although the number of kidnapping) were recorded from January
women being sexually assaulted decreased 2010 to August 2013. The report showed a
in the older age groups, this decrease was steady rise every year under the four crime
not as substantial for sexual victimisation heads. Rape cases rose from 221 in 2011,
as for physical victimisation. 232 in 2012 and 224 till August 2013.
Outraging of modesty cases rose from with
When the relationship between the 635 till August 2013 against 614 in 2012 and

Social Work Review, Vol. 51 No. 1, Jan. - Dec. 2015

Perception of Personal Safety and Security ... Girl Students in Mumbai 235

553 in 2011. There were 245 cases of sexual per cent were eventually convicted
harassment (obscene /insult) till August bearing out criticism that police investigators
2013 against 235 in 2012 and 162 in 2011 and public prosecutors lack the capacities
respectively. Kidnapping cases also showed needed to make the charges strict.
a sharp rise with 149 registered till August
2013 against 90 in 2012 and 141 in 2011 The NCRB figures also show one
respectively. Of the cases registered in 2013, important reason why victims have an
135 involved minors. The highest increase incentive to remain silent: the rapi