Topic: Women empowerment& Population Trends in India and their Implications
Syllabus:- Role of Women and Women’s Organization, Population and Associated Issues, Poverty and Developmental issues, Urbanization, their problems and their remedies.
Increased Sex ratio and girl child education could go a long way in addressing the issue of women empowerment. Analyse the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme in this context. (, 250 words, 15 marks)
▪ Introduction:-. Define social empowerment and women empowerment.
▪ Body:– explain how the ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ scheme has been beneficial in this respect and issues in the implementation of the scheme. Provide suggestions for better outcomes from Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme for women empowerment.
Conclusion:- Give your analytical conclusion regarding Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme.
- According to the United Nations, women empowerment is the sense of self-worth, right to determine choices, access to opportunities and resources—educational, economic, political and health, right to control their lives and the ability for directing social change.
- India has only 943 females per 1000 males (Census 2011) and only around 65% females are literate (National Sample Survey). Thus, increased sex ratio and girl child education could go a long way in addressing the issue of women empowerment.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)
- BBBP scheme launched with the objectives of improving sex ratio and girl child education status in the identified districts.
- The scheme has been able to bring positive outcomes along with attitudinal change about girl children in the society.
- Out of the 640 districts that were covered under the scheme 422 districts have shown improvement. Sex ratio at birth was 918 in 2014-15 which has increased to 934 in 2019-20 at the national level.
- Significance for women empowerment – This increased sex ratio can change the perception in the society about the girl child, reduce son meta preference and enable acceptance of rights of women in the society.
- Gross Enrolment Ratio of girls at secondary levels in school has increased from around 77% to 81% between 2014-15 to 2018-19.
- Girl child education provides for human resource development for women through skilling as well as health benefits associated with better education would ensure that learning outcomes also increases.
- Digital literacy reduces the digital gender gap and thus paving way for women empowerment in future skills.
- Able to bring the focus on important issue of female infanticide, lack of education amongst girls and deprivation of their rights on a life cycle continuum.
However, the scheme has some issues in its implementation, such as:
- Skewed nature of fund allocation – Majority of the expenditure of the scheme is allocated for media campaigns (over 40%), whereas health and education-related interventions receive less than 10% of fund allocation.
- Implementation challenges – CAG report highlighted challenges in implementation in Haryana and Punjab such as underutilisation of allocated funds, monitoring mechanism failure—especially at state and district levels.
- Higher dropout rates — For the year 2018-19 average dropout rate of girls at secondary level (around 17%) and elementary level (around 5%) was quite high, which are skewed towards Dalits and Adivasi children.
- Challenges due to COVID-19— Closure of schools due to COVID-19 and increased engagement in household works might reduce education opportunities for girl children. Also, lower income for families could lead to prioritisation of resources towards male children in the family.
Following measures can be taken to address the issues:
- Special measures should be taken up for education of girls with collaboration of local NGOs to provide for physical classes with a small number of students in order to negate the disruption of education due to COVID-19.
- Big Data and Artificial Intelligence can be used to find out the hotspots for drop out of girls from schools like the Andhra Pradesh government.
- mobile technology should be used for monitoring and documentation of beneficiaries, fund utilisation and increased transparency.
- media campaigns and community outreach activities should be balanced with remaining objectives of the scheme and more focus should be given to increasing school enrolment, reducing dropout, improving sanitation facilities among girls.
- Thus, BBBP scheme has focused on crucial aspects of women empowerment and for the objectives to be achieved and sustained for a longer period the issues in the implementation should be addressed so that the larger objective of women empowerment is achieved in line with Sustainable Development Goals-5.
- To certain extant the scheme prevented gender biased sex selective elimination / Ensure survival & protection of the girl child / Ensuring education and participation of the girl child.