Focus on Engendering 11th Plan from the Perspectives of Indigenous Women. Status of Indigenous women in the ‘decade’ and gender differences The index of gender equality measuring the attainments in human development indicators for females as a proportion of that of males has improved, but only marginally, during and after the eighties. At the national level, Gender Equality Index increased from 62% in the early eighties to 67.6% in the early nineties. This implies that on an average the attainments of women on human development indicators were only two-thirds of those of men. At the state level, gender equality was the highest for Kerala followed by Himachal Pradesh. In the nineties, Himachal Pradesh had the highest equality in absolute terms over the earlier period. In general, women were better off in the southern India than in the Indo-Gangetic plains comprising mainly the state of Andhra Pradesh in the south have made considerable progress in improving the status of women vis-à- vis men on the human development indicators. States that have done well in improving their female literacy levels are also the ones that have substantially improved their gender equality. On the whole, gender disparities across the states have declined over the period. The gender issues in tribal societies are basically different from caste society. The tribal society is basically an equalitarian. In this society, there is not much marked division of labor based on gender. Very little is found about gender relations among the tribal. At most, they describe the status of women in tribal society. This status was high, equal or low. But the kind of discrimination in gender relation which has become a gender issue in present society was absent in medieval or modern. Gender issues emerged out of the present feminization, which characterizes our present decade. Gender and the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-2007) Highlights Tenth Five Year Plan (2002-2007) has special significance in the context to mainstream Gender Perspectives to Eliminate Gender Discrimination; This is because it follows the announcement of the National Policy on Empowerment of Women, 2001. The Plan has been looked upon by women as an instrument that could translate the Policy into action. The major need is mainstreaming a gender perspective to remove gender discrimination wherever it exists and establishes gender equality by ushering in a change in the social mindset; The main goal is to achieve gender equality Analysis of the Policy The process of mainstreaming gender does not seem to have received adequate attention in the various National Policies announced in last decade. Some of the important Policies in the last decade - like the National Population Policy, 2000, the National Agriculture Policy, 2000, The National Health Policy, 2000, The National Education Policy, 1986 (revised in 1992), did see the need to incorporate measures to impact women and men distinctly, to realize their contributions to achieve the goals of these policies. But their declaration to achieve goals for changing the differential social status accorded to men and women seem to be weak. This is particularly significant in the case of the National Health Policy and National Agriculture Policy. The Tenth Plan therefore had to give a greater thrust to incorporate gender perspectives in all sectors for greater social and economic development. Gender Budgeting in context of indigenous women in the Decade The Government has announced its intention to gradually introduce the concept of “gender budgeting” in line with the basic principles of governance to which the Central Government is committed under the National Common Minimum Program (NCMP), which includes the empowerment of women. This means that the budget data will in due course be presented in a manner that highlights the gender sensitivities in the budgetary allocations. ( V.P. Prabhakar Monday January 2, 2006 The Tribune). The practice of analyzing the annual budget from a gender perspective has now become a regular feature since last years. The proportion of allocation for programs specifically targeted at women was 0.84% in 2003- 04 at Rs. 3,665 crores. Higher budgetary allocation does not necessarily translate into higher expenditure on women. The actual expenditure is much less than the initial allocation and sometimes lesser than the revised decreased allocation. Next table brings out the proportion of allocation for specifically targeted programs for women under each Ministry/Department as also the actual expenditure which is proportionately less than the allocation Specifically Targeted Programs for Women Share in Total Expenditure of the Ministry/Department and Proportion of Expenditure against Budget Allocation: Share of specifically targeted Proportion of Ministry/Department programs for women in total expenditure expenditure of various against budget Ministries/Departments (%) allocation (%) 2002-03 2003-04 2002-03 Women & Child Dev 0.95 Women & Child Development 17.05 17.73 0.90 excluding Child Health 2.61 2.72 0.93 Family Welfare 12.23 15.89 0.57 Education 0.24 0.64 0.24 Labor 9.08 0.00 0.00 Tribal Affairs 0.69 1.10 0.58 Social Justice & Empowerment 1.56 1.36 1.00 Source: Department of Statistics Government of India The budget analysis worked out the pro-women allocations at Rs.9, 259 cores for 2003-04 in 13 Ministries/Departments. The analysis observes a decreasing proportion of such allocations from 1995-96 at 3.89% of the total Central Government expenditure to 2.19% in 2003-04. Trends in Public Expenditure with Pro-Women Allocations in India from 1995-96 to 2003-04- shows that there was a declining trend from 3.89 % in 1995-96 to 2.95 % in 1998-99. It stood up to 3.05 % in 1999-2000, and then again, there was a declining trend up to 2.19 % in 2003-04. (Source: Department of Statistics, Government of India) Recommendations The first and foremost step ahead is to strengthen the gender-based database within the tribal population within relevant Departments/Ministries. Given the significant gender disparities in India, it is important that budgets of government should provide some idea of how much of the budgetary allocation is earmarked for the benefit of women. This helps in their re-appropriation for other purposes. Sectoral analysis of budgetary allocations and their impact on women needs to be undertaken. The important sectors to be covered should include education, health, forestry and agriculture.
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