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The burden that women bear

GS paper 2

Syllabus: Institutions and bodies for the protection of vulnerable sections of society, Social empowerment etc

 

Source: The Hindu

Directions: This is from an editorial piece in The Hindu. Important for mains can be used as an example of issues faced by women in India.

Context: 75% of women across India undertake time-consuming efforts every day to ensure their families have water (referred to as ‘domestic drudgery’) (NFHS-5).

Domestic drudgery:

      • It refers to menial, distasteful, or hard work.
      • Drudgery affects women from an early age.

 Consequences of Domestic drudgery:

      • Exhaustion
      • Musculoskeletal disorders
      • Lower immunity
      • Higher mental stress.
      • It threatens women’s physical safety.
      • It can impact cognitive development and education levels among children.

 Issues faced:

      • National Commission for Women Report, 2005): Longer queues and worse quality of water and losing four-five hours to collect water.
      • Council on Energy, Environment and Water Report 2021: Difficulties in refilling gas and increasing prices
        • 52% of women in rural India go for firewood.

 

How government interventions can save women from domestic drudgery:

      • Banaskantha, Gujarat: Researchers found that when the indoor piped water supply is coupled with job opportunities through micro-enterprises, time-released from water collection is converted into income earned.
      • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: LPG cylinders received under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana have saved time and improved the health of women.

 

Conclusion:

      • Restructuring household roles: The restructuring of household roles and responsibilities would be ideal such that men contribute equally at home.
      • Systematic investment: A more systematic investment, driven by sustained economic growth and better state capacity, in the delivery of quasi-public goods is also essential.

 

Insta Links:

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana

 

Mains Link:

Q. Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to the absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of the policy process – Discuss. (UPSC 2019)