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The Hindu Editorial


1. Women, marriage and labour market participation.

Topic: GS3 – gender equality.

Importance of Women’s Labor Force Participation:

  • Enhances economic prospects and household decision-making power.
  • Influences intra and inter-household bargaining power.
  • Significant implications for a nation’s overall economic progress.

Claudia Goldin’s Contributions:

  • Claudia Goldin received the Economics Nobel for advancing understanding of women’s labor market outcomes.
  • Conducted comprehensive economic analysis of women’s history in the labor market.
  • Identified factors contributing to gender disparities in labor market outcomes.

Global Female Labor Force Participation:

  • Global female labor force participation remains relatively low.
  • World Bank estimates indicate a worldwide LFPR for women of 47.3% in 2022.
  • In India, female LFPR decreased from 28% in 1990 to 24% in 2022.

Factors Impacting Married Women’s LFPR:

  • Married women tend to experience a decline in LFPR.
  • Factors include limited education, family obligations, and societal disapproval.
  • Marriage amplifies domestic responsibilities and cultural barriers.

Additional Challenges:

  • Women seek flexible job opportunities close to home.
  • Gender-based constraints lead to disparities in career choices, income, age at marriage, and fertility decisions.
  • Economic constraints from poverty may lead women from lower strata to work.

Marriage’s Influence on LFPR:

  • Married women have significantly lower employment rates than unmarried counterparts.
  • Literacy can impact labor force participation for married women.
  • Agriculture remains a prominent sector for female employment in India.

Solutions to Promote Women’s LFPR:

  • Enhance quality and accessibility of day-care services for women in both formal and informal sectors.
  • Implement initiatives like the National Creche Scheme for Working Mothers.
  • Create work environments accommodating women’s needs and well-being.
  • Provide secure transportation options and part-time job opportunities to boost female labor force participation.


  • The decline in female labor force participation among married women and the broader gender disparities in the labor market highlight the need for targeted policies to empower women and enhance their participation in the workforce, especially in the context of high economic growth.

Question:  Discuss the factors contributing to the decline in female labor force participation among married women and the challenges they face in the Indian labor market.

2. Unhealthy urban India must get into street fight mode

Topic: GS3 – Health sector

Urban Health Challenges in India:

  • Urban population in India expected to reach 675 million by 2035, the second highest globally.
  • Rapid urbanization linked to India’s economic growth, but cities are falling short in terms of health, environment, and equity.

Health Risks in Urban India:

  • Urban residents face health risks including high air and noise pollution, limited green spaces, inadequate access to sidewalks and parks, and outdated transportation systems.
  • Lack of physical activity contributes to cardiometabolic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, which are on the rise in Indian cities.

Addressing Health Risks:

  • Transforming urban design and provisioning systems is essential for public health.
  • Seven key provisioning systems, including food, energy, transportation, housing, green infrastructure, water, and waste management, impact health, well-being, equity, and sustainability.

Social Inequalities in Cities:

  • Legacy urban provisioning systems exacerbate social inequalities in India by class, race, age, migrant status, and disability, leading to disparities in health risks and outcomes.

Policy Frameworks:

  • High-level policy frameworks like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the New Urban Agenda, and the Health in All Policies approach emphasize the importance of improving health and well-being in cities.

Double or Triple-Duty Actions:

  • Investments in clean energy and electric mobility can reduce air pollution and improve health while aligning with climate and equity goals.
  • Changes in provisioning systems, such as improving food access and mobility, can have catalytic effects on health and productivity.

Holistic Urban Policy:

  • Integrating active transportation options, like walking and biking lanes, into clean energy policies can enhance economic and health benefits.
  • Promoting healthier diets can reduce the risk of obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases, contributing to better health and economic productivity.

Public Health Importance:

  • Urban policies are powerful interventions for promoting population health, but health considerations are often an afterthought in urban planning in lower and middle-income countries.
  • Unhealthy diets, reduced physical activity, and air pollution pose a significant risk to health in Indian cities, necessitating urgent action.

Conclusion: Addressing these urban health challenges is critical to combatting cardiovascular diseases, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes in India.

3. The legality of using white phosphorus.

Topic: GS2 – international events

Accusations Regarding White Phosphorus Use in Gaza:

  • Israel accused of using white phosphorus munitions in Gaza, posing risks to civilians.
  • Similar allegations during the 2008-2009 Gaza War, initially denied by Israel but later acknowledged for signaling and marking purposes.

International Criticism and UN Reports:

  • United Nations reports criticized Israel’s use of white phosphorus in civilian areas during the Gaza conflict.
  • High-explosive shells fired into UN facilities raised concerns about inadequate precautions.

Domestic Response and Legal Implications:

  • Outrage led to Israel’s military abandoning the use of white phosphorus except in specific situations communicated to the courts.
  • Calls for investigations into whether its use violates international humanitarian law.

Applications and Ethical Concerns:

  • White phosphorus serves various military purposes, including creating smoke screens and incendiary devices.
  • Its use in populated areas raises ethical concerns due to its potential for severe burns and suffering.

Legal Framework:

  • The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) restricts the use of incendiary weapons, including white phosphorus, to protect civilians.
  • International humanitarian law principles of distinction, proportionality, and prohibition of indiscriminate attacks apply to white phosphorus use.

Protocol III Under the CCW:

  • Protocol III defines incendiary weapons and includes exceptions for munitions causing unintended incendiary effects.
  • White phosphorus munitions, primarily intended for illumination and smokescreens, fall within these exceptions.

Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC):

  • White phosphorus, while toxic, is not covered by the CWC when used as an incendiary weapon and not for chemical warfare.

Legal Consequences and Strengthening Protocol III:

  • Breaching international law and protocols can lead to global condemnation, investigations, and potential prosecution for war crimes.
  • Strengthening Protocol III would clarify rules, prevent exploitation of legal loopholes, and facilitate enforcement.

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