Topic: GS3 – gender equality.
Gender Disparities in Economics
- Historically, economic history has focused on men and their contributions, as evidenced by the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
- The Nobel Prize has been awarded to significantly more men (90) than women (3), with Elinor Ostrom, Esther Duflo, and Claudia Goldin being the female laureates.
- Claudia Goldin’s work delves into the gender pay gap and why women earn less than men for similar work.
Economic Science and Women’s Work
- Economics primarily measures natural and human resources in monetary terms, often neglecting the value of women’s work in the family and caregiving.
- Women’s contributions to family well-being do not directly contribute to economic growth and GDP.
- This can lead to women being considered less valuable in economic enterprises due to their potential limitations in full-time employment.
Changing Global Employment Trends
- Global patterns of economic growth are shifting towards more gig economy and informal sector jobs.
- Long-term employment is becoming scarcer, even in industrial establishments.
- These trends pose challenges for countries like India with a large youth population seeking dignified work and social security.
Role of Care-Giving in India
- India, despite rapid economic growth, ranks low in human development (132 out of 191 countries).
- Care-giving work, often done by women in the domestic and community sectors, is undervalued and poorly compensated.
- There is a need to invest in care-giving services to improve human development.
India’s Vision and SDGs
- India is calling for a human-centric development approach and challenges the GDP-driven vision of globalization.
- Policymakers aim to bring more women into industrial establishments to boost GDP, potentially disrupting their family and caregiving roles.
- The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) require a new approach to achieve progress, as the current one is off-track.
Bottom-Up Solutions and the Feminine View of the Economy
- Complex problems, including those related to environment, livelihood, health, and infrastructure, should be solved bottom-up by communities.
- Local solutions, cooperatively developed and adapted, are crucial to achieving the SDGs.
- A paradigm shift in economics is needed to embrace a feminine view of the economy that values cooperation, equity, and sustainability.
Power Shift and Institutional Reforms
- Paradigm shifts require a shift in power, which can be challenging for those in positions of authority.
- The traditional hierarchy of power based on money, political authority, and formal education must evolve.
- Women should have the freedom to shape inclusive institutions, and local communities should have greater decision-making power in designing sustainable solutions.
Conclusion: Vision of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
- To realize the vision of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (One Family, One Earth, One Future), fundamental institutional reforms are necessary to empower women and local communities.
Question: How can a paradigm shift in economics, focusing on cooperation, equity, and sustainability, be achieved to empower women and promote inclusive and sustainable development?