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Sex ratio in Haryana touches 900-mark for first time in 20 years

The child sex ratio at birth (SRB) in Haryana for the first time has touched 900-mark in two decades. SRB in December 2016 in Haryana was 914.

From January to December 2016 out of 5,25,278 children were born in Haryana, 2,76,414 were boys and 2,48,864 were girl.

Reasons for increase in SRB in Haryana
  • In 2011, India’s child sex ratio stood at 914 girls to 1000 boys, the lowest since Independence and Haryana had a child sex ratio 834 girls to 1000 boys, far worse than the national average.
  • The recent improvement SRB in Haryana was made possible due to effective implementation of the law against illegal sex determination and female foeticide.
  • Besides, Union Government also had launched the ambitious “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” (B3P) campaign against female foeticide in Panipat in January 2015.
  • Strong political will coupled with convergence of all departments at the district-level and co-ordinated efforts by all districts in the State played important role to achieve this goal.
  • State Government also had initiated an aggressive drive against female foeticide by ensuring stringent implementation of Medical Terminal of Pregnancy (MTP) Act and Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, 1994.
  • Regular awareness was created through regular meetings, street plays and rallies in urban and rural areas as part of the programme.
  • Moreover, Haryana girls including Sakshi Malik, Geeta and Babita Phogat, and Deepa Malik, winning laurels for the country in sports also helped the cause “tremendously”.

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Google Doodle pays tribute to India’s social reformer Savitribai Phule

Search engine giant Google honoured India’s 19th Century social reformer Savitribai Phule on the occasion of her 186th birth anniversary (3 January 2017) by dedicating a doodle on its webpage.

The ‘doodle’ had a narration by New Delhi-based NGO Zubaan, with colourful paintings by Malvika Asher on the different historical aspects of Savitribai’s life.

It showed a group of demure women assembled outside what could be a school for education in a skyblue starry background which also doubles as her blouse.

About Savitribai Phule

  • Savitribai was among the country’s first women to speak up for the rights of women. She was the first woman teacher of the first women’s school in India and also a first pioneer in modern Marathi poetry.
  • Born as Savitribai K. Patil on January 3, 1831 into a family of farmers. She was married at the age of nine to the 13-year old Jyotirao Phule.
  • She was home taught to read and write by her husband. Later the couple founded India’s first school for girls and women in Bhidewada, Pune (Maharashtra).
  • It started with just nine girls from different castes enrolled as students – but it became a historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
  • The school was started with just 9 girls from different castes. But it was considered as historic step when female education was considered taboo in the orthodox Indian society prevalent then.
  • During the British rule in India, the Phule couple had launched a crusade against social discrimination based on caste and gender, and also had sparked the flame for women’s equal rights.
  • During this highly patriarchal and orthodox Indian society when women had no say in anything, Savitribai’s courageous campaign covered social issues such as child marriages, child widows, practice of ‘Sati’, women education and fighting for equal rights for all women.
  • Even after death of Jyotirao Phule in 1890, she carried on legacy of his Satyashodhak. She died while serving people suffering from bubonic plague in Maharashtra in 1897.
  • As a tribute to her sheer courage and pioneering efforts in field of women education, social reform and gender equality Maharashtra government had renamed Pune University as Savitribai Phule University. India Post also had released a stamp in honour of Savitribai on March 10, 1998.

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India suffers from huge gender pay gap: ILO Report

Recently released Global Wage Report 2016-17 released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has found that India suffers from huge gender pay gap.

It shows that India has among the worst levels of gender wage disparity (men earning more than women in similar jobs) with the gap exceeding 30%.

Key Facts
  • Singapore has among the lowest gender wage disparity at 3%. Among major economies, South Korea only fared worse than India, with a gap of 37%.
  • India’s position: In India, women formed 60% of the lowest paid wage labour, but only 15% of the highest wage-earners.
  • It means that women are not only poorly represented in the top bracket of wage-earners but also gender pay gap at the bottom is also very wide in India. In other words, not only were women paid less, there were fewer women in highly paid occupations.
  • Regional wage disparity: The share of women among wage earners was among the lowest in South Asia. Compared to a global average of 40%, and an Asia-Pacific average of 38%, in South Asia (whose dominant economy is India), only 20% of wage earners were women.
  • Reasons for wage gap: Women’s educational choices produced occupational segregation. Care work mostly undertaken by women is undervalued because it may be seen as a natural female attribute rather than a skill to be acquired. Thus, there is higher representation of women in sectors where their work is undervalued results in a gender pay gap.
  • Way Forward: Strong labour market institutions and policies such as collective bargaining and minimum wages will help to lower the pay gap. It is found that the gender pay gap is smallest (around 8%) in the group of countries where the collective bargaining rate is at least 80%, and widest in countries with weak collective bargaining and very low or no minimum wages.
  • Income inequality: The report also highlighted income inequality. In India, the top 1% earns 33 times what the bottom 10% did. The top 10% also earned 43% of all wages. Since 2006, average wages rose by 60% in India, while they more than doubled in China.

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About International Labour Organisation (ILO)

The ILO is a United Nations agency dealing with labour issues, particularly international labour standards, social protection, and work opportunities for all. It was established in 1919 as an agency of the League of Nations and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

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