Women Related Issues Current Affairs - 2020

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Union Government launches Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan

The Union Government launched Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) to provide free health check-ups to pregnant women at government health centres and hospitals.

The Scheme was launched by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare J P Nadda in New Delhi. It was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat in June 2016.

Key Features

  • The national programme aims to provide pregnant ladies free ante-natal services (ANC) and required treatment for free on 9th of every month.
  • Objectives of the scheme are (i) Provide healthy life to the pregnant women. (ii) Lowering the maternity mortality rate. (iii) Making pregnant women aware of their health issues and diseases. (iv) Making sure safe delivery and healthy life of the baby.
  • The scheme is applicable only for the pregnant women in their pregnancy period of 3 to 6 months. It will provide all kinds of medical checkups completely free to pregnant women.
  • These checkups will take place at the medical centres, government and private hospitals and private clinics across the country.
  • These free of cost tests will include blood pressure, sugar level, weight, haemoglobin test, blood test and screening.
  • Women will be marked differently using different colour stickers based on their health problems so that doctors can easily detect the problem.
  • Different colour stickers will be Red Sticker for Serious patients, Blue Sticker for High blood pressure and Yellow Sticker for Other diseases.

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India ranks 87th on the WEF’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016

India has been ranked 87th out of 144 countries on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2016. India has climbed 21 spots from 108th position in 2015.

The report measures gender gap as progress towards parity between men and women in four areas (i) Educational attainment, (ii) Health and survival, (iii) Economic opportunity and (iv) Political empowerment.

Key Highlights of the report

  • Top 5 Countries in 2016 Report: Iceland (1st), Finland (2nd), Norway (3rd), Sweden (4th) and Rwandaglobal-gender-report (5th).
  • India related facts: In this edition India has overtaken China which is ranked 99th.
  • The improvement in India’s ranking is driven largely by major improvements in education, where it has managed to close its gap entirely in primary and secondary education.
  • In case of education attainment, India has made considerable strides moving up from 125th rank in 2015 to 113th in 2016.
  • On economic participation and opportunity too, India has moved up to 136th rank in 2016, from 139th in the year 2015.
  • On health and survival, India has made little progress moving up by one place to 142nd rank compared to 141st in 2015. On political empowerment, India continues to be ranked 9th in the world.
  • Overall Global Facts: The global march towards parity in key economic pillar has slowed down dramatically. This gap stands at 59% which is now larger than at any point since 2008. As a consequence, global economic gender gap will now not close until year 2186.

Comment

The gender gap in India has narrowed down. But India still remains one of the worst countries in the world for women in terms of labour force participation, income levels as well as health and survival. India has closed its gender gap by 2% in a year (2016), but much work remains to be done to empower women in the economic sphere. India continues to rank third-lowest in the world on Health and Survival, remaining the world’s least-improved country over the past decade.

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