Skip to main content

India's 88% policymakers "don't know" women's early marriage rate, 77% maternal mortality rate, 38% UN's SDGs

By Rajiv Shah
That Indian policy makers have had little or no empathy for the social sector and they are more concerned about business interests is widely known. However, a top international survey of five nations has provided convincing data showing that 38% of India's policy makers have little or no knowledge of even the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. The report says, as many as 15% of Indian policy makers have no knowledge of SDGs, which is the highest among the five nations surveyed. Further, 23% said have "not much" knowledge about SDGs.
The report regrets, "The highest proportion of policymakers with not much or no knowledge of the SDGs was found in India (38%)."
The survey report, "Equal Measures 2030", prepared jointly by global civil society and private sector organizations, says that in Kenya 65% of policymakers reported knowing “a great deal” about the SDGs, compared to 29% in Senegal, Colombia (20%), and India (27%). Another 35% of Indian policy makers said they had "fair amount" of knowledge of SDGs.
On September 25th 2015, the UN general assembly adopted  a set of 17 goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
Apart from SDGs, the survey sought answers questions related to how do policymakers perceive progress on gender equality in their countries, what needs to change in order to improve gender equality, what data and evidence do they rely on to make their decisions, and how confident are they in their understanding of the major challenges affecting girls and women in their countries.
The policymakers surveyed, both by telephonic and face-to-face interviews, are members of central government, members of parliament; representatives of local- or state-level administration and representative bodies; senior civil servants; and ‘key influencers’, e.g., executives of independent statutory bodies, such as human rights commissions, heads of business associations, media associations, trade unions.
Those who sponsored the report include Kuala Lumpur-bases Asia-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women;
Data2X, a technical and advocacy platform, housed at the United Nations Foundation; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; International Women’s Health Coalition; and top private consultant KPMG International.
Suggesting that Indian policymakers, like those in other countries, are not even aware of basic data on gender issues, the report finds that their estimates of the percentage of women in the labour force ranged from 20% to 70%, while "the most recently available data says 27%", which is the worst among the five countries.
Pointing out that there is poor understanding of gender-related data among policymakers of the five countries, the report finds, just 12% of Indian policymakers admitted that they know of the latest figure of early marriage rate of women, while a whopping 69% said they don’t recall but know where this information is, and 19% said they don’t even know where this information.
As for the share of women in labour force, 19% claimed they know this, 69% said they don’t recall but know where this information is, and 12% said they don’t know about it nor do they where this information is.
Coming to the seats held by women in Parliament, 35% said they know this, while 65% said they don’t recall but know where this information is. And, on maternal mortality rate, 23% said they know this, 65% said don’t recall but know where this information is, and 12% said they don’t know and don’t know where this information is.

Comments

Arundeep Chaudhry said…
A very well studied and educative article on the poor knowledge of a few policymakers. Is this not due to the rise of unqualified over the meitorious owing to the quota system ? I wish we had better qualified policymakers for a better future of a better India.

TRENDING

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).