- Emerging countries need women-led climate action.
- When technology runs faster than the processes.
In 2021, the OECD said-“ Gender equality and environmental goals are mutually reinforcing and create a virtuous circle that will help accelerate the achievement of the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals]”. Additionally, a study by the International Labour Organization in 2019 projected that by 2030, high temperatures would lead to a global loss of 2.2 percent of total working hours, equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs.
- Role of women and women organizations
- Social empowerment
- Inclusive growth
- Climate change
Emerging countries need women-led climate action. Elucidate. (15 marks, 250 words).
Impact of climate change on women:
|Disproportionate Vulnerability||Climate change disproportionately affects women in low-income areas due to their reliance on natural resources and labor-intensive livelihoods. The climate crisis increases the time and effort required to secure basic necessities. Rural women often bear the responsibility of ensuring access to clean water, sufficient cooking fuel, and nutritious food for their families. |
A study by McAllister in 2023 projected the possibility of 1.2 billion climate refugees by 2050. The United Nations noted in 2009 that women, across genders, are highly vulnerable and bear a greater burden of climate change impacts compared to men.
|Poverty||Women are more likely to experience poverty compared to men, primarily because they are responsible for unpaid domestic work related to food, water, and other household chores.|
|Agriculture||Women in low-income countries, particularly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, engage in climate-vulnerable occupations like farming and other labor-intensive activities. |
According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), over 60% of working women in these regions are employed in agriculture, often receiving inadequate pay and working under challenging conditions.
Despite being integral to food production, women own only about 10% of the farmland. Climate change has a detrimental impact on agricultural productivity, with heat stress affecting workers, especially in South Asia and Africa.
Altered precipitation patterns and more frequent extreme weather events further exacerbate problems. These effects disproportionately harm those who already struggle to access resources, knowledge, and technology.
Women involved in agriculture often lack access to quality inputs and possess limited education and technical skills, rendering them highly vulnerable and deeply affected.
Various studies also highlight how flooding exacerbates water scarcity and leads to increased violence and exploitation against women.
|Disasters||A UN study reveals that the majority (80%) of individuals displaced due to climate-related disasters are women and girls. Women, especially those from vulnerable communities, encounter distinct challenges during and after natural calamities. |
When women are forced to leave their homes, they become more susceptible to discrimination and exploitation. For example, following the 2015 earthquake in Nepal, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) observed that women faced a higher risk of human trafficking and exploitation.
|Additional Concerns||Women may be at heightened risk to their health and safety because they must undertake arduous daily journeys to fetch water and fuel. Separation from their social networks, an increased vulnerability to gender-based violence, and reduced access to employment, education, and essential healthcare services, including sexual and reproductive healthcare and psychosocial support, represent just a few of the gender-specific challenges confronting women.|
The impacts of climate change can significantly exacerbate poverty and socio-economic vulnerabilities among women. Climate change is closely intertwined with gender inequality. Estimates suggest that by 2050, around 130 million people could be pushed into poverty due to climate change risks, natural disasters, and rising food costs, with women disproportionately affected by this inequality.
- Women have a vital role to play in adapting to a changing climate. Investments in women’s education, training, and access to resources are imperative for enhancing our resilience to climate change’s effects.
- Reducing the adverse impacts of climate change on people’s living standards can be achieved by educating them in sustainable agriculture, water management, and energy generation. For instance, in India, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) instructs women farmers on how to adapt to shifting climate patterns, improving their financial stability.
- Therefore, it is crucial to support organizations that educate the public, provide training for climate change adaptation, and invest in women’s education and training in environmentally sustainable farming techniques.
The active participation of women in climate policy decision-making, at all levels, is vital for effective climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies, as well as the attainment of decent employment opportunities. Given the greater risks women face in the context of climate change, achieving gender parity in decision-making bodies is indispensable. Initiatives like the Gender and Climate Change Development Programme in South Asia aim to amplify women’s voices in policymaking, and similar global efforts are required to ensure efficient climate change adaptation and mitigation. Developing and emerging countries urgently need climate actions led by women.
Although we are actively advancing technology and striving for digitization, significant deficiencies exist in terms of completing tasks thoroughly. The current approach often focuses on achieving unique accomplishments that haven’t been achieved elsewhere in the world, but it frequently overlooks the subsequent steps required to enhance individual convenience, which should be the foremost objective. This situation arises when technological innovation outpaces our capacity to implement it effectively nationwide.
Although we are actively advancing technology and striving for digitization, significant deficiencies exist in terms of completing tasks thoroughly. Discuss. (10 marks, 150 words).
Illustrations to prove the above point:
|Aadhar card and passport||To obtain an Aadhaar card, individuals must provide proof of residence, and a passport is an accepted document for this purpose. However, when it comes to renewing your passport, you are required to present your Aadhaar card, which completes the formalities. This is accompanied by police verification. It creates opportunities for illicit gains. There are instances of rude encounters where police officers question the reasons for wanting to travel abroad and then seek bribes for processing the paperwork. Top of Form|
|Banking system||There’s a regulation known as Know Your Customer (KYC), which necessitates periodic verification for every customer. As the deadline approaches, banks send reminders that can come across as somewhat intimidating. To comply with this requirement, individuals must fill out forms and provide their PAN and Aadhaar as proof. This seems unreasonable because these two documents remain constant, and the same information is repeatedly furnished.|
|Income Tax System||The income tax system, currently utilizes artificial intelligence to compile all financial transactions associated with an individual’s PAN number. The AIS form meticulously records every detail without exceptions. It appears to be a work in progress, as there are significant errors, such as mutual fund purchases being credited to both joint holders instead of the primary holder. It is presumed that these issues will be rectified in due course. Moreover there be Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) applied to each transaction, tailored to the specific tax bracket of the taxpayer, rather than a fixed rate like the standard 10%. This could be easily accomplished by individuals indicating their respective tax brackets.|
|FasTag||In a bustling city like Mumbai, situations can become quite frustrating at toll gates. The machine’s failure to read the Fastag can result in traffic jams and irate drivers honking their horns incessantly. While this system benefits the government or the toll operators by preventing personnel from pocketing toll fees, it can impose a significant inconvenience on motorists.|
Reasons for these shortcomings:
- The challenge arises because once a technology is implemented, there is often little motivation to make subsequent improvements.
- Cost considerations may come into play, as seen in the case of Aadhaar modifications where new cards are not issued, and individuals must download them. Moreover, finding a center for these updates can be challenging, as many have been closed down.
- In the realm of technology, particularly in the financial sector, issues are frequently addressed by regulators through extensive educational programs, which is commendable. However, in various other areas, significant work remains to be done.
- The government’s introduction of faceless tax assessment is a commendable step that addresses a critical issue. However, the use of AI in this context can sometimes lead to confusion, as it may generate inquiries for thousands of individuals based on algorithmic criteria. This means that a discrepancy of ₹1 or ₹1 crore is treated the same across all calculations.
Ideally, obtaining a passport should be a seamless, automated procedure where individuals submit the necessary fees and receive their passport without requiring in-person interactions, relying on their Aadhaar card for verification. Logically, a simple confirmation click on the website should eliminate the need to visit the branch again if there have been no alterations to the KYC information. Moving forward, it’s essential to gather public input in each of these domains and involve engineers to resolve any lingering issues. More importantly, public opinions should be sought and incorporated into these schemes because, in the end, the goal should be to make the user experience convenient rather than burdensome, which can be the case at times today.