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Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 11 October 2023

CONTENTS:

  1. Social Entrepreneurship to Combat Human Trafficking
  2. Women Want Change, Society Needs Change

Social Entrepreneurship to Combat Human Trafficking


Context:

In September 2023, during the Annual General Meeting and Biennial Conference of the Asia-Pacific Forum on Human Rights in New Delhi, President Smt. Droupadi Murmu emphasized the interconnectedness of human rights and the imperative to address environmental concerns. She urged equal attention to be given to healing Mother Nature, emphasizing that Indian philosophy extends beyond human rights to encompass the protection of every particle in the universe as a manifestation of divinity.

Relevance:

GS 2-

  • Issues Relating to Development
  • Government Policies & Interventions

Mains Question:

While the world is extensively talking about development indicators, human trafficking is still predominant, and needs to be tackled globally. Elucidate. (15 marks, 250 words).

Human Rights and the History of India:

  • Basavanna, an esteemed sage from southern India, advocated for individual liberty and equality through the “Anubhava Mantapa,” a collective assembly disregarding class and gender.
  • India’s historical contributions include the world’s first people’s representative government in Vaishali nearly 2,800 years ago and the recognition of universal adult franchise rights in the Constitution.
  • India, following a human-centric and inclusive approach to development, shares its experiences globally under the ethos of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Current Status of Human Rights:

  • Despite global discussions on development indicators, the severe issue of human trafficking, a grave violation of human rights, persists and necessitates worldwide attention.
  • This silent crime often goes unnoticed, particularly in today’s complex and prevalent socio-economic challenges, leading to various forms of trafficking in vulnerable communities.
  • While India has made efforts, existing legal frameworks fall short due to societal vulnerabilities.

Way Forward:

  • Addressing human trafficking requires a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to amplify voices and establish coordinated social justice and entrepreneurial systems.
  • Social entrepreneurship emerges as a powerful tool to reduce vulnerability and address trafficking, with potential to rehabilitate survivors in high-traffic areas.
  • By building organisations and changing systems, social entrepreneurs contribute to prevention and economic stability for those at-risk and survivors.
  • To achieve true systemic transformation, the anti-trafficking movement must innovate, focusing on awareness, skills, self-employment, empowerment, support, education, and dignity for potential victims and survivors.
  • Establishing a dialogue on survivors’ involvement in legislation, social entrepreneurship, and public policies is crucial for effective prevention.

Conclusion:

A multi-stakeholder dialogue is recommended to gather opinions on combating human trafficking in India through social entrepreneurship, emphasizing the need for timely action to create enterprises that provide innovative solutions nationally and internationally.


Women Want Change, Society Needs Change


Context:

The 17th iteration of the Global Gender Gap Report, released by the World Economic Forum on June 20, 2023, draws on data from 146 countries, stressing on global gender inequality.

Relevance:

GS2- Politics

Mains Question:

Drawing from the Global Gender Gap Report by World Economic Forum, analyse the status of gender equality in politics. (10 marks, 150 words).


More on the report:

  • The report’s findings suggest that, given the current pace of progress, it will take 131 years to eliminate the global gender gap.
  • In densely populated South Asian countries, including India, this timeframe extends to 149 years.
  • The report emphasizes the efficacy of reservations as a form of affirmative action, asserting that equity is the initial stride toward equality.
  • Dismissing reservations based on claims of inefficiency or incompetence is considered an excuse for denying marginalized groups access to restricted spaces.
  • The viewpoint maintained is that women are not inferior to men, and any perceived incompetencies are temporary, dissipating once opportunities for skill development are provided.
  • The argument against reservations often posits that they may compromise competence. However, statistics indicate that women outperform men in academics, with higher graduation rates and greater workforce entry. Despite this, the representation of women in leadership positions declines, not due to incompetence but rather due to male hegemony.


Women and Politics:

  • The Women’s Reservation Bill, a landmark legislation, gained approval in September 2023, signifying a fresh beginning for Indian aspirations.
  • The delay in passing this bill underscores the minimal role women have played in shaping India’s political landscape, despite the early adoption of universal adult suffrage by the country’s founding fathers.
  • The global scenario reflects a trend of decreasing ages of political leaders.
  • Question, however arises whether an ordinary Indian woman can aspire to become the Prime Minister at the age of 37, akin to leaders like Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand.
  • There is still a societal reluctance to accept ambitious women in leadership roles, exemplified by the case of Hillary Clinton losing to Donald Trump despite superior political experience.
  • The discussion delves into historical evidence, asserting that women in leadership roles often got there due to circumstances favoring men, political convenience, or specific agendas.
  • Privileged women in leadership are criticized for not being supportive of the less fortunate, perpetuating misconceptions about their own paths to leadership.

Conclusion:

The regressive views on gender equality held by both men and women act as a significant obstacle. Even progressive men oppose women’s participation in general seats. There is hence a need for the Women’s Reservation Bill’s prompt implementation, that can urge a correction of historical injustices for a more equitable society.


June 2024
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