Sultana's Dream - 6th Aug 2016

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Sultana's Dream - 6th Aug 2016

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 07, 2016 10:19 pm

The commentary is a utopian depiction where women rule the world and “traditional” or “contemporary” roles of men an women is reversed. The author depicts a situation where women are in charge of social, economic and political institutions, while men are relegated to the confines of “mardana”. All said, the situation described is a skewed one with one section of society controlling all the systems and resources.
What is equality? We had interesting debate on the meaning of equality in terms of opportunity to serve in political and economic institutions; access to and control over resources and property; role in decision making. Opportunity should not be on the basis of the sex, rather there would be adequate opportunity to take part in economic, social and political spheres. Gender equality has a lot to do with the mindset and social conditioning that determines how society deals with the situation. For instance, the contribution of women to the economy is often not recognised adequately leading to socio-economic-political independence for both women and men.

Another aspect to measure gender equality refers to the indicators that are taken to determine the difference, and also to the nature of available data. For example, it is often recognised that “tribal society” is gender equitable. It leads us to examine how do we define gender equality and often we miss the underlying causes. I think broadly equality between men and women needs to be assessed in terms of (a) distribution of economic resources and (b) opportunity and role in decision making.

Take away from today discussion:

# How to define equality, especially in terms of gender differences and also equality between different section of society? If we take the
# How to quantify non-economic contributions of women in economic calculations? In normal economic discourse and policy analysis, this is often the hidden portion that is missed by policy makers.
# When we talk about equality, there is an element of “exclusion” and always it is observed that the vulnerable section is excluded from various development programmes. Though there is a need to have specific provision and added emphasis for this, we miss out in policy design. This has much to do with addressing the “mindset” and “attitude” of the policy makers and implementing agencies. Also there is often a struggle between customary practices and contemporary recommendations.


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