At least the apex court felt the need to slam the administration over clubbing housewives and women engaged in domestic work along with the categories containing prostitutes, beggars and prisoners within the Census; the court stated that such categorisation of women is totally irrational and insensitive. I kept wondering that in an era where even the slightest of gender discrimination is a highly inflammable and potent fuel for the media, activists and the civil society alike, how was it that such a slap on the face of the housewife (the Census categorization) had gone unnoticed – or should I say deliberately overlooked? Is it that in our progressive society today, the housewife has lost her identity or is it that her definition has been reduced to the manner in which she gets portrayed in TRP hungry daily soaps? Is it that she is being taken too much for granted?

According to the Census, the logic behind clubbing housewives along with beggars and prostitutes stems from the fact that none of them directly contributes to the economy. In simple terms, it means that all three categories of people are unproductive. I do not wish to comment much on begging and prostitution, but should mention that both professions are an outcome of the productive people around! Clearly, this kind of categorization of housewives is not just discriminatory but is outrageously illogical. In fact, if one goes about calculating the contributions that are being made by a housewife then it would put a lot of the so called productive people to shame. To start with, a report by the ‘Evangelical Social Action Forum and Health Brigade’ estimates that the economic value added by Indian housewives would be nothing less than $600 billion annually – that is equal to a staggering Rs 28,20,000 crore. In simple terms, it means that on an average an Indian housewife adds Rs 78,000 per year to the economy – which again I feel is an understatement given the fact that the millions of housewives support their respective families in innumerable ways. To an extent that without their support, most of the so called productive lot would become unproductive.

A survey, which was featured almost four years back, and which quite strangely was ignored by most of the leading media houses, proves that if we were to add the contributions made by housewives to their respective households – to the National Income – then Indian GDP would go up by a staggering four folds! Notwithstanding all that, if one were to still state that the contributions of a housewife are intangible and cannot be added to the GDP, it should not mean that their contributions are reduced to a naught! How can one rule out the facts that even today, as per an NSSO survey, more than 50 per cent of rural women and 20 per cent of urban women are engaged in activities like collection of fuel wood, fetching of water after walking for kilometers, and providing a silent latent hand in small household businesses – acts that go completely unpaid. Beside these, a large number of women across the country look after livestock, poultry, domestic hygiene, cooking, of course children too, and so on and so forth. Going by the assumption that these housewives work for around 10 hours per day (which again is a conservative estimate, as most of them are found working for more than 12 hours a day), if these women were paid for their daily work, even simply at par with wages set by the government under the Minimum Wages Act, a single women ends up adding a minimum of Rs 2,500-3,500 per month per family. And unlike prisoners, beggars and prostitutes, almost all of the work done by housewives is economic in nature as in most of the developed countries, the work that housewives do are generally carried out through paid contracts.     Read More....

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IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
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It is the women of the country who have been in the news for the first few days in the month of March. What started with the passing of one of the most contentious bill (women reservation) in the Rajya Sabha, ended up with another equally controversial, yet favourable judgment passed by the high court, with respect to women officers. The court granted permanent commission to interested women officers of the forces serving under the short service commission. As was expected, the government has been silent so far on the issue and again as expected the top brass of the Army and the Air Force have reacted against the high court’s stance. The high court passed this judgment with a view that few women officers who were assured eligibility for a permanent commission during the time of recruitment were denied of the same later. In fact, the denial was only meted out to them while their male counterparts were moved from the short service commission to permanent commission. The court was of the view that this act had been discriminatory, and thus passed an order stating that the officers, who joined before 2006, including those who have retired, should be awarded full permanent commission with complete financial and other benefits in retrospect.

Going by sheer merit of the judgment, it can be said that it is a landmark moment! And of whatever I have read so far, most of the editorial stance by most media houses has been against the judgment. So much so, the top brass of the Army and Air Force are contemplating to contest the judgment in the apex court. Their biggest concern has been with respect to the high court’s order to take back the retired women officers and accommodate them. As per the top brass, there aren’t any vacancies at the senior positions to accommodate these women officers who retired from Short Service Commission. There have also been reports stating that for people who have been against this judgment feel that there exists occupational hazard in forces, and thus women should not be given permanent commission. In fact all these arguments are profound in themselves, but then my question is that even after knowing all this, why such an assurance was given to accommodate women officers for permanent commission, in the first place? And if the assurance was given, then why such a differential treatment was meted out to them? And finally, why is the government silent now?

And frankly, I do not subscribe to logic of occupational hazards, as women officers in India still serve in the noncombat areas and as far as any other hazards are concerned they are equally associated with other professions as well. Women officers in India mostly serve engineering, ordnance, signals, intelligence, education, law, air traffic control, among others. And if today, women are equal opportunity partners in all other fields, why should they be denied the same in services. For that matter even, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, all of them have their special Mahila battalions, taking care of frontline duties in the border region. What more, a contingent of 120 CRPF women has been in Liberia for quite sometime taking care of law and order situation in the civil war torn nation.     Read More....

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM B-School Detail
IIPM makes business education truly global
IIPM’s Management Consulting Arm - Planman Consulting
Arindam Chaudhuri (IIPM Dean) – ‘Every human being is a diamond’
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Planman Technologies – IT Solutions at your finger tips
Planman Consulting
Arindam Chaudhuri's Portfolio - he is at his candid best by Society Magazine

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website


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