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21 January 2021: The Hindu Editorial Analysis

1) Removing the creases in housework valuation .

https://th.thgim.com/static/img/1x1_spacer.png The work women perform for the family should be valued equally with men’s work during the continuance of marriage.

GS-1: Role of women and women’s organization, population and associated issues, poverty and developmental issues, urbanization, their problems and their remedies.


CONTEXT:

1. Indian society deny Women equal rights, and under the latest Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh Ordinances.

2. The right to choose their spouses, the recognition of domestic work as work, recognition work of wives, is debatable issues of women’s.

3. What have the legislative initiatives and judicial responses been in this regard?

 

About works of women’s:

1. As in the 2011 Census, while 159.85 million women stated household work as their main occupation, a mere 5.79 men referred to it as their main occupation.

2. Globally, women perform 76.2% of total hours of unpaid care work, more than three times as much as men.

3. National Statistical Office, Government of India (published in September 2020) which says that on an average, while Indian women spend 299 minutes a day on unpaid domestic services for h4. usehold members, men spend just 97 minutes.

4. 92% Indian women take part in unpaid domestic work; only 27% men do so.

5. India's domestic workers numbers around 5 million domestic workers of which around 3.5 million are women.

6. The number of female workers in the age group of 15-59 had increased by 17%. In cities, the increase was over 70% from 14.7 million in 2001 to 25 million in 2011.

7. Around 90% of the domestic help in India are women and children (predominantly girls) in the age group of 12 to 75. It is estimated that 25% of them are below the age of 14.

8. In India’ (2009) had estimated the economic value of services by women to be to the tune of a whopping $612.8 billion annually.

 

Acknowledged the contribution of the housewives by SC.

1. Arun Kumar Agrawal v. National Insurance Company (2010), the Supreme Court  acknowledged the contribution of the housewives and also observed that it cannot be computed in terms of money. Her gratuitous services rendered with true love and affection cannot be equated with services rendered by others

2.  Justice A.K. Ganguly in Arun Kumar Agrawal (2010) : referred to Census 2001 that is carried out under an Act of Parliament and had categorized those who perform household duties ,about 36 crore women in India ,as non-workers and clubbed them together with beggars, prostitutes and prisoners (who are not engaged in economically unproductive work).

3. In case of Rajendra Singh (2020),dealt with a limited question of compensation under the Motor Vehicles Act to calculate the compensation for the death of homemakers.

 

Issues related to women’s:

1. While several legislations such as the Unorganized Social Security Act, 2008,

2.  Sexual Harassment against Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013.

3.  Minimum Wages Schedules notified in various states: refer to domestic workers, there remains an absence of comprehensive,

4. Uniformly applicable, national legislation that guarantees fair terms of employment and decent working conditions.

5. In 2010, The registration of the National Housewives Association as a trade union was denied as domestic work was treated as neither trade nor industry.

6. Household Wage not recognized yet.

7. Makes Woman Autonomous and Controls Domestic Violence.

8. Redefines the Role of Women in society

 

Current Challenges:

1. Cultural values, limited role as homemaker with status of mother, sister and wife,

2.  Partnership and industries, not considered capable enough to handle it.

3.  Gender equality studied in isolation, The crime against boys and men go unreported, even this group should be studied.

4. The laws made are gender biased rather than gender neutral laws.

5.  Hardly any steps for political representation of women.

6.  Gender exploitation in unorganized sector go unrecorded.

7.  Study limited to women empowerment rather than youth empowerment.

 

Solution:

1. Legal status to domestic workers. It would facilitate recognition of part-time and full-time domestic help as “workers”

2.  The right to register with the state labour department.  It also plans to ensure minimum wages and equal remuneration to the domestic workers.

3. Put effective means to regulate working conditions, for example, through streamlined job descriptions which could be offered through standard contracts.

4. Clearly define various terms such as part time workers, full time workers, live in workers, employers and private placement agencies.

5. The United Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against the Women, in 1991, had recommended measurement and quantification of unremunerated domestic activities of women and their recognition in GDP.

6. The de facto economic contribution of women is highlighted Matrimonial property laws.

7. The time has come to insist that the work women perform for the family should be valued equally with men’s work during the continuance of marriage.

 

A hierarchical structure (past and present):

1. The English common law of marital status was starkly hierarchical. Forget the recognition of a homemaker’s work as work; she had no right even in respect of her work outside home.

2. In fact till 1851, no country had recognized a wife’s right in earnings of any sort. If a housewife worked for pay in or out of the home, it was her husband’s prerogative to collect her wages.

3. Seventh century Islamic law clearly mandates husbands to pay wives if they decide to suckle their children and entitle them to spend certain portions of husband’s money without his consent.

4. The middle of the 19th century, some American States started reforming the common law of marital status by enacting the “Married Women’s Property Acts”. Some of these statutes exempted the wives’ real property from their husband’s debts.

5. By 1850, the era of “earning statutes” started which granted wives property rights in earnings from their “separate” or “personal” labour.

 

Separate spheres:

1.  Women demanded a right to own themselves, their earnings, their genius. Accordingly, in 1851, at the Worcester Convention.

2. They finally achieved success when the equal rights of wives in the matrimonial property were recognized.

3. The Third National Women’s Liberation conference, in England in 1972, for the first time, explicitly demanded payment of wages for the household work.

4. In india, Veena Verma did introduce a private member Bill in 1994 entitled The Married Women (Protection of Rights) Bill, 1994.

5. This Bill provided that a married woman shall be entitled to have an equal share in the property of her husband from the date of her marriage and shall also be entitled to dispose of her share in the property by way of sale, gift, mortgage, will or in any other manner whatsoever.

 

Way forward:

1. Women should be encouraged and helped to reach their full potential through quality education, access and opportunities of work, gender-sensitive and harassment-free workplaces and attitudinal and behavior change within families to make household chores more participative.

2.  If women become a little assertive, prenuptial marriage agreements can easily solve this problem with the insertion of the clause on wives’ right in husband’s earnings and properties being included.

3. Gender equality should encompass men and women both. There is a need of change in societal mindset. Men and women should respect each other. Real education begins at home. So it is even the duty of parents and teachers to incorporate healthy values right from the young age.

 

2) True empowerment of the electricity consumer

Without strong accountability provisions, the consumer protection rules will not guarantee better power supply quality

GS-3:  Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc. and Investment models.


CONTEXT:

1. Did electricity consumers truly get “empowered? After two years since the declaration of universal electrification.

2. Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020, and it’s the limitations challenge and issues.

3. Solution for consumer, state and center after implementation of DISCOMs Policy.

 

Challenge and Issues to Consumer empowered:

1. Poor quality supply: Many States have not been able to provide quality supply, especially to rural and small electricity consumers.

2. Minimum standards: the Rules lay an emphasis on national minimum standards for the performance parameters of electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs) without urban-rural distinction.

3. Automatically compensation to consumer account: reiterate the need for automatically compensating consumers, especially for new connections for BPL, metering and billing.

4. Lack of accountability: it is on account and implement the accounting is a lack of accountability systems to enforce them.

5. Hours of supply: Guarantee and provision of round the clock supply which might be missing in State regulations.

6. Discrimination between rural and urban supply: according to government reports, rural areas received about 20 hours of supply, urban have 24 hours.

7. Electricity meter-related complaints: The Rules say that faulty meters should be tested within 30 days of receipt of a complaint vary from state to state.

8.  Consumer Grievance Redressal Forum: The Rules say forum constituted to remedy complaints against DISCOMs as per existing laws and regulations should be headed by a senior officer of the company. But its vary from state to state.

9. The Rules are not forward looking: the government’s intent to promote rooftop solar systems. They guarantee net metering for a solar rooftop unit less than 10 kW, rule vary from state to state because of its inter petition.

 

The Electricity (Rights of Consumers) Rules, 2020:

1. Ministry of Power framed the proposed rules under Section 176 of the Electricity Act 2003. Draft rules specify the KPI for SERCs, DISCOM and Consumers in matter of electricity supply.

2. Consumers to have the option to apply for new electricity connection and pay bills online.

3. Consumers to get electricity connection in prescribed timeline which is 7 days in Metro cities, 15 days in other cities and 30 days in rural areas; Violations to result in penalties.

4. The distribution licensee shall provide all services such as application submission, payment of bills, etc., to senior citizens at their door-steps.

Indian energy demand and capability:

1. Due to large population growth and economic development in India, this could make the country responsible for about 11% of total global energy consumption in 2040.

2. The country today has about 35 GW of installed solar generation capacity, and 38 GW of wind power, according to government data. India has set targets of 100 GW of power from solar projects, and 60 GW from wind power, by March 2022.

3.  India’s residential electricity consumption is expected to at least double by 2030. As households buy more electric appliances to satisfy their domestic needs.

4. The thermal power remains the mainstay; India’s energy-mix is tilting in favour of RE (Renewable Energy) whose share in total power generation has increased from 3.7 per cent in 2008-09 to 9.2 per cent in 2018-19.

 

Solution:

1. First we need to improve the availability and affordability of energy-efficient appliances. For instance, despite a voluntary labelling scheme since 2009, less than 5% of ceiling fans produced in India are star-rated. While the Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) plans to bring ceiling fans under mandatory labeling from 2022.

2. The States most have been able to provide quality supply with law, especially to rural and small electricity consumers.

3. A useful way to protect consumers would be to nudge SERCs to assess the SoP reports of DISCOMs and revise their regulations more frequently,

4. The Forum of Regulators — a central collective of SERCs — could come up with updated model SoP regulations.

5. The Central Electricity Authority of India could be directed to collect supply quality data from DISCOMs, publicly host them on online portals and prepare analysis reports.

6. The central government could disburse funds for financial assistance programmers based on audited SoP reports.

7. The center state most focused one-time effort, electrification drives could provide connections across the country. But ensuring round the clock supply will require continuous efforts.

8. State most insure accountability on quality data from DISCOMs account.

9. Use of online access to various services such as application submission, monitoring status of application, payment of bills, status of complaints raised ,etc., to consumers through its website, web portal, mobile app and its various designated offices area-wise.

10. The distribution licensee shall provide all services such as application submission, payment of bills, etc., to senior citizens at their door-steps.

Way forward:

1. DISCOM shall arrange for due publicity through media, TV, newspaper, website and by display to bring awareness of consumer rights, SOP, Compensation mechanism, grievance Redressal, measures for energy efficiency and other schemes of DISCOM.

2. The cost effective solar panels, storage technologies, and the realization of RE capacity target of 227 GW by 2022 could potentially drive spot price of electricity down further.

3. These rules are also an important step towards furthering the ease of doing business across the country. Implementation of these Rules shall ensure that new electricity connections, refunds and other services are given in a time bound manner.

4. The details of scheduled power outages shall be informed to the consumers. In case of unplanned outage or fault, immediate intimation shall be given to the consumers through SMS or by any other electronic mode along with estimated time for restoration.

 

3) Mobilization and composite culture.

The anti-CAA stir of 2020 needed the universality that today’s farm protests have.

GS-2: Important aspects of governance, transparency and accountability.

GS-4: Determinants and consequences of Ethics in-human actions; dimensions of ethics; ethics - in private and public relationships Human Values.


CONTEXT:

1.  Indian democracy is now erupting with various collective mobilizations, why and its implication on Republic.

2. What can this difference tell us about political mobilization and the place of ethics and public morality in collective mobilizations?

 

Common in protest in CAA and Farmer:

1. Participation of Women in both  Anti-CAA protests had begun over the question of citizenship for the dispossessed, but they got reduced to an issue of citizenship of Muslims,  and farmers .

2.  The agitation was stereotyped as ‘anti-national’, portrayed as an obstacle for daily commuters, and ended with riots and violence. For the farmers’ stir, the government resorted to similar dirty tricks — it called the farmers ‘Khalistanis’

3. The differential treatment of the two movements should account for how popular consciousness and imagination work. In the farmers’ movement, the agitators remained steadfast in their ‘universal’ approach right from the beginning.

4. It becomes easier for the government to stoke prejudices against the anti-CAA protests as long as they remain, even if just symbolically, an agitation by a religious community.

5.  Muslim community responds to a law that singles them out. Protests by Muslim women, and more importantly elderly women, made a perceptible difference in the way the movement was received.

 

The Idea of Justice:

1. The Idea of Justice that any identity that is imagined in the singular will remain a source of violence. It is in multiplicity that dialogic conditions are created.

2. There are four different types of justice: distributive (determining who gets what), procedural (determining how fairly people are treated), retributive (based on punishment for wrong-doing) and restorative (which tries to restore relationships to "rightness.")

3. The clear advantage that the farmers’ movement has is its multiplicity. It belongs to various regions, even if it is being spearheaded by the Jats or Sikhs of Punjab; it has women, Left-affiliated unions and even wage-workers and Dalits working for the rich peasantry extending their support.

 

Why movement fail’s:

1. The question of belonging and trust also emerges. The popular image of community of protester.

2.  Ruler’s management the past, against the present reality of a group afflicted with great social disadvantage.

3. The empathy and compassion become difficult to achieve, because this translates into blatant prejudice and a source of anxiety.

4. The counter-mobilizations of the movement kind will have to find ways to penetrate the popular consciousness, stitch these disparate factors, and forge a more amicable imagination.

5. The growing indifference towards violence against State can be countered through a Violence sense of belonging.

6. Mobilization belong to minority section of people, issues not connect large population.

7. Lack in management, coordination, and  central leadership who put the idea to government.

8.  Lack in participation of NGO, civil society, pressure group and citizen of the nation.

 

Conclusion:

1. Most of all, you need to understand that the change you seek will not happen inside the movement, but outside of it.

2. To new role for leaders in the networked age.  Today, we can most effectively influence and persuade not through coercion, but by inspiring and empowering belief among those who will be affected.

3.  Any movements are purposeful, organized groups striving to work toward a common goal. These groups might be attempting to create change, to resist change), or to provide a political voice to those otherwise disenfranchised.