333. SEX, RACE, AGE (PANEL III)

333.

Panel Title            : SEX, RACE, AGE (PANEL III)

Chair                      : Zona Bhuyan

 

Panel Abstract    :

In this panel, three papers were available:

1. Women in Urban Informal Sector: Study in Guwahati City, India by Ms. Zona Bhuyan

2. Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS by Mr. Raja Kumari

3. Social Change of Muslim Women in Bangladesh by Dr. Md. Abdullah Al - Masum

Ms. Zona Bhuyan discusses the concept of the Urban Informal Sector. Informal Sector has grown over the last 3 decades or so in the developing countries particularly in Asia, due (a) to sharp rise in levels of urbanization, (b) upturn in Asian economies (particularly the SE Asian economies like Indonesia, Phillipines and Thailand etc, (c) the traditional barrier to women in work opportunities do not exist in these economies and (d) due to structural adjustment programmes, whereas the economies have grown, formal sector employments have not kept pace with, thus, pressure on the informal sector employment. The problem to be investigated in the proposed research is on the participation of ‘Women in Urban Informal Sector' in city of Guwahati, India. It is a large city with a population close to one million (8 lakhs + in 201 Census). It's the premier business centre of the entire seven-state region and communication hub, and capital city (Dispur, on outskirts of Guwahati) of the State of assam. It is ethnically diverse, though the largest segment of population constitue of the Assamese speaking, cospolitan in character and outlook. The proposed study therefore, intends to capture (a) the extent participation of Women in IS in Guwahati, and (b) the principal sectors they are active in.

Mr. Raja Kumari discusses on the Violence against Women and HIV/Aids. Violence against women plays a crucial and devasting role in increasing the risk to women of HIV infection. It is a key reason why women are more vulnerable to Hiv infection ahan men. It is both a cause and a consequence of infection, and as such is a driving force behind the epidemic. The circumstances underlying the correlation between violence against women and HIV/AIDS are a complex weave of social, cultural and biological conditions. This paper examines the links between violence against women VAW, how VAW is precipitated by HIV, the economic factors that increase women's vulnerability and the interaction between VAW and conflict. It also offers strategies and actions for endind VAW and reducing HIV/AIDS infection.

Dr. Md. Abdullah Al - Masum discusses the social change of Muslim Women in Bangladesh. It is a strong assesses to observe the position of women of a country for determining the socio-economic development of a country. In the modern developed countries females are seen in an advanced position. Alike the males, females are also there in various spheres of the society. In Bangladesh, now, females are taking part in different level of activities with the similar intelligence and brilliance like the males. In the Muslim World, Bangladesh features is the third place in respect of population. Out of above 13 crores of population of the country 90% is Muslim and near about 48% of the population is female, therefore the question of overall development of the country is very much closely related with the social change of the females.  

 

Participants         :

 

Jyoti  

Paper Title            : Socio-Economic Violations of Women's Human Rights - A Study

Abstract                :

Economic hardship is a condition that many women face, because of discrimination against their gender.  While men receive priority over women in terms of education, employment and salaries, a large number of women are forced to be satisfied with less or no education opportunities, lower income and fewer responsibilities at work.  Women who migrate to other countries in search of better opportunities are often exploited and made to work at jobs of inferior status and incomes, as compared to male migrant workers. A vast number of women work outside the formal sector, such as in their homes, and other informal areas, and receive little or no pay and recognition for doing so.  In addition to the economic hardship issue for women who stay at home and tend to their families, there are other related issues that arise, namely, their vulnerability to violence, poverty, malnutrition, disease and denial of education.  Women are marginalized and this results in their suffering of gross human rights abuses.  Trafficking in women and forced prostitution are other situations that results from women trying to better their poor economic conditions. SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS: search of better lives, many women and girls, especially from developing countries, leave their homes and migrate elsewhere.  The only jobs that many of these women receive are domestic help positions, which confine them to the houses they work in.  Because of the nature of their work, they are subject to limitations on their freedom, which in turn gives rise to sexual abuse within their workplaces / homes by their employers.  Many suffer silently, either because they are ashamed, or out of fear of losing their jobs, and perhaps having to move back to their home countries, should they report or make public the incidents.  Also differences of language in different countries sometimes poses a communication problem, and further isolates the women.

Zona  Bhuyan

Paper Title            : Women in Urban Informal Sector: Study in Guwahati City, India

Abstract                :

The concept of the ‘informal sector', was introduced into international usage in 1972 by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in its classic Kenya Mission Report that defined ‘informal' as a "...way of doing things characterized by - ease of entry and exit; reliance on indigenous resources; family ownership; small scale operations; labour intensive and adaptive technology; skills acquired outside of the formal sector; and unregulated and competitive markets". An working definition for informal sector for the proposed study will be generally following the ILO guidelines but would vary due to legal differences as well as size differences envisaged by ILO (essentially from an Western Perspective). It is proposed to take into consideration the following factors:

(a)           Non-permanence of establishment (for self employed except family units where home could be the business establishment/ production unit also)

(b)           No requirement of licensing by municipal, state or Central Government

(c)           No Direct tax compliance

(d)           No Excise or other indirect tax compliance (mostly due to the fact that the units are not required to comply due to very small size of operation).

(e)           No access to organized credit market-credit through SHG or usury

(f)            Unit size <5 persons

 (*A few more could be added when actual work progresses)

Informal sector has grown over the last 3 decades or so in the developing countries particularly in Asia, due (a) to sharp rise in levels of urbanization, (b) upturn in Asian economies (particularly the SE Asian economies like Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand etc, (c) the traditional barrier to women in work opportunities do not exist in these economies and (d) due to structural adjustment programmes, whereas the economies have grown, formal sector employments have not kept pace with, thus, pressure on the informal sector employment. The problem to be investigated in the proposed research is on the participation of ‘Women in Urban Informal Sector' in city of Guwahati. It is a large city with a population close to one million (8 lakhs + in 2001 Census). It's the premier business centre of the entire seven-state region and communication hub, and capital city (Dispur, on outskirts of Guwahati) of the State of Assam. It is ethnically diverse, though the largest segment of population constitute of the Assamese speaking, cosmopolitan in character and outlook. Unlike, the mainland India, the attitude to women and women's attitude to work in the region and even in Assam (therefore, in Guwahati) is at variant, i.e., (a) generally the level of work participation of women in the North-East, both in rural and urban areas are higher, (b) work itself is not differentiated on caste lines (less of a barrier), in case of the myriad tribes (ST), the women are substantially more hardworking and productive, and ready to shoulder additional responsibilities when compared with mainland India and (d) the male-female differential in literacy is narrow and converging. The proposed study therefore, intends to capture (a) the extent of participation of women in IS in Guwahati and (b) the principal sectors they are active in. There is the view that in the urban informal sector, the participation of women is many times more than in the formal sector particularly in the large cities of developing countries and Guwahati city being no exception. This issue can be dealt by keeping in view the motives for participating in the informal sectors and their general constraints.

Christophe Z. Guilmoto

Paper Title            : A demographic tragedy of commons? Origins and impact of population

   masculinization in Asia

Abstract                :

Sex selection of children has caused a gradual demographic masculinization in Asian countries such as China and India over the last twenty-five years. The origin of this unlikely upsurge in sex ratio that occurred almost simultaneously across several Asian cultural areas is still poorly understood: factors as diverse as traditional son preference, economic liberalization, prosperity, fertility decline or new sex selection technology have put forward to explain this phenomenon in various regional contexts. At the same time, the impact of higher sex ratio at birth is now felt among younger adults in affected countries where surplus males outnumber young women: this generation of young males entering marriage age is likely to face a serious local marriage squeeze. There appears to be an obvious discrepancy between the "rational" behaviour of households privileging the birth of boys and the resulting population imbalances that are going to hurt later the young cohorts of surplus males. The situation strongly resembles a demographic tragedy of commons in which opportunist behaviour among households may end up jeopardizing the entire social system. This panel aims at bringing together local and global studies, using various disciplinary approaches such as sociology, anthropology, political science or economics to capture the various dimensions of the origins and consequences of demographic masculinization in Asia. Local studies will help to narrow down the examination of causes and consequences of the growing female deficit to specific contexts where social values and behaviour is more homogeneous across social groups. Studies conducted at a large scale will contribute to a more theoretical reflection on the meaning of Asian demographic trends and will help the design of policy responses across countries.

Raja  Kumari

Paper Title            : Violence Against Women and HIV/AIDS

Abstract                :

The term 'violence against women' means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. Violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men. Violence against women plays a crucial and devastating role in increasing the risk to women of HIV infection. It is a key reason why women are more vulnerable to HIV infection than men. It is both a cause and a consequence of infection, and as such is a driving force behind the epidemic. The circumstances underlying the correlation between violence against women and HIV/AIDS are a complex weave of social, cultural, and biological conditions. This paper examines the links between violence against women (VAW) and HIV/AIDS, highlighting key issues, research and resources. It outlines how HIV/AIDS is a consequence of VAW, how VAW is precipitated by HIV, the economic factors that increase women's vulnerability and the interaction between VAW and conflict. It also offers strategies and actions for ending VAW and reducing HIV/AIDS infection.