the Indian context, gender relations are determined by the complex interplay of power relations based on class, caste, ethnicity and religion.
Visibility of women in statistics and data system
- For effective execution of macro policiessuch as National Perspective Plan for Women, State Women's Policy, we need an accurate sexdisaggregated data-base, area studies and time allocation studies, studies on energy expenditureand food consumption patterns among women of different communities, public utility servicessuch as safe transport, public urinals, women's room in the office. Gender economists have done pioneering work to understand demographic profile of women and sex-ratio. Formulation of gender aware data system on literacy, education level, employment and earnings, health andwell-being helps proper planning and policy making for empowerment of women. Inter -district,Inter-state and Cross country comparisons of women's empowerment are obtained from Gender related Development Index(GDI). GDI owes its origin to its precursor, the HDI (HumanDevelopment Index), three main components of which are per capita income, educationalattainment and life-expectancy which is a proxy for health attainment. .Gender disparities aremeasured keeping these three indicators into consideration. "An additional measure, gender empowerment measure(GEM) has been formulated to take into account aspects relating toeconomic participation and decision-making by women. The indicators used in GEM are share inincome, share in parliamentary seats and an index that includes share in administrative andmanagerial jobs and share in professional and technical posts." (K. Seeta Prabhu, P.C. Sarkar andA. Radha. This exercise is done with a philosophical understanding that without engendering,human development is endangered. (UNDP, 1995)
Neoclassical versus Institutional Approach
Neoclassical approach of consumer’s rationality (Maximisation of utility) and producers’rationality (Maximisation of profit) has come under massive attack from the women’s studiesscholars as they find it ahistorical, simplistic and gender –neutral. Its philosophy of Laissez Fairedoes not acknowledge the unequal power relations determined by colonialism, neo-colonialismand segmentation in the labour, factor and product markets based on caste, class, ethnicity, race,religion, age and gender. As against this; institutional approach is found more realistic and henceappropriate as takes into consideration historical, socio-cultural, geographical and politicaldynamics in economic analysis.
Development Debate-Human Development Approach
Current development debate has resulted into generation of
Meaningful Indicators of Womenand Development
Comparative data of 130 countries regarding gender-related developmentindex (GDI) reveals that gender-equality does not depend entirely on the income level of society.The human development approach which focuses on demographic, health, educational andhuman rights profiles have revealed that there is an urgent need to reexamine this approach byconducting participatory action research and rapid rural appraisal not by social scientists alone, but in collaboration with other professionals such as scientists, doctors- occupational health andsafety experts, engineers and lawyers who believe that like them, citizens from subsistence sector also have right to enjoy fruits of modern science and technology in terms of food security, safetransport, clean environment, secure housing and healthy life. India ranks 103
in GDI and 104
in the HDI as, the Indian women enjoy nearly 1/5
of the total earned income, life expectancy of 60.4 years and 35.2 % adult literacy rate and combined primary, secondary and tertiary Grossenrollment ratio (GER) of 45.8. While their male counterparts enjoy 4/5
of the earned income,2