- Legalizing prostitution
- WEF: Gender Gap Report 2014 (Oct 14)
- Property rights of Christian women (Sep-14)
- Widows of Vrindavan (Sep-14)
- Stopping Child marriages: some fodder (Sep-14)
- UPSC’s proforma vs rights of disabled
Relevance in Mains:
- GS1: Women-poverty associated issues and remedies; social empowerment
- GS2: laws for protection and betterment of vulnerable sections.
|7 lakh||“Registered” sex workers in India (Health ministry, 2012)|
|13 lakh||Total Sex workers in India (NACO estimate, 2012)|
|40%||Of them are underage (Study by Women and child ministry)|
|33%||Of missing children never found. Many of them sold off as within India or in Middle-east.|
|1956||Immoral Traffic prevention Act, 1956|
|2007||Women and Child Development ministry launched “Ujjwala” scheme for rescue-rehab-reintegration of trafficked women.|
|2011||Supreme court appointed Pradip Ghosh panel to suggest reform in ITPA act and rehabilitation of sex workers. Report possible in 2015.|
- The act does not prohibit sex work, per se.
- but sex workers, her children and associates can be arrested for
- Running brothel
- Soliciting in public places.
- if person >18 years age, is living on sex worker’s income- he can be jailed for 2 years.
- This means, even sex workers’ children can be arrested because at 18 age, they are barely out of school and won’t have a job.
- If sex worker arrested in ITPA, her children forced to join the flesh-trade.
- This act aims to stop under-age girls from prostitution. But despite amendments in ’72 and ’86, it hasn’t stopped.
- Under ITPA, Police can raid a premise without warrant. This provision misused for harassment and bribery by police. Sex workers constantly live under threat of raids=>Entry of pimps who “manage” policemen=>exploitation by pimps.
- Prostitutes too have right to live with Dignity under Article 21. (Ex-Justice Katju).
- They’ll be saved from police raids and social-stigma.
- Their dependents and children can benefit from Government schemes= better Education and employment alternatives for their families.
- In the absence of regulation, sex workers forced to serve clients in unhygienic, unhealthy conditions, without condoms=> HIV+STD. Laws and regulation can stop this.
- Minimum wages, Work-hours can be regularized. Exploitation by pimps, madams, brothel-owners, police and politicians will stop.
- Sex workers will be covered under labour laws, social security benefits, EPFO. Government can earn taxes from them.
- I-cards will be issued. Police can distinguish between (voluntary) sex work vs. (forced) trafficking. Trafficking of underage girls can stopped.
- 2002: New Trade Union Initiative labelled sex work as “unorganized labour”.
- Sex workers must be allowed to enjoy same labour rights and human rights as others.
- All India Network of Sex Workers & other groups claim that sex trade legalization will reduce trafficking of women, help them get health and welfare schemes.
- Fundamental duty in Indian Constitution: Renounce the practices derogatory to the dignity of women. By legalizing sex-trade, You’ll send wrong message to new generations of boys that women are sexual commodities and that prostitution is harmless recreational activity.
- Women do not join prostitution by on their will. Most of them are abused, coerced and tricked into sex trade by pimps. So, Instead of “legalizing” this activity, Government should give alternative employment to sex-workers and put pimps into jails.
- Legalizing sex trade- will benefit pimps to force more women into prostitution.
- It is not possible to protect someone whose employment exposes them to the likelihood of being raped on average once a week.
- 2000: Sex trade legalized in Netherlands. Sex industry expanded by 25% with East Europe girls brought in, many of them underage. So, Legalization does not control the sex industry. It expands this immoral activity.
- Legalized sex trade=> compulsory medical checkups=> but even if sex worker got HIV, she’ll test negative for the first 4-6 weeks and infecting more clients in the meantime. To stop HIV, prostitution has to be stopped completely.
- Wrong assumption that legalized sex trade =condom used = less HIV. Because some sex workers would agree to go without condoms e.g. older women unable to find clients, pimp’s pressure etc.
- Registered sex workers=> no minors trafficked. This is also wrong assumption because if fake Aadhar cards can be created then fake id cards for under-age sex workers can be created as well.
- In short, Prostitution can never be a legitimate business because it will always be associated with crime, corruption, class, mass sexual exploitation and human trafficking.
- if Government can’t stop something then it should be legalized=> on that logic even narcotic drugs should be legalized. End result would be broken families and dysfunctional youth- just like in the West.
- “World-Ranking-report” type MCQs- mainly in CDS, CAPF and Banks.
- Fodder for GS1, GS2, Essay and Interview.
- World Economic forum prepares Gender Gap report since 2006.
- Top5 for 2014: Iceland > Finland > Norway > Sweden > Denmark.
|Front||Criteria||India’s rank /142 nations|
|2.Education||Access to basic and higher edu.||126|
|3.Health and survival||Life expectancy and sex ratio||141 out of 142 countries. Means 2nd most bogus country in the world.|
|4.Political empowerment||Representation in Decision Making position||15|
|Overall||114(2014); 101(2013). Means we’ve become more bogus than last year.|
Except the political empowerment front, we are among the 20 most-bogus countries in the world on gender imbalance.
India women: Disturbing numbers from WEF report
|0%||Seats reserved in parliament for women.|
|2.5%||Total fertility rate|
|7%||of Company board seats occupied by females.|
|9%||firms owned by females|
|15%||of Indian scientists are female.|
|19%||Employed in non-agriculture labor|
|28%||Married in childhood before reaching age of 20|
|33%||Become mothers before reaching age of 20|
|44%||Suffer from malnutrition|
|55%||Women Aware about contraceptives|
|67%||Deliveries by trained person|
|6||Hours spend daily in unpaid work.|
|190||Maternal mortality ration per 1 lakh live births|
MCQ: Find incorrect statements about Global Gender Gap Report 2014?
- Benchmarks national gender gaps on four fronts viz. economic, political, education and health.
- Is prepared by World Bank.
- Norway is ranked 1st on having minimum gender gap.
- Only 1 and 2
- Only 2 and 3
- Only 1 and 3
- None of them
Relevance: fodder for the topic “need for uniform civil code in India” in Essay / Interview. Classic mistake by many candidates- when they hear “uniform civil code”, their points only center around Muslim personnel law and “talaaq”. But an ideal answer needs to discuss status of women in other religion as well.
What is the problem?
Indian Succession Act, 1925 says: in a Christian house, IF a son dies without writing will, and there are no children/grandchildren, then:
- His property would go to his father. in this case, His mother won’t get a penny.
- If father also dead then, property will be shared equally among siblings and mother.
Thus Christian mother are discriminated in property inheritance.
- Law Commission chairman Justice AP Shah gave report #247.
- He asked Government to amend the law so that both mother and father have equal share in dead son’s property.
Topic in news because BJP-MP Hema Malini said many of these widows have high bank balance and yet begging for more money, they should leave Vrindavan.
- GSM1: Women, Poverty development issues. GSM2: Vulnerable section
- Essay / Interview: plight of elderly in India
Points to consider:
- Poor widows from all over India come to Vrindavan for shelter, because they’ve no other place to go, relatives unwilling to look after them.
- It is not religion but poverty that forced them to Vrindavan.
- If they’re forced out of this city, they’ll not get livelihood opportunities in other towns
- Constitution guarantees every citizen right to reside in any part of India, including Vrindavan.
Problem of widows:
- 2007: Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act. Adults need to give food, cloths, housing and medical care to their parents.
- But, Most of the Vrindavan widows are without children / family too poor / family doesn’t care. Hence they’re forced to seek refuge in Vrindavan, beg for money while singing bhajans.
- 2010: NCW report says ~75% of Vrindavan widows are from West Bengal. (meaning, W.Begal is the most bogus state in widow-welfare)
- Supreme court ordered Government to provide proper housing and food to them.
- But most of them don’t have proof of residence => can’t get ration card=>can’t benefit from Government schemes.
Relevance: a few fodder points for descriptive question / essay from a Hindu column.
- Child marriages increase Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR); prevents the girl child from realizing her true potential or education / career ambition.
- Need networking between lawyers, NGOs, Police and District administration, revenue officials.
- Political interference when Police wants to book the caste leaders. This must stop.
- Often, girl child turns hostile during court proceedings, case collapses. Hence need to make appropriate participants in Child Marriages Prevention Act 2006.
- Need funds for setting up of special homes for victims, skill Development training.
- Usually such families are poor and illiterate. Need to ensure they’re adequately covered under Government schemes for welfare, income and education.
Exam-Relevance: None, because I don’t think UPSC will ask question on a case where they themselves were defeated. Anyways let’s check the matter:
- Even if a PH-candidate has a valid disability certificate, the UPSC would ask them to fillup a new “proforma” form and attach photographs showing disability.
- This infringes the right to privacy of the applicant- for example an amputee female.
- Chief Commissioner for Persons with Disability has ordered UPSC to stop this practice.
Wait, commissioner becomes important for Mains GS2: syllabus topic- Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies.
(GS2) Write a note on the origin and function of Chief Commissioner for persons with disabilities. 100 words
- It is a statutory body- separate commissioners at national and state level.
- Under Persons with disabilities (equal opportunity) Act, 1995.
- Under Ministry of social justice and empowerment.
- Safeguard the rights of PH. Can take Suo-moto action.
- Has power of a Civil court under CPC (Code of civil procedure). He can summon people, issue fines and arrest warrants for non-appearance, order union and state Government to disclose information.
- Monitors that Government schemes and funds properly used for benefit of PH
- Monitors that laws and regulations donot discriminate against PH like this Lord Curzon UPSC.
- National Chief coordinates with state chiefs.
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