Gender Budgeting and Higher Education 20-9-2010

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Gender Budgeting and Higher Education: 

Gender Budgeting and Higher Education Dr. Vibhuti Patel , Director, P.G. S. R. Professor and Head, Post Graduate Department of Economics, SNDT Women’s University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Churchgate, Mumbai-400020 Tel (91) (022) 22052970, Mobile-9321040048 Email: vibhuti.np@gmail.com 1

Gender Budget (GB) as a tool of empowering women. : 

Gender Budget (GB) as a tool of empowering women. GB refers to various government initiatives that seek to address gender issues in the domain of public expenditure and policy. Gender budgeting at present can be viewed as a socio-economic tool that guarantees gender equity in the development process and strongly emphasizes public expenditure and policy. Several countries across the globe have adopted gender responsive budget initiative for higher education sector. 2

Contradictory trends: 

Contradictory trends Over the last three decades there has been increased participation of women in higher education. However, there still are broad regional differences in the availability of higher education for women and in women's access to these opportunities. Moreover, women tend to concentrate in traditionally "female" subject areas such as social sciences and the arts. In the drive for privatization, women as students are the main losers as parents channelise financial resources for son’s education, daughter’s education is considered to be less important. (Patel, 2006) There is ghettoisation of women in general higher education (Arts and Commerce) and mostly men throng professional colleges (Engineering, Architect, Medicine, Science & Technology). 3

Structures & Mechanisms: 

Structures & Mechanisms Gender Discrimination exists in India which is characterized by gender gap in the Literacy levels, school education and college education. The emphasis of the policy maker should be on access, equity, quality, retention and achievement levels. An awareness drive of the benefits of women’s education along with provision of better infrastructure (transport, public libraries, hostels, sunsidized eating facilities) is urgently required in India. 4

Consequences of Gender Differential in Higher Education: 

Consequences of Gender Differential in Higher Education Gender disparity persists in the types of jobs women and men get and in whether they are promoted. There is a global trend that women tend to constitute most of the clerical support staff in the education sector whereas they are under-represented in academic positions. This is especially true in Science and Technology Institutions and in subjects such as science, mathematics and engineering. Furthermore, women are increasingly disadvantaged as they move up the educational ladder. Lack of representation of women in top management and senior administrative positions reduces their ability to influence the policy and direction of their institutions. 5

Gender Responsiveness : 

Gender Responsiveness Strategies to promote gender equality and enhance the contribution of women in higher education need to be put at different levels. This starts with gender responsive education that is free of gender stereotyping and equips both girls and boys with leadership skills. This will significantly contribute to more equal streaming of boys and girls regardless of their sex. This needs to go hand-in-hand with universities creating an enabling environment, gender-friendly and free of discrimination, to help break through the "glass ceiling". 6

Affirmative action: 

Affirmative action Additional needs are more training in management and leadership skills for women and greater opportunities to pursue post-graduate studies. More research is also required on gender issues in classroom interaction and curriculum, as well as a deeper analysis of the organizational barriers that stand in the way of women. Ways are needed to remove these barriers and to institutionalize gender mainstreaming. Women's Studies and Gender Studies programmes make significant contributions to gender and development across the region and internationally. Offerings include courses of study toward undergraduate and graduate degrees; and support for research, activism, and development through centers of WID, GAD, and Women's Studies. 7

Women as victims: 

Women as victims At present, all private educational institutions are thriving on super-exploitation of workers, employees and teachers working on a contract basis where, total control over hire and fire policy rests with the management; majority of contract workers happen to be women. There has been massive retrenchment of women teachers from schools and colleges from permanent posts due to Zero Budget policy adopted by the state. 8

Patriarchal Biases: 

Patriarchal Biases Externalities offer a strong justification for government intervention in the private economy. Gender inequalities may generate externalities and changes in public policies that take into account ways to reduce these externalities and can contribute to improving the efficiency and equity of public policies. There is an urgent need to translate Gender Commitments into Budgetary Commitments with inbuilt transparency/accountability for revenue generation & public expenditure on women in higher education, reprioritization in public spending in favour of increasing women’s enrolment and retention in all streams of higher education. 9

Women Empowerment Policy 2001 has promised : 

Women Empowerment Policy 2001 has promised Equal access to education for women and girls will be ensured. Special measures will be taken to eliminate discrimination, universalize education, eradicate illiteracy, create a gender-sensitive educational system, increase enrolment and retention rates of girls and improve the quality of education to facilitate life-long learning as well as development of occupation/ vocation/ technical skills by women. 10

Women Empowerment Policy 2001 has also promised: 

Women Empowerment Policy 2001 has also promised Reducing the gender gap in secondary and higher education would be a focus area. Sectoral time targets in existing policies will be achieved, with a special focus on girls and women, particularly those belonging to weaker sections including the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Classes/Minorities. Gender sensitive curricula would be developed at all levels of educational system in order to address sex stereotyping as one of the causes of gender discrimination. 11

Statement 20: GENDER BUDGET of the Indian budget, 2009-2010 of Government of India states,: 

Statement 20: GENDER BUDGET of the Indian budget, 2009-2010 of Government of India states, “ Gender Budgeting is an evolving area where, with better understanding and appreciation of the subject, more and more Ministries/ Departments are reviewing programmes and schemes to address the quantum of resources that have the budgetary potential to impact and address the development needs of the women. When it comes to actual allocation for women in higher education, The Department of Higher Education, GoI allocated 100 crores in 2009-2010 and in the revised budget reduced the amount to Rs. 75 crores and in the current budget 2010-2011, its financial allocation for higher education of women is Rs. 120 crores. 12

Higher Education and Empowerment of Women: 

Higher Education and Empowerment of Women Higher education has a direct impact on women empowerment as it creates in them awareness about their rights, their capabilities and the choices and opportunities available to them. Studies have indicated that there is a strong correlation between women’s higher education and several developmental indicators such as increased economic productivity, improvement in health, delayed age at marriage, lower fertility, increased political participation, and effective mentoring of children. Hence, gender budgeting in higher education becomes a top priority and fundamental necessity of India’s development. 13

Need for Composite Programmes for women/ girls: 

Need for Composite Programmes for women/ girls There is a need for provisions in the composite programmes under higher education to target them specifically at girls/women as the principal beneficiaries and disaggregated within the total allocation. Special emphasise on women from dalit, tribal and minority communities. Need to place restrictions on their re-appropriation for other purposes. 14

Gender Responsive Higher Education: 

Gender Responsive Higher Education Transparency about allocation and complete utilisation of funding- ensure no lapsed funds Right to information Inclusion of gender economists in pre-budget workshops that should be held around October so that their suggestions can be included. Appoint a gender specialist in the finance ministry and ministry of HRD Develop a notion of gender responsive higher education thro’ budgetary allocations 15

Thank You: 

Thank You 16 Let us engender higher education budgets so that gender gap in higher education is bridged.