Sustainable development goals and women’s equality


Gender equality is also important for food security but less attention is paid to it by policy-makers. Worldwide, many countries including India have agreed to meet the sustainable development goals (SDG) initiated by the UNDP in 2016, in which the economic, Social and environmental related dimensions have been covered. Its aim is to promote eradication of poverty and prosperity in the changing world with the basic spirit of ‘Development of everyone with everything’. With gender equality, SDG 5 is seen as an important goal for achieving other goals. In this context, these goals also provide an approach to assess the achievements of domestic food security. SDG 5 is believed to have adequate capacity to promote food security but there are serious limitations attached to this. Therefore, for success, it will need to interact with many other goals.

Role of women

  • Women play an important role in food related provision in the form of producers, home food managers and consumers.
  • As producers, they contribute to a high proportion of the role of farmers. According to the NSSO 2011-12 data, 35 percent of agricultural laborers in India are women and according to the agriculture census, the number of female farm operators (operators) has increased from 12.8 percent to 13.9 percent between 2010-11 and 2015-16.
  • But access to the productive land of women is suffering from excessive gender inequality, for which reasons for men’s preference, government land transfers and market access are responsible for the transfer of inheritance.

‘Transforming Over World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’

  • India is a signatory country on the UN-approved ‘Transforming over World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ resolution (2030 agenda) in 2015.
  • This 2030 agenda includes 17 continuous development goals (SDG) and 169 objectives. While on the one hand, there is a single goal linked to ‘achieving gender equality and strengthening all women and girls’, on the other hand, on the other hand, gender equality has been brought in mainstream in the whole agenda.
  • SDG with 17 goals and 169 objectives, to promote sustainable, holistic and equal economic development, create more opportunities for all, reduce inequality, improve the basic level of living, promote equal social development and inclusion, natural resources And wants to promote integrated and continuous management of the ecosystem.
  • In the southern states of Karnataka and Kerala, only 19 to 20 percent of the land is owned by women, as well as their access credits, irrigation, technology and markets.
  • Apart from this, as the agriculturalization of agriculture will be done and the challenges of tackling climate change (which is predicted to reduce the yield of food crops) will prevail, though there will be a reduction in the engagement of women in the agricultural sector. Some of those with technical availability will be engaged in agriculture due to heat resistant crops or water conservation practices and higher The temperature will increase their work in food processing and conservation.
  • Simultaneously, women will be more affected than men due to uneven intra-domestic allocation due to drop in food production, for example, it is clear from procedures for prevention of malnutrition and malnutrition that 22 percent of the men in the age group of 15-49 In comparison, 53% of Indian women are anemic.
  • Apart from this, women’s autonomy in food allocation decisions as family food managers is adversely affected by their limited asset ownership, for example, child survival, nutrition, and health is particularly good when mother’s property is acquired.
  • Women also contribute to food systems through forest and fisheries. One of the six persons worldwide is dependent on forests for supplementary feeding, green manure, fodder, wood etc.
  • Women and girls are the main groups that collect forest products, especially for collecting food and firewood.
  • Over time, we should be transferred to clean fuel due to biofuels and its adverse effects on human health, but there is more dependence of women on wood obtained from woods for cooking in the short term.
  • Similarly, seafood is the main source of protein for one billion people globally. Women contribute 46 percent on small scale and 54 percent in inland fisheries in fishery.
  • Although mainly marine agriculture is being done by men, it is an aquaculture which is the fastest growing woman in the dominance of women and according to the World Bank, under the leadership of them, providing 50% of the world’s fish consumption by 2020 Has been predicted.
  • However, there are two limitations with the possibilities contained in SDG 5 against the above background.

Women rights in SDG 5

  • In fact, everyone’s attention is likely to reach women’s land and property and access to natural resources. Safe land rights for women can improve both their productivity as farmers and family nutrition allocation. Women can get land through family, that is, especially through heritage, market and state.
  • The goal of SDG 5 only mentions legacy laws, as 86% of agricultural land in India is privately owned, so gender equality in the family’s land will improve the situation of women farmers.
  • Apart from this, SDG also mentions 5 financial services which will help women make the necessary investment credible by farmers.
  • Similarly, SDG 5 emphasizes natural resources. Although it does not specify forests or pisciculture, if policy makers explain it, then it can increase the nutritious diversity in view of the roles of women in wild food and fishery.
  • In addition, the SDG target 5.5 emphasizes the participation of women in public life. Although it is centered on legislatures and village councils, it can be extended to community institutions to manage forests and water.

Limits of SDG 5

  • Limitations of SDG 5 are also notable in providing food security. Regarding the right to inheritance, the section “According to the National Law” related to goal 5A, works to bypass the rights of women.
  • In addition to this, social norms hinder legal rights, such as girls do not make claims on the property of parents to become ‘good sisters’, or their marriage to their ancestors to reduce the rights of women from remote marriages. Away from home etc.
  • Government policy can not change direct norms, but SDG is silent on 5 women government land transfers, which can affect policy making and women farmers need input beyond the financial services mentioned in goal 5A.
  • Similarly, failures of SDG 5 clearly restrict the capabilities of forests and fisheries or accessibility to climate change challenges. On the contrary, other SDGs whose central target is food security such as SGD14 (life below water) and SDG 15 (life on land) in which the ecological ecosystem and forests are covered, they ignore gender equality.

Forward path

  • Based on these capabilities and limitations there are four ways in which the goal of food security can be increased with SDG 5.
  • First of all, it can explain women’s access to natural resources especially to cover forests, pisciculture and irrigation.
  • Second, it can be associated with SDG1 (no poverty) and SDG 2 (zero hunger), which targets the need for access to land, credit, knowledge and markets to women.
  • Third, it can explain the goals that women support farmers by mentioning gender change, as in SDG 13 on climate change.
  • Fourth, it needs to be reconciled with those SDG targets (SGD14 and SDG 15) which offer solutions to extreme climatic conditions and whose central goal is food security but currently neglect gender equality.
  • Beyond SDG, we need institutional innovations. As research done on Kerala has found that the group of women has performed better than individual farming in annual productivity and profits of fields.
  • Therefore, collective farming can provide a path to increase food security through the contribution of women and strengthen SDG 5.

Source: Indian Express

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