Today's Editorial

Today's Editorial - 13 February 2024

A global alliance to bridge the gender equity gap

Relevance: GS Paper I & II

Why in News?

India launched the 'Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality' at the World Economic Forum in January this year, aiming to accelerate the socio-economic cause with a sustained global impact.

Governance and Legislative interventions:

  • The New Delhi Leaders' Declaration adopted at the G-20 emphasizes the need for women-led growth in areas such as socio-economic empowerment, digital divide, climate action, food security, nutrition, health, and well-being.
  • The passage of the Women’s Reservation, ensuring one-third of seats for women in Parliament and the State Assemblies, is a revolutionary tool for women’s empowerment and is expected to contribute extensively to improving the processes of India’s governance.
  • Nearly $27 billion was allocated under the gender budget in 2023-24 to advance women-led development.

Socio-economic Progress:

  • According to the annual Periodic Labour Force Surveys, India's female labour force participation rate has increased from 23.3% in 2017-18 to 37% in 2022-23, and female enrolment in higher education has increased by 28% in the last 10 years.
  • Regarding enrolment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, women have a significant 43% share, one of the highest in the world.
  • Over nine crore women participate in 83 lakh self-help groups, improving socio-economic conditions in rural areas.
  • India is known as the "pharmacy of the world" for providing quality and affordable medicines globally. Its digital public infrastructure (DPI) highlights India's digital expertise.

Global Recognition and Engagement:

  • Global leaders are acknowledging the success of these initiatives and learning from India's success stories in various fields, such as space exploration, sports, entrepreneurship, and United Nations peacekeeping operations.
  • The We-Lead Lounge, set up by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Confederation of Indian Industry at Davos, saw global interest and curiosity.
    • It served as a platform for many meaningful deliberations around how the world can contribute, join, and drive inclusive development.
  • The Alliance for Global Good now serves as a platform to channel the resultant enthusiasm and intent into action globally.

Launch of the ‘Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality’:

  • The Alliance is anchored by the CII Centre for Women Leadership, guided by the Minister of Women and Child Development and supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The World Economic Forum is a network partner in this initiative.
  • It aims to share and develop scaleable and practical solutions for advancing women-led development in areas such as ed-tech, medical capacity building, health interventions for women, learning and skill development, agrotech, women enterprise development, and unlocking capital to enable stronger gender outcomes.
  • It will have a global network of experts, think tanks, and industry and country leaders to drive collective actions to augment women's empowerment.
    • It depicts the global relevance and the global resolve to drive growth that is inclusive and equitable.


  • The alliance allows industries to share practices, invest in proven programs, and work collectively to make inclusion a business conversation.
  • It is also an opportunity to learn and develop solutions with the global community consisting of industry, think tanks and investors to advance commitment to increased engagement and leadership of women within the economy through increased access to health care, education opportunities and economic opportunities.


Mainstreaming gender “equality and equity” is a key area to be developed and with the Alliance, India has managed to transition the two words to the working agendas of stakeholders worldwide. Given India's commitment to 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – One Earth, One Family, One Future', the Alliance for Global Good – Gender Equity and Equality is poised to be a force to reckon with on all gender-related issues.

Beyond Editorial:

The 2023 edition of “Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals: The gender snapshot 2023” tracks gender equality across the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and highlights 11 key roadblocks:

  • Lack of women in leadership:
    • With just 27% of parliamentary seats, 36% of local government seats, and 28% of management positions held by women, there is a lack of diverse perspectives in decision-making processes, hindering comprehensive policy formulation.
  • Poverty and lack of economic opportunities:
    • More than 340 million women and girls are projected to live in extreme poverty by 2030.
    • This represents a staggering 8% of the global female population surviving on less than USD 2.15 a day.
  • Workplace discrimination and inequalities:
    • Only 61% of prime working-age women participate in the labour force, compared to 91% of prime working-age men.
    • This affects both economic growth and societal progress. In 2019, for each dollar men earned in labour income, women earned only 51 cents.
  • An imbalance in unpaid care work:
    • On the current trajectory, the gap between the time spent by women and men on unpaid care will narrow slightly, but by 2050, women globally will still be spending 9.5% more time (2.3 more hours per day) on unpaid care work than men.
    • This persistent gap limits women’s participation in education, employment, and other opportunities.
  • Social norms and cultural practices:
    • Harmful practices such as child marriage and female genital mutilation persist. Globally, one in five young women is married before age 18.
    • The prevalence of child marriage highlights the need for attitudinal shifts and the promotion of legal frameworks that safeguard women's and girls’ rights.
  • Inadequate access to education and health care:
    • An estimated 110 million girls and young women may remain out of school by 2030.
    • Stalled progress in reducing maternal mortality and expanding educational opportunities call for targeted interventions to meet the 2030 goals.
  • Food insecurity:
    • Nearly 24% of women and girls are expected to experience moderate to severe food insecurity by 2030.
    • Empowering women in food and agricultural systems by enhancing access to land and resources is vital for ensuring food security and economic growth.
  • Violence against women and girls:
    • Each year, 245 million women and girls experience physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner.
    • Older women also face higher rates of poverty and violence than older men.
  • Inadequate funding for gender equality initiatives:
    • Only 4% of total bilateral aid is allocated to gender equality and women's empowerment.
    • The additional investment needed to achieve gender equality by 2030 is estimated at USD 360 billion annually.
  • Legal barriers and poorly enforced legislation:
    • At least 28 countries do not have laws granting women equal rights to enter marriage and initiate divorce, and 67 countries lack laws prohibiting direct and indirect discrimination against women.
    • Where legislation does exist to promote gender equality, effective implementation remains a challenge.
  • Lack of access to clean energy and sanitation:
    • An estimated 341 million women and girls are projected to lack electricity by 2030. Universal access could significantly reduce poverty and improve women’s health.

Way Forward:

  • Need for the change in ideology: The domestic ideology has reinforced the identification of the domestic sphere and the house as the woman's place. As such, reproductive work is naturally considered women's work. Domestic work has no clear demarcations between and leisure; it is without beginning and end, and in many societies, women tend to work longer hours than men.
  • Need to organize, Mobilize, and challenge injustice: There is an urgent need to improve women's condition at the household level and assist them in their traditional roles to create more time for them to embark on income-generating enterprises.
    • However, improving their condition needs to be done in a transformative way that challenges the gender division of labour and women's subordination to men in society.
  • Need to make her economically empowered: A critical issue concerning reproductive work is the lack of recognition of the economic cost, which has resulted in it being undervalued, unpaid, and invisible. It is crucial to recognize this as work and the obstacles it presents for women's economic empowerment.

Related News: Alliance for Global Good- Gender Equity and Equality


Mains PYQ:

Q. Examine the role of ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India. (UPSC 2021)

Q. What are the continued challenges for Women in India against time and space? (UPSC 2019)

Q. How does patriarchy impact the position of a middle class working woman in India? (UPSC 2014)

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