Reading Time: 10 mins The Indian handloom industry is one of the oldest and largest cottage industries in India with a standing ancient tradition dating back thousands of years for their excellent craftsmanship, representing the vibrant Indian culture. Indian artisans dating back to the Egyptian Babylonian times had such fine mastery over their fabrics. They were appreciated globally for their hand spinning, weaving and printing techniques that were handed down from generations. Among the largest in the world, this industry employs close to 10 million artisans in India and is considered the second-largest income-generating activity after agriculture in rural India. The crisis caused by COVID-19 has resulted in a sudden disruption of all businesses across the globe including the handloom sector. The sector has severely affected by the closure of the traditional and contemporary market for artisans. Recently, India has celebrated the National Handloom Day and it was on August 7, 2020, for the first time India does so without the All India Handloom Board. The Union Ministry of Textile has abolished the All India Handloom Board in consonance with the Government of India’s vision of ‘Minimum Government and Maximum Governance’ on August 3, 2020.
Reading Time: 8 mins Violence against women in India is an issue deeply rooted in societal norms and economic dependence. Female feticide, domestic violence, sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence constitute the reality of most girls’ and women’s lives in India. During the first four phases of the COVID-19-related lockdown, Indian women filed more domestic violence complaints than recorded in a similar period in the last 10 years. But even this unusual spurt is only the tip of the iceberg as 86% of women who experience domestic violence do not seek help in India.
Reading Time: 8 mins In a judgment that would remove ambiguity in Hindu women’s inheritance rights after the amendment to the Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005, the Supreme Court in its Vineeta Sharma Vs Rakesh Sharma case held that a Hindu Women’s right to be a joint heir to the ancestral property is by birth. It comes in the backdrop of various judgments providing contradictory views on the 2005 amendment and clears the confusion.
Reading Time: 8 mins Prime Minister Narendra Modi In his seventh Independence Day speech at Red Fort, stressed upon several aspects about the development of women in India including his government’s resolve to revise the minimum age at which women can legally get married in India. He has announced that the central government has set up a committee to reconsider the minimum age of marriage for women, which are currently 18. Though there is ambiguity in available data, the recent trends show that in nearly one-third of marriages in India women are aged less than 21.
Reading Time: 7 mins In an important step towards granting women the right to serve in the military on equal terms with men, the apex court had recently granted women officers the right to “permanent commission” and the right to command. This order brought women officers in 10 streams of the army on a par with their male counterparts. This case was first filed in the Delhi High Court by women officers in 2003 and had received a favourable order in 2010. However, the order was never implemented and was challenged in the Supreme Court by the government. The recent order by the supreme court opens the doors for women to command military units like logistics, signals, etc., thus placing them in the position of leading bodies of 500-600 men in combat support duties. This ruling is hailed as a “great leap” towards equality in the army.
Reading Time: 7 mins The union cabinet recently approved the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2020. The move is expected to liberalise the practice of abortion and is long overdue. The move has been called for by many women’s rights groups and even the Supreme Court. The move is also significant as liberal abortion laws have been linked with a decline in unsafe abortions and abortion rates in general.
Reading Time: 6 mins According to the recently released Sample Registration System (SRS), India’s Maternal Mortality Ratio has declined from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-16 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-17. This is of significance as it means that about 2,000 maternal deaths have been prevented each year. This may be due to the improving accessibility and affordability to healthcare and also due to increasing awareness about the benefits of the public health system.
Reading Time: 6 mins Many efforts taken by the Indian government and various other organisations in recent years are not addressing the problem of the startling decline in India’s sex ratio since 2011. Many are alarmed that it would be reflected in India’s child sex ratio in the 2021 Census report.
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According to the latest statistics, about 25% of the Indian population belongs to the rural poor. Women make up one-third of the Indian labour force. However, social constraints have prevented them from having access to and making use of the available resources that may help them improve their living conditions. Self Help Group is seen by many as the catalyst for rural development, women and social empowerment. Its importance in the Indian economy is seen through many success stories like production of 13 different bioagents to support organic farming by Sabari Swasraya Sanghom of Nellarachal tribal hamlet, Kudumbashree SHG, etc. They are not only inspirational but also the obvious solutions to the existing socio-economic problems of India.