T13P02 - Gender Inequality and Public Policy in Asian Societies

Topic : Gender, Diversity and Public Policy

Panel Chair : Arunoday Bajpai - arunodaybajpai@gmail.com

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Gender inequality continues to be a major challenge before the public policy makers in all societies. In recent times, the issue of gender inequality received international attention in 1970s with the organization of the first World Conference on Women in 1974 in Mexico and adoption of the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1979. These initiatives spurred the policy interventions at the national level to address the issue of gender inequality in Asian countries also. The policy approaches to gender equality ranged from welfare ism in 1950s and 1960s, Women in Development (WID) in early 1970s, Women and Development (WAD) in second half of 1970s and Gender and Development (GAD) in 1990s. The Women Empowerment is the most strategic element of GAD approach. In order to accelerate and coordinate the global efforts for women empowerment, the United Nations General Assembly created a new entity 'UN Women' in 2010. The Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action, adopted during the fourth world conference on women in Beijing in 1995 is considered the key global policy document on gender equality.

The unlocking of half of the human resources is crucial for the success of democracy and development in Asian societies. The global and national policy interventions in the field of women equality have gone hand in hand for last five decades. The public policies addressing gender issues in Asian societies have suffered formalism and poor implementation due to deep rooted socio-cultural biases, lack of skill and literacy, economic independence and awareness. The gap between the declared objective and policy outcome are on higher side in gender related policies, because policies failed to address the required attitudinal and cultural change in the society. It needs to be reiterated that the sex (male/female) is a biological category, whereas gender is a socio-cultural category, which assigns inferior role and position for women in society. The gender issues crucial for policy domain in Asian societies are education, health, skill and employment, participation in decision making at various levels, domestic violence, environmental concerns, various forms of discrimination within and outside family and so on. In this background, the panel on 'Gender Inequality and Public Policy in Asian Societies' is proposed to realize the following objectives:

  1. To examine the various policy approaches relevant for public policies on gender equality in Asia.
  2. To analyze the status of engendering of public policies in contemporary Asian societies.
  3. To understand the socio-cultural context of Asian societies as an operational environment for public policies on gender equality.
  4. To suggest measures and innovative practices to improve the formulation and implementation of public policies on gender issues in Asian countries.

Call for papers

Scholars are invited to contribute research papers in the panel titled 'Gender Inequality and Public Policy in Asian Societies', which has following sub-themes:

The papers with field experience and comparative perspective between different social settings will be encouraged.



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