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BWEE-005: Women and Development

BWEE-005: Women and Development

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

If you are looking for BWEE-005 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Women and Development, you have come to the right place. BWEE-005 solution on this page applies to 2021-22 session students studying in DWED courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BWEE-005/AST-01/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BWEE-005

Assignment Name: Women and Development

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Answer any four of the following questions. Each question carries equal marks.

Q1) Discuss the significance of women’s contribution in sustainable development 25

Ans) Under these conditions, the concept of sustainable development gained traction. The second half of the twentieth century was marked by a growing movement among scientists and environmental activists who questioned the ecological consequences of the post-industrial revolution period's type of development; technological choices; and the pattern of market-induced consumerism. This movement has sparked debate. For a type of development that reflects Mahatma Gandhi's famous dictum, "The earth has enough for every man's need, but not for some men's greed."

The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), also known as the Brundtland Commission, was established in response to the environmental movement's pressures. The Brundtland report, "Our Common Future," defined sustainable development as "development that meets current needs without jeopardising future generations' ability to meet their needs." It called for policies that acknowledged the need for economic growth while not jeopardising the position of vulnerable people or depleting the resource base's long-term viability. Overall, it argued for a mindset that prioritises both quality and quantity of growth.

For today and the future, sustainable development requires an equitable distribution of resources. It is impossible to achieve without achieving gender equality. Women's empowerment is a critical component of achieving long-term economic, social, and environmental sustainability. Sustainable development is broadly defined as development that meets current needs without jeopardising future generations' ability to meet their own needs. All policies and actions that are broadly designed to create a society based on freedom, democracy, and respect for fundamental rights, fostering equality of opportunity and solidarity within and between generations should include sustainable development as a key principle.

Sustainable development should be built on a foundation of balanced economic growth and price stability, a highly competitive social market economy that aims for full employment, a high level of education and social progress, and a high level of environmental protection and improvement. Sustainable development should be a top priority for all national policies, with the goal of improving the quality of life for current and future generations on the planet. It's about preserving the planet's ability to support life in all of its forms. It is founded on democratic and rule-of-law principles, as well as respect for fundamental rights such as freedom and equal opportunity for all. It fosters generational and intergenerational solidarity. It aspires to promote a vibrant economy with high levels of employment and education, as well as health protection, social and territorial cohesion, and environmental protection in a peaceful and secure world that respects cultural diversity.

Women have continued to advocate for policies and practises that do not jeopardise future generations' health and well-being over time. They continue to fight for better living conditions and environmental protection. Women are disproportionately represented among the poor in almost every country. According to studies, the poor bear the brunt of environmental degradation and pollution in both urban and rural areas of rich and poor countries.

In almost every country, women share primary responsibility for nutrition, childcare, and household management. They are also involved in environmental protection. Women are important farmers, animal tenders, and water and fuel collectors in most developing countries. Despite their roles, women are underrepresented in decision-making processes involving environmental and development issues at the local, national, and international levels.

Women are demanding that their voices be heard after years of having their expertise, knowledge, and perspective ignored. They recognise that because political, economic, social, and environmental issues are all intertwined, an integrated approach to sustainable development is required. Women's leadership and full participation at all levels of society and decision-making are required for sustainable development. Furthermore, sustainable development that does not include meaningful participation of women cannot be equitable. In the study of sustainable development, a gender perspective is one of the most forward-thinking and socially just approaches.

Women and Environment

There are several schools of thought on women's environmental relationships. One stream emphasises the managerial aspects of minimising negative effects of the process of Alternative Perspectives of economic development by focusing on women as recipients of development assistance and Development while also considering the environmental effects of development. Development organisations promote this approach. Other perspectives are anti-development, claiming that the western development model is fundamentally flawed, as evidenced by its effects on women, the poor, and the environment. This viewpoint necessitates a different approach to development.


The contribution of women to long-term development must be acknowledged. Women play an important role in their children's education and socialisation, including teaching them about environmental stewardship and responsibility. More needs to be done to give women a stronger voice in environmental decision-making and to enable them to participate in the "green economy." More training and capacity-building programmes tailored to the needs of women are required. Women's role in the family, community, and society as a whole must be free of socio-cultural and religious traditions that prevent women from participating. A shift in mindset is required, particularly among the males who currently dominate the scene.

Q2) Elucidate the relationship of women with traditional knowledge system in India. 25

Ans) Women in rural communities play an important role in the family and are the true keepers of traditional knowledge. They have a thorough understanding of the species and ecosystems that surround them. Their knowledge of the various uses of plants, as well as plant selection, conservation, and management, is vast. As managers of the kitchen garden and keepers of local knowledge of food crops and medicinal plants, they play an important role in biological diversity. Furthermore, the variety of home remedies used in rural households is quite impressive, as it contains a wealth of food and nutrition knowledge.

Traditionally, Indian and other Asian women were wise and knowledgeable about the types of food to choose and cook for their families, which were based primarily on local resources. Traditional dietary practises included such geographically specific diets with seasonal variations. Women thus become local educators, passing on traditional knowledge and technologies such as the proverbial "grandmother's cures," which may hold the key to many curative plants uses, and serving as traditional birth attendants in many rural societies where "modern" medical facilities are not available. Women have played an important role in the development and preservation of textile, clothing, and other valuable forms of traditional cultural expression in many cultures.

Ways Women Exhibit Traditional Knowledge in their Daily Lives

Land and Water

Women are vital in land and water management. They usually collect, use, and manage water for the household and farm irrigated and rain-fed crops. Women have extensive knowledge of water resources, including quality and reliability, restrictions, and acceptable storage methods, as a result of their roles.

Traditional farming methods have helped women farmers conserve soil fertility. When available, they use fallowing, crop rotation, intercropping, mulching, and other soil conservation and enrichment methods. Rural women have developed practises for long-term resource management. As a result, it is critical to increase their understanding of land and water management strategies, and to involve them in protecting and conserving these resources.

Plant Genetic Resources

Particularly threatened are plant genetic resources. Rural women in developing countries control many agricultural systems, including food production, seed selection, and agrobiodiversity protection. Women frequently use their gardens to adapt or diversify native species.

Men and women must work together to create sustainable agricultural systems that increase crop and pasture productivity. Men have traditionally prepared land, ploughed it, irrigated it, and levelled it in nearly all rice-growing regions of Women typically do sowing, transplanting, weeding, and crop processing.

Due to their varied and complex responsibilities in rural households, women often have a special interest in plant uses. Women farmers help conserve crop diversity and wild plant populations. They often know the native trees, shrubs, and herbs and their distribution and site requirements. Conservation of species and varieties based on community utility requires women's knowledge of plants for food, fuel, health, and crafts.

In addition to nutritional and medicinal properties, women select plants for food based on soil and agro-climatic adaptability. Plant genetic resources are conserved and used sustainably by women. As a result, women are frequently excluded from plant production and protection activities. Women farmers must be involved in technology development to benefit from their knowledge and needs regarding sustainable plant use and conservation for crops, medicines, crafts, and other purposes.

Animal Resources

Women are vital in livestock production, both for home consumption and for sale. Although men often own (and sell) large livestock, it is women who do most of the animal-related household work. As males seek off-farm work, rural women are increasingly managing the family farm, including animal husbandry.

Women's contributions to livestock production, processing, and marketing are often overlooked. Women are rarely targeted by animal health and production extension services, which ignore their needs. Women's roles are expanding in virtually every livestock industry link from producer to consumer. It is critical to improve their access to appropriate technologies and information about livestock and animal products. This necessitates labour-saving, cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and profitable technologies that meet consumer demands for safe, nutritious, and affordable products.

Forest Resources

Women's knowledge of forest products contains species that scientists cannot catalogue. Tribal women in India, for example, know 300 forest species' medicinal uses. Rural women care for and use forests. They are the main gatherers of fodder and fuel wood, as well as food for their families. They also use bark, roots, and herbs as medicine. Women's activities are vital to household income and nutrition. Their haul is a vital addition to the family's diet. Much of what they collect is processed or sold for extra cash. During times of famine and scarcity, women gather foods that would normally be wasted but are vital to family survival. The availability of forest products, particularly fuel wood, allows women to pursue other interests.


Women make a big difference in fishing. In some areas, women fish directly from the shore or from small boats or canoes, or crew on boats. In many communities, women make or repair fishing gear. Women play an important role in aquaculture by feeding and harvesting fish.

Women handle, preserve, and process fish products in most fishing communities. They help unload boats and nets after harvest. They sun-dry, salt, smoke, and make fish paste and cakes. Obtaining water, salt, and fuel for the smoking ovens takes time and effort. Post-harvest losses are high due to inefficient technologies, methods, and storage facilities. Even without increasing the catch size, improvements in equipment and methods can increase the quantity of fish available for consumption and sale.

As a result, valuing and applying women's traditional knowledge in its specific contexts is critical for progress toward biodiversity preservation around the world. Traditional knowledge held by women could contribute to the advancement of health sciences. As a result, traditional environmental knowledge held by women is critical to the preservation of biological as well as cultural diversity.

Q4) Discuss the impacts of white revolution on women’s status in rural India. 25

Explain various factors that affect women’s work participation in Indian society? 25

Ans) A large portion of the work related to dairy cattle maintenance, milk production, and processing is done by rural poor women. Depending on the landholding and livestock holding, women's labour inputs for livestock maintenance and dairy production vary. Dairying is a part-time job for rural women who work alongside other wage and nonwage jobs. Women in landless and small peasant households perform the majority of dairy-related jobs, such as cutting and fetching grass and fodder, bathing buffaloes, cleaning cattle sheds, milking, and pouring milk at cooperatives or other collection centres.

In medium farmer households, women are confined to the house for dairy-related work such as feeding and milking, while hired labour is used for outside jobs. Women's role in livestock and dairy production is primarily supervisory in wealthy farmer households. Singha Roy demonstrates how new technologies have influenced the nature and extent of women's work participation and household responsibilities in a variety of ways in different villages.

Developed Villages

The introduction and widespread use of technology and mechanisation in agriculturally developed villages has increased both work burdens and employment opportunities for women in agriculture. The volume of household tasks, both agricultural and non-agricultural, has increased dramatically. Upper and middle caste women in developed villages usually limit themselves to intra-mural agricultural and household tasks. The introduction of new agricultural technology and an increase in household income has exacerbated their invisibility in the labour market. Work burdens-both extra-mural and intra-mural-have increased for most women of Scheduled castes and other Backward castes of this class who work outside the home. They are involved in all aspects of agriculture.

However, in a few Other Backward Castes and Scheduled Caste families, an increase in family income has resulted in the womenfolk withdrawing from extra-mural manual agricultural activities. These trends are only visible in households where, in addition to economic development, educational and occupational diversification have been significant, and a few male members have obtained government jobs. Though employment opportunities for women agricultural labourers have increased, rising prices have reduced their real income. Deforestation, the disappearance of grazing lands, and the scarcity of drinking water have added to their misery. Wage discrimination based on gender has risen dramatically.

Semi-developed and Tribal Villages Women and Technology

Due to new technology, the tribal villages' production organisation has remained unchanged. Agriculturally, they have remained backward and stratified. Rapid deforestation and economic monetisation have increased the workload of women. Many tribals, including women, migrate to urban areas for wage work in the absence of long-term employment. As their economic security has deteriorated, they have become more visible in the labour market. Employers, middlemen, and forest contractors take advantage of their weak bargaining position. Agricultural development has been moderate in the semi-developed villages. At the same time, non-agricultural employment opportunities have opened up.

Against this backdrop, women's agricultural employment has increased. The increase in income is accompanied by an increase in women's workload in the large landowning upper caste groups. The agricultural operation is mostly completed by women from the lower and lower middle strata of the agrarian and caste hierarchy with the help of family labour. Women are also responsible for extra household chores, as well as the care of dependents and draught animals. Work opportunities for women labourers have expanded, both agricultural and non-agricultural, but their wages have not kept pace with inflation. Their toil has increased, particularly when it comes to collecting fodder and fuel, as well as fetching drinking water.

As a result of the introduction of advanced technology and the commercialisation of agriculture, the study finds that changes in the organisation of production have increased the burden of work on women and their responsibilities across classes and castes, without increasing their share of the rewards or their participation in decision-making processes both within and outside the family. The impact of technology on various classes and genders within each class has varied across the country. However, it is undeniable that technological advancements have not aided in the advancement of women's status in Indian society. Women's marginalisation in various aspects of their lives—social, economic, and political—has been exacerbated by a shift in rural development strategies.

Q5) Explain the impact of consumerism not women’s status? Discuss 25

Ans) Consumerism is an economic and social ideology and order that promotes the continuous consumption or acquisition of goods and services. Consumerism promotes the purchase and consumption of goods and services that are beyond a person's basic requirements.

Globalization is bringing together consumer markets from all over the world, opening up new possibilities. It also creates new inequalities and challenges for the protection of consumer rights. It has two primary effects: economic and social. Economic liberalisation resulted in the opening of consumer goods markets, which included everything from books to food to refrigerators to television sets. Import restrictions were removed, and tariffs were reduced, allowing a much broader range of higher-quality goods to be purchased at lower prices. The process accelerates, hastening the transition to a free market based on mass production for mass consumption and a steady stream of new and improved products available for purchase. Advertising is critical in today's competitive market.

The recent economic liberalisation that has swept India has altered the lives of a large segment of the country's growing middle class. Because economic change and mobility have diluted their traditional moorings, and the media revolution has exponentially increased their exposure to western lifestyles and material achievements, middle-class Indians are more susceptible to western influence.

The term consumerism is used in economics to describe policies that promote consumption. Advertisements, discounts, product launches, product giveaways, and other promotions are all used to encourage people to spend money on goods and services on a regular basis in a consumerist society. The pursuit of the "good life" is encouraged by consumerism. This could mean foregoing things like saving and investing.


Economic Growth

Consumerism is the engine that propels the economy forward. The economy grows when people spend more on goods and services produced in a never-ending cycle. There is more consumption as a result of increased production and employment. People's living standards are also expected to rise as a result of consumerism.

Boosts Innovation and Creativity

Producers/manufacturers are constantly under pressure to innovate because consumers are actively looking for the next best products/services to buy. Living standards rise as consumers gain access to better goods and services.

According to Rao, there is now a prosperous middle class in rural areas with over four million households, representing a large market for industrial products. The rural market for bicycles, portable radios, table fans, sewing machines, black and white television, pressure cookers, mixers / grinders, and other items is growing, according to Rao's consumer spending analysis. Rao demonstrates that even the rural poor are increasing their use of nail polish, lipstick, face cream, shampoo, toothpaste, and other cosmetics.

The Indian market has changed dramatically since economic liberalisation. Consumers are becoming more discerning and quality-conscious, while also becoming less price-sensitive. MNCs have brought to the market international quality, improved technology, and a customer-focused approach. Consumers are becoming more brand conscious, and they prefer businesses that offer good products and services at reasonable prices. Consumers today expect constant feedback as well as new products and services from the businesses with which they do business.

A lifestyle replete with expensive cars, the latest consumer gadgets, designer clothes and accessories, and five-star living became the role model for the middle class as a result of the hedonism unleashed by the liberalisation process. Climbing the consumption ladder has become a popular goal for many people. They've developed a far more global outlook and aspirations, as well as more sophisticated and liberal lifestyles and attitudes, and unquestionably more adventurous and demanding holiday and leisure activities.

Consumerism has both favourable and unfavourable aspects. Although consumerism fosters economic growth and innovation, it is not without its drawbacks, which include everything from environmental and moral degradation to increased debt and mental health problems. Given the fact that we already live in a consumerist society, striking a healthy balance is advised. The pursuit of the finer things in life should not be done at the expense of one's mental or financial well-being.

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