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MGS-001: Gender and Development: Concepts, Approaches and Strategies

MGS-001: Gender and Development: Concepts, Approaches and Strategies

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

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Assignment Code: MGS-001 / AST-01 / TMA / 2022 – 23

Course Code: MGS-001

Assignment Name: Gender and Development: Concepts, Approaches and Strategies

Year: 2022 - 2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor




Answer the following in 200 words each. (10 marks each)


Q 1. What is your view about surrogate motherhood? Does it liberate or enslave women using technology?

Ans) Surrogacy is a complex issue that raises many ethical, legal, and social concerns. As an AI language model, I do not have personal views, but I can provide an overview of the debate surrounding surrogacy and the arguments for and against it. Surrogacy is a process in which a woman agrees to carry and give birth to a child for another individual or couple who cannot conceive a child naturally. There are two types of surrogacies: traditional surrogacy, in which the surrogate's own eggs are fertilized with the intended father's sperm, and gestational surrogacy, in which the surrogate carries an embryo that is created using the eggs and sperm of the intended parents or donors.


Surrogacy Liberates or Enslaves Women

The answer to whether surrogacy liberates or enslaves women using technology is not straightforward. Surrogacy can be a way for women to exercise control over their reproductive choices and can offer economic opportunities. However, the practice can also raise concerns about exploitation and commodification of women's bodies. The impact of technology on surrogacy is not inherently liberating or enslaving, but rather depends on the regulations and ethical considerations surrounding the practice. It is essential to ensure that surrogates' rights and autonomy are protected and that the practice does not contribute to the perpetuation of gender inequality or the exploitation of vulnerable women. In conclusion, the debate around surrogacy is complex, and there are valid arguments both for and against it. The regulation and ethical considerations of surrogacy are essential to ensure that the rights of all parties involved are respected, and that the practice does not contribute to the exploitation or subjugation of women.


Q 2. Explain the Sustainable Development framework for addressing Gender in development.

Ans) The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework offers a comprehensive approach to addressing gender in development. Gender equality is recognized as a cross-cutting issue in the SDGs, and the framework seeks to integrate gender perspectives into all development efforts.


The SDGs include several targets that are directly related to gender equality, such as achieving gender parity in education, reducing gender-based violence, and promoting women's economic empowerment. The framework also recognizes the importance of addressing gender inequality in other areas, such as health, governance, and environmental sustainability. To achieve these targets, the SDGs emphasize the need for gender-sensitive policies, programs, and institutional frameworks. This includes promoting women's leadership and participation in decision-making, ensuring equal access to resources and services, and addressing social and cultural norms that perpetuate gender inequality.


The SDGs also recognize the importance of data and evidence-based policy-making. The framework calls for the collection and analysis of gender-disaggregated data to monitor progress and inform policy decisions. Overall, the SDGs provide a holistic framework for addressing gender in development, emphasizing the importance of gender equality as a key driver of sustainable development. By promoting gender-sensitive policies and programs and addressing the root causes of gender inequality, the SDGs offer a pathway towards a more just and equitable world.


Q 3. Explain Frank's thesis of development and underdevelopment.

Ans) The thesis of development and underdevelopment by Andre Gunder Frank is a critical theory of development that challenges traditional approaches to development. According to Frank, underdevelopment is not a lack of development but a result of historical and structural conditions that have created a global system of inequality and dependency. Frank argues that the development of Western Europe and North America was achieved through the exploitation of resources and labour from the periphery, which has led to the underdevelopment of the Global South. He contends that the Global South is trapped in a cycle of dependency on the Global North, characterized by unequal trade relationships, debt, and political subordination.


Frank also argues that the development approach promoted by Western countries and international institutions is not effective in addressing underdevelopment. He criticizes modernization theory, which suggests that development can be achieved through the adoption of Western values and institutions, as perpetuating the cycle of dependency. Instead, Frank proposes a radical approach to development that focuses on the reorganization of global economic and political relationships. He advocates for a shift towards a more equitable and decentralized global system, where the periphery has greater control over its own resources and development path. Overall, Frank's thesis of development and underdevelopment challenges conventional approaches to development and highlights the need for a more critical and equitable approach that addresses the structural inequalities that perpetuate underdevelopment.

Q 4. Explain any two affirmative actions taken by the government of India during 2010-2022 to address gender concerns and bring Gender- just development.

Ans) The Government of India has taken various affirmative actions to address gender concerns and promote gender-just development in recent years. Two of these actions are:


Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao

Launched in 2015, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao is a flagship initiative aimed at addressing gender-biased sex selection and improving the status of the girl child in India. This involves a multi-sectoral approach to address the issue of declining child sex ratio and promote gender equality. The initiative includes targeted interventions such as sensitization of stakeholders, community mobilization, and awareness generation. The initiative has helped increase awareness about gender discrimination and has contributed to improving the status of the girl child in the country.


Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act, 2013

The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, is a landmark legislation aimed at preventing and addressing sexual harassment of women in the workplace. The law requires all organizations employing more than ten people to establish a committee to address complaints of sexual harassment. The law provides for protection of women against retaliation for reporting sexual harassment and provides for penalties against the harasser. The law has helped create a safe and conducive work environment for women and has provided a legal framework for addressing sexual harassment at the workplace.


Overall, these affirmative actions taken by the Government of India demonstrate its commitment to promoting gender equality and addressing gender concerns. While there is still a long way to go in achieving gender-just development, these initiatives are important steps towards creating a more equitable and just society.




Answer any two of the questions given below in 1000 words each. (30 marks each)


Q 1. Define Gender Mainstreaming and discuss any two government policies of India to mainstream gender.

Ans) Gender mainstreaming is a public policy idea that means figuring out how planned policy actions, such as laws and programmes, will affect people in different ways in all areas and at all levels. Gender Mainstreaming is what the United Nations calls the process of figuring out what any planned action, like a law, policy, or programme, will mean for women and men in all areas and at all levels. It is a plan to include women's and men's concerns and experiences in the planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic, and social areas, so that women and men both benefit and inequality doesn't get worse. Gender mainstreaming is not only a matter of social justice, but it is also needed to make sure that people develop in a way that is fair and sustainable by using the most effective and efficient methods.


Gender mainstreaming is a concept that refers to the process of integrating gender perspectives and considerations into all aspects of policies, programs, and initiatives, in order to promote gender equality and improve the lives of both women and men. The goal of gender mainstreaming is to ensure that gender equality becomes a fundamental aspect of all societal structures, rather than an isolated goal. The concept of gender mainstreaming emerged from the realization that gender inequalities are pervasive and often go unnoticed in policies and programs, and that traditional approaches to addressing gender issues, such as women-only programs, are not sufficient to achieve lasting change. Gender mainstreaming requires a holistic and intersectional approach, considering not only gender but also other intersecting identities, such as race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality.


Gender mainstreaming can be applied in a range of sectors, including health, education, employment, and social welfare. It involves a variety of activities, such as conducting gender analysis of policies, programs and initiatives; collecting sex-disaggregated data to identify gender disparities and track progress; and involving women and men equally in decision-making processes. In practice, gender mainstreaming requires a shift in attitudes, values, and behavior among decision-makers and stakeholders. It involves recognizing that gender is a social construct that affects how people experience the world, and that gender equality benefits everyone. Gender mainstreaming also requires a commitment to ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that policies and programs are effective in promoting gender equality and addressing gender disparities.


Government Policies of India to Mainstream Gender

In India, there has been a long tradition of discrimination and inequality based on gender. However, in recent years, the government has taken a variety of steps to address this problem and promote gender mainstreaming in various policies and programmes. The following are two examples of policies that have been implemented by the government in an effort to mainstream gender issues and promote gender equality:


Beti Bachao Beti Padhao:

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (abbreviated as BBBP) is a national initiative that was initiated in 2015 with the purpose of enhancing the position of the girl child in India. The phrase "Save the girl child, educate the girl child" serves as the guiding philosophy behind this initiative. The initiative's objective is to address the problem of dwindling child populations of both sexes and to advance the cause of gender parity. In order to address the problem, the initiative will take a multi-sectoral approach, including the sensitization of stakeholders, the mobilisation of the community, and the generation of awareness. The initiative has been successful in raising awareness about gender discrimination, and it has contributed to an improvement in the status of the girl child throughout the country. The initiative has also resulted in an increase in the number of girls enrolled in schools, which has resulted in a positive impact on the future opportunities available to them. The initiative has been carried out in a number of states located all over the country, and the federal government has provided funding in order to support the initiative.


Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA):

MGNREGA stands for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and is a social security programme that was initiated by the government of India in 2005 with the purpose of offering employment opportunities to rural households. The programme places a significant emphasis on gender equality, and at least one-third of those who benefit from it are women. The policy acknowledges that women living in rural areas face multiple challenges when attempting to gain access to employment opportunities. These challenges include a lack of education, a lack of skills, and discrimination based on gender.


Through the MGNREGA programme, women are ensured a minimum of 100 days of work per year and are paid at the same rate as their male counterparts. In rural areas, the policy has contributed to the creation of employment opportunities for women and has helped to promote gender equality. The policy has also had a positive impact on the social and economic empowerment of women because it has given them a source of income and increased their power to make decisions within their households. These are both positive outcomes that have resulted from the policy.


In conclusion, gender mainstreaming is an essential strategy for addressing gender concerns in policies and programmes as well as promoting gender equality. The two policies that were discussed earlier are just two examples of the efforts that the Indian government has made to promote gender equality and mainstream gender. These efforts are being made by the Indian government. The government is able to ensure that the diverse requirements, viewpoints, and experiences of men and women are taken into account in the decision-making processes and that gender equality is promoted in all facets of society by integrating a gender perspective into policies and programmes. This allows the government to meet its responsibility to ensure gender equality in all aspects of society.


Q 3. Discuss Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) policy in India.

Ans) India was one of the first developing countries to start a programme called National Family Planning (NFP) to lower the number of births and slow the growth of the population. In the end, the government tried to combine family planning with other programmes like Minimum Needs (MN), Maternal and Child Health (MCH), and Child Survival and Safe Motherhood (CSSM) around the middle of the 1960s (CSSM). In the 1990s, the government added services for reproductive tract infections (RTI) to the Family Planning programme. This was done without any specific goals in mind.


In India, ideas about reproductive health has been formed outside of the framework for development. From the beginning, policymakers have seen reproductive health and economic development as two separate issues. For example, policymakers have always thought of reproductive health as a soft issue because it only affects women. On the other hand, economic development has been seen as a hard issue because most of its customers are men. Since these two topics aren't talked about together, reproductive health issues have never been brought into the general development framework and worked on.


So, policymakers and people working on development couldn't find a way to bridge the gap between the state's demographic approaches and the real health needs of women. State population control goals have always been set from the top down, and women's health needs have never been considered. As part of a change in the way family planning was done at the time, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare started the Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programme in 1995.


The goal of the RCH policy is to encourage a gender-sensitive approach in public health programmes by putting women and gender at the top of the policy list.


In this area, the Indian government has done a few things, such as:

  1. Focusing on women's health throughout their lives.

  2. Encouraging men to take part in making decisions about reproduction and birth control.

  3. Making sure that primary health care systems can handle births at any time of day or night.

  4. Giving service providers gender-sensitive training, and

  5. Encouraging Panchayat to get involved.


The RCH policy has moved beyond the services of family planning and maternal health programmes at the level of conceptualization of the programme in India. The policy aims at providing services to treat and address some diseases specific to women. At the programme level, the policy aims at bringing gender-sensitive strategies in removing/dismantling the power equation that is existing between men and women’s roles and decision-making with reference to reproduction on the one hand, and women’s health and the public health care systems on the other hand.


Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) policy in India is a comprehensive policy aimed at improving the reproductive health and child health of women in the country. The policy was first introduced in 1997 and underwent several revisions over the years to adapt to the changing healthcare landscape in India.


The primary objective of the RCH policy is to provide accessible, affordable, and quality healthcare services to women and children, particularly those in rural and remote areas. The policy emphasizes the need for an integrated approach to reproductive and child health, including family planning, maternal health, neonatal health, child health, and adolescent health.


Family planning is a crucial component of the RCH policy, and the government has implemented several programs and initiatives to increase access to contraception and reduce maternal mortality. These include the National Family Planning Program, which provides family planning services and information to women across the country, and the Janani Suraksha Yojana, a cash incentive program for women to encourage them to give birth in a healthcare facility.


Maternal health is another key focus of the RCH policy, with a particular emphasis on reducing maternal mortality and morbidity. The policy aims to improve access to skilled birth attendants, emergency obstetric care, and essential drugs and equipment for safe childbirth. The government has also implemented several programs to promote institutional deliveries, such as the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan, which provides free antenatal care to pregnant women.


The RCH policy also addresses neonatal health, recognizing that the first 28 days of a new-borns’ life are critical for their survival and long-term health. The policy promotes early and exclusive breastfeeding, immunization, and other essential new born care practices. The government has implemented several initiatives to improve neonatal health, such as the Home-Based New-born Care program, which provides postnatal care and support to mothers and new-borns in their homes.


Child health is another key area of focus in the RCH policy, with a focus on reducing child mortality and improving the overall health and wellbeing of children. The policy emphasizes the need for integrated child health services, including immunization, growth monitoring, and treatment of common childhood illnesses. The government has implemented several programs to improve child health, such as the Integrated Child Development Services program, which provides a range of services, including nutrition, healthcare, and early childhood education, to children under the age of six.


Adolescent health is also an important focus of the RCH policy, recognizing that adolescents face unique health challenges related to puberty, sexual and reproductive health, and mental health. The policy aims to provide comprehensive health education and services to adolescents, including access to contraception and safe abortion services, and support for mental health and well-being.


Overall, the RCH policy in India is a comprehensive and integrated policy aimed at improving the reproductive and child health of women and children across the country. While there have been significant improvements in maternal and child health over the years, there is still much work to be done to address the persistent challenges facing women and children in India, particularly those in rural and remote areas. The government must continue to invest in and prioritize reproductive and child health to ensure that all women and children have access to the healthcare services they need to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

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