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MGS-043: Gender and Sustainable Development

MGS-043: Gender and Sustainable Development

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for MGS-043 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Gender and Sustainable Development, you have come to the right place. MGS-043 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in CGAS courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: MGS-041/AST -01/TMA-1/2022-23

Course Code: MGS-041

Assignment Name: Introduction to Gender, Agriculture and Sustainable Development

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


1. Do you agree that women are closer to nature and therefore inferior? Substantiate your arguments with suitable examples. (10)

Ans) Different strands of the feminist movement have had varying effects on ecofeminism as a movement. As a result, Jaggar observes that liberal feminism is least able to be associated with ecology because its focus is still mostly on white, middle-class issues. Furthermore, despite the fact that radical feminism emphasises the connection between women and nature as a rallying cry in its emancipator politics, their justification is viewed as being far too oversimplified to advance a movement. Social Ecofeminism, on the other hand, strikes me as an intriguing new movement with Marxist roots that is built on the understanding that gender is socially created and acknowledges the urgent need to create conceptual tools that will examine ecological and social change in relation to gender.


Key ecofeminism concepts are outlined by Bina Agarwal (2007). The dominance and exploitation of nature are fundamentally related, to start. Second, women are perceived as being closer to nature and males as being closer to culture under patriarchal philosophy. Women are viewed as inferior to males because nature is perceived as inferior to society. Third, both nature and women have been subjected to oppression and dominance. Women have a crucial role to play in uniting human and non-human nature by putting a stop to nature's dominance. Fourth, in order to build a more just and equal society, the environmental movement and the feminist movement must work together. Both movements can provide a shared perspective, praxis, and theory because of their many similarities. In this regard, Agarwal observes that the eco-feminist movement has an ideological foundation that places the blame for women's subordination and dominance inside current systems of thought, behaviour, and representation. And those who support this movement are urging both men and women to reconsider and reinvent their interactions with nature.


In response to the widespread environmental degradation and its effects on women, ecofeminism was born. It's interesting to note that in the West, the association between a painful and exploitative environment and a subjugated and oppressed sex developed. However, different schools of thought within ecofeminism emerged as a result of the need to examine cross-cultural debates and challenges in order to develop a realistic theory of action. This was also a response to widespread ecological movements in underdeveloped nations where the connections between nature and women were perceived as more important.


2. Define Sustainability. Discuss the significance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in addressing sustainability in the era of neoliberal economic policies. (10)

Ans) Sustainability consists of fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being.


Sustainable Development Goals in the era of neoliberal economic policies


The Sustainability Agenda, which was part of the 1972 Rio Process on the Human Environment, had its roots in the Stockholm Summit. This was the first of four UN conferences on sustainability that will be held around the world. It was followed by the World Commission on Environment and Development in 1992, which made the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21. In 2002, the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (Rio+10) was held. The UN Summit on Sustainable Development, which took place in 2012 (Rio+20), was the last meeting. In 1987, the Brundtland Report, also called Our Common Future, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, put sustainable development on the map as a way for the world economy to grow Huber (2000) says that the Brundtland Report is part of the Rio process, which he says has been going on for decades and has been key to making sustainable development a dominant discourse. Using the 1992 Rio United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) as a starting point, the Rio process is the way that key social groups and movements work together to work toward the goal of sustainable development.


According to Lynley Tulloch and David Neilson, "Sustainable development discourse is always about how people and nature depend on each other." To understand the sustainability discourse in neoliberalism, it is important to understand how this relationship is built and shown. So, the process of re-articulating sustainability with neoliberalism involves a number of strategic steps.


Agenda 21 of the Report shows that market principles are more important to sustainable development than other ideas.


"The process of development won't pick up speed if the global economy isn't dynamic and stable and is full of uncertainties. It also won't pick up speed if developing countries are weighed down by external debt, if there isn't enough money for development, if there are barriers to getting to markets, and if commodity prices and the terms of trade of developing countries stay low.


People now realise that the environment is not the "free" good that people used to think it was. Instead, it is seen as something that costs money, both between and within countries and between generations. The idea that there aren't enough resources to go around and that people are using them up at the expense of future generations is seen as a way to protect the environment and encourage conservation and smart use of natural resources.


3. Analyze Interlinkages between gender, women’s empowerment, poverty and access to energy. (10)

Ans) Even though the poor experience energy poverty at a higher rate, women and girls are often in charge of conventional energy usage in low-income households. The majority of women perform all of the labour-intensive and time-consuming domestic tasks. The majority of women and girls harvest biomass fuel for cooking in many developing countries.


Women in patriarchal societies encounter substantial challenges because of gender-defined responsibilities when it comes to their participation in the production and consumption of energy services. However, gender "rights" are not explicitly established in underdeveloped countries. In comparison to men, women often have less ownership of and access to land, natural resources, finance, information, and decision-making. Women are overworked, which further limits their participation in energy projects and initiatives, but they also have limited access to resources like land, technology, education, and information. Danielsen accurately points out that this is an issue because gendered defined positions additionally "create obstacles to women's ability to articulate their energy concerns and claim rights, reinforcing women's exclusion and exacerbating the problems."


"Rural women are time poor in that their ability to engage in other economic activities is limited by the time spent on energy generating activities like the collection of firewood," according to a 2006 World Bank study. Farhar claims that households in areas with a shortage of fuel may spend one to five hours a day gathering fuel. Usually unpaid, women participate in community, reproductive, and productive activities. Women spend the majority of their time on invisible and undervalued work that includes cooking, obtaining water, getting firewood, and preparing food. Their works are typically undervalued by society. It is essential to comprehend how women contribute to supplying the energy needs of the home since doing so will make it easier to create energy-saving equipment that benefits both the welfare of women and society at large.


The fuel options for home energy demands are influenced by economic factors such as accessibility, affordability, and awareness. There has been much discussion of the affordability aspect of the energy ladder idea; as economic conditions improve, more individuals climb the energy ladder. But the accessibility of modern fuel is also a key factor. Poor fuel choices, collecting habits, and the adoption of inefficient technology primarily harm women.


women's involvement in the provision of energy services locally for the development of gender-inclusive policies Instead of limiting women to being only end users of technology, women's participation as entrepreneurs, facilitators, designers, and inventors in the energy sector will increase resource access and distribution. To change their social standing and move toward greater equality with men, women's strategic needs should be the focus of intervention.


4. Define Indigenous Knowledge (IK). Discuss the role of tribal women in preserving indigenous knowledge (10)

Ans) Science influences our daily lives, how we interact with the environment, our value systems, and how we see the world, according to UNESCO. It is only one knowledge system out of many, though. Other knowledge systems make up a rich and diverse intellectual heritage that is still undervalued in terms of its significance for achieving international development goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), despite the fact that many of them are embedded in a remarkable diversity of cultures and support a wide range of lifeways. The intangible heritage of countless communities around the world is made up of these knowledge sets, which are frequently referred to as traditional or indigenous knowledge.


In order to limit the consumption and extraction of natural resources, the majority of such actions control and monitor local communities since women's contribution to natural resource management benefits the rural economy. It inhibits women from engaging in activities necessary for survival.


Women are the most knowledgeable when it comes to being thoughtful of the natural resources they rely on, and most of the time they tend to reinvest most of their income in taking care of their family's needs while also conserving the resources they rely on. The efforts to increase and make more relevant the involvement and decision-making power of women can be increased if we question their lower social position in comparison to men from the outset. The majority of the time, males don't permit this. Because of this, it is often believed that men's participation in environmental protection is crucial even when they do not benefit from conservation efforts.


Due to the usage of more sophisticated, technologically aggressive devices than the straightforward, conventional, and less technical instruments used by women, men cause more damage to the environment. Men have access to more cutting-edge technology, which explains this. Women would be much more likely to be exploited and destroy things if they had access to the same technologies.


But men's urbanisation has made it necessary to train women. In that paradigm, emphasis is placed more heavily on community-based natural resource management that is supported by environmental awareness, environmental education, and the economic empowerment of women. Women also start up small businesses and enterprises, bringing along their female employees, seasonal workers, and female children. The ability of women to inform their families, communities, and others about the effects of excessive resource extraction must also be developed.


The Chipko movement, the Beej Bachao Andolan, the Greenbelt movement, etc. are just a few movements that have occurred throughout history. Women are crucial to the preservation of traditional types and aromatic plants. The traditional ecological knowledge of the tribal women, who reside deep within the forests, is very extensive.


5. Discuss the relationship between gender and food security. (10)

Ans) In order to ensure all four aspects of food security and, ultimately, the sustainability of the agricultural production system, gender is crucial. Women play a significant role in the entire food system. They are involved in all aspects of food production, including staple foods, cash crops, and livestock. They process all types of food, performing tasks like cleaning and fermenting. They are at the centre of local food distribution systems, including street food vending. And they typically prepare meals for family members as part of their unpaid care and domestic work. Women make an essential contribution to the agricultural production system, including production, post-harvest processing, and distribution. The Sustainable Development Goals' aims for improving agriculture yield and nutrition depend critically on women's participation.


Women play a significant role in food production as farmers, performing tasks like sowing, transplanting, weeding, harvesting, post-harvest processing like threshing, winnowing, and food distribution. The history of women working on farms goes back a long way, and their contributions to crop improvement, plant breeding, and agricultural transformation are unrivalled. Inadequate access for women to agricultural resources, extension services, cutting-edge technologies, market information, and services has the potential to weaken their important contribution to the agricultural production system. Additionally, farming families' contributions to the agriculture industry would be underestimated due to the society's unequal gender relations. Despite the considerable contributions that women make to agriculture, these contributions are typically underappreciated and limited by barriers to resources, services, and employment opportunities. As a result of internalised gender norms or forced secondary access to food, gender power hierarchies in rural homes have frequently resulted in women prioritising the nourishment of their children and husbands over their own.


Additionally, due to intra-household gender disparities in access to food during times of crisis, women are more likely than males to experience food insecurity in the majority of countries around the world. While 85–90% of the time needed to prepare food for the home is spent by women, their ability to give their families a varied diet and proper nutrition is limited by a lack of access to productive resources. Women's responsibilities in agricultural and food production are limited by gender inequality, which eventually jeopardises efforts to achieve food and nutrition security. The same restrictions also have detrimental effects on households, as women's economic disempowerment has a severe influence on their nutrition and health as well as that of their children. This keeps households stuck in conditions of food insecurity and malnutrition.


6. Critically analyses case studies on Gender and Health from Niti Aayog document to know the progress of SDG – 3: Good health and Wellbeing and SDG 5; Gender Equality and SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation on SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019-20; Give summary and support with your comments. (50)

Ans) Analysis of case studies


SDG 3: Good health and Wellbeing


Goal 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. Health and well-being are important at every stage of one’s life, starting from the beginning. This goal addresses all major health priorities: reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health; communicable and non-communicable diseases; universal health coverage; and access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines.


SDG 3 aims to prevent needless suffering from preventable diseases and premature death by focusing on key targets that boost the health of a country’s overall population. Regions with the highest burden of disease and neglected population groups and regions are priority areas. Goal 3 also calls for deeper investments in research and development, health financing and health risk reduction and management.


UNICEF’s role in contributing to Goal 3 centres on healthy pregnancies (maternal mortality and skilled birth attendant), healthy childhoods (under-five and neonatal mortality) as well as vaccine coverage. UNICEF also contributes to monitoring elements of the universal health coverage indicator.


UNICEF is custodian for global monitoring of two indicators that measure progress towards Goal 3 as it relates to children: Indicator 3.2.1 Under-five mortality rate and Indicator 3.2.2 Neonatal mortality rate. UNICEF is also co-custodian for Indicator 3.1.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel and for Indicator 3.b.1 Proportion of the target population covered by all vaccines included in their national programme.


SDG 5: Gender Equality


Goal 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Gender equality is a human right. It is also a precondition for realizing all goals in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.


Though girls and boys on average face similar challenges in early childhood, gender disparities become more pronounced as children grow.  Adolescent girls, due to expected gender roles, may face a disproportionate burden of domestic work, expectations to be married, risks of early pregnancy, as well as sexual and gender-based violence. Globally, 650 million girls and women alive today have been married as children and over 200 million have undergone female genital mutilation. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing gender inequalities, especially for the most marginalized children.


UNICEF’s contribution towards reaching Goal 5 centres on embedding gender equitable results across all programming to ensure that children grow, learn and thrive, regardless of their gender. UNICEF places a special focus on adolescent girls in recognition that investment in adolescent girls has the potential to bring about transformative change for girls, their families and their communities, as well as for the next generation. UNICEF also supports governments in generating, analysing and using gender data to identify and address barriers to gender equality among children and women.


UNICEF is the custodian for global monitoring for two indicators that measure progress towards Goal 5: Indicator 5.3.1 Proportion of women aged 20–24 years who were married or in a union before age 15 and before age 18; and Indicator 5.3.2 Proportion of girls and women aged 15–49 years who have undergone female genital mutilation/cutting, by age. UNICEF  is also co-custodian for two Goal 5 indicators: Indicator 5.2.1 Proportion of ever-partnered women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to physical, sexual or psychological violence by a current or former intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by form of violence and by age; and Indicator 5.2.2 Proportion of women and girls aged 15 years and older subjected to sexual violence by persons other than an intimate partner in the previous 12 months, by age and place of occurrence.


In addition, UNICEF is the custodian or co-custodian of four additional sex-disaggregated or gender-specific child focused indicators under Goals 3, 4, 8 and 16:

  1. 3.1.2 Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel

  2. 4.2.1 Proportion of children aged 36-59 months who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial well-being, by sex

  3. 8.7.1 Proportion and number of children aged 5-17 years engaged in child labour, by sex and age

  4. 16.2.3 Proportion of young women and men aged 18–29 years who experienced sexual violence by age 18


SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation


Goal 6 aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Water and sanitation are critical to the health of people and the planet. Goal 6 not only addresses the issues relating to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), but also the quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide. Improvements in drinking water, sanitation and hygiene are essential for progress in other areas of development too, such as nutrition, education, health and gender equality.


Millions of people die every year from diseases associated with unsafe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Young children are particularly vulnerable – WASH-related diseases remain among the leading causes of death in children under 5, and they contribute to malnutrition and stunting. Each year, 300,000 children under 5 die due to diarrhoea linked to inadequate WASH. Despite significant progress, 2.2 billion people worldwide do not have safely managed drinking water services. Over half the global population, 4.2 billion people, lack safely managed sanitation services.


UNICEF’s contribution towards reaching this goal centres on bringing safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services to homes, schools and health centres so that children can grow and learn in a safe environment. UNICEF is co-custodian for global monitoring of three indicators that measure progress towards


Goal 6: Indicator 6.1.1 Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services; Indicator 6.2.1a Proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services; and Indicator 6.2.1b Proportion of population with a hand-washing facility with soap and water available at home.

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