Citizens' Issues
Despite sporting glory, Indian women struggle to rise
In the 2016 Rio Olympics, shuttler P.V. Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal; Sakshi Malik the first Indian female wrestler to win a medal (bronze), gymnast Dipa Karmarkar became the first Indian woman to feature in a gymnastics final, finishing fourth in the vault, and Lalita Babar became the first Indian woman to enter a 3,000 metre steeplechase final, finishing 10th. Eighteen-year-old Aditi Ashok -- the youngest golfer from India -- also entered the final round of the women's individual golf event.
 
Women saved the day for India at Rio, and their growing presence was reflected in the 54 female Indian athletes -- the largest number ever -- at an Olympiad.
 
While those rising numbers indicate the progress made by Indian sportswomen -- many from small towns and poor families -- in particular, and Indian women in general, a quick look at five key parameters -- working women, education, maternal health, age of marriage and abortion rates-reveals that India's women are routinely denied opportunities at education, work and even being born. 
 
1. Working women: Lowest in BRICS, 25 million women leave workforce over a decade
 
Women's workforce participation in India is the lowest among BRICS nations. A host of other countries, such as Bahrain (39%), Malaysia (45%) and Somalia (37%), do much better, as IndiaSpend reported in March 2015, using World Bank data from 2014.
 
No more than 26% of India's women in India participated in the workforce, according to a 2013 Labour Bureau report. The rate improved to 27% in 2014, according to a 2015 International Monetary Fund (IMF) study that IndiaSpend reported in July 2016. This is a decline of up to 8% percentage point over 14 years; in 1999, up to 34% of women were a part of India's workforce.
 
2. Higher education: More women enrolled, outperform men, but drop out later 
 
While more young women are enrolled in higher education than ever before -- and apparently more successful in clearing 10th-standard board exams than young men-they are either marrying early or not finding or not looking for jobs, according to an IndiaSpend analysis of various data.
 
The enrolment of girls in higher education increased from 39 per cent to 46 per cent from 2007 to 2014, but as data above show, female participation in India's labour force declined to a low of 27% in 2014 from 34% in 1999.
 
Almost 12 million women are enrolled in undergraduate courses, but few continue to professional courses; 600,000 women were enrolled for diploma courses, according to 2013 data, the latest available. Even fewer women sign on for PhDs and only 40% of PhD candidates are female.
 
In 2016, girls were more successful than boys in clearing 10th-standard exams of a national education board, a trend that has held over seven years, we reported.
 
3. Maternal Health: Best ever, but worse than poorer countries
 
India's maternal mortality ratio was 167 in 2010-12, according to the latest government data available, a steady improvement.
 
India's maternal mortality ratio -- 174, according to World Bank estimates -- is worse than countries in the neighbourhood, such as Sri Lanka (30), Bhutan (148) and Cambodia (161).
 
India does worst among the BRICS countries: Russia (25), China (27), Brazil (44), and South Africa (138); according to the World Bank's latest estimates, which differ somewhat from Indian sources' 167 but confirm the trends.
 
4. Median age of marriage: Rising, but 61% married before 16
 
The average Indian woman is married at 21.2 years, according to Census 2011, an improvement from 19.3 years in 1990, according to a government report.
 
The mean female age at marriage in rural areas is 20.7; in urban areas, 22.7, according to the latest census data from 2011.
 
While education is an efficient contraceptive -- Indian women with a college degree have 1.9 children during their lifetime, against 3.8 for illiterate woman -- it appears to only marginally slow the inevitability of early marriage.
 
Nearly 12 million Indian children were married before the age of 10 years, as IndiaSpend reported in June 2016; 7.84 million (65 per cent) married children were female, reinforcing the fact that girls are significantly more disadvantaged. Eight in 10 illiterate children who were married were also girls.
 
Also, as many as 1,403 females never attended any educational institution for every 1,000 males who have not, IndiaSpend reported in November 2015.
 
5. India's missing girls: Child sex ratio lowest in 60 years
 
India's child sex ratio is the worst in 60 years, indicating that girls continue to be aborted, killed or otherwise fatally neglected.
 
If India's child sex ratio does not improve, there will be 23 million fewer women (aged 29-40) than there should be by 2030, according to a United Nations Population Fund projection.
 
Sex selection was introduced in India to control population growth, based on the premise that since girls are hardier, all else being equal, more survive childbirth than boys. In 1975, a paper in the journal Indian Paediatrics argued that this excess of girls was “unnecessary fecundity and that elimination of girls would lead to population control”, wrote Sabu M. George -- a member of a committee to monitor a 1994 law that banned sex selection -- in his February 2016 Indian Express column.
 
But despite the law, rising education levels -- and more female role models, such as India's latest Olympian medallists -- the child sex ratio continues to fall.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

 

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Clinton e-mail scandal: FBI discovers 15,000 more e-mails
The FBI has discovered almost 15,000 unrevealed documents linked to the e-mail scandal surrounding Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, US media reports said on Monday.
 
The documents were found during the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private e-mail server while she was Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013, Efe news reported.
 
Some 30,000 documents linked to the scandal were already turned over by Clinton's attorneys to the Department of State in 2014.
 
The State Department has promised to publish the documents and on Monday assured federal Judge James E. Boasberg, who is hearing the case, that the department is "giving priority" to reviewing the new e-mail messages.
 
However, it is still not known if the e-mails will be published before the Nov 8 election, in which the former first lady is contesting against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
 
The e-mail controversy erupted in early 2015, when US media revealed that during her four years heading the State Department, Clinton always used a personal -- and not an official -- account for her communications, including a private server, Efe news added.
 
Clinton acknowledged at the time that it would have been "smarter" to use an official account and handed over for publication 55,000 pages of e-mails from her tenure at the State Department, but the case raised questions about whether classified government information was improperly handled on her personal account.
 
The State Department identified around 2,100 e-mails from Clinton's server as confidential, although it said that many of them were not considered classified at the time they were sent, but had been designated as such during the review.
 
The scandal also brought accusations from Republican lawmakers about Clinton's handling of the 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which then-Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other US government officials died.
 
Several months ago, Clinton appeared before Congress for more than 11 hours to explain what occurred during that attack, and in early July the lawmakers' final report on the incident was made public, a report that concluded that no evidence incriminating her had been found.
 
Thus, later in July the FBI recommended to the Department of Justice that no charges be filed against the Democratic candidate after the e-mail investigation, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch followed that advice and closed the case.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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CBI arrests Ramel Industries directors in chit fund scam
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday arrested the directors of West Bengal-based Ramel Industries Ltd in its ongoing probe into the multi-crore chit fund scam.
 
Ramendra Mohan Sarkar and Sukanta Deb, directors of Ramel Industries, were arrested on charges of criminal breach of trust and cheating. 
 
The agency had filed a case against the company, its directors and other unidentified persons on November 28, 2014. 
 
"It was alleged that the directors of Ramel Industries had collected money from the investors under its investment scheme by fraudulently promising very high returns and also without the permission from the regulatory bodies, and later misappropriated it," a CBI official said. 
 
The official said the accused had allegedly closed its operations and wound up its business, thereby cheating the investors.
 
The Supreme Court on May 9, 2014, ordered a CBI inquiry into the chit fund scams in West Bengal, Odisha and Assam in which various firms, including Saradha, allegedly duped investors collectively of around Rs 10,000 crore.
 
Ramel Industries had been on the CBI radar after the Saradha bubble burst. 
 
In May 2014, Sebi had barred promoters of Ramel Industries, which is a non Saradha ponzi firm, from raising money from the public. 
 
It also barred them from accessing capital markets till it refunded around Rs 98 crore. According to sources, the group allegedly did not pay heed and continued raising money from the public.
 
The company reportedly has raised around Rs 100 crore.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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