Saturday, November 6, 2010

Women more respected in Pakistan & Bangladesh than in India

I’ve been pretty involved in health information and monitoring the state of affairs in that domain, but this is something I believe is as critical for humanness. The UNDP just came out with their Human Development Report (HDR) and celebrating its 20th Anniversary… I would like to congratulate guys at UNDP for the great work with this report and its indeed an excellent piece of work that has been going on for the last 2 decades. Also who better than Amartya Sen introducing us to the report.

The report is one of the most complete ways to give the overall picture to development. There are obviously critiques to how development is measured and qualitative analysis is sometimes required to study the cases. Nevertheless, it is indeed rich in data for looking at how development is measured. The report covers Health (… and life expectancy), Knowledge/Education, Standards of living, Innovation, Economic growth, Empowerment, Gender, Income inequalities, Security… and creates an index comparing these at a benchmark number of 10.

India ranks 119 on the Human Development Index and highlights somewhat of a sad story, when we are so happy celebrating our growth rates and world reputation success, a lot many things are lacking. May be even aggravating - in this view of achieving only economic growth and race for money and world power! Sure, we are doing great in democracy and political freedoms, but what about the many unfreedoms of gender and income inequalities. I would say it’s a shame that women feel more respected in Pakistan than in India, although we are the world’s largest democracy in the world. More and more as you read the whole report…

Sitting in Norway and reading the HDR feels like we are miles away in India…, but even in closer geographies (e.g. SriLanka), I feel we are very far off from our potential as a society!!

No comments: