India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Meeting - Women’s Forum
#GS2 International Organization
The Sixth India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum meet was virtually held.
India, being the current chair of the IBSA Forum held the meeting.
Summary of the Meeting:
The year 2020 marked the
- 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDFA): The 1995 Beijing Platform for Action flagged 12 key areas where urgent action was needed to ensure greater equality and opportunities for women and men, girls and boys. It also laid out concrete ways for countries to bring about change.
- 5th anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development & Sustainable Development Goals (SDG): Goal 5 aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence against women in the public and private spheres
- The 20th anniversary of UNSC RESOLUTION 1325 on women, peace, and security.
- A Decade since UN WOMEN was established: UN Women is the United Nations (UN) organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. It was established in 2010.
- The forum lauded the efforts of the Government of India in helping out other countries to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic by providing vaccines, masks, sanitizers, PPE Kits, etc.
India-Steps towards Women empowerment
- Equal rights for men and women are enshrined under Articles 14 to 16 in the Indian constitution.
- It signed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1980 and ratified it in 1993 with some reservations.
- The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
- The government also increased maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks under the Maternity Benefit Act in 2017 for the private sector.
- The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013 has been enacted covering all the women, in spite of their age and employment status, and protects them from sexual harassment at workplaces, in both the public and private sectors of the industry where the women are employed.
- Another milestone was reached when the Supreme Court upheld the government’s decision on women serving as army commanders in 2020.
- Efforts to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill which gives 33% reservation for women seats in all levels of Indian politics.
Flagship schemes of the Government of India to promote gender equality,
- Beti Bachao Beti Padhao,
- Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana ( to provide gas connections to women from below the poverty line households)
- and Mahila-E-Haat (which uses technology to support female entrepreneurs).
While India has taken some measures on human development, it's global standing on gender equality remains low. India’s ranking in the Global Gender Gap Report, commissioned by the World Economic Forum, declined from 112th in 2020 to 140 in 2021, a slump of 28 ranks.
India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum
The IBSA Dialogue Forum is a tripartite grouping (India, Brazil, South Africa) for promoting cooperation among these countries.
The grouping was formalized and named the IBSA Dialogue Forum when the Foreign Ministers of the three countries met in Brasilia (Brazil) on 6th June 2003 and issued the Brasilia Declaration.
IBSA does not have a headquarters or a permanent executive secretariat. At the highest level, it counts on the Summits of Heads of State and Government.
So far Five IBSA Leadership Summits have been held.
Joint naval exercise IBSAMAR (IBSA Maritime Exercise) is an important part of IBSA trilateral defense cooperation. Six editions of IBSAMAR have been held so far, the latest one being off the coast of South Africa in October 2018.