ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Women in Psychological Distress

Issues related to women's mental health in our country have not received much attention either from academia or from the women's movement. Viewing mental illness from the biomedical perspective, mainstream academic approaches have, by and large, ignored the impact of sociocultural factors. In an area such as women's mental health, it is necessary to consider the socio-cultural context of their health since it is being increasingly recognised that the stresses that differentially affect women because of their unequal social status have led to pervasive mental health problems. The present paper focuses on the gender-specific distribution of psychological disorders and construction of a socio-demographic profile of women affected by mental illness. Data from hospital case records of patients in two major psychiatric facilities in the city of Visakhapatnam formed the empirical basis for the study.

Crimes against Women in India

Data on crime in India are published annually by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). These are compiled from records of police stations all over the country and refer to reported and registered crime. For recent years the data cover crimes against women in some detail, disaggregated to the district level. Reporting of crime tends to be incomplete; so the data are prima facie suspect. Nevertheless, they may be useful in studying regional variations, considering that underreporting is a universal feature. Social scientists have neglected the study of crime despite its increasing presence in our daily lives. This paper is an attempt to see what official, published data reveal, whether there are clear-cut regional patterns and if so whether they can lead to meaningful hypotheses for future work.

Gender Bias in South Asia

Human Development in South Asia 2000: The Gender Question by Mahbub ul Haq; Human Development Centre, Oxford University Press; pp 219.

The Budget: A Quick Look through a 'Gender Lens'

This paper examines the union budget 2001-2002 with a focus on its implications for women's empowerment. Changes in patterns of allocations to various women-specific schemes as well as to schemes of indirect benefit to women have been analysed. This preliminary analysis suggests that the standard perception of women's roles continues to be as mothers and caregivers, and has undergone little change. Investment priorities seem to reinforce this image, and do not reflect a commitment to women's empowerment.

Sustainable Food Production and Consumption

Current methods of food production and consumption are imposing a severe burden on the environment and the constituent natural resources. New production and processing methods driven by biotechnology (genetically modified organisms (GMOs), hormones and other growth promoters) affect food safety. Are alternative more sustainable patterns of food production and consumption feasible? The paper examines some consumer initiatives in Asia and in the UK to examine how the consumer as a 'market force' can proactively influence the food industry, thereby making sustainable practices the norm rather than the exception. It also looks at the significance of empowering women, as consumers, with awareness and education on food safety, nutrition and its dependence on sustainable practices to exert a 'pull' on the market. Finally the paper discusses a multi-pronged approach involving, besides consumer pressure, policy changes, regulatory efforts and economic instruments to steer food production and consumption in a more sustainable direction.

Human Development and Civic Community in India

This paper tries to show that the central methodology of Robert Putnam's Making Democracy Work can be fruitfully applied to the study of the Indian states. It reports some of the results of the author's replication of Putnam's Italian study for the states. While a clear relationship can be demonstrated between state government performance in development and levels of civic engagement, it is harder to replicate Putnam's findings concerning the crucial role of social capital. In the Indian context, levels of education are more important and the implications of this unexpected result are addressed.

Women On and Off Farms: Building Links

Women are an integral force in India's agricultural system, yet their efforts go largely unrecognised. Not only are there a large number of untrained women working on farms, there are also many skilled, educated women in the field of agriculture. Linkages between professional women in the field of agriculture and rural women are needed to ensure real development of India's agricultural economy.

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