This article provides information about the Role of Ninth Five-Year Plan in Development of Women in India !
The Ninth Plan had important objectives for women. The approach paper of the Ninth Plan focused on the issues of empowerment of women, decentralisation and people’s participation in planning and implementing strategies. For the first time in the history of planned development in India, the empowerment of women was adopted as one of the objectives in the Ninth Plan.
The approach paper also declared a strategy of drawing up a women’s component plan for every sector which would identify the inflow of benefit to women and carryout a gender appraisal of past performance in the sector. In the field of development, for the first time, the need for reservation of seats for women in Parliament and the state legislative assemblies were discussed.
The Plan proposed to ensure 30 per cent representation of women in the public sector and provides for a larger entry for women, in the premier civil services. In the field of health, the emphasis would as usual be on reproductive health. In education, besides gender equality, plans would be initiated for free education of girl’s upto the college level and greater vocational training for them.
To increase women’s participation in the industrial development of the country, the Plan proposes to set up a “Development Bank for Women Entrepreneurs” for assisting them in the small and tiny sector. In agriculture, a greater assistance and share was called upon through rural development employment schemes. The most important resolve of the Plan was to have a special women’s component in the Plan to ensure 30 per cent flow of funds to women development sectors.
A review of policy formulation and planning for women’s development in India reflects the lack of effort in planning and policy formation for women in the states. There is very little conceptualisation regarding women’s needs and the necessary formulations required to give them a larger share of development. Only a few states of India have policies for women’s development. The efforts are inadequate and do not meet the requirements. Initiatives have come mostly from the central government.