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India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum Meeting

  • 18 Mar 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Sixth India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Women’s Forum meeting was held virtually.

  • India is the current chair of IBSA Dialogue Forum.

Key Points

  • Highlights from the Meeting:
    • Recalled that the Year 2020 marked-
      • The 25th anniversary of 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.
      • The 5th anniversary of adoption of 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 sphere.
      • 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.
    • Lauded the efforts of Government of India in helping out other countries to overcome the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic by providing vaccines, masks, sanitizers, PPE Kits etc.
  • India's Effort for 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 have been enacted to criminalise instances of dowry and domestic violence.
    • 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 upended the government’s position 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 to promote gender equality, including Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter), Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (a scheme 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, its global standing on gender equality remains low. India’s ranking in the Global Gender Gap Report, commissioned by the World Economic Forum, declined from 108th in 2018 to 112th in 2020.

India-Brazil-South Africa Dialogue Forum

  • About: The IBSA Dialogue Forum is a tripartite grouping (India, Brazil, South Africa) for promoting cooperation among these countries.

  • Formation: 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.
  • Headquarters: 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. The 5th IBSA Summit was held in Pretoria (South Africa) in 2011. The 6th IBSA Summit is to be hosted by India.
  • IBSA Fund for Alleviation of Poverty and Hunger, established in 2004, is a unique Fund through which development projects are executed with IBSA funding in fellow developing countries.
    • Till date IBSA has supported 31 projects in 20 partner developing countries in the areas of safe drinking water, agriculture and livestock, solar energy, waste management, health etc., with the aim of contributing to the achievement of the SDGs (earlier MDGs).
    • The IBSA Fund has been the recipient of several key recognitions including the UN South-South Partnership Award in 2006 (for projects in Haiti and Guinea-Bissau), an MDG Award for South-South Cooperation in 2010 and the South-South Champions Award in 2012 recognizing the work of the three countries in using innovative approaches to share development experiences in other parts of the world.
  • Joint naval exercise IBSAMAR (IBSA Maritime Exercise) is an important part of IBSA trilateral defence cooperation. Six editions of IBSAMAR have been held so far, the latest one being off the coast of South Africa in October, 2018.


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