SAMARTH Initiative | 08 Mar 2022

For Prelims: SAMARTH, Women's Day, MSME, NSIC, United Nation, Fundamental Rights, Fundamental Duties, World Conferences on Women.

For Mains: Gender, Issues Relating to Development. Issues Related to Women, Government Policies and Intervention.

Why in News?

Recently, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, the Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), launched a Special Entrepreneurship Promotion Drive for Women -"SAMARTH" .

What is the SAMARTH Initiative?

  • Under the Samarth initiative of the Ministry, following benefits will be available to aspiring and existing women entrepreneurs:
    • 20% Seats in free Skill Development Programs organised under skill development schemes of the Ministry will be allocated for Women.
    • 20% of MSME Business Delegations sent to domestic & international exhibitions under the schemes for Marketing Assistance implemented by the Ministry will be dedicated to women owned MSMEs.
    • 20% Discount on annual processing fee on National Small Industries Corporation’s (NSIC) Commercial Schemes.
      • NSIC is a Government of India Enterprise under the Ministry of MSME.
    • Special Drive for registration of women-owned MSMEs under Udyam Registration.
  • Through this initiative, the Ministry of MSME is focusing on providing Skill Development and Market Development Assistance to women.
    • More than 7500 women candidates from rural and sub- urban areas will be trained in the FY 2022-23.
    • Besides, thousands of women will be getting marketing opportunities to showcase their products in domestic and international exhibitions.
  • Also, to enhance the participation of women entrepreneurs in Public Procurement, a special discount of 20% shall also be offered on annual processing fee on NSIC’s following commercial schemes during the year 2022-23:
    • Single Point Registration Scheme
    • Raw Material Assistance and Bill Discounting
    • Tender Marketing
    • B2B Portal

What is International Women's Day?

  • About:
    • It is celebrated annually on 8th March. It includes:
      • Celebration of women's achievements,
      • Raising awareness about women's equality,
      • Lobbying for accelerated gender parity,
      • Fundraising for female-focused charities, etc.
  • Brief History:
    • Women’s Day was first celebrated back in 1911 by Clara Zetkin, who was a German. The roots of the celebration had been in the labour movement.
    • It was only in 1913, however, that the celebrations were shifted to 8th March, and it has remained that way ever since.
    • International Women's Day was celebrated for the first time by the United Nations(UN) in 1975.
      • In December 1977, the General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming a UNs Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace to be observed on any day of the year by Member States, in accordance with their historical and national traditions.
  • 2022 Theme:
    • 'Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow'.
  • Related Data:
    • According to the UN, legal restrictions have kept 2.7 billion women from accessing the same choice of jobs as men.
      • As of 2019, less than 25% of parliamentarians were women.
      • One in three women experience gender-based violence.
    • In 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, female labour force participation in India was 20.5%, according to International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates. Comparable estimates for males was 76%.
    • In the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index (which measures progress towards gender parity), India is one of the worst performers in South Asia, it is now ranked 140 among 156 countries in 2021.
    • As per the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5, as many as 57% women aged 15-49 were anaemic in 2019-21, compared to 53% in 2015-16.

What are the Safeguards for Women in India?

  • Constitutional Safeguards:
    • Fundamental Rights: It guarantees all Indians the right to equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State on the basis of gender (Article 15(1)) and special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women (Article 15(3)).
    • Fundamental Duties: The Constitution imposes a fundamental duty on every citizen through Articles 51 (A)(e) to renounce practices derogatory to dignity of women.
  • Legislative Framework:
    • Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005: It provides victims of domestic violence with a means for practical remedy through prosecution.
    • The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961: It prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry.
    • The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013: This legislative act seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work.
  • Related Schemes: Mahila e-haat, Women Technology Park, Gender Advancement for Transforming Institutions (GATI), etc.

Are there any World Conferences on Women?

  • The UN has organised 4 world conferences on women. These took place in
    • Mexico City, 1975
    • Copenhagen, 1980
    • Nairobi, 1985
    • Beijing, 1995
  • The 4th World Conference on Women (WCW), held in Beijing, was one of the largest ever gatherings of the UNs, and a critical turning point in the world’s focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women.
    • The Beijing Declaration is an agenda for women’s empowerment and considered the key global policy document on gender equality.
    • It sets strategic objectives and actions for the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equality in 12 critical areas of concern like women and health, women in power and decision-making, the girl-child, women and the environment.
  • Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has proposed a Temporary Basic Income (TBI) for poor women in developing countries to help them cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and alleviate the economic pressures they face every day.


‘Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’, often seen in the news, is (2015)

(a) a strategy to tackle the regional terrorism, an outcome of a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
(b) a plan of action for sustainable economic growth in the Asia-Pacific Region, an outcome of the deliberations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum.
(c) an agenda for women’s empowerment, an outcome of a World Conference convened by the United Nations.
(d) a strategy to combat wildlife trafficking, a declaration of the East Asia Summit.

Ans: (c)

Source: PIB