Author: Sharmeen Contractor
Radha Viswanathan/Noorjehan Safia Niaz
Publisher: Observer Research Foundation
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A
Inclusive Development is a profoundly meaningful and important concept. Although of recent vintage in terms of its popular usage in political and intellectual discourse, it is neither newly conceived nor borrowed from foreign lands. The essence of this concept has found expression in other phrases that had caught the imagination of Indian people at different times before, during and after the Freedom Struggle. Hence, Inclusive Development can be said to be a synonym of Sarvodaya, Lok Kalyan, Arthik-Samajik Nyay (Economic and Social Justice), and Samajvad (Socialism).
Muslims in India being the second largest religious community, inclusive Development has little meaning if it does not in reality translate into full inclusion of Indian Muslims – indeed, of every other community – in the nation’s development. Therefore, the UPA government’s decision to set up the Rajinder Sachar Committee in 2005, with a mandate to study the social, economic and educational condition of the Muslim community of India and make appropriate recommendations to the government, proved to be a major, and highly welcome, initiative towards promoting the community’s inclusive and all-round development. The committee submitted its findings and recommendations in 2006. The Union government has since taken several constructive policy and programmatic measures in response to these recommendations.
It is this context which prompted the Observer Research Foundation Mumbai to take a close look at the socio-economic and educational condition of Muslim women. However, since the scope of this subject is too vast, we zeroed in on a small but significant aspect of it – namely, study of the status of Muslim women’s NGOs in India.
The outcome of this collective labor is this report.
“Whenever women protest and ask for their rights, they are silenced with the argument that the laws are justified under Islam. It is an unfounded argument. It is not Islam at fault, but rather the patriarchal culture that uses its own interpretations to justify whatever it wants.
= Shirin Ebadi
“The absence of women in the past from the Shura Council made people unaware of a particular viewpoint because she lives the problems or through certain situations that no-one else can understand. The decision is the best thing that happened to Saudi women since education, by giving women a position and a mandate and by showing a truer picture of the natural society in which both men and women have a voice… Like in any country in the world, we need a mix of all segments of society in order to move forward for the better.
= Dr. Hayat Bint Sulaiman Sindi
The Status of Indian Muslim Women
2. Study Design
Objectives of the Study
A Qualitative Paradigm
Research Design & Methodology
Techniques of Data Collection
Limitations of the Study
3. NGO Case Studies
Genesis of Organizations
Sources of Funds
Monitoring and Management
Outreach: Relationship with Media, Dissemination of Information
4. Interviews with Experts
Background and Role of Respondents
Perceptions and Recommendations
5. Interface with the Government
Central Government Schemes
A Few State-Specific Schemes for Muslim Women
NGO Interface with the Government
Perceptions of Experts on the Efforts of Governments
Where Have the Governments Gone Wrong?
12th Five Year Plan (2012-2017) Schemes for Inclusion of Women
Role of Muslim Communities
Role of Government and Civil Society in Tackling Anti-Muslim and Anti-Women Bias
Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism
Ensuring Inclusion and Social Security
Muslim Women’s NGOs as Change Agents
Muslim Women in India: A Historical Perspective
Profile of Interviewees
Roundtable on Defining the Role of the Government, NGOs and Media in the Inclusive Development of Indian Muslim Women
Brief Profile of Roundtable Participants
Definition of Terms
Questionnaire & Guidelines
About The Authors
About ORF Mumbai