Brookings India hosted a Development Seminar on “Feminist Engagement with Post-Colonial Developments” with Devaki Jain, Economist & Writer.
Abstract: In the seminar, Devaki Jain will presented research that forms the core of her two recent volumes and questions given categories in the social sciences, economics and statistics. The essays and lectures in the volumes draw upon Jain’s dialogue with academia, governments and international bodies such as the United Nations, over the course of several years. Jain’s work traverses territories such as errors in data collection coming out of false perceptions of women’s location in the economy to criticisms of how governments understand reality. She points out deep flaws not only in the counting of women and their work but also in the presentation of GDP- a crucial statistic in both assessing a nations progress as well as its components. She argues that GDP is a misleading figure and when it is broken down to unmeasured items, it emerges that 90% or more of India’s GDP comes from small-scale, handmade and household industries whereas public investment and financing of institutions and government goes to corporates who actually provide a much smaller percentage of GDP.
Speaker Profile: Devaki Jain is a prominent Indian development economist and writer. An honorary fellow at Oxford University, she received a Padma Bhusan, the third-highest civilian award, from the President of India in 2006 for her contribution to social justice and the empowerment of women. With a celebrated career spanning over 4 decades, she has been a member of many policy and program design committees and government expert groups. These include the South commission chaired by the late Dr Julius Nyerere, Advisory Committee of the Karnataka State Planning Board, The Eminent Person Group associated with the Graca Machel Committee [UN] on the Impact on Children of Armed Conflict, on population policy of the Govt. of India, on grassroots planning set up by the Planning Commission and many more.
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