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October 31, 2023


  • Arun Maira, a prominent voice in economic discourse, sheds light on the pervasive gender disparity in economic narratives. This article underscores the undervaluation of women’s contributions, the shifting global employment landscape, and the imperative for a more inclusive and care-centric approach to economic development. Maira’s insights resonate strongly within the context of India and the G-20’s clarion call for a holistic vision that extends beyond traditional GDP metrics.

Challenges in How We Perceive Money and Work

Insufficient Recognition of Women’s Contributions

  • Maira points out a glaring inequality in the recognition of women’s contributions to economics. The Nobel Prize in Economics has predominantly favored male laureates, with only three women having been honored thus far.

Neglecting the Value of Care Work

  • A critical aspect overlooked in economic discourse is the invaluable role played by women in familial and communal care. This oversight poses a substantial challenge to achieving economic inclusivity.

Evolving Global Employment Dynamics

  • The nature of employment is undergoing a transformation on a global scale, with a surge in short-term and gig economy positions. This shift presents a significant challenge for a country like India, characterized by a burgeoning youth population.

Inadequate Remuneration for Vital Professions

  • Essential roles, such as family caregiving and employment in healthcare and education, are pivotal to societal well-being. However, those predominantly occupying these roles, often women, are disproportionately underpaid.

India’s Economic Landscape: A Closer Look

Dilemmas for the Youth

  • Despite India’s rapid economic growth, securing well-paying, secure employment remains a formidable challenge for its young populace.

Urgent Need for a Care-Centric Focus

  • India’s human development index ranking at 132nd underscores the imperative to allocate more resources towards caregiving services. Unfortunately, professions in family care and the healthcare and education sectors remain inadequately remunerated.

G-20’s Plea for a Novel Approach

Embracing a Holistic Vision

  • India’s Prime Minister’s appeal to the G-20 for a paradigm shift goes beyond mere economic gains. His call for considering the world as one family emphasizes the need for a collective global approach.

Assessing Progress Towards Global Goals

Lagging Behind Ambitious Goals

  • The G-20’s assessment reveals a sluggish progress towards achieving significant global objectives, with only a meager 12% of the targeted milestones currently on track.

Advocating for Transformational Change

  • Maira advocates for a departure from conventional problem-solving methods, recognizing the inadequacy of established approaches in effecting meaningful change.

A Fresh Perspective on Economics

Broadening the Economic Horizon

  • Maira urges a reevaluation of the economic landscape, emphasizing that prosperity extends beyond mere production and competition. True economic health lies in nurturing and caring for the populace.

Acknowledging Women’s Vital Contributions

  • The article spotlights the critical, yet often undervalued, role that women play in economic dynamics. Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom’s work illustrates how communities thrive under the leadership of women.

What Must Evolve

Empowering Women in Decision-Making

  • Maira contends that women should be central in shaping economic structures, rather than merely adhering to existing frameworks.

Decentralized Solutions from Local Communities

  • In lieu of top-down decision-making, Maira advocates for community-driven solutions. Tailoring approaches to local contexts ensures greater effectiveness and relevance.

Conclusion: Toward an Inclusive and Caring Future

  • Effecting a transformation in our economic perspective is a formidable task, but an essential one. Maira’s counsel implores us to lend an ear to everyday voices, particularly those of women, as we collectively strive for a future marked by comprehensive care and a unified global community.

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