Launch of GDB Website/Project - Press Report

The commissioner of Women and Child Development, in collaboration with UNFPA and non-governmental organization CHETNA, launched a website www.genderdata-guj.org on Monday. The website is a comprehensive database on Gujarat-specific information related to gender, population, crime against women, demographics, health, and family welfare.

The website was launched by State Education Minister Anandiben Patel who took the opportunity to announce the chief minister's decision to keep a separate budget for the women and child development department, which was announced on the same day.

Launch of GDB Website/Project

Launch of GDB Website/Project

The website also had detailed information on the district-wise population, male-female ratio, female foeticide cases, rapes, murders, and incidents of violence against women. CHETNA has prepared case studies on mortality, morbidity, violence, SEWA's integrated insurance scheme that has been included on the website.

"The idea was to develop a gender-based data bank to create awareness and to provide gender-sensitive indicators including process, outcome, and impact," said Jyoti Gade from CHETNA adding the website would be updated every year or as and when new studies were conducted.

Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Anandiben Patel said a lot of time was wasted in collecting information, analyzing it, and then making policies.

"I have been looking for comprehensive information regarding education, but getting the perfect picture even after consulting libraries and journals, is very difficult. With a compiled data like this, a lot of time and effort would be saved," she said adding it would also help NGOs recognize the deficit areas, be it women or child-related issues or human rights violations, and work on them.

Patel also pointed out the issue of declining sex ratio, which was becoming a matter of grave concern commenting on the data available on the website.

He said one realizes how serious it is. She also announced the chief minister's announcement to keep a separate budget for women and child development. "We have 2.5 crore women and a budget of Rs. 2.5 crore for them. Out of this budget, a part used to be spent on other related issues and, hence, we requested a separate budget," said Patel.

State starts 'gender bank' to provide accurate information

In a bid to provide reliable and factual gender-related data in all spheres of life, the Women and Children development department of the state government has prepared a Gender Data Bank by compiling the data from government organizations, non-government organizations, and other agencies.

Giving details of the bank, program coordinator of city-based Chetna Ms. Jyoti Gaade said, the bank will contain all the statistical data related to health, education and literacy, political participation (panchayat-parliament), economic status, violence against women apart from the population and the vital statics.

Ms. Gaade, speaking about the need for creating the bank, said that the main objective is to enhance the awareness regarding the status of women in relation to men and provide data for generating indicators on the basis of critical gender issues and concerns. Speaking on the occasion, state education minister Anandi Patel said, "Though it is a great effort on the part of the department to create an exhaustive gender-related data, the objective does not end here. The data should be interpreted in such a way that loopholes in the developmental works come to the fore and efforts be made to fill these loopholes." While stressing the need for data related to health and education, Ms. Patel said that women can be empowered only if these two aspects are adequately touched. The education minister, giving an example of increased women awareness said that the dropout rate in primary schools has decreased from 35 percent in 1991 to 21 percent in 2001.

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