Inclusion of LGBTQ and women in India’s new science policy

Inclusion of LGBTQ and women in India’s new science policy

Why in News: Recently, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), proposed a draft National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) which talks about equal opportunities for women and marginalized communities in science.

Provisions: This policy encourages 30% representation of women in selection/evaluation committees and decision-making groups. Similarly, LGBTQ community will be included in gender equity conversations with special provisions to safeguard their rights and promote their representation in STI.

Analysis: Both LGBTQ and women communities are suffering from sexual division of labour. Such division of labour is justified by some in the name of emotional and expressive behaviour of these sections of the society.

The structural inequalities and gender based social stratification are not allowing women and LGBTQ groups to go for upward mobility. Besides, patriarchy and patriarchal bargain have further deteriorated the conditions of these groups. Due to education and increased opportunities, LGBTQ communities and women have challenged the existing male dominated discriminatory systems.

The state has become an agent of social change and formulated Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP) to promote inclusion of socially excluded groups.The state by this policy is trying to increase labour force participation(LFP) of these sections of the society and ensure a better living standards for them.

However, gender inequality is an issue of narrow mindset which does not allow non male members of the society to think beyond their traditional roles.The society is still not ready to adopt the needs of women and LGBTQ communities. For example, more than one third of Kochi metro’s transgender employees resigned from their jobs ,citing reasons of discrimination due to social prejudice.

The lack of law and order also affects the participation of women and LGBTQ communities in STI.So the government needs to address every aspect of these social groups to ensure gender equity in STI.