Is Using Pink Paper for Economic Survey 2018 a mere Tokenism?
The Economic Survey of India for the year 2018 has used pink paper for the cover, to further the cause of women empowerment. The theme continues even to their website banner, icons and hyperlinks. All painted pinker than any other colours of the spectrum.
Hot pink to put forth a hot topic?
This report is an initiative to extend support to the cause of women’s rights. To promote gender equality and a way of putting light on issues like gender pay gap and the skewed sex ratio of our country. But is there more to the report than mere pink pages?
According to Chief Economic Adviser to the Government of India, Arvind Subramaniam, “We know the sex ratio in India is highly skewed. There is evidence of Son Meta Preference. Is the ‘last child’ more male than female? Is the ratio more skewed towards male or female? We estimate there are about 21 million unwanted girls in India.”
The report does shed light on Indian parents’ preference for sons over daughters. Also, in the case of India, the gender gap in the labour force participation rate is more than 50 percentage points.
Is the pink paper tokenism or a genuine effort?
Much to the displeasure of women in the country for use of the colour pink we do appreciate the thought that has gone into the process. However, this effort will get reduced to mere tokenism, if no concrete action is taken.
We can colour the report pink, purple or paint a rainbow on it, but unless we take initiatives to unfold the blinds of patriarchy that are now super glued on the eyes of our society, things will not change.
Along with the survey, we need suggestions from the economists working for the government on how we can use the economy to end gender bias.
We need to find a solution to the problems written on those pink papers.
Visuals are a very effective tool to catch the attention of your audience. Once you have their eyes and brains fixed on you, what do you plan to do? That is the main question here. The government is promising commitment to women empowerment, with the use of pink colour in the Economic Survey 2018 report. Let’s hope that this promise is not tokenism, and it does give more efforts to keep it.
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own