Women Hold Up Half the Sky


The word “Democracy” has united the two Greek words “demos (people)” and “kratos (rule), literary symbolizing “people rule.” Democracy therefore, is linked to human rights or “people’s rights.” The Summit for Democracy was held on 9th and 10th of December 2021 in the USA. One main objective of the event according to analysts may have been to do a comparative analysis between the Indian system and the Chinese system with special focus on the rights of women. India was invited to attend while China was not. At the event it has been argued that the rights of Indian women are superior to Chinese women as Indian women live in a “Parliamentary System or a Republic.” As per statistics, nearly one fifth of human population is the women in India and China. A quality comparison is given below;

Life expectancy79.271
Risk of death at Child Birth0108
Female literacy95%70%

As per the British medical journal “The Lancet”, the study conducted over seven decades about the women’s health in China states that in China women actually hold up half the sky in practical situations and the Chinese system of administration as actually has been ensuring that ‘Children are the future and hope of the motherland’.  According to the British study there is a sharp reduction of deaths during childbirth from 1,500 to 17.8 per 100,000 births since the establishment of the Peoples Republic in 1949 till 2019. The study also states that in India the numbers have reduced from 1,000 to 145 during the period 1949 – 2019. According to the Lancet, the achievements in China are largely due to the strong political will and the improvements ushered in gender equality.


As at present the All-China Women’s Federation (ACWF) work with 900,000 We Chat “sisters” groups and 641,291 grassroots organizations across the country as per Chinese statistics. This indicates the level of information flow among women contributing to their own well being. Therefore, it is clear the human rights of Chinese women are far more protected than Indian women although China was not invited for the summit. Analysts therefore, are not clear if the USA defines “democracy” as the well-being of people on ground or in terms of processes like the “Parliamentary Democracy” and “Division and Distribution of Powers” etc.  In that case one might think if Indian women wish short lives being illiterate and willfully die at childbirth. A careful analysis may prove that China has actually delivered “people rule” at a higher level than in the Parliamentary Republic of India. Sri Lankan policy makers should also be more concerned about the rights of women and children. May be they would also be invited to next year’s conference.

The writer is an analyst with interests in the financial and sustainable development sectors with postgraduate exposure in the Far East (mahika.ming@gmail.com).


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