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Labour and Sustainable Development

North-South Perspectives

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Francesco Garibaldo and Dinghong Yi

This book takes up a critical and realistic perspective on what is happening in China, India and other Asian countries in comparison with Western countries. It avoids hiding problems and difficulties, but communicates a positive message on the possibility to proceed in achieving a better situation. In this perspective the analysis of the public policies is a key point. These policies, in the Eastern as well as in the Western countries show objective difficulties and social contradictions but also that improvement is possible. The initial chapter is completely devoted to a study of China from within. The other topics analysed in the book are related to the social and natural environment’s sustainability: innovation, research and education on the one side and the life of workers on the other; also including the «invisible» people of the informal employment and the economic migrants, especially in Asia.

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Chapter 7: The Role of Education and Research

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439 Mobilizing Labour for Sustainable Development and Women Empowerment A Case for Social Initiative in the Context of a Successful Experiment in the Indian State of Kerala Varghese M. Mathunny Former Principal, St. John’s College, Anchal, Kerala, India Abstract Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without endangering the interests of the future. Women empowerment refers to increasing the spiritual, political, social and economic strength of women. Social initiatives can play a crucial role in achieving the twin goals of sustainable development and women empowerment. This is particularly relevant in less developed countries where unemployment among women is widespread. It has been the experience in India that social initiatives with government support in different States have made significant progress in promoting self employment among women. This has resulted in bringing women from the less privileged sections into the mainstream of social and economic development. This paper gives an account of one such successful experiment in the State of Kerala in the Indian Union. Known as Kudumbashree (Prosperity of Family) this project was launched by the Government of Kerala in 1998 for wiping out poverty from the State through concerted community action. The Programme is women oriented and participatory in nature. Content Introduction ..................................................................................................... 440 Sustainable Development ................................................................................ 440 Economic ......................................................................................................... 440 Women Empowerment .................................................................................... 441 Relevance of Social Initiative .......................................................................... 442 Kudumbashree ................................................................................................. 443 Organizational Structure ................................................................................. 444 Distinctive Features ......................................................................................... 444 New Areas of Intervention .............................................................................. 446 Political Empowerment of Women .................................................................. 450 Conclusion ....................................................................................................... 451 References ........................................................................................................ 451 440 Varghese M. Mathunny Introduction Labour plays a...

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