Ministry of External Affairs
India’s G20 Presidency: Third Development Working Group Meeting
Side event on Women-Led Development: Pillars of Progress
08 MAY 2023 5:50PM by PIB Mumbai
Goa : 8 May 2023
The first day of the 3rd Development Working Group (DWG) meeting began with an engaging and insightful side event on women-led development, one of India’s key G20 priority areas. The event was organized by the G20 Secretariat in partnership with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
The event, which took place in Goa, featured keynote addresses and interventions by Samir Saran, President, ORF; Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM; Samantha Hung, Chief of Gender Equality Thematic Group, Asian Development Bank; María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, Executive Director, GWL Voices, and Former President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations; Charu Malhotra, Managing Director, Primus Partners; Baratang Miya, Founder and CEO, Girlhype, Women Who Code; Susan Ferguson, Country Representative, UN Women; Kajal Ilmi, Founder, MD and CEO at Aviom India Housing Finance; Suranjali Tandon, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy; Vera Helena Thorstensen, Head, Centre for Global Trade and Investment Studies, Brazil; and Indian Navy Commander Shazia Khan, Lieutenant Commander Swati Bhandari, Lieutenant Commander Tavishi Singh, Lieutenant Commander Disha Amrith, Lieutenant Commander Roopa and Lieutenant Commander Dilna.
The side event commenced with an opening address by Samir Saran, who spoke on the need for not just greater inclusion and empowerment of women but also new leadership that will proliferate in the coming decades. He mentioned that the side event is an attempt to bring people together to think aloud to collectively prepare for a future that will create the enabling environment that will allow for the full and effective participation of women as active agents of change and be lead as decision makers.
Emphasizing the need to build generational equality, Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary Nagaraj Naidu in his welcome address said we must unlock women’s full potential through a women-led development approach. He underlined that women’s ability to participate equally in the markets; their access to and control over productive resources, access to decent work, control over their own time, lives and bodies; and increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in economic decision-making not only spurs productivity and economic growth, but is essential to achieve peaceful societies, realizing its full human potential and sustainable development.
The event started with a session on “Women and Economy: Emerging Sectors and the Future of Work”, followed by a spotlight session on “Women’s Leadership in the Uniformed Services”, and another on “Agents of Change: Climate Resilience and Food Systems”.
The session on “Women and Economy: Emerging Sectors and the Future of Work” started with addresses by Debjani Ghosh, President, NASSCOM, and Samantha Hung, Chief of Gender Equality Thematic Group, Asian Development Bank, followed by a special address by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, Executive Director, GWL Voices, and Former President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. This was followed by a panel discussion between Baratang Miya, Founder and CEO, Girlhype, Women Who Code; Susan Ferguson, Country Representative, UN Women; Kajal Ilmi, Founder, MD and CEO at Aviom India Housing Finance, moderated by Charu Malhotra, Managing Director, Primus Partners.
Stressing that women-led development is indeed a very significant issue, María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés said that to shift the narrative from women’s development to women-led development carries profound repercussions. At its core, women-led development is about power sharing and equality. For building a gender-equal, fair and sustainable world, she highlighted 5 issues that need to be resolved: redistribute unpaid care responsibilities, close the gender digital divide, increase the representation of women in STEM fields and close the literacy gap, ensure women’s economic empowerment and more representation in politics.
The first session shed light on several key topics such as reimagining systems to ensure equal access to education in STEM and digital skill development, ways to address the double burden of care work that is placed on women from a policy perspective even as women occupy leadership roles in the formal economy, and investments needed for reskilling, upskilling, and capacity building to ensure that women are trained for jobs of the future.
The spotlight session on “Women’s Leadership in the Uniformed Services” focused on women in the Indian Navy, from serving in the medical corps and as pilots, to managing logistics and education as well as taking part and even leading the confinement for the Republic Day Parade.
Commander Shazia Khan, Lieutenant Commander Swati Bhandari, Lieutenant Commander Tavishi Singh, Lieutenant Commander Disha Amrith, Lieutenant Commander Roopa and Lieutenant Commander Dilna shared their experiences as medical officers, in naval aviation, as naval constructors, and leading the Republic Day parade naval contingent. The session was moderated by ORF President Samir Saran.
The final session, “Agents of Change: Climate Resilience and Food Systems”, by a panel discussion between Suranjali Tandon, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, and Vera Helena Thorstensen, Head, Centre for Global Trade and Investment Studies, Brazil.
The session threw light on the need to ensure women’s participation and leadership for building climate resilience and resilient food systems. Women bear the brunt of the climate crisis, which further deepens gender inequalities, risking their livelihoods and health. It is crucial that women’s priorities are reflected in the planning, development, and funding of national and local level climate policies. Panelists discussed the need to promote women’s entrepreneurship in green sectors and strengthen women-focused investments in climate and disaster resilience, policy interventions that can support women’s engagement in climate-friendly food systems and expanding food supply chains, and innovative financing instruments that can support gender-responsive climate and food system programmes and interventions.
The closing remarks were delivered by Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary Eenam Gambhir, who stressed that increasing the potential of women as leaders is a critical long-term investment for organizational success, national prosperity and quality of life and more women in leadership roles bring in innovation and human-centric solutions.
Women-led development is supported by several international frameworks, including the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In order to achieve SDG 5 of gender equality, it is crucial that women have a full and equal share in economic, social, cultural and political decision-making.
The panels closed with all the panelists calling on the G20 Development Working Group to work towards an actionable outcome that will contribute to building generation equality, and unleash women’s full potential through a women-led development approach, which calls for women’s full, equal, effective and meaningful participation as decision makers for addressing global challenges effectively, decisively and inclusively.
Watch the full proceedings here.
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Source : MEA
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