CII - Confederation of Indian Industry

04/13/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/13/2023 22:41

Include Gender Dimension in All Policies and Frameworks: CII IWN National Conference on Women Empowerment

Include Gender Dimension in All Policies and Frameworks: CII IWN National Conference on Women Empowerment

There is a pressing need to include the gender dimension in all policies and frameworks, understand the localised context for a just energy transition, upskill women for emerging opportunities and capitalise on the opportunities that digitalisation offers to create a level playing field are some of the key ideas that emerged at the CII IWN National Conference on Women Empowerment: Engendering B 20, organised by the CII in Delhi today. The Conference brought together corporate leaders, policymakers and gender experts to deliberate on emerging trends such as increased digitalisation and energy transition to devise a roadmap for equitable development.

Setting the context for the deliberations, Smita Agarwal, Chairperson, CII National Committee for Women Empowerment & Indian Women Network, Director & CFO at PTC Industries spoke about the challenges women face, the need to break gender barriers and the work of CII IWN towards the economic empowerment of women "With this platform, we hope to take this conversation further, from India to a global level." Sharing her perspective, Susan Ferguson, Country Representative, UN Women India, said that a change in mindsets is required and that women should not be pigeonholed in socially and culturally assigned roles and sectors, adding that the huge pay gap between men and women needs to be closed, among other measures to create a more equitable world.

In a session on Gender Diverse MSMEs, panellists discussed ways to address gender barriers and build capacity for gender diverse MSMEs. Sharing her views, Meg Jones, International Coordinator, Gender Equality and Disability Working Group, C20 2023 stressed on the need to make sure that the gender dimension is part of any policy, adding that there is a need to co-create ecosystems that promote women - policy changes, creating awareness amongst women, monitoring participation of women and plugging the gaps. Appreciating the contribution and commitment of women entrepreneurs, Mr Shreekant Somany, Chairman of CII National SME Council and Centre of Excellence for Competitiveness, Chairman & Managing Director of Somany Ceramics Ltd said "We need to change the narrative and policies and not just look at ways to "help" women entrepreneurs but "encourage" them and support them through access to finance, for example."

The energy sector remains the least gender diverse sectors. While discussing Just Energy Transition, Ritu Mathur, India Climate and Energy Modelling Forum, NITI Aayog said there is a need to understand the localised context of energy transition and that can happen only when we capture local data well - the kind and number of jobs that will be affected, the opportunities, the quality of those opportunities and the skill level of women to maximise those opportunities. Vineet Mittal, Chairperson, Avaada Group, and Chairperson, B20 Taskforce on Energy spoke of the need for creating a level playing field to ensure that women can make a meaningful contribution.

At the session on Financial Inclusion for Economic Empowerment of Women, panellists discussed ways to accelerate the inclusion of women in the sector. Sharing his views from Africa, Issac Quansah Aggrey, CEO, African Social Entrepreneurs Network, India said we promote women entrepreneurs to harness the economic potential of women. Mrs Isaure De Belleville, Green & Climate Finance Expert, GIFS Initiative, GroW Network AGENCE FRANÇAISE DE DÉVELOPPEMENT said they look at supporting projects through a gender lens and have indicators and benchmarks that focus on creating gender equality.

At the session on Capitalizing on Opportunities: Focusing on Skilling and Building an Accessible Digital Economy discussions focussed on ways to ensure accessibility of opportunity and the role of digitization and skilling in achieving inclusive economic growth, Aya Matsura, Gender Expert, ILO, said digital technology can provide opportunities for learning, livelihood, financial inclusion adding that there are gender gaps here which need to be addressed. Ambassador Rudo Chitiga, Permanent Secretary at large, Government of Zimbabwe stressed on the importance of education for sustainable development and empowerment. The panellists were of the opinion that the gender divide can be bridged due to technology.

13 April 2023

New Delhi