Other Statements Other Statements

Statement by Amb Ruchira Kamboj

on Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment

13.03.2024

Commission on the Status of Women – CR1, UNHQ

*******


 

Welcome to everyone gathered here for India's inaugural CSW68 side event, focusing on 'Financing for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Public & Private Commitments.' It's a privilege to collaborate with UN Women India for this significant discussion. We are also grateful for the participation of our esteemed partners from Brazil, Ernst and Young, and the Better than Cash Alliance.


 

This year's CSW theme resonates deeply with India's commitment to women-led development, aligning with our guiding principle, “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam,” which sees the world as a single, interconnected family.


 

Despite global efforts, progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 5 is lagging. Annually, an estimated $360 billion is necessary to close the gender equality gap. Without expedited action, countless women and girls will continue facing poverty and food insecurity. Additionally, over half the world's nations still lack comprehensive gender equality legislation.


 

Reflecting on India's tenure as G20 president, we reaffirmed our dedication to enhancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, establishing actionable areas for the world’s leading economies. Notably, the establishment of a G20 Working Group on Women’s Empowerment marked a significant stride towards institutionalizing global gender equality efforts.


 

The New Delhi Leaders' Declaration emphasized the need to expand investments in gender equality, particularly in areas critical to women’s economic autonomy and well-being, such as access to finance, skills development, support for care infrastructure, and setting gender-specific targets in sectors like climate change and agriculture.


 

To maintain this momentum, India remains dedicated to uncovering and supporting innovative solutions to gender inequality. Gender Budgeting is a key strategy, converting government commitments into tangible budgetary allocations for gender equality and women’s empowerment. The 2024-25 interim budget showcases the highest percentage allocation towards gender budgeting in two decades.


 

India's Self-Help Group (SHG) movement exemplifies successful community-led development, with millions of women accessing credit and engaging in diverse livelihoods. Financial inclusion initiatives like the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana have significantly contributed to women's economic empowerment, opening over 250 million bank accounts for women.


 

Furthermore, Indian women entrepreneurs are making remarkable strides, with their businesses constituting a growing share of the MSME sector. Initiatives like the Prime Minister’s MUDRA Scheme and the Stand-up India scheme have significantly empowered women entrepreneurs, providing crucial financial support.


 

In housing, the PM Awas Yojana has ensured that a majority of rural homes are owned by women, contributing to their financial security and well-being. The Ayushman Bharat-PMJAY health scheme has extended coverage to nearly half of its beneficiaries being women, underlining our commitment to women's health and security.


 

It's crucial for the private sector, especially those in emerging green economy sectors, to apply a gender lens to investments, ensuring equitable access and benefits for women. The success of women's enterprises, their access to resources, and the creation of supportive ecosystems are imperative for sustainable development.


 

Through today's panel discussion, we aim to foster a multi-sectoral dialogue, promoting gender-responsive financing and identifying viable solutions for advancing gender equality.


 

As Michelle Bachelet once said, "When one woman is a leader, it changes her. When more women are leaders, it changes politics and policies." Let's use this platform to catalyze that change.


 

Thank you for being part of this important conversation.


 

*******