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CSW67 Side Event - Grassroots Leadership and Transformation: Charting the path of empowerment through technology and skill development

Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations, in partnership with W20, the official engagement group of G20 on women’s economic empowerment, organized a high-level panel discussion, “Grassroots Leadership and Transformation: Charting the path of empowerment through technology and skill development” at the United Nations Headquarters on 16 March 2023.

The event was organized on the margins of the 67th session of the Commission on Status of Women. The priority theme of the session is “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.

H.E. Ms. Ruchira Kamboj, Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, delivered the Welcome Address. Other eminent speakers and panelists were Ms. Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, Dr. Sandhya Purecha, Chair of W20, Dr. Jyoti Kiran Shukla, Economist & Policy Expert, Ms. Bharati Ghosh, Former IPS officer & Former UN official, Ms. Cheryl Miller, W20 EU and Ms. Susan Jane Ferguson, Country Representative at UN Women. Ms. Dharitri Patnaik, Chief Coordinator, W20 India moderated the event.

In her welcome address, Ambassador Kamboj emphasized on the major transformational changes happening in India from women’s equity and empowerment to women-led development. She highlighted various technology-enabled women-centric initiatives taken by the government in recent years reflecting India’s belief and determination to remove every obstacle in the way of women’s progress.

Ambassador Kamboj mentioned four key aspects that stand out; the number of girls going to high school & beyond has tripled in the last few years and more of them are going for science, engineering & technology which is at 43% as compared to the global average of 36%. Schemes such as KIRAN, UDAAN, PRAGATI, Vigyan Jyoti etc., have fueled the flight for these girls. Women are taking entrepreneurship like never before, with a vast majority of beneficiaries of the MUDRA loan are women at 70%. She underscored that at the grassroots level in India; more than 1.4 million elected women representatives to lead in the formulation and implementation of public policies, which is highly commendable.

The high-level event witnessed overwhelming participation from representatives of UN Member States, UN officials, civil society organisations and academic institutions.

The panel discussion was organized as a part of the ‘India Roundtables' at the United Nations. The roundtables, being organized to commemorate India@75, will showcase India’s achievements in various areas of development, including women empowerment, financial inclusion, social development, climate action and many more.