EU - UN Women launch film and report in tribute to ‘Inspiring Indian Women’

Date: Monday, March 10, 2014

New Delhi - The European Union and UN Women paid tribute to inspiring Indian Women at the jointly organised ‘Inspiring Change: Equality for All’ conference in Delhi today, with the launch of a new EU film and a new UN Women report.

‘Women who Inspire’, a new film produced by the European Union, is comprised of a series of interviews which focus on outstanding individual Indian women who are inspiring change – from the Mango orchard owner who helps local women set up small businesses, a visually impaired mountaineer to a pioneering women’s rights activist.

Speaking of the film, H.E. Dr. João Cravinho, Ambassador of the European Union to India and for Bhutan, said: “It is remarkable what has been achieved by inspiring women in India. This EU film pays tribute to them and applauds their efforts in promoting equality in their communities and further afield”.

“Like these inspiring Indian women, the European Union has a strong focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The EU recognises that gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential for sustainable development; and the achievement of these twin goals is a top priority on the EU development agenda in India”.

A new UN Women report, ‘Hearts and Minds: Women of India Speak’, is based on interviews with hundreds of elected women representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan. The report captures the voices of these grassroots women who remain completely marginalized despite India’s phenomenal economic growth. While their lives have improved with greater visibility, education and employment opportunities, the women report they still do not have proper access to water, sanitation, housing, roads and electricity. They cite low literacy and the lack of financial independence as the major hurdles they face on a daily basis.

Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative, UN Women Multi Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives & Sri Lanka, said: “The report ensures that the voices of those who remain socially and economically marginalised are meaningfully reflected in India’s policies and the emerging global Post-2015 development agenda. The Gender Equality Goal, developed by UN Women, calls for increased participation of women in decision-making. In the context of the upcoming elections, this is a pertinent issue as despite the advances made through the panchayats, women account for only 10 percent of seats in the national Parliament.”

Both the EU and UN Women have a long-standing commitment to promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in India. In India, UN  Women works with elected women representatives and other women in villages across five states to encourage their participation in local decision-making through panchayats and gram sabhas.

Both the New EU film and latest UN report were released to coincide with this year’s International Women’s Day in India – which has as its overall theme ‘Inspiring Change’.

Notes to the editors

The Delegation of the European Union in New Delhi is a diplomatic mission representing the European Union (EU) to India together with the 28 Member States of the European Union. It performs a variety of tasks aimed at enhancing relations between the EU and India.

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. For more information, visit  www.unwomenindia.org

Media inquiries:

Vikram Roy, EU Press and Information Officer, Vikram.ROY@eeas.europa.eu +91 810259650
Sabrina Sidhu, UN Women Communications and Information Officer, sabrina.sidhu@unwomen.org, +91-9818717522