Driving Women’s Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Leadership in India
The World Economic Forum says that at the current rate of change, it will take 108 years to close the overall gender gap and 202 years to bring parity in the workplace. India has one of the lowest female labour force participation rates in the world and a majority of women work in the informal sector. Even though there are more women graduates, the number of those joining the corporate sector and rising to the top remains abysmally low. UN Women’s WeEmpowerAsia (WEA) programme funded by and in partnership with the European Union, seeks to increase the number of women who lead, participate and have access to enhanced business opportunities in the private sector, in seven countries across the Asia-Pacific region, including India.
Since its initiation in 2019, the WEA programme in India has strived to contribute to the achievement of gender equality through enabling women’s increased participation in the labour force and in the marketplace and improved opportunities for women entrepreneurship and business start-ups. The programme in India has done this by reaching out to over 2000 women entrepreneurs to raise awareness about business opportunities and providing directing training to over 500 such entrepreneurs. India has also mobilized over 296 private sector companies to become gender-responsive by committing to and implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). Moreover, UN Women India has sought to strengthen the corporate sector’s commitment and action to ensure gender equality in their organisation, by working with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to ensure the integration of gender-responsive provisions in the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights.