Aligning India s Livelihoods Strategy

Date: Thursday, December 11, 2014

Aligning India
Mr. Vijay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India and Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative, UN Women India MCO launch the joint UN Women and National Rural Livelihoods Mission report on Engendering Rural Livelihoods: Supporting Gender Responsive Implementation of NRLM.

UN Women co-organised a plenary session on the theme of ‘gender and livelihoods’ at the recently concluded Livelihoods Asia Summit on 11th December, 2014 in New Delhi.

Mr. Vijay Kumar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India released a report jointly prepared by UN Women and the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) on ‘Engendering Rural Livelihoods: Supporting Gender Responsive Implementation of NRLM’. The report documents good practices of select civil society organisations and Government initiatives along with their strategies, insights and experiences for strengthening gender responsive implementation of the NRLM. While releasing the report, Mr. Kumar acknowledged UN Women’s long standing support to strengthening policy formulation and programme implementation from a gender lens at MoRD and reiterated the importance of sustained efforts, including strong budgetary support towards mainstreaming gender in all Government functions.

The release of the report was followed by a panel discussion on Gender and Livelihoods – Making the Shift from ‘Working with Women’ to ‘Working with a Gender Equality and Rights Approach, which was moderated by Dr. Rebecca Reichmann Tavares, Representative, UN Women India Multi Country Office. Panelists included Ms. Suneeta Dhar, Director, Jagori, Ms. Sejal Dand, Director, ANANDI, Ms. Meenu Vadera, Founder, Sakha Consulting Wings Private Limited and Founder-Executive Director, Azad Foundation and Ms. Madhu Khetan, Program Director, PRADAN from India and Ms. Shreen Abdul Saroor, Founder, Mannar Women’s Development Federation from Sri Lanka. Ms. Zehra Akber Khan, General Secretary, Home Based Women Workers Federation from Pakistan, joined the panel via Skype.

The speakers shared their experiences with strategies and processes on gender-responsive livelihood initiatives that have been adopted by civil society organizations and Government agencies in the South Asian region. Challenges faced by marginalised women in accessing sustainable livelihoods and decent work in both rural and urban contexts as well as in situations of conflicts comprised some of the running themes in the presentations. The panel successfully highlighted the criticality of focusing on building women’s voice and agency, especially their identity as workers and farmers; recognising, reducing and redistributing women’s unpaid work, building women’s skills and decent work opportunities in non-traditional domains; protecting and promoting women’s resource rights to land, water, forests, technology, finance and ensuring women’s right to social protection, and freedom from all forms of violence while envisioning a gender responsive livelihoods strategy.

Download ‘Engendering Rural Livelihoods: Supporting Gender Responsive Implementation of NRLM’ report.

About the Summit

The Asia Livelihoods Summit was organised by Access Development Services Ltd. in partnership with Hand in Hand over two days on 10-11 December, 2014.

About UN Women:

UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their rights worldwide.

For further information:

Ms. Subhalakshmi Nandi