When women prosper, world prospers: PM Modi

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the "ministerial conference on women's empowerment" during India's G20 presidency, emphasising the importance of economic empowerment for women. He stated, "When women prosper, the world prospers," and highlighted the role of women's access to education in driving global progress.

Modi advocated a women-led development approach and called for creating a level platform where women achievers become the norm. He stressed on the need to remove barriers restricting their access to markets, global value-chains, and affordable finance while addressing the burden of care and domestic work.
He praised President Droupadi Murmu's example as a leader coming from a humble tribal background and highlighted the significant role of elected women representatives in India.

“In this ‘mother of democracy’, the ‘right to vote’ was granted equally to all citizens including women by the Indian Constitution, and the right to contest elections was also granted based on equality,” he said. The PM noted that elected women representatives were key agents of economic, environmental and social change, and informed the delegates that 46 per cent or 14 lakh elected representatives in rural local bodies in India were women.

While acknowledging the contributions made by self-help groups during the pandemic, he shared examples of how they manufactured masks and sanitisers and created awareness about prevention of infection. “More than 80 per cent of nurses and midwives in India are women. They were our first line of defence during the pandemic. And, we are proud of their achievements,” he said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that around 70 per cent of the loans, up to Rs10 lakh to support micro-level units under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, were sanctioned to women. Similarly, 80 per cent of beneficiaries under “Stand-Up India” were women, availing bank loans for green field projects.

Noting that clean cooking fuel directly impacts the environment and improves the health of women, the Prime Minister highlighted the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, and informed that nearly 100 million cooking gas connections had been provided to rural women. He also informed that the number of women in technical education in ITI had doubled since 2014, nearly 43 per cent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates in India were women, and about one-fourth of space scientists in India were women. “Behind the success of our flagship programmes like Chandrayaan, Gaganyaan and Mission Mars lies under the talent and hard work of these women scientists,” he said.

The PM pointed out that more women in India were enrolling in higher education than men and India had one of the highest percentages of female pilots in civil aviation, while female pilots in the Indian Air Force were also flying fighter aircrafts.

Modi pointed out the significance of women's role in addressing climate change and referenced historical instances of women-led environmental movements in India. He recalled how women led the first prominent climate action in India in the 18th century when the Bishnoi community of Rajasthan led by Amrita Devi started the ‘Chipko Movement’ to prevent unregulated logging.

He pointed out the contributions made by women entrepreneurs to the global economy and cited the success of women-led unicorn start-ups in India. “Decades ago, in 1959, seven Gujarati women in Mumbai came together to create a historic cooperative movement - Shri Mahila Grih Udyog. Since then, it has transformed the lives of millions of women and their families,” he said.
The Prime Minister also noted that in India, about 15 per cent of unicorn start-ups had at least one-woman founder and the combined value of these women-led unicorns was over $ 40 billion.

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