Never miss a great news story!
Get instant notifications from Economic Times
AllowNot now


You can switch off notifications anytime using browser settings.
10,829.3588.0
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

ET Women's Forum: Necessary to upgrade skill sets of rural women & girls and give them a neutral platform

There is no formula for empowering and mentoring women.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Feb 12, 2019, 11.39 AM IST
0Comments
Agencies
(From left) Osama Manzar and Kanta Singh
(From left) Osama Manzar and Kanta Singh
The Economic Times Women’s Forum 2019 took forward the mission that it launched last year — to collaboratively and urgently build a sustainable culture of empowering India’s half a billion women — through a scintillating day of conversations and debates about encouraging greater participation and reducing gender inequality in every sphere of life, work, and play.

Understanding the issues that are proving to be barriers to empowering women and providing relevant solutions will be the key to creating new leadership with the right skill sets, said women leaders.

Thought leaders driving several successful initiatives for women through organisations such as Facebook and SEWA Bharat as well as international forums like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said that a deep dive into women-centric issues is required to put together a set of solutions that will ultimately create impact on the lives of women.

“There is no formula for empowering and mentoring women. You need to learn what the need is. Unless we understand the problems, we cannot come up with solutions,” said Sanchita Mitra, national coordinator, SEWA Bharat, in a panel discussion on New Leadership: Skilling and Mentoring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs.

Sanchita Mitra
Sanchita Mitra

She recounted her experience when she started visiting girls’ homes to understand the reason behind low response to one of SEWA’s initiatives. As she puts it, the programme could not have moved ahead without a granular understanding of the baggage and barriers. According to Kanta Singh, gender lead, UNDP, information is the first key barrier as women and girls don’t always know the right sources to get it from.

“Empowerment will be knowledge and skills-driven and that’s where we are working,” Singh said. We need to understand what their aspiration and dreams are… We will fail our girls, if we don’t act now.”

Experts agreed that the need of the hour is to upgrade the skill sets of rural women and girls digitally as that would provide a neutral platform for information exchange. While rural women may be able to handle phones, they find it difficult to work with computers.

“It’s a challenge, but also is an opportunity,” Singh said.
Ankhi Das
Ankhi Das

Ankhi Das, public policy director for Facebook in India, South and Central Asia, appealed to delegates at The Economic Times Women’s Forum to participate in the company’s mentoring programme.

“We are mentoring tribal women in five states of India, we seek more women to join this programme,” she said, adding that 10 Indian states account for 83% of the country’s indigenous population. “Of this, we would be working in five states, including Maharashtra, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and West Bengal with 25 mentors—100 girls spread across these five states.”

SEWA Bharat’s Mitra believes the organisational support has been a major help in building confidence and mentoring women through her programmes. “Community approach is much better than individual mode. The process may be slow, but proves to be effective,” she said.

ET Women's Forum: Shikha Sharma, Diana Hayden, Aditi Mittal Reveal How To Prioritise Onesel...

of 9
Next
Prev
Play Slideshow

Words Of Wisdom

11 Feb, 2019
Eminent women suggest what you should do to put yourself first.In pic from left: (Shikha Sharma, Diana Hayden, Aditi Mittal)
Next



0Comments
Want stories like this in your inbox? Sign up for the daily ET Panache newsletter.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Also Read

ET Women's Forum: #MeToo created empathy, brought change at the workplace

ET Women's Forum: Sustaining a fashion brand a challenge; succeed in India first before heading West

ET Women's Forum: India Inc has to create supportive ecosystem to retain women

ET Women's Forum: Diversity can help companies innovate better in competitive environment, says Brenda Trenowden

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.
Download The Economic Times News App for Quarterly Results, Latest News in ITR, Business, Share Market, Live Sensex News & More.

Other useful Links


Follow us on


Download et app


Copyright © 2019 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service