Empowering Rural Women: India’s Energy-Driven Independence

 rural women
Image Credit: CNBC TV

In India’s quest for gender equality, rural women’s journey towards financial independence remains an uphill battle due to gender norms, limited financial access, and domestic responsibilities. India ranks 135th globally for women’s workforce participation, emphasizing the need for interventions. McKinsey notes that equal opportunities for women could boost India’s GDP by 18% by 2025.

Decentralised Renewable Energy (DRE) has catalyzed change in rural women’s lives. DRE-based technologies address electricity issues and boost productivity. The DRE market holds a $50 billion opportunity in rural India. Government schemes like Rajasthan’s Rajeevika offer subsidies for DRE appliances, while Bihar’s JEEViKA mobilizes rural women through self-help groups. Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana aids women-led enterprises with collateral-free loans.

Entrepreneurs and DRE are pivotal too. Solar-powered machines support over 15,000 underprivileged textile artisans, while solar irrigation systems enable year-round farming for women. Scaling efforts have led over 70% of women entrepreneurs to experience increased income.
Rural women seek stability amid fluctuating markets and climate change. With DRE and government support, they venture into entrepreneurship, enhance skills, and make market connections. This Independence Day, recognizing gender equality’s significance is crucial to unlocking rural women’s potential as vital contributors to India’s progress.
Re-reported from the article written by Kalyani Krishna and published in CNBC TV18

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