The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth organized the Asia Inclusive Growth Forum in New Delhi. Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 lead envoy, stressed the importance of focusing on women in development. The forum united leaders from different sectors like private, social, fintech, government, and academia. They discussed the goal of making digitization of economies fair in the long run. This involves using open-source APIs, and citizen-owned data, providing better access to credit for women entrepreneurs, and creating innovative partnerships to bring digital advantages to rural women.
To address the challenge of limited access to credit for women entrepreneurs in India, Airtel Payments Bank, Frontier Markets, and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth announced the launch of “She Leads Bharat: Udyam” at the forum. This initiative aims to provide 100,000 women in rural areas with access to resources, networks, and tools through Frontier Markets’ Meri-Saheli platform.
The forum highlighted three key areas where focusing on women can drive sustainable development:
1. Digitization for Equal Opportunity: The digital acceleration in Asia, especially in India, has empowered women by providing access to various services. Keeping the digital network open is crucial for fostering economic growth. Safe online spaces for women are also essential for them to thrive, experiment, and learn, ultimately enabling them to find employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.
2. Women in Climate Action: Women constitute about 80% of those displaced by the climate crisis. Gender mainstreaming in climate finance and policies is vital. Involving women in decision-making processes is crucial for developing scalable solutions that address the specific needs of communities affected by climate change.
3. Empowering Women’s Health: Access to quality healthcare services is essential for empowering the next generation of female leaders. Digital healthcare solutions, telemedicine, and increased focus on women’s healthcare in science and medicine can play a pivotal role. Employers should also offer benefits that support women’s reproductive health and overall well-being, helping them stay in the workforce.
Prioritizing women in development efforts is crucial for creating a more balanced, equitable, and inclusive society. This includes ensuring equitable digitization, addressing climate-related challenges, and empowering women’s health, ultimately contributing to sustainable development.
Re-reported from the article originally published in 3BLMedia