Ministry of Women and Child Development

Women-20 Inception Meet starts in Aurangabad

W-20 Inception Meet discusses role of women vis-à-vis SMEs, climate action, education and skilling, gender digital divide and grassroots level leadership

Posted On: 27 FEB 2023 8:38PM by PIB Mumbai

Aurangabad, 27 February 2023


The Women-20 (W-20) India inaugurated its inception meeting in Aurangabad today (February 27, 2023), in the presence of Union Women and Child Development Minister Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of State for Finance Dr. Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad,  Union Minister of State for Railways, Coal & Mines Shri Raosaheb Danve Patil and G-20 India Sherpa Shri Amitabh Kant. W-20 India Chair Dr. Sandhya Purecha, Founding Chair of W-20 Ms. Gülden Türktan and W-20 India Chief Coordinator  Smt. Dharitri Patnaik were also present.W-20 Chair Dr. Sandhya Purecha welcomed the delegates to "The Land of Vedas" and reiterated India's vision of establishing a world of equity, equality, and dignity.

The W20 India conducted its first session on Empowering Women in Nano, Micro, and Startup enterprises. The session started with Dr. Sandhya Purecha, Chair of W20 India launching the iWN365 initiative to assist women in establishing their own enterprises and achieving financial freedom. Shri Jayen Mehta, Managing Director, GCMMF India, iterated how women from across the spectrum have helped Amul transform the Indian Dairy Industry. This was followed by a panel discussion where Virginia Littlejohn from the United States participated virtually, while Jahnabai Phookan from India, Sevim Zehra Kaya from Turkey, Natasha Majumdar from India, and Satoko Kono from Japan remained present. The session emphasized on establishing a framework allowing women to set up their own enterprises without any discrimination and prejudice.

The second session on ‘Role of Women as Changemakers in Climate Resilience Action’ highlighted the need for introducing a gendered- lens to policy designing at the global level. Ms. Martina Rogato, Chair W-20 Task Force on Climate Change emphasized that “Climate change is no longer a theory. It is sadly now a reality.” The panellists of this session included Ms. Angela Joo-Hyun Kang, Founder & Executive President of GCEF; Ms. Samantha Jane Hung Chief of Gender Equality Thematic Group at the Asian Development Bank; Ms. Natasha Zarine, Co-Founder & MD, Center for Applied Research and People’s Engagement, Aurangabad; Elena Myakotnikova, CEO and Advisor, SIBUR; and Ms. Prachi Shevgaonkar, Young Climate Change-maker & Advisor Climate Leadership Coalition.

The third session of the W20 Inception Meet focused on ‘Creating an Enabling Ecosystem for Women Leaders at the Grassroots’ identifying challenges and pathways to ensuring equal participation by girls and women in political and public leadership at the grassroots level. The session was moderated by Dr.Farahdibha Tenrilemba, Co-Chair of the W20 Task Force on Grassroots Leadership. Other panelists included Prof Shamika Ravi, Member, Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister, Ms. Bharati Ghosh, Former Indian Police Service officer and and grassroots level political leader in India,  Sudhaben Sureshbhai Patel, Vice-Chairperson,Valsad District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited; Ms. Farah Arabe, Co-President of Harvard Kennedy School’s Women Network; and Ms. Sibulele Poswayo, Gender Specialist, Border Rural Committee; Ms. Rimjhim Gour, Grassroots Researcher, Founder & Director, Sapiens Research and Analysis & Founder & Director, GRAMYA.

The fourth season on ‘Improving Access Through Infrastructure & Skill to bridge the Gender Digital Divide’ focused on bridging the gender-digital divide, leveraging technology and the IoT (Internet of Things) to enable women to break the barriers and institute themselves as core architects of human society. In his introductory remarks in this session, Co-Chair of  Developing Working Group, G-20 India, Shri Nagaraja Naidu re-emphasized India's exponential transformation in the Digital Infrastructure allowing citizens to realize their potential which has been utilized for the public good. The panellists included Gabriela Ramos from UNESCO, Juliane Rosin from Germany, Giovanna Avellis from Italy, Nidhi Gupta from India and Cheryl Miller Van Dyck from European Union. The session focused on finding solutions to the serious problems of accumulation of resources in the hands of a few, therby giving them unreasonable power, while others struggle for their survival.

The fifth session on ‘Creating Pathways for Women through Education & Skilling’ was moderated by Cheryl Miller Van Dÿck, W-20 Task Force Chair and Founding Director of the Digital Leadership Institute, European Union. The panellists included Dr. Sandhya Purecha, Chair of W-20; Dr. Rajita Kulkarni, Author & President Sri Sri University; and Ms. Ksenia Shevtsova, Head of International Partnerships Office, HSE University, Russia. The panellists stressed the need for empowering women and girls through skill development and education in order to create pathways for them to take up available income-generating opportunities and also create new entrepreneurial setups, which in turn will contribute to structural transformation and economic growth.

The day ended with a special session on "Women-led Development in India" Dr. Sandhya Purecha initiated the special session in which panellists Ms Uli Silalahi, Chair of W20 Indonesia and Ms. Bansuri Swaraj, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, participated. Ms. Bansuri Swaraj said,  “Welcome to my land India where prosperity is represented by Goddess Lakshmi and courage is represented by Goddess Durga and knowledge is represented by Goddess Saraswati.” Shri Astik Kumar Pandey, District Magistrate spoke about the rich cultural heritage of Aurangabad.

The emphasis of W-20 will be to influence the G-20 Leaders’ Declaration and G20 Communiqué and take steps to build consensus for active engagement with women entrepreneurs, and commitments to policies that will advance gender equality and make women’s agenda, the core of G-20 deliberations.


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PIB Mumbai | SVS/SC/DR


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