When women prosper, the world prospers, Prime Minister Modi says
As the G20 Ministerial Conference on Women Empowerment got underway in Gandhinagar, Gujarat, on Wednesday (August 2, 2023), Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the opportunity to highlight the strong correlation between the economic empowerment of women and global growth.

“When women prosper, the world prospers”, Prime Minister Modi remarked in a video message to the gathering, pointing out that their economic empowerment fuels growth and their access to education drives global progress. He added that their leadership fosters inclusivity and their voices inspire positive change.

“Women entrepreneurs are significant contributors to the global economy," Prime Minister Modi went on to say, as he emphasized the role of women entrepreneurs in India. Using data to buttress his argument, he pointed out that about 15% of unicorn startups im India have at least one woman founder and the combined value of these women-led unicorns is over USD 40.

He also gave the example of seven Gujarati women in Mumbai who came together in 1959 to create a historic cooperative movement, Shri Mahila Grih Udyog, which has transformed the lives of millions of women and their families. He highlighted their most famous product, Lijjat Papad. He also gave the example of the dairy sector, pointing out that there were 3.6 million women involved in this sector in Gujarat alone.

The Prime Minister noted that elected women representatives have been key agents of economic, environmental and social change, adding that that 46% of elected representatives in rural local bodies in India are women numbering 1.4 million. Emphasizing that the most effective way to empower women is through a women-led development approach, Prime Minister Modi said India was making huge strides in this direction.

He made the following points in support of this statement:

1. Around 70% of the loans of up to INR 1 million to support micro-level units under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana have been sanctioned to women.

2. Nearly 80% of beneficiaries under Stand-Up India are women, availing bank loans for green field projects.

3. The number of women in technical education in Industrial Training Institutes has doubled since 2014.

4. Nearly 43 percent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) graduates in India are women.

5. About one-fourth of space scientists in India are women. “Behind the success of our flagship programmes like Chandrayaan, Gaganyaan and Mission Mars lies the talent and hard work of these women scientists," Prime Minister Modi remarked.

7. India has one of the highest percentages of female pilots in civil aviation while female pilots in the Indian Air Force are also flying fighter aircrafts.

8. As many as 100 million cooking gas connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana have been provided to rural women.

9. More than 80% of nurses and midwives in India are women. They were the first line of defence during the Covid-19 pandemic.

10. Women in India have been brand Ambassadors for ‘Mission LiFE - Lifestyle for Environment'.

The G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment aims to turn the spotlight on women-led development and gender equality. The meet will explore ways to accelerate achievement of SDG: Goal 5, which seeks to ensure gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The meeting being held under India’s Presidency will not only build on the work done by previous G20 presidencies, but will also take forward its mandate of enhancing G20's contribution to accelerate progress towards women’s empowerment and strengthen G20 efforts in fostering women-led development.