The National Commission for Women in collaboration with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized a Roundtable on ‘Women Empowerment in India and CSR as a Catalyst’, a consultative meeting in Mumbai along with Standard Industrial Bodies and Heads of Major Corporate Foundations. The aim of the consultation was to understand and plan the use of CSR funds for ensuring holistic development of women. The deliberations centred on topics such as the role of CSR in achieving SDGs and Women Empowerment and CSR: Creating Collaborative Spaces, amongst others.
The meeting was chaired by Ms. Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, NCW along with Mr. Ashank Desai, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on CSR, Ms. Meeta Rajivlochan, Member Secretary, NCW and Ms. Rumjhum Co- Chairperson, CII National Committee on CSR. The consultation was attended by CSR heads of 32 Corporates.
In her inaugural address, Ms. Rekha Sharma touched upon various facets of women empowerment where industry can engage and collaborate. These include –Rehabilitation of Domestic Violence survivors, Livelihood Generation of Rescued Women from Human Trafficking, Skilling for Disabled Women, Girl Education, Research and Data.
“CSR is a new means to tackle gender inequality. Women empowerment across all sectors can be enhanced if corporates can identify common priorities and work together collaboratively in order to bring about major change that can be seen,” said Ms Sharma.
In a separate break-out session, the participants discussed the biggest challenges of empowering women in sectors such as Skilling & Shelter for Trafficked Women, Financial Inclusion and Child Support Services for Working Women and how Industry can collaborate to address these challenges. Views were also sought and expressed on the government’s role in promoting women empowerment and how CSR can facilitate the empowerment.
The Roundtable helped apprise the NCW of the CSR initiatives undertaken by corporations toward women empowerment. It aimed to chart a path for collaborative initiatives toward women’s empowerment.