‘Ecosystem needs to be responsive to get more women in the workforce’: WCD ministry
On Friday, both the ministries called several stakeholders from various quarters to help strengthen the policy framework for sharpening the skills of women and children.
Vernacular content on mobile phones to help rural women entrepreneurs, digital women agents in villages for greater participation of women in the economy and a women’s lens in the e-commerce policy are some of the suggestions that emerged after a day-long consultation held on Friday by the union ministries of women and child development (WCD) and skill development and entrepreneurship to find ways of policy interventions to train more women and children.
On Friday, both the ministries called several stakeholders from various quarters to help strengthen the policy framework for sharpening the skills of women and children. In addition to officials of the ministries of WCD and skill development, principal secretaries and secretaries of WCD from states, industrial organisations, corporate houses and institutions, too were present.
Structural changes to the skill ecosystem to enable more women in the workforce, such as providing child care facilities, using CSR for skill development programmes and the use of technology in skilling were some of the issues discussed widely.
Skill development and entrepreneurship minister Mahendra Nath Pandey said that in India while 65% of the population is below 29 years and yet women participation in the labour force is at 17.5%.
“Skill development is critical for women empowerment and while government’s skill programmes, both short term and long term, do not discriminate against women in terms of participation, we need dedicated interventions to make the ecosystem more responsive,” he added. WCD ministry Smriti Irani said that both the ministries will work together.
Aarti Mohan, cofounder of Sattva Consultations said that digital assets can provide a significant pathway for women’s economic empowerment. “For policy, strengthening the e-commerce policy to include women lens, digital women agents at villages, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) in skill for artisans etc. and vernacular content on phones is what we are saying.