Daily News Analysis

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

13th June, 2022 Social Issues

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Context - Over 400 women prisoners in Tihar’s jail engaged themselves in operating a full-time kitchen and an in-house beauty parlour, they are also attending tailoring and embroidery classes.

 

Details

  • These classes provide livelihood skills which would help them to earn work and join mainstream society after release from jail.
  • Jail Superintendent and the staff encourage prisoners to learn these skills to improve their life in future.
  • These skill classes and work help them from slipping into depression and also help them to learn the value of teamwork and encourage them to become self-sufficient after release and start a new life with respectable work.
  • With these skills, they could join the workforce or even become entrepreneurs in future and also contribute to the economic development of the nation.

 

Women Entrepreneurs in India

  • Nearly 3 million micro, small, and medium enterprises with full or partial female ownership contribute more than 3 % of industrial output and employ over 8 million people
  • 78% of women enterprises belong to the services sector.

 

Concerns

  • The social status of women and prevalent social norms in India influence financial institutions and the ability of women entrepreneurs to access finance.
  • Absence of collateral security and guarantee/support.
  • Limited financial awareness and understanding of financial products/ services.
  • Bank branches are unwelcoming to women customers.
  • Lack of confidence or hesitation to approach financial institutions.
  • The lack of reliable information about financial management makes women entrepreneurs less attractive to financiers.

 

Way Forward

  • Access to finance is a key to the growth of the MSME sector in India.
  • Microfinance plays a key role in expanding access to finance for low-income women aspiring to become entrepreneurs.
  • Training programs on human resources, financial management, business management, marketing, and financing the venture.
  • Learning from Global Best Practices for Women-owned Enterprise Financing; Westpac Banking Corporation (AUSTRALIA), American Express (USA).
  • DFCU BANK in UGANDA created a “land loan” specifically for women. Women can take a loan to purchase property that they can later use as collateral for business loans.
  • Ensure access to business and financial management training through the bank’s partnerships with local universities.
  • Simplify the approval process to reduce the number of visits to branches.
  • Explore the potential for “doorstep financial delivery model” branchless banking and other innovative delivery systems tie-ups with NGOs, microfinance institutions, and SHGs.
  • Remove dependence on male members of the family as a prerequisite to access finance.
  • Promote a friendlier environment for women customers.
  • Governments should promote Equal rights to property, joint property registration, and land ownership of women.
  • Formulate women-focused policies to promote women-owned enterprises. Create an online customer care support.

 

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