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Empowering Women In Science, AI Discussed At G20 Inception Meet: Smriti Irani

The women and child development minister, who delivered a speech on the first day of the two-day meet, said the focus of the deliberations was kept on the women at the grassroots level.

Smriti Irani
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 Empowering women in science and mathematics, involving them in non-traditional workforce fields like artificial intelligence were among the topics discussed at the G20 Empower Inception meeting on Saturday, Union minister Smriti Irani said.

The women and child development minister, who delivered a speech on the first day of the two-day meet, said the focus of the deliberations was kept on the women at the grassroots level.

"Till now, a discussion on women at the grassroots level was barely held at an international stage, but we have made it a central agenda through women-led development. This had not happened till now," she said.

Earlier in the day, Irani said India is keen on playing a key role in finding pragmatic global solutions for the well-being of all and, in doing so, manifest the true spirit of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" (the world is one family).

Irani particularly emphasised the scale of India's self-help group (SHG) story and highlighted the importance of women's leadership at the grassroots levels and efforts towards ensuring the availability of banking and financial services to every woman.

"If you want to get your future right, if you want to be future-ready, make sure that women are at the centre of the discourse and that women are at the centre of your decisions," the minister said.

Besides, she also cited the quest for gender justice in India through a gender inclusion fund in the National Education Policy, construction of toilets for every household and introduction of a menstrual hygiene protocol.

The summit aims at providing an opportunity to develop a roadmap, frame policies and for mobilising common strengths towards promoting equality and women-led development.

Irani also underlined that the three focus areas under India's G20 presidency are -- "Women's Entrepreneurship: A win-win for Equity and Economy", "Partnership for promoting women's leadership at all levels including at grassroots" and "Education, the key to women's empowerment and equal workforce participation".

In his special address, G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant focused on how India holds the G20 presidency at a time the world is facing several challenges, such as those of recession, climate change, the need for climate finance and more.

He said India's G20 presidency will be inclusive, decisive, outcome-oriented and action-oriented and nobody can achieve this more than the women of the world.

Kant said to further increase India's rate of growth, it would be essential to raise the per capita income of women and put them in positions of leadership.

He talked about various initiatives taken by India to drive women's empowerment, such as the Jan Dhan Yojana, the Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana as well as recent budgetary provisions aiming to scale up the SHGs.

Kant said the recommendations of the G20 Empower initiative may find a place in the Leaders' Communique and shall resonate with India's ambitious outcomes.

Women and Child Development Secretary Indevar Pandey said in the 21st century, global growth will come from the countries of the South and India has the potential to demonstrate the leadership of the Global South by showcasing women's leadership and innovation and highlighting their concerns and potential.

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