UNCDF to advance women’s economic empowerment

Odisha partners with UNCDF to advance women’s economic empowerment

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Mission Shakti department and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) signed an agreement today and launched the ‘Mission Shakti Living Lab’ project.

The ‘Mission Shakti – Living Lab’ is a joint initiative designed by the state government and UNCDF through its Centre for Financial Health to empower women economically and drive gender equality.

There are 6.02 lakh SHGs comprising of 70 lakh members organised under Mission Shakti across rural and urban areas of the state.

Sujata R. Karthikeyan, Mission Shakti secretary said, “Economic empowerment of women is critical and through this partnership, we aim to use customised technology to increase women’s participation in the local economy and enhance incomes. This partnership will also accelerate women’s access to digital services helping women micro-entrepreneurs.”

Talking at the event, Henri Dommel, Director of Inclusive Digital Economies practice at UNCDF said, “We have a real opportunity to use new technologies and infrastructure to enhance women’s financial security and financial freedom and move towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on women can only be lessened if we purposefully target and invest in women. UNCDF is proud to be partnering with Mission Shakti through its Centre for Financial Health. This partnership will drive its efforts in improving women’s agency and financial resilience. The Mission Shakti Living Lab will incubate, scale and drive innovative digital solutions to create conditions for women to be financially healthy through the creation of fair and stable markets for their products.”

The partnership will address barriers that limit women’s access to financial security, autonomy and financial freedom with use of digital technologies and rising e-commerce industry in India. It will help millions of women SHG members to have access to digital financial services and to improve their financial health.

It will help 10,000 women-led micro-enterprises get better access to affordable market opportunities, capital for business promotion, and market solutions for better linkages. The programme will improve the ability of SHG members and households to plan, save, borrow or spend better thereby improving their financial wellbeing.

UNCDF’s work in financial health is centred on enhancing people’s financial security, resilience and wellbeing. Engaging women in economic activities empowers them to achieve positive changes in their lives and that of communities and the nation at large, which in turn contributes to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).