Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday (local time) participated in a panel discussion on ‘Empowering Women as Entrepreneurs and Leaders’ in Washington DC. The panel included David Malpass, president of World Bank Group and David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs.
Sitharaman, who is on a week-long visit to the US, outlined initiatives to bolster the economic status of women during the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings. She appeared to highlight how the Modi Govt has been working with the idea of women-led development and not just women-centric development. “Since 2014, PM Modi has emphasised that we need to have ‘women-led’ development for India instead of just having ‘women-centric’ development. He ensured that zero-balance accounts (Jan-Dhan accounts) were opened for every Indian,” Sitaraman informed an audience of hundreds.
Sitaraman also pointed out various initiatives taken by the Govt of India for women’s empowerment, enhancing their economic independence and their outcomes.
World Bank President David Malpass pledged to focus more intensely on women’s empowerment, citing the huge potential for economic gains for all countries.
“Starting a business is a powerful tool for women to build a better future. Enabling access to finance, skills and digital technology is key,” Malpass told a packed audience.
All three speakers stressed the importance of expanding access to finance for women-led businesses as well as recognizing the role women play in addressing global challenges–from climate change to fragility. They spoke about broadening the definition of women leadership to include not only CEOs of major global companies but also leaders of local initiatives. They discussed the need for upskilling women, so they are not left behind amid rapid change in technology.
Day 1 of the second G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting under the Indian presidency witnessed Session 1 on Global Economy and International Financial Architecture held in Washington on Thursday (local time) under the ambit of Spring Meetings 2023 of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB).
During the G20 meeting, Sitharaman strongly called for timely debt restructuring as a solution to the global debt crisis stating that it is closely intertwined with addressing the global poverty challenge.
Sitharaman further noted that the crisis adversely affects the most indebted countries as they also house the poorest people, according to tweets posted by the Ministry of Finance.
The FMCBG meeting also discussed key challenges to the Global Economic Outlook and explored possible areas of policy coordination on pressing global issues, besides exchanging views on accelerating progress on deliverables envisioned during G20 India Presidency.
On Wednesday, the finance minister, who arrived in the US on April 9, participated in the roundtable on ‘Multilateral Development Bank Evolution: Building Shareholder Consensus’ hosted by the US Department of Treasury Secretary at World Bank headquarters.