Odisha Government Partners With UNCDF To Empower Women

The Department of Mission Shakti under the Odisha government has signed an agreement with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) aiming to empower women economically and promote gender equality.

Under this initiative, they have launched the Mission Shakti Living Lab, which aims to help women improve their financial health through participation in supply chains while seeking to narrow gender gaps and level the playing field.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Sujata R Karthikeyan, Commissioner cum Secretary, Department of Mission Shakti and Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary, UNCDF.

With the help of digital technologies and the booming e-commerce industry, the State government aims to help women gain financial freedom, autonomy. It will help 3.5 million self-help groups (SHG) women members and low-income individuals to have access to digital financial services. The initiative will also help 10,000 women-led micro-enterprises get better access to affordable market opportunities, capital for business promotion, and market solutions for better linkages.

“Economic empowerment of women is critical to the state’s growth and today we have a real opportunity to use new technologies to increase women’s participation in the economy. The partnership between Mission Shakti and UNCDF’s Centre for Financial Health is timely and crucial to accelerate access to digital services that can increase women’s income and financial well-being”, said Sujata Karthikeyan.

Henri Dommel, Director of Inclusive Digital Economies practice at UNCDF, said, “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”.

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