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Focus on women’s work can help bring women out of poverty: Renana Jhabvala

Mar 08, 2016

Jhabvala has made significant contributions to research and policies on women’s economic empowerment

New Delhi: UN Women welcomes the invitation to SEWA National Coordinator and Padmashri awardee Renana Jhabvala to serve on the UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Established on 21 January 2016 at the World Economic Forum, the Panel will provide recommendations for key actions that can be taken by governments, the private sector, the UN system and other stakeholders, as well as policy directives needed to achieve the new targets and indicators in the Sustainable Development Goals which call for the economic empowerment of women.

Jhabvala has made significant contributions to research and policies on women’s economic empowerment and has also played a key role in organising women workers and networks into trade unions and cooperatives. Her inputs and recommendations, particularly with regard to the recognition of unpaid care and domestic work, will be of immense value to the High-Level Panel.

“I’m very happy to be selected for the UN Panel,” Jhabvala said. “Women's work is invisible and as a result, women are at the base of the economic pyramid. Women are stuck on a 'sticky floor' of low technology, low productivity, low skills, low earnings and low dignity. Yet, work is central to all women's lives, and more so for poor women. By focussing on women and their work, this Panel will contribute to bringing women out of poverty and to their empowerment.”

"Gender equality and women's empowerment and specifically women's economic empowerment-are intrinsic to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN Secretary-General said in the communication addressed to Jhabvala. “Yet, large gender gaps in economic opportunities and outcomes remain across all countries and regions," he added.

The inaugural meeting of the High-Level Panel that will coincide with the 60thsession of the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations in March 2016, and the Panel’s first report containing action-oriented recommendations will be released in September 2016.

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