Imparting skills to women in administration, agriculture will raise GDP: NCW

Imparting training to women in planning and administration as also provision of technical skills to women engaged in agriculture will help increase country's GDP, Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW), underlined on Wednesday.

New Delhi: Imparting training to women in planning and administration as also provision of technical skills to women engaged in agriculture will help increase country's GDP, Lalitha Kumaramangalam, chairperson of National Commission for Women (NCW), underlined on Wednesday.

She also called for more representation of professional women in the boards of companies and flexi-time to women by their employers.

"There is a need for imparting training to women in planning and administration as also provision of technical skills to women engaged in agriculture. If this was carried out in right earnest, the country GDP would rise by two percentage points," Mangalam said while inaugurating a seminar on Accelerating Women Entrepreneurship, organised by FICCI in partnership with Intel India.

"Women must take to mentoring other women which should become part of the ecosystem," she stressed, adding there was a need to look at entrepreneurship beyond the traditional sense.

Kumaramangalam said that women suffer from poor asset ownership and fare poorly on the awareness levels of their legal rights. Even those who are aware, do not demand their rights vociferously, she pointed out.

She favoured providing flexi-time to women by their employers as it has been observed that those between the ages of 30-45 drop out of employment because of family responsibilities and because of the fact that the age group represents the reproductive years of their life.

Also a report titled Accelerating women entrepreneurship in India: roadmap for the national capital region was released at the event.

Deepa Karthykeyan, Director of Athena Infonomics, said the road map was aimed at creating an enabling environment for women enterprise development through policy reforms, building institutional capacity for women enterprise development through training, advisory services and business networks and developing tools and online solutions for women entrepreneurs.

The report was based on field surveys with 125 women entrepreneurs in three cities -- Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon.

"Women entrepreneurs and eco-system stakeholders perceive the National Capital Region to be highly patriarchal with women facing several socio-cultural challenges that constrain their 'propensity to enterprise'."

"Among the institutional elements of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, access to finance was perceived to be the most challenging receiving the lowest score of 29," the report said.

The study recommends interventions in addressing the gender-specific and gender non-specific challenges facing women entrepreneurs as per which women business census should be done to collect gender disaggregated data and to track growth trajectories of women entrepreneurs.

It recommends formulation of a Women Business Council to serve as the institutional body for implementation of a women entrepreneurship policy and institutionalise mentoring services to create a national network of women mentors who could serve as women business ambassadors.