India cannot achieve growth without its women: G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant at SheSparks 2023
Amitabh Kant, the Indian government’s G20 Sherpa and a routine champion of women’s causes, spoke about the influential role of women in India’s economic growth story.
As hundreds of women entrepreneurs and business leaders gathered at the India Habitat Centre in New Delhi for the maiden edition of YourStory’s SheSparks, India’s G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant delivered the day’s keynote address with a focus on the role of women in India’s economic and technology growth story.
“Delighted” to be in a hall where women entrepreneurs outnumbered their male counterparts, Amitabh highlighted the need to leverage women’s strengths if India was to see truly sustainable growth.
“If India has to grow at a high rate of 9 to 10 percent per annum year after year for three decades or more, it can't happen without women,” he said.
“One of India's G20 priorities is women-led development – and that means women should not be merely beneficiaries, but growth drivers and leaders in development and progress,” he added.
Elaborating on India’s G20 presidency and the agenda that was being set at the summit, Amitabh explained that accelerating the pace of growth, sustainable growth, accelerating Sustainable Development Goals, climate action, and digital transformation, were some of the group’s major priorities this year.
Amitabh also spoke about financial inclusion and the government’s role in empowering women through digital finance. “Through the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana we started opening bank accounts in 2015 and India opened around 480 million bank accounts between 2015 and 2017. 55 percent of bank accounts opened in the world during that period were from India. Today, close to 80 percent of the women have bank accounts and that has all happened in Tier 2 and 3 cities,” he revealed.
He further took note of how women entrepreneurs such as Upasana Taku, Chairperson, Co-founder and COO,; Lizzie Chapman, Co-founder and CEO, ; and Mabel Chacko, Co-founder and COO, Open Financial Technologies were disrupting the financial space globally and making a name for themselves.
Amitabh concluded with a prediction that many more women – especially from non-metro cities – would start innovating and contributing to the economy through this growing inclusion.
“Women will play the most transformational role in India’s growth story, especially those from Tier 2, 3 cities. Many from rural areas are set to do pathbreaking work because they'll be more hungry for disruption than men,” he stated.