FICCI-KAS Virtual Dialogues: Empowered Women, Self-Reliant Nation with Smt. Poonam Mahajan

- Reimagine India Series

In order to analyse the current state of affairs of women in India, The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in partnership with the India Office of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) organised a virtual conversation with the keynote address being delivered by Smt. Poonam Mahajan (Member of Parliament and National President of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha)

Key Takeaways


  • The pandemic and its unprecedented impact have tested the resilience of people. It has made us realise the fragility of globalisation and shortcomings of global order.


  • The Gender Revolution is far from over and the struggle to achieve full parity is still on-going. Gender parity is a pre-requisite for a self-reliant nation.


  • The Indian Constitution already has given rights to women so one has to understand that women empowerment is not about inclusion but it is about equality. 


  • Two major aspects of women empowerment are security and justice. Measures have been taken to ensure the safety of women as well as laws have been made for women and ascertain women’s involvement in the jurisdiction.


  • India as a nation has the oldest civilisation and youngest population. India is a country with a young population and the representation of women should also be done at the level of youth leaders to promote synergy between ideas of women and the youth. 


  • Women form an integral part in the development agenda of the country and need to be more self-reliant to make the country self-reliant. The men should also be vocal about gender equality and women empowerment.


  • The various schemes of Government of India focusing women including the PM Ujjwala Yojana of providing a gas connection to every household, the MUDRA Yojana where 68 % women could avail the benefit of term loans and working capital loans to become self-reliant. 


  • Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative is 10 per cent of India’s GDP.India has shown the world its strength especially during the pandemic when India became the second nation to start manufacturing of PPE kits.


  • The various packages provided by the Government including the Gareeb Kalyan Yojana and the relief package of Rs 1 lakh crore as well as the PM Kisan Yojana, are the efforts made by the Government to not only revive the economy in India but also to make it self-reliant.Under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, Members of Parliament get to adopt two/three villages to ensure the overall development of that village. 


  • To mention some specific initiatives : Steps have been taken to ensureproper sanitation facilities and ODF in rural India, access to education to young girls, broadband connection, healthcare facilities. 


  • With a focus to empower tribal women in Charoti village in Palghar district of Maharashtra, the Anita Dongre Foundation set up a tailoring unit in 2015, which employs around 40 women, who earn Rs 7000-8000 monthly and sustain their lives and livelihood. 


  • There is a need for a targeted approach towards uplifting women through various initiatives where the corporate can play a role in reaching out to marginalised women. The women SHGs need to be tutored well to manufacture products and contribute towards Make in India and self-reliant India. 


  • In terms of representation in the legislative councils, assembly or the Parliament, women have 33 per cent seats reserved in the lower house and state assemblies under the Women Reservation Bill. Although in the past few years, there has been women representation in the Government and Panchayats, yet the number needs to increase. 

Peter Rimmele