Voice of the Village: Introducing the Jaya Alliance for women’s livelihoods

When a woman realises her potential, she lifts everyone around her

Women’s workforce participation in India is one of the lowest in the world. Three in four women do not get an opportunity towards sustained livelihood and economic empowerment. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the situation is alarming– not only in India, but beyond. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of U.N. Women predicts that: “The coronavirus pandemic will widen the poverty gap between women and men, pushing 47 million more women and girls into impoverished lives by next year undoing progress made in recent decades.“ Moreover, “The increases in women’s extreme poverty … are a stark indictment of deep flaws in the ways we have constructed our societies and economies.”

Join us for the 2nd event in the Voice-of-the-Village roundtable series, in which we will launch the Jaya Alliance for livelihood opportunities among rural women. Some of the urgent questions we will discuss in this 60-70 minute virtual roundtable are:

• What are the barriers for women joining the workforce, and remaining in it?
• What lessons can we learn from successful women leaders?
• How does Covid-19 impact this situation?
• How can technology be used to improve education, remote work, safety, and livelihoods opportunities more generally?
• How can external entities help?

The Jaya Alliance connects stakeholders such as skilling institutions, the government, employers and the rural community through a digital platform to provide counselling, training, and support for employment and entrepreneurship opportunities to rural women. Because when a woman realises her potential, she lifts everyone around her.

Founder of Dharma Life, Gaurav Mehta will be joined by Diva Dhar from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Jessica Coates, EY Global Impact Entrepreneurship Leader, Katja Freiwald from UN Women, Professor Rajesh Chandy from the Wheeler Institute, Dharma Life Entrepreneur (DLE) Nisha Sharma, Alwar (Rajasthan), Pradeep Nair, Director of Ford Foundation and Sohan Shah, cofounder of Siriti.


About Dharma Life Labs and the Voice of the Village Event Series: Dharma Life Labs is a rural innovation lab with a focus on driving inclusive progress. A collaboration between Dharma Life, the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development at the London Business School and Siriti, the Lab leverages local relationships, digital connectedness and real-time insights to drive impact at scale. The insights from our work are brought alive through a series of virtual roundtables – the “Voice of the Village” – which bring together the rural community with global partners as equals. The objective of these roundtables is to create inclusive communities of practice to help villagers lead themselves and their communities on the path of progress.

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