ISC hosted a webinar titled 'Gender Equity: India's Kaleidoscope Moment Towards Clean Energy Transitions' to start a conversation to examine the multifaceted nature of gender equity. Through this virtual event ISC demonstrated why achieving gender parity is no longer only a social or moral imperative, but also a business case for economic development. The webinar featured a broad panel of experts with representation from industries, to funders, researchers, and on-ground workers. The panel discussion focused on the importance of creating gender equitable environments across sectors, the tools and techniques for creating a gender-equitable environment, as well as strategies and implementation for gender equity action. The webinar also pondered on the solutions for how Gender Equity ecosystems may be encouraged as we design our clean energy and sustainable manufacturing transitions.

The panel for the webinar included Ms Moutushi Sengupta (MacArthur Foundation),  Ms Trina Mallik (ISC), Ms Shrestha Baneerjee (iFOREST),  Ms Pranita Achyut (ICRW), Mr. B C Rajesh (Mahindra Teqo), Ms Clara Seilaff (USAID). Panelists brought to light the importance and relevance of establishing gender equitable systems for economic growth and climate justice, and discussed the roadblocks that are routinely encountered in gender equity works in India. Our experts brought to light the ground realities and perceptions prevalent within the society with respect to gender equity, gave an insight into the industry perspective, and helped link gender equity with clean tech transitions.

Gender inequality has an influence on not just individual women's lives, but also on the nation's productivity. A $28 trillion increase in global GDP is anticipated if women participated in the labor markets to their full capacity. This emphasizes the intersectional aspect of Gender Equity, which is a complex issue that is further interlinked with race, caste, religion, location, culture, and socioeconomic standing or class. Several other SDGs, such as No Poverty, Clean and Affordable Energy, Quality Education, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Reduced Inequalities, will be unreachable by default unless gender equity, the United Nations' 5th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) is achieved.

The webinar included a working list of short-term milestones that are required to achieve the long-term goal of India's gender-equitable decarbonisation. The answers from the diverse group of speakers considered strengthening national policy to increase women's participation, increasing momentum in education by encouraging public-private partnerships. Building a roadmap would be the first step, with a measurement metric to monitor and evaluate progress across institutions and companies. Mentorship from employers and promoting women to productive and leadership roles will create a snowballing effect. At the same time attention must be paid to recognising people’s power and considering the willingness to change. Lastly, building commitment to increase accountability and transparency and gender sensitizing the stakeholder towards the co-benefits from gender equity will strike a good balance towards the goal. The session ended by conducting audience polls along with a rapid-fire with panelists to understand the best tools for gender sensitisation. 45% of the audience voted for promotion of startups focused on Gender Sensitisation. Some interesting ideas that came up from the discussion were sharing success stories, leadership that encourages inclusion, tools where beneficiaries and stakeholders can introspect and communicate, experience and journey sharing. The session also discussed who should sensitisation start with and among the audiences and panelists the most voted answer was employers and families.

The session inaugurated the podcast series hosted by ISC that will not just bring to spotlight the gender equity aspect of decarbonisation but broader topics including equitable green jobs, and skill development as well. The podcast will serve a wide variety of audiences ranging from private sector players and MSME owners to researchers and policymakers.

About Institute for Sustainable Communities

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) is a global non-profit organization with a 30-year track record of supporting industry, cities, and communities to plan and implement environmental, economic, and social improvements. Since 1991, ISC has led more than 115 transformative community-driven sustainability projects in 30 countries including the United States, China, India, and Bangladesh. ISC helps unleash the existing power of local people and institutions to address immediate social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities – all while building those on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy. At the heart of the organization’s approach is results-focused, authentic, and pragmatic engagement with all stakeholders, which unearths locally-driven and equitable solutions to the biggest challenge we face – global climate change.

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