Germany supports a range of programmes that promote gender equality in India. It has joined hands with the government as well as local NGOs and businesses for projects that seek to empower women and girls, especially economically. According to experts, India’s GDP would increase by a whopping 27 percent if the number of working women increased to the same level as that of men! It is heartening to know that Germany co-finances more NGO projects in our country than it does anywhere else in the world.
The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) and SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) worked together on three projects to improve women’s livelihoods:
1. IGEN Access SEWA Hariyali: Financial products were introduced to help women farmers in Gujarat get access to irrigation facilities.
2. In 2013, Microsoft India and GIZ teamed up with SEWA and DISHA to tackle problems arising from electronic waste. Over 1,100 intermediaries are delivering scrap to recycling companies and 200 schools have been trained in recycling e-waste.
3. In 2017, GIZ and SEWA conducted a study in Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka and Uttarakhand to explore the access women have to energy. The key findings were that energy would greatly improve the lives of home-based workers, most of whom are women.