Women’s Economic Forum Gives Women a Platform

Posted by on May 16, 2017 in women

awefJJWith two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population being female, and countless girl children not receiving a basic education, supporting women in developing countries is vital to helping overcome critical social issues such as poverty and unemployment. By supporting women in society and giving them access to equal opportunities such as an education, jobs and health care, everyone benefits. Infant mortality rates go down, more children stay in school, incomes increase and the cycle of poverty can be broken.

In India, women are born into a society that still faces social inequalities ranging from gender-specific abortions, mistreatment from their spouses, eve teasing, being married off at an early age and in some cases, being denied an education by their families.

This is why the work of HeyDeedee is hugely important. Its CEO, Revathi Roy, was just one of the inspiring speakers at this year’s annual Women’s Economic Forum (WEF) in Delhi held 8 to 13 May. HeyDeedee is a profit-making company in India that trains underprivileged women to drive scooters for a fee of Rs 1500 ($23) and acquire a license. The organisation also helps the women find work as delivery girls with companies such as Amazon, Subway and Pizza Hut. The idea is to make these women financially independent. It also helps them acquire an easy loan to buy their own two-wheeler. So far, HeyDeedee has trained 1500 women, including Anjali Vinyak Tarve . . . .

Born as the fourth daughter to a couple that desperately wanted a boy, Tarve’s struggle to prove herself began at an early age. She wanted to do something that put her on par with her younger brother. Tarve wanted to study, but was not allowed to continue after Class X. Now Tarve works as a delivery girl for a leading food chain in Mumbai. Her most empowering moment was to drive her scooter to her mother’s house with her husband sitting pillion, holding their son. Her husband is still to learn to drive!

There were many more inspiring speakers this year like Revathi Roy at WEF, which is a not-for-profit organisation. WEF gathered over 2000 women leaders and entrepreneurs from over 100 countries from different fields, cultures and backgrounds to share their thoughts and expertise. The theme for this year’s interactive conference was  ‘Women: Creating, Innovating, Understanding and Driving the Future.’ It will also host companies such as BMW Financial Services, Fortis Escorts, Facebook, Google, Teach India, and include embassy representatives.

WEF is committed to making the invisible efforts of women more visible, like the work of the Poonawalla Foundation, whose founder was another speaker at the conference. Lila Poonawalla established the Foundation in India with a vision to empower deserving girl students through scholarships to pursue higher education. Since it began in 1996, over 12220 scholarships have been granted to 5848 girls.

Photo Credit: WEF

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