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Partnership for Gender Equality

USAID/India and its partners collaborate to promote programs that address men, women, boys, girls, and transgender (and Hijra) persons to address societal inequalities and improve equity.

The world’s largest democracy and the second most populous country, India is a unique mix of traditions and modernization. While men and women, boys and girls are today competing in every sector and sphere, the stories of equality and empowerment are selective and few. Globally, India ranks as fifth among all nations with the most skewed ratio of girls to boys at birth due to cultural preference for a son, and every hour 26 crimes are committed against women and girls.

USAID/India and its partners collaborate to promote programs that address men, women, boys, girls, and transgender (and Hijra) persons to address societal inequalities and improve equity in areas related to: health care; water and sanitation; education; nutrition; microfinance; clean energy and sustainable livelihoods. USAID/India’s current programs endeavor to:

Improve Food Security: USAID/India’s diverse portfolio of agriculture projects operate in India, Asia and Africa to develop gender-inclusive agricultural practices to facilitate equitable access to food and improve nutrition, as well as promote farming practices that are technologically appropriate.  By piloting different farming and agricultural techniques, developing entrepreneurship skills, strengthening training institutions and agricultural universities, these have resulted in improved incomes for smallholder farmers and led to significant improvements in both men and women’s participation in their region’s agricultural landscape.

Diversify Clean Energy and Environment: USAID/India focuses on improving women’s participation in the clean energy sector – traditionally a stronghold of men. Under two bilateral programs with India’s Ministry of Power, USAID/India is working to improve recruitment and empowerment by ensuring a minimum 25 percent female participation in training, workshops, executive exchanges, and study trips.  USAID/India is working to establish a clean power women’s leadership forum to provide internship and research opportunities for women engineers and is working with a forum of load despatchers to institute a women’s empowerment and gender sensitization program for System Operators in India.

Increease Access to Education, Water and Sanitation: USAID/India supports programs based on the idea that educating girls and boys is the most powerful and effective way to address global poverty. USAID/India is engaged with local partners in preparation of gender-sensitive educational materials and trains teachers to provide opportunities for boys and girls to lead both in and out of school. As key partners of Government of India’s national flagship programs such as Swacch Bharat Mission (Clean India Campaign), USAID ensures that sanitation solutions address gender-specific requirements with additional focus on menstrual hygiene.  Addressing this component in schools is also key to ensuring girls remain in the education system.Ministry of Power, USAID/India is working to improve recruitment and empowerment by ensuring a minimum 25 percent female participation in training, workshops, executive exchanges, and study trips.  USAID/India is working to establish a clean power women’s leadership forum to provide internship and research opportunities for women engineers and is working with a forum of load despatchers to institute a women’s empowerment and gender sensitization program for System Operators in India.

Impact Health Care and Prevent Gender-Based Violence (GBV): With a focus on improving access to quality health care services for poor and vulnerable populations, USAID/India continues to foster innovative partnerships and approaches to achieve gender equitable health outcomes, address sexual and reproductive health needs of boys and girls in addition to education, employability, and life skills. In partnership with local partners REACH and the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, USAID/India has developed gender-responsive Tuberculosis (TB) programming that disseminates gender-sensitive messages on TB and is developing a national guidance to build the capacities of health workers on gender issues. USAID/India also collaborates with multiple stakeholders, including men and boys, to prevent gender-based violence through advocating for male “gender heroes” in local communities.  

Protect Vulnerable Populations and Promote Women’s Empowerment: USAID/India in partnership with the public and private sectors is facilitating the use of appropriate technology to encourage greater involvement from women. For example, with the Governments of India and Afghanistan, USAID/India supports the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) to train more than 3,000 Afghan women in vocational and marketing skills to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency. In the Indian state of Odisha, women-led producers’ companies were assisted to improve incomes and livelihoods through marketing non-timber forest produce. With the “GoodWeave” program, USAID and Skoll Foundation have developed a technology that contributes to combating human trafficking and exploitation in global supply chains.

RESULTS AT A GLANCE

  • Two and a half million girls and boys received equal attention and opportunity in classrooms
  • Organized 23,000 women's groups to help Vishakapatnam city become open-defecation free.
  • Helped introduce chapter on gender mainstreaming in Government of India’s 2017 National Strategic Plan on TB

 

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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