Today, in India, more girls are being educated than boys. Despite this trend, women’s participation in the workforce is falling from 35% (1999) to 27% (2017), according to the April 2017 World Bank Report. Pronab Sen, the country’s first chief statistician asks pertinently, “Where are the educated women of the country going and what are they doing after graduating?” Unfortunately, there is no information to address this question.
The Vedica Centre for Excellence launched on 10th March 2018 will further the mission of Vedica Scholars Programme for Women, and create an ecosystem that promotes and supports the participation of women in the workforce. Focused on awareness, advocacy and action, the Centre will collect, chronicle, analyse and disseminate qualitative and quantitative data and catalyse necessary interventions to improve policy-making for women in the workplace.
“We need to examine the key reasons for the decline of women’s employment in the formal sector,” said Poonam Muttreja (Executive Director, Population Foundation of India). “Having evidence will help in efforts to reverse this trend, and I look forward to the Vedica Centre for Excellence bringing it out.”
To make sound legislation and good policy, it is important to have facts and data to catch the attention of decision makers. There is a lack of empirical data around women’s participation in the workforce, and the reasons for women quitting their jobs. The Centre will curate and execute relevant, incisive research in this space, starting with its inaugural survey among more than 1000 educated women on ‘Women and the Workplace’. The findings will help sharpen our focus and address issues to create a more equal world.
Vedica’s esteemed Governing Council ꟷ Ms Savita Mahajan (Former Deputy Dean, ISB), Ms Meenakshi Gopinath (Educationist and Former Principal, Lady Shri Ram College), Ms Gowri Ishwaran (Founder Principal, Sanskriti School), Ms Poonam Barua (Founder Chairman at Forum for Women in Leadership), Ms Poonam Muttreja (Executive Director, Population Foundation of India) and Ms Nivedita Narain (Programme Director, PRADAN) ꟷ were present at the launch. “Vedica is in a unique position to be able to fill the gap in public policy and investigate the need for focused intervention around issues of women at the workplace. Women need to be recognised and leveraged as assets in our country,” says Savita Mahajan.
Founder and Dean Anuradha Das Mathur explains, “Even as Vedica creates a unique cadre of professional women for the 21st century, we need to create lasting impact, at scale. This will only be possible through policy interventions. The Vedica Centre of Excellence hopes to draw attention to pressing issues that keep women out of the workforce and also provide data-backed inputs to inform policy over time. We see ourselves emerge as a leading, independent think-tank for this space in the years to come.”
To know more about the programme and the Vedica Centre for Excellence, do visit http://www.vedicascholars.com/.
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