New York [US], September 27 (ANI): Eminent speakers during the 77th United Nations General Assembly week highlighted that women in India transforming communities with digital technologies could show ways to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The high-level discussions were organised by Reliance Foundation, Observer Research Foundation and United Nations in India to complement the 77th UNGA discussions on Friday.
Various leaders including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar participated in the event in New York.
The events included launch of Aspirations, Access and Agency: Women Transforming Lives with Technology, a publication by Reliance Foundation and Observer Research Foundation that narrates inspirational stories of women using digital technologies to bring entitlements, financial services, healthcare, sanitation and more to India's remotest corners.
In the context of India's imminent G20 presidency, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized at 'The G20 Imperative-Green Growth and Development for All' that the G20 forum was an ideal body to listen to concerns of developing countries.
India has invited many nations to participate during its presidency so that more voices get to talk about the real problems of the world which may not necessarily be getting the awareness or recognition that they deserve.
He also emphasized the need for multilateralism and the importance of its reform.
Amandeep Singh Gill, Under Secretary General, Envoy on Technology, United Nations in a statement said: "It's really inspiring how when you bring people, the right process and technology together, magic happens."During a discussion on 'Women Technology and the SDGs', Shombi Sharp, UN Resident Coordinator, India, said that women are at the frontlines of both long-term development and short-term crisis response.
India is expected to have one billion smartphone users in the next four years with demand rising dramatically in rural areas. At present, 54 per cent women in India have a mobile phone, up from 45.9 per cent four years ago while women operating bank accounts independently increased from 53 per cent to nearly 80 per cent, with over 22.5 per cent of Indian women using mobile phones for financial transactions.
"Reliance's commitment to development is rooted in our philosophy of 'We Care'. We are focusing on enabling platforms across sectors to achieve SDGs in India; from women empowerment to green growth and equitable development of all," Jagannatha Kumar, the CEO, Reliance Foundation has said.
The discussions offered lessons from international collaboration during the pandemic and led to calls for more intersectional approaches to tackle gender inequality while highlighting pathways for investment, particularly in initiatives for women.
Auxillia Mngagagwa, First Lady of Zimbabwe, in her Valedictory Address emphasised that real change is a product of empowering women and girls.
Former Prime Minister of New Zealand and former Administrator of UNDP, Helen Clark,lauded India for having embraced and championed the human development agenda. She also highlighted the importance of ensuring that women have equal access to connectivity so that they are able to fully participate in the society to access health information, use it for education, government services, financial services and more.
Vicky Ford, Minister of State for Development, Foreign CommonwealthDevelopment Office (FCDO), UK, said development efforts must keep climate change in view and innovative financing mechanisms must be deployed to meet the funding needs around the world. She also emphasized the need for educating girls and empowering women.
Borge Brende, President, World Economic Forum, said the private sector should be an important part of G20 agenda and could help finance climate change adaptation, an area that needs more attention. He pointed to the important role of multilateral development banks in catalysing green transitions. (ANI)