Women empowerment takes centre stage at GES

ANI | Updated: Nov 28, 2017 19:36 IST

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India] Nov. 28 (ANI): Women empowerment took centre stage at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Advisor to the United States President Ivanka Trump on Friday.

Ivanka, who is daughter of United States President Donald Trump, set the tone in her speech when she said families, economies, and societies reach their fullest potential when women are empowered.

"Only when women are empowered to thrive; our families, our economies, and our societies reach their fullest potential. Fuelling the growth of women-led businesses isn't simply good for our society - it's good for our economy. One study estimates that closing the gender entrepreneurship gap world-wide could grow our global GDP by as much as 2 percent," Ivanka said.

She said that the Trump administration is striving to promote greater opportunity for women around the world, both through its domestic reforms and international initiatives.

"Further, as you can all attest, this summit is yet another powerful example of a U.S. initiative that connects entrepreneurs around the world with investors who believe in your mission and will champion your success," Ivanka said.

Talking about the challenges being faced by the women entrepreneurs, Ivanka said they are required to do a bit more than their male counterparts to prove themselves at work.

She added that in the last decade, women have made remarkable strides in starting new businesses.

Ivanka also highlighted the problems being faced by the women entrepreneurs in the developing world.

"In developing countries, 70 percent of women-owned small and medium-sized businesses are denied access to capital. The result has been a nearly $300 billion dollar annual credit deficit for women entrepreneurs in the developing world," said the daughter of the US President.

Ivanka also praised India and Prime Minister Modi.

"India is truly an inspiration to all of us all over the world. Through innovative talent and entrepreneurial ability, you have made remarkable strides. Through your own enterprise, entrepreneurship, and hard work, the people of India have lifted more than 130 million citizens out of poverty - a remarkable improvement, and one I know will continue to grow under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Ivanka.

In his address, Prime Minster Modi pitched for women empowerment by terming it as vital for overall development of the nation.

"In Indian mythology, women are an incarnation of Shakti- the Goddess of power and we believe women empowerment is vital to our development," he said.

The Prime Minister further remembered women warriors such as Rani Laxmi Bai and Ahilya Devi for their bravery.

He also mentioned names of Kalpana Chawla, Sunita Williams, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Sania Mirza who are examples of empowered women in India.

"Indian women continue to lead in different walks of life. Our space programmes, including the Mars Orbiter Mission, have had immense contribution from women scientists. Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, both of Indian origin, have been part of US space missions," the prime minister said.

"Three out of four oldest High Courts in India are now headed by women judges. Our sportswomen have done the country proud. This very city of Hyderabad is home of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Sania Mirza, who have brought laurels to India," he added.

With the theme of "Women First, Prosperity for All," a number of leading female voices will speak at various plenaries, breakout sessions, master classes, and workshops, including tennis champion Sania Mirza, Google's Vice President of Next Billion Users Diana Louise Patricia Layfield and CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company Roya Mahboob.

Ivanka will also be part of a discussion on increasing women in the workforce through skills training, education, and mentorship on the second day.

The closing session of GES will bring together key influencers that support, promote and fund women entrepreneurs.

It will also feature a panel discussion themed "Women Win, We All Win: Promoting Inclusive Environments for Women Entrepreneurs", which will be moderated by Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu. (ANI)