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OUR PLEDGE Power Talk with Archanna pledges to make our sincere contributions in delivering sustainable equality We stand united to make women Fit for Purpose and Financed for purpose I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the entire team at UN Women, India for giving us this opportunity to bring together a dedicated supplementary e-magazine in support of UN Women, along side our bi-monthly e-magazine POWER TALK Power Talk with Archanna is privileged to have engaged in eye opening conversations with the team of UN Women, India. It has been an experience of its kind to take a deep dive into the enormity and reach of various programmes run under this umbrella across the globe especially in India Power Talk with Archanna feels honored to make this contribution to further enhance the reach I SUPPORT THIS Archanna Gaarg Founder & CEO Power Talk with Archanna

Shifting power Multi-layered inclusion and intersectionality

Power Talk l A Just World

The Generation Equality Forum

is a civil society- centred, global gathering for

gender equality, convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France. Kicking off in Mexico City, Mexico and culminating in Paris, France in the first half of 2021, the forum will launch a set of concrete, ambitious and transformative actions to achieve immediate and irreversible progress towards gender equality.

Realizing Women’s Rights For An Equal Future

Women’s Leadership And Political Participation Macroeconomic Policies And Social Protection Women And The Sustainable Development Goals Employment And Migration

Planet 50-50 by 2030 Step it Up for Gender Equality

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’s commitments include to: ▪

Promote women’s economic independence, including employment, and eradicate the persistent and increasing burden of poverty on women by addressing the structural causes of poverty through changes in economic structures, ensuring equal access for all women, including those in rural areas, as vital development agents, to productive resources, opportunities and public services

Ensure women’s equal access to economic resources, including land, credit science and technology, vocational training, information, communication and markets, as a means to further the advancement and empowerment of women and girls, including through the enhancement of their capacities to enjoy the benefits of equal access to these resources, inter alia, by means of international cooperation

Develop gender-sensitive multisectoral programmes and strategies to end social subordination of women and girls and to ensure their social and economic empowerment and equality

The Generation Equality Forum presents a vital moment in this mobilization. It is a civil society-centered, multi-stakeholder global gathering for gender equality, fundamentally rooted in the same logic that made the momentous advance of the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action possible twenty-five years ago. This is the power of activism, feminist solidarity and youth leadership to achieve transformative change. The Forum therefore represents a key moment for engagement among gender equality advocates from every sector of society – governments, civil society, private sector, entrepreneurs, trade unions, artists, academia and social influencers – to foster a global public conversation for urgent action and accountability for gender equality. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com


This action-oriented movement towards gender equality invites men and women around the world to stand together to create a bold, visible force for gender equality. Since its launch on 20 September 2014, hundreds of thousands of men from around the world, including Heads of State, CEOs and global luminaries, have committed to gender equality.

UN Women is launching the Youth Journey as a roadmap for the Generation Equality Forum, created in collaboration with girls, young people, UN agencies, and Civil Society Organisations, spotlighting activation moments and opportunities for young people and adolescents to influence and lead the process. You can find all the information on a new site created for the launch of the Youth Journey:https://www.gefyouthjourney.org/ This journey begins as an answer to some of the questions that young people posed about such a complex, multilayered process: how are we going to engage? Will we be able to really influence? It intends to be a roadmap for young people to own Generation Equality, connecting the dots of the work in formal and informal spaces and adapting the key components of the Generation Equality Forum to the realities of young people. Part of the journey is around strengthening outreach to a diversity of young people through smaller conversations that are intended to widen and deepen outreach to young people and girls with disabilities; indigenous; LGBTQI; and refugee and migrant. The journey will provide a clear map of formal UN bodies as well as the governance structures of the Generation Equality Forum where young people are represented; including a timeline that lays out key activation moments where young people can influence and participate in; and carrying out a research on resources available for youth.

Gender Focal Points and Focal Points for Women Based at UN Women, the Focal Point for Women in the UN System is mandated to monitor and report on the status of women in the United Nations system, serving as the chief advocate for monitoring and improving the status of women across the system and assisting the UN Secretary-General in achieving the General Assembly–mandated goal of 50:50 gender balance at all levels in the UN system.

The primary functions of the Focal Point for Women in the UN System include: ▪ supporting UN Women to report on the status of women to the UN General Assembly and Commission on the Status of Women; ▪ advocating and assisting in policy formulation; ▪ sharing and showcasing good practices; ▪ coordinating and supporting a network of Focal Points for Women in the UN Secretariat and Gender Focal Points in different UN entities ▪ representing Gender Focal Points in high-level meetings, including the Executives Board for Coordination Taskforce to Address Sexual Harassment within the Organizations of the UN System, and the Secretary-General’s Working Group on Emergency Measures to Achieve Gender Parity in Peace Operations; and ▪ providing guidance and advocacy.

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We live in unique times of dynamic geopolitical and socio-economic shifts. The nature of technology is changing. The nature of climate is changing. The economy is changing and peace and security changes it’s meaning every day! And the hardest hit by these continuous shifts are often historically neglected and vulnerable sections of our societies -- women and girls.


What does sustainability mean for you ? Sustainability means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In addition to natural resources, we also need social and economic resources. Economic resources are land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship. Social resources include both tangible items such as money, information, goods and services, and less tangible concepts such as love and affection and status within society. All of these factors need to be in our grasp in order to sustainably improve our lives and the lives of others. Sustainable development is something we all have a role in: individuals, government, civil society, the private sector. Sustainable development is so essential for the whole world, that in 2015, all member nations of the United Nations agreed the Sustainable Development Goals: the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. These goals address the global challenges we face, including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. Equality for women and girls and gender equality are so central to reaching these goals that each of the 17 goals has a focus on gender equality and Goal 5 is focused entirely on gender equality. Increasing the numbers of women in leadership positions; eliminating violence against women and girls; increasing the level of income earned and controlled by women are three important ways to contribute to sustainable development globally


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Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps How difficult has it been to forge effective partnerships with civil society to create a wave for this change to gain momentum It has not been difficult at all to engage with civil society to work together to strive for increased equality in the economy. In fact, this has been an essential strategy for UN Women, which was ‘born’ 10 years ago through advocacy of many thousands of women civil society movements.

UN Women works very closely with civil society organizations to advance the agenda of women’s empowerment and gender equality. In India, UN Women has set up a Civil Society Advisory Group (CSAG) to draw upon their diverse expertise, outreach, and knowledge in shaping our work and ensuring women in civil society have a voice in our work. As well as this eminent group, I am very pleased to share that UN Women here in India has played a convening role in bringing together various civil society players including women workers to understand challenges of workers in the informal sector and to identify solutions. In 2019, UN Women hosted a National Consultation chaired by UN Women’s Executive Director, Ms Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, that was attended by civil society organizations working with different occupational groups within the informal sector such as the National Association of Street Vendors (NASVI), National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM), Construction Workers Federation of India (CWFI), AITU (All India Trade Union Congress), SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association) , WEIGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing), MAKAAM (Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch) as well as those working in the areas of women’s digital and financial inclusion. Post the consultation, an Expert Working Group (EWG) was constituted that was chaired by SEWA Bharat and UN Women to develop the recommendations towards addressing the challenges faced by women workers in the informal sector and in agriculture, building on the recommendations of the UN Secretary General’s Report of High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. (https://asiapacific.unwomen.org/en/digital-library/publications/2020/10/in-roadmap-for-womenseconomic-empowerment-in-india.) www.powertalkwitharchanna.com




Similarly, we have been successful in integrating the recommendations from this UN Women, MAKAAM (Mahila Kisan Adhikar Manch) and National Commission of Women’s Consultation on Realizing Rights of Women Farmers by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare in its draft Doubling Farmer’s Income Report. Another example of working with civil society to address inequality in the economy is through UN Women’s Second Chance Education Programme where we are working with civil society organizations to build the technical and entrepreneurial skills of 10,000 women in the four states of Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan to ensure their access to decent economic opportunities. Civil society organizations, of course along with Governments and the private sector, are our key allies and partners in advancing the agenda of women’s economic empowerment. Power Talk l A Just World

Women are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes. What are your plans for Asia Pacific in 20 -21 for providing women and girls a powerful voice at the global, regional and local levels?

Let me begin by saying “Who gets to paint the picture? ”Who speaks, in what formats, on what topics and with whose priorities, within the context of women’s engagement with global norm setting, and local decision-making processes As I understand it, strong feminist voices have been, and continue to be, a foundation for thriving democracies and a catalyst of positive social and legal reform. Women’s rights organizations across the globe have brought women together, amplifying their voices, and mobilizing their collective power to - (a) shape an alternative vision of equality and justice, and (b) demand accountability in a future where women’s rights are at the centre of a better world for all. Coming back to your original question about sustainability: women must be integral to development if we are to achieve a sustainable economic, political and social world. Women have to be a part of painting the picture of the future At UN Women, we are pivoting into the global Generation Equality Forum, to set forth a transformative feminist action agenda for world leaders and gender advocate to achieve gender equality by 2030. That is, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. And at the heart of it lies the voices of women and young agents of change in all their diversities, across the world. In India, as is true for all of the global south, the Generation Equality Forum presents an opportunity to articulate the urgency of developing a set of sustainable, collaborative, innovative and transformative actions to hasten sustainable development,. We plan to centre-stage the voices of young women, and diverse historically disadvantaged populations, in the local and global agenda setting processes.

Your message to the younger generation. How they can start in the smallest possible manner and create an ecosystem around them that celebrates achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights.


-- young women, young people from diverse genders, young men – are literally the hope of the world. It is you who will ‘inherit the earth’ and who will live with the consequences of the decisions we are all making today. I believe that we have two critical agendas at hand to reflect on – what have we been able to achieve so far in saving the planet and creating inclusive economic growth, and, what are the prospects of the current generation of young women, men and future generations to come? With newer challenges that we are facing with the global COVID-19 pandemic and the slow pace at which we have been moving on the path to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment, it is my belief that the young and new generation of advocates and change agents bring creative energy and innovative strategies for the social change we need across the globe


Our best hope to bring a transformative and lasting change is to invest in young people, building their voice, choice and agency to inform the development agendas and roadmaps for change. The Generation Equality Campaign I mentioned above is one such effort to leverage the voices of the younger generation, recognizing that they themselves are part of the solution and therefore deserve a seat at the table- every table! www.powertalkwitharchanna.com

I reiterate the UN Secretary General’s message, on empowerment of young people, which said We must commit to engaging young people fully – not as a symbol or to simply check a box. The goal must be meaningful participation


You as the young leader of change need to shape the future you want live in , and that you want to leave for coming generations ,that are not even born yet

▪ Take it from ground zero, start from homes and classrooms, to build respectful attitudes towards boys and girls. Educate you peers, your families, your friends on the power of equality. ▪ Do not ignore, and therefore contribute to normalisation of genderbased discrimination and violence. Ask questions, be the voice of reason. ▪ Ask for support, get more stronger-than-ever young people like yourself together to raise your voices for equality wherever you are. Multiple and diverse voices count!

Globally, young people are mobilising and organising diverse voices and speaking out - For equal rights, to participate in decision-making, and to express their opinions and priorities, to make the world healthy for living, demanding equal opportunities and ending all forms of gender based violence. The Government of India shares the vision of young and new leaders of the world and has accelerated its efforts to address fundamental obstacles for adolescent girls in India, so that they can become agents of change in their own lives. Nationally, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme by the Government of India is designed to address gender discrimination and promote the overall well-being of the girl child. One among the eleven priority areas in the National Youth Policy 2014 is that of ‘participation in politics and governance’, which enables youth participation and civic engagement at all levels of governance. The multifaceted threats to our rights today requires young leadership that centre-stages diverse voices and in large numbers, to tackle power dynamics and shape a stronger agenda for transformational change. Let us together co-create a development narrative that is stronger than ever, builds on the experiences and expectations of young women, and grows the gains we have achieved so far. We need to continue to work towards a vision for the world we want to live in, and leave for the next generation to come.

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Re-entry into formal education

Aligned with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UN Women’s Second Chance Education and Vocational Learning (SCE) Programme is a solution for those who have missed out on education. It aims to break current trends and provide a comprehensive solution for marginalized women and young women who are at risk of being left behind. This project

aims to develop context specific


Entrepreneurship and employment pathways for empowering the world’s most and scalable learning .

disadvantaged women

and young women. It offers women and young women, their families, local communities and societies the benefits of access to educational services which are tailored to their needs & their future as earners. The Second Chance Education Programme achieves this by leveraging the opportunities of innovative teaching approaches, digital technologies and Social networks



More marginalized women and young women access and benefit from high quality educational content, material and learning pathways

Increased employment, livelihood and entrepreneurial opportunities

NOT DENYING education opportunities due to harmful and discriminatory social norms

Improved access to education and employment pathways through enhanced multi-sectoral policy and financing frameworks that enable scaling of successful SCE solution www.powertalkwitharchanna.com

ENTREPRENEURSHIP ADVOCACYBUSINESS ENGAGEMENT Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers Promote education, training and professional development for women Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality

Women Empowerment Principles

The WeEmpowerAsia programme (WEA) is a collaborative effort between UN Women, as the UN executive agency for gender equality and empowerment of women, and the European Union (EU), which is funding the action under its Partnership Instrument. With this programme the two entities will leverage their joint commitment to enhance women’s economic empowerment globally. They each have longstanding experience and partnerships in the Asian region



More women lead, participate and have access to enhanced business opportunities and leadership within the private sector to advance sustainable and inclusive growth. The programme is implemented in seven selected middle-income countries in Asia


At the core of WeEmpower Asia’s business engagement pillar is mobilizing private sector companies to commit to and implement the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), which were formulated and launched by UN Women and the UN Global Compact in 2010. The WEPs are 7 principles that support companies to take a gender-sensitive approach throughout their value chain, within leadership, the workplace, the marketplace, and community. WeEmpowerAsia works with companies in Asia and in the EU to translate these seven principles into concrete actions within the businesses, while encouraging them to work together and share their ‘WEPS’ journey’ across countries and regions. To date, more than 3,000 companies had signed the WEPs globally, and in the Asia-Pacific more than 750 companies have committed.

Background to the WEPs Awards In 2020, the WEPs have their 10th anniversary. To celebrate this anniversary and utilize the momentum to mobilize more WEPs signatories, WeEmpowerAsia organized its first-ever WEPs Awards in the Asia-Pacific to recognize business leaders for their exceptional championship of gender equality and support for the Women's Empowerment Principles.

Awards took place at two levels ▪ ▪

National level awards ceremonies for the seven WEA countries Final regional level awards ceremony.



The India Award ceremony was on 1st December 2020. The awards were given to businesses that demonstrated exemplary practice in the following categories: ▪

Leadership Commitment

Youth Leadership

Gender Inclusive Workplace

Gender Responsive Marketplace

Community and Industry Engagement

COVID-19 Action

“Generation Equality Champions” In addition, we created a special award of ” Generation Equality Champion “to recognize the commendable efforts of women led micro, small to medium enterprises that are taking important steps towards promoting gender Applications were open to all companies, regardless of size or sector, in the Asia-Pacific who exhibited good practices of promoting gender equality that met one or more of the Award categories and whose CEOs (present or past) have signed or intend to sign the WEPs CEO Statement of Support. A regional call for applications was open from September to October, with companies able to apply for up to two of the six awards categories. All applications were assessed according to specific criteria for each category and judging was completed using a standard score card. At the national level in each WEA country, judging panels of 6 people scored a shortlisted group of applicants to award a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize for each of the 6 categories along with 3 special awards that were given by the jury. Hence, each WEA country had 21 awardees, and 38 awardees from the combined seven countries will be automatically entered into the pool for the regional awards. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com

Gender Responsive Budgeting-“Examining the budgetary allocation through a gender lens”

Financing new and existing commitments on gender equality and women's empowerment is central to implementing and achieving all of the sustainable development goals. Towards ensuring that national planning and budgeting in India fully reflect gender equality priorities, UN Women India Office is implementing a large scale project to advance Gender Responsive Budgeting in the country. The project, supported by the Asian Development Bank, in partnership with the union government, and state governments of Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Manipur aims to create a conducive policy environment and enhance institutional capacities on gender mainstreaming and gender responsive planning and budgeting in select project states

ENDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN The right of women to live a life free of violence is a basic human right, upheld by international agreements. Yet violence in private, public, work and online spaces continues to persist impacting the lives of millions of women and girls. One of the strategic priorities of UN Women India is to accelerate action to end all forms of violence against women and girls. Initiatives range from working to establish legal frameworks and specific national actions, interventions to prevent violence from happening in the first place, to strengthening mechanisms and services to respond to the multiple needs of survivors, and enhancing access to justice. UN Women also undertakes and supports data collection and research on violence against women, facilitating new


learning on the issue

UN Women India office partners with the Government, civil society, sister UN agencies and academia to build a strong knowledge base and undertake reviews of laws relating to violence against women and girls. UN Women’s Global Flagship Initiative ‘Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces’ aims to prevent and respond to violence against women in public spaces, particularly sexual violence and abuse. The programme’s twin strategy focuses on community action (mobilizing, organizing and building capacities of the rights holders); and state accountability. Under the umbrella programme, UN Women India partners with the Government of Madhya Pradesh to build capacities of local authorities, urban local bodies and service providers on building safe and inclusive cities in the state. It also works closely with Department of Tourism on enhancing safety and security mechanisms, womenfriendly infrastructure and environment in tourist destinations in the state. UN Women also works closely with the state Government of Rajasthan to strengthen formulation and implementation of gender responsive policies, schemes and programmes to prevent and respond to violence against women in the state. In its effort to adapt the Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces methodology to agrarian supply chains of the Tea Industry in India, UN Women developed ‘A Global Women’s Safety Framework in Rural Spaces: Informed by Experiences in the Tea Sector’ and an accompanying guidebook for the producer partners. Power Talk l A Just World

SAFE CITIES AND SAFE PUBLIC SPACES programme’s twin strategy focuses


Mobilizing Organizing and Building capacities of the rights holders

STATE ACCOUNTABILITY GOVERNMENT OF MADHYA PRADESH Building safe and inclusive cities in the state

GOVERNMENT OF RAJASTHAN Strengthen formulation and implementation of gender responsive policies schemes and programmes

URBAN LOCAL BODIES AND SERVICE PROVIDERS Build capacities of local authorities

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM Enhancing safety and security mechanisms, women-friendly infrastructure and environment in tourist destinations

As violence against women and girls in the offline spaces has come to mirror in online spaces as well, UN Women India strategically works to ensure women's rights, needs and priorities are centre staged in the cyber sector in the country. The interventions focus on creating a dialogue on digital gender equality, and addressing cyber violence against women and girls with international, national and sub-national experts, including women agents of change on ground. UN Women works to deepen and accelerate gender transformative changes in evidence based research and data, laws and policies related to cyber security, innovative tech-based solutions to address VAW, capacity building of duty bearers and communication for change in discriminatory cyber social norms and behaviors. In the times of COVID-19 pandemic, as gender inequalities are exacerbated, UN Women India

sister UN agencies (UNICEF, WHO and UNHCR) is initiating a joint programme to enhance safety of women and girls from sexual and gender based violence in 16 states. Since the pandemic related lockdown with

was enforced, UN Women India with sister UN agencies has also been conducting a series of virtual capacity building programmes for functionaries of One Stop Centre and Women Helpline of 5 states to build knowledge and skills to respond to violence against women and girls during humanitarian crisis. www.powertalkwitharchanna.com

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Founding Editor Power Talk With Archanna Archanna Gaarg Bengaluru, India powertalkwitharchanna@gmail.com info.powertalkwitharchanna@gmail.com

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