On April, 13th, 2023, Thursday, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a week-long visit to the US, participated in a panel discussion on ‘Empowering Women as Entrepreneurs and Leaders’ in Washington DC. The panel included the CEO of Goldman Sachs David Solomon and the President of World Bank Group David Malpass. The Finance Minister in the panel discussion outlined the initiatives to support the economic status of women during the World Bank Spring / IMF meetings. The government of Prime Minister Modi has been closely working with not only women-centric development but also with the idea of women-led development pointed out by the Finance Minister, who appeared in the discussion.
“Prime Minister Modi has emphasised that we are required to have a ‘women-led’ development for India instead of just having ‘women-centric’ development. He also ensured that zero-balance accounts (Jan-Dhan accounts) were opened for every Indian,” Nirmala Sitharaman said while informing the mass audience at the discussion. The Finance Minister also highlighted various initiatives taken by the government of India which results in women’s empowerment and enhancement of their economic independence and their outcomes. David Malpass, the President of the World Bank pledged to focus more passionately on the empowerment of women, citing the huge prospective for economic upturn for all countries.
David Malpass informed the audience that “Starting a business for a woman to build a better future. Allowing access to finance, digital technology, and skills is the key.” All three speakers emphasized the importance of increasing access to finance for women-led businesses as well as recognizing the role women played in handling global challenges from climate change to fragility. They also discussed the requirement of upskilling women, so they are not left behind amid rapid change in technology. They also had a conversation about expanding the definition of women authority to include not only Heads and CEOs of major worldwide companies but also the authority of small and local initiatives.
The FMCBG (Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors) held on Thursday in Washington discussed the key challenges towards the Global Economic Outlook and explored the possible areas of policy coordination on the global issues, apart from having conversation regarding the progress on deliverables envisioned during India’s G20 Presidency. Nirmala Sitharaman participated in the roundtable on ‘Multilateral Development Bank Evolution’ hosted by the US Department of Treasury Secretary at the headquarters of the World Bank.