Congratulations to us! Since Sambhali Trust was granted special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council in 2015 (which is a fancy way of saying that we can provide statements to the UN on our speciality: gender inequality) we will have our statement read at the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2017 regarding women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work.
Written by a former Sambhali Trust volunteer and PhD candidate Alexandra Ridgway, our statement focuses specifically on Rajasthani women and how various factors including limited educational opportunities and ingrained forms of discrimination prevent them from reaching complete economic empowerment.
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For example, despite the growth of female literacy throughout India (the country average is currently 65%), Rajasthani women still have the lowest literacy rate at only 53%! Rajasthan also has the highest rate of child marriages, meaning girls are forced to leave school to fulfil household duties, and are consequently unable to gain economic independence due to a lack of education. However, even when women are educated they are still marginalised – a 2011 census found that 1.1 million Rajasthani women are searching for work and that 73% are unemployed.
The economic future doesn’t look good for Rajasthani women either. As India increases its reliance on technology and begins to reduce its traditional manual labour industry (where females have previously managed to find legal work), women are once more exempt from this growing industry due to a lack of education and resources dedicated to learning these technological advances.
We hope Sambhali Trust’s statement will launch a global conversation and incite more opportunities for development and change. Our statement will lead to more support for our grassroots nonprofit organisation and for Rajasthani women!
To read the full statement, click here.