Today, more than 700 million people, out of which 435 million are women, live in extreme poverty on less than $1.90 a day. The COVID-19 crisis has had a disproportionate impact on the livelihoods of women, thereby exacerbating longstanding disparities and inequalities further. Their employment and earnings reduce economic inequality and can help reduce poverty, especially in middle- and low-income countries. It is estimated that the implementation of a comprehensive strategy – “A Human Centred Approach”, which would include improved access to education and family planning, equality in labour market remuneration, and the extension of social transfers, could lift over 150 million women and girls out of from poverty by 2030.
Reema Nanavaty, Director of SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association), will discuss the importance of women empowerment for poverty reduction and how SEWA works to achieve this through a joint action of trade Unions and cooperatives. The organisation focuses on more negotiating power for women workers, better working conditions and justice and recognition for self-employed women on a national and international level. Additionally, SEWA has worked to change restrictive policies and has organized women into a family of their own economic enterprises – thereby creating assets in the name of women, making them owners and managers rather than just workers and creating better, just dignified livelihood opportunities for the poor women workers.
Moderator: Tanushree Kaushal, PhD Researcher in International Relations & Political Science, the Geneva Graduate Institute.
The Geneva Challenge, hosted by the Geneva Graduate Institute, is launching a series of online public lectures in partnership with Right Livelihood. This collaboration provides an exclusive opportunity to interact with Right Livelihood Laureates and engage in a discussion about the challenges and opportunities of sustainable development. The diverse voices and journeys of the Laureates seek to inspire, motivate and offer perspectives to the participants of the Geneva Challenge and the Geneva Graduate Institute community.