~The research aimed to understand the challenges faced by women healthcare workers during the pandemic and implement measures to improve their wellbeing and efficiency on field
New Delhi, 7th March 2022: On International Women’s Day, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has reinforced its commitment towards enabling gender equality across sectors by designing and implementing intervention research with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The research identified action-oriented solution(s) to support and improve the wellbeing of female health workers (FHWs) while enhancing their efficiency on field. Through this study, JICA intends to generate critical insights for practitioners, policy makers and programme implementers on the need, options, and ways to ensure gender equity and justice in programme delivery in a post COVID-19 developmental paradigm.
The overall objective of the study was to equip stakeholders with an understanding of how an unprecedented crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Female Healthcare Workers (FHWs). It also aims at finding ways to resolving the psychosocial issues resulting out of such situations, presently and in the future. Based on the findings of the research, JICA prepared and conducted structured training modules for FHWs, their family members and departmental supervisors to spread awareness on key issues. The modules focused on improving the knowledge and skills of the FHWs to address biased gender norms and stigma that has aggravated their work and performance during the pandemic. The final report shall be released by the end of March 2022.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. SAITO Mitsunori, Chief Representative, JICA India said, “JICA’s mission aligns with the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, ‘Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.’ The interim findings of the report will help provide necessary awareness and empowerment to women health workers. We recognize the need of encouraging women to engage in all sectors and platforms on an equal footing. However, this can only be achieved through offering equal opportunities and awareness to women about their rights. Our projects take an all-encompassing approach to improving women’s economic empowerment, security, education, and health. JICA’s projects focus on women’s roles in society and give a forum for their empowerment.”
Aditi Puri, Principal Development Specialist, JICA India said, “JICA has made significant strides in assisting women with financial matters. JICA’s projects aim to empower women in all parts of the country by facilitating financial access. JICA wants to keep contributing to the attainment of gender equality for a sustainable tomorrow by promoting initiatives that take gender into account.”
In line with its commitment to provide equal opportunities to women in India, JICA has also signed a $50 million loan agreement with Northern Arc Capital (NAC), an Indian financial institution in August 2021. This agreement aims to fund non-bank financial entities that provide financial services to women. The initiative continues to be implemented and will support NAC to deliver financial services to over 5.7 million women in India. It has not only improved women’s access to finance in the country but will also contribute to SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) 1, 5, 8, and 17 as an initiative that supports the “G7 2X Challenge: Finance for Women,” announced at the G7 Summit 2021 in Cornwall.
JICA commits to develop projects towards benefiting women and contribute to the achievement of gender equality for a sustainable future for India.