Empowerment and Partnership: International Women's Day 2024

Empowerment and Partnership: International Women’s Day 2024

Every March, International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the strides women have made across sectors. At the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), we know women are crucial in economic development, business, and innovation. We strive not just to observe International Women’s Day, but actively participate in the movement for women’s empowerment. 

Some of our projects include: 

  • Education and Skills Training for Widows

The Loomba Foundation was established in 1997 to support widows and their children across the world, particularly in cultures that discriminate against widows. The Loomba Foundation and the US-India Friendship Alliance, the philanthropic arm of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, have partnered to provide skills training to 5000 widows in multiple sectors including hospitality, tourism, beauty, healthcare, and food processing. By receiving employment opportunities, training, counseling, and support, these women can gain economic independence and dignity. 

  • Empowering Women in Energy

USISPF and the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) South Asia Regional Energy Hub (SAREH) have collaborated to launch South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE), a transformative platform for women in the energy sector. This joint venture fosters a more inclusive energy landscape where women can ascend to leadership roles and shape the future of energy in South Asia. By providing mentorship, addressing persistent barriers, disseminating best practices, and advocating for inclusive organizational policies, this platform bolsters women’s roles as key stakeholders in the energy industry.

SAWIE also hosts events and workshops, such as the “Together We Rise: South Asia Women Leading the Energy Future” event, that symbolize the theme #InspireInclusion.

  • Women Forward International 

US-India Friendship Alliance has forged a multifaceted partnership with Women Forward International (WFI) and Parsons School of Design to reinvigorate the traditional art of creating Himroo shawls. By introducing these hand-woven shawls from Maharashtra to the international luxury fashion market, the initiative not only preserves a treasured cultural craft but also empowers the local women artisans financially and socially. The collaboration provides training, support, and market access to ensure that these artisans’ skills translate into sustainable income and community upliftment. Additionally, the partnership’s focus on sustainability and economic empowerment aligns with WFI’s broader mission to address critical issues of human progress and unite communities through collaborative action.

  • The U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment

The U.S.-India Alliance for Women’s Economic Empowerment, established by a consortium of the State Department, USAID, USISPF, and George Washington University, spearheads efforts to reinforce women’s economic presence in India. By accelerating entrepreneurship, enhancing workforce leadership, and facilitating skill-building opportunities, the Alliance addresses multifaceted dimensions of women’s economic resilience. Noteworthy initiatives, such as the Women@Work program, directly tackle the economic challenges exacerbated by the pandemic and provide women with tools for sustainable economic participation. The India Million Women Mentors Initiative is another cornerstone project of the Alliance, aiming to connect a million women and girls with mentors. These initiatives are not just investments in women’s potential but are also steps toward realizing a vision of an inclusive and equitable economic future.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we recognize the progress made and acknowledge the work that remains. It’s a day to celebrate the achievements of women, to inspire action, and to continue pushing for equality in every sphere of life. The journey is far from over, but with the continued commitment and collaboration between organizations, governments, and communities, we move closer to a world where women have equal opportunities to thrive and lead.

By Kudrat Soin, Communications and Research Intern at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

By Malachy Nugent, Vice President, Financial Services at the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

Subscribe to our
Daily Newsletter Weekly Newsletter