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‘India continues to show the world what investing in women can do’: Melinda Gates

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The President said the Government is making special efforts to ensure an inclusive approach, so that the benefits reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of society.

New Delhi, Dec 06: India has been constructing a more gender-equal nation from the ground up and it continues to show the world what investing in women can do, Melinda Gates said on Tuesday.

File photo of Melinda Gates

Speaking at the "Women leading Change in Health and Science in India" conference in New Delhi, Melinda Gates said "India continues to show the world what investing in women can do. During the pandemic, govt used digital bank accounts to send cash to 300 million people including 200 million women which protected them during covid economic crisis."

"When women have access to funds through digital bank accounts it's easier for them to get credit and insurance. Then, women can get into the labour force and raise the economic productivity of the country," she said.

"Making sure that cash transfers get directly into women's hands is an example of gender-intentional policymaking. India has been building a more gender-equal country from the bottom-up over the past few years," she added.

Earlier in the day, Melinda French Gatescalled on the President of India, Draupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President said that the Government of India is investing significantly in health and development through a range of flagship initiatives. The Government is making special efforts to ensure an inclusive approach, so that the benefits reach the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sections of society.

She expressed confidence that the Foundation would also make efforts to reach those who are most in need - whether they are women and girls, tribal communities, or those residing in remote parts of the country. The President also highlighted the role of women in the overall development of the country, and called on the Foundation to continue its efforts towards gender equality and women's empowerment.

The President appreciated the pioneering work of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in public health, infectious disease control and malaria and TB prevention. She encouraged the Foundation to also give attention to other serious ailments, such as sickle cell anemia, which particularly afflicts tribal communities. The President also appreciated the good work of the Foundation in the area of agricultural development, and urged the Foundation to consider starting cooperative marketing initiatives for minor forest produce in tribal areas.

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