Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that steps were being taken to ease the entry of women-led start-ups and provide them equal opportunities so that they can enter defence supply in various sectors including logistics.
Releasing a study on the gender parity index for the year 2017-2018 conducted by the FICCI Ladies organisation, she said the woman entrepreneurs should find ways to increase their participation in defence production and procurement.
The minister stressed on the need for a study on women engaged in the informal sector as it employs more female workforce than the formal sector.
“The woman entrepreneurs should find ways and means to increase their participation in defence production and procurement especially in non uniform sector , this will help in generating employment opportunities for women,” she said at an event organised by FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), the women business wing of the Federation of Indian chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).
The Defence Minister also said that steps were being taken to ease entry of women-led start-ups and “provide leverage that gave them equal opportunities so that they can participate in tendering process to allow them to enter the defence supply in various sectors including logistics”, according to a statement.
The study conducted among 106 women engaged in the formal sector found that only 21 per cent of organisations with up to 100 employees had almost equal to, or more men. This is shown to increase when employees are between 101-500 (52 per cent)between 501-1000 (40 per cent), 1001-5000 (45 per cent), it said.
“Organisations like FLO should also conduct a study on women in informal sector which employs more women than the formal sector. As in the Prime Minister’s Mudra Yojna, more than 50 per cent of women benefited and took loan .The study of employment generation and problems in informal sector needs to be studied and data collected,” the minister said.
The Defence Minister said that the women are keen to join armed forces in uniform. “The Indian Air Force has already inducted women fighter pilots. About commissioning of women in Army and related forces several cases are being fought in various courts. In Navy, women are not allowed in the sea, but we are working seriously towards opening up defence forces for women,” she said, adding there was a need for more women on boards in the corporate sector.