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Empowering Women in India’s Green Transition

The Hindu published this article on the significance of green jobs and women’s Empowerment. The transition to low-carbon development has the potential to add about 35 million green jobs in India by 2047. The International Labor Organization defines green jobs as “decent jobs that contribute to preservation or restoration of the environment”. Many of these span across sectors, such as manufacturing, construction, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and automobiles, which traditionally saw a lower representation of women.

Relevance- GS Paper 1 and 3, Social empowerment, Women empowerment, Green jobs, gender gap.

Introduction to Green Jobs in India

  • Potential Growth: India’s shift towards low-carbon development is poised to create approximately 35 million green jobs by 2047, signifying a significant shift in the employment landscape towards more sustainable practices.
  • Sectoral Span: Green jobs encompass a wide array of sectors including manufacturing, construction, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. Historically, these sectors have seen limited female participation, hinting at a gender gap that needs addressing.

Current Gender Disparities

  • Workforce Representation: Despite a remarkable 250% increase in India’s renewable energy capacity from 2015 to 2021, women constituted only 11% of the workforce in the solar rooftop sector, starkly contrasting with male-dominated sectors.
  • Sectoral Employment Trends: Women’s employment is heavily skewed towards traditionally feminine sectors such as apparel, food, and textiles, while men prevail in sectors like infrastructure and manufacturing, which are pivotal to the green transition.

Challenges Faced by Women

  • Societal Norms: Deep-rooted social norms and perceptions often pigeonhole women into certain roles while excluding them from technical and green job training opportunities, contributing to a skewed gender representation.
  • STEM Participation: The underrepresentation of women in STEM fields critically impacts their participation in key sectors for green transition, pointing to a need for systemic educational reforms.

Benefits of Increasing Women’s Representation

  • Combatting Gender Bias: Amplifying women’s presence in the green job sector can mitigate existing gender biases, promoting a more balanced and inclusive workforce.
  • Empowerment and Opportunities: Elevating women’s participation not only empowers them economically and socially but also opens up a plethora of opportunities for innovation and growth in the green sector.

Strategies for Enhancing Women’s Participation

Data Collection and Analysis:

Strategic Mapping: Initiatives like the creation of comprehensive databases and conducting in-depth analyses can shed light on the current landscape of women in green jobs, guiding policy and intervention strategies.

Skill Development and Education

Targeted Programs: Programs focusing on mentorship, scholarships, and financial assistance, especially in STEM and green-related fields, can help bridge the gender gap. For instance, initiatives like the ‘Women Scientists Scheme’ (WOS-C) by the Department of Science and Technology aim to provide opportunities to women scientists and technologists.

Support for Women Entrepreneurs

Financial Inclusivity: Introducing gender-focused financial policies and collateral-free lending can significantly enhance women’s entrepreneurial ventures in the green sector. An example is the Bharatiya Mahila Bank in India, which focuses on the economic empowerment of women.

Leadership and Decision-Making

Inclusive Policies: Ensuring women’s participation in decision-making processes in green jobs can lead to more inclusive and effective environmental policies. Leaders like Sunita Narain have shown how women in leadership can influence environmental policy and action.

Policy and Partnership Development

Collaborative Efforts: Building partnerships across various sectors and stakeholders is crucial for fostering a supportive ecosystem for women in green jobs. The collaboration between the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is an example of efforts to promote gender inclusivity in renewable energy projects.


Achieving a gender-just transition within the green job sector in India necessitates a concerted effort to dismantle existing structural barriers, implement inclusive policies, and actively support women’s participation. This approach not only ensures social equity but also amplifies the effectiveness and sustainability of the green transition, making it a vital component of India’s path towards sustainable development.

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What is the significance of the article on green jobs and women's empowerment?

The article explores the potential for 35 million green jobs in India by 2047, emphasizing the link between low-carbon development and women's empowerment, addressing gender disparities in sectors like manufacturing and renewable energy.

What are green jobs, according to the International Labor Organization?

Green jobs are defined as "decent jobs that contribute to the preservation or restoration of the environment." They span across sectors like manufacturing, construction, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and automobiles.

How can green jobs contribute to women's empowerment in India?

Green jobs offer opportunities to bridge the gender gap, traditionally seen in sectors like manufacturing and construction. Increased female representation in green jobs can empower women economically and socially.

What challenges do women face in entering green jobs in India?

Deep-rooted societal norms and perceptions limit women's roles and access to technical training. The underrepresentation of women in STEM fields poses a significant barrier to their participation in key green sectors.

About the Author

Hey there! I'm Nikesh, a content writer at Adda247. I specialize in creating informative content focused on UPSC and State PSC exams. Join me as we unravel the complexities of these exams and turn aspirations into achievements together!

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