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‘Women need more livelihood opportunities’

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OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Nov 5:

With an aim to explore livelihood opportunities for women in organized and unorganized sectors, a consultation on women and livelihood issues was organized by Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) as part of the consultative process to formulate Odisha State Women’s Policy 2013.

Speaking on the occasion, State mission director of OLM DV Swamy urged all stakeholders to come forward to ensure more livelihood opportunities for women in the State.

“Women’s population of the State is about 50 per cent of the total population of the state. The state has many programmes, schemes and provisions for the empowerment of women and the development of the girl child. However, there is a need to make concerted efforts so that the barriers that exist for girls and women are addressed in a life cycle approach (from pre birth to birth to adulthood and old age),” said Swamy.

Livelihood comprises the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living, said Dr Padmaja Misra, Professor of Economics of Utkal University. Livelihood assets may be tangible, such as food stores and cash savings, as well as trees, land, livestock, tools, and other resources. Assets may also be intangible such as claims that one can make for food, work, and assistance as well as access to materials, information, education, health services and employment opportunities, she said.

The objectives of this consultation were mapping the livelihood opportunities available for women (organized and unorganized sector), identifying the underlying factors hindering women’s rightful access, ownership and control of livelihood opportunities, recommending measures to address barriers and mainstream women’s issues with the objective of ensuring sustainable livelihood environment and suggesting policy directives to be incorporated into the Odisha State Women’s Policy.

Access Development Services vice president Amulya Mohanty was among the many participants who shared their views on the occasion.