Gendered Pathways to Just Transition for MSMEs in India

Gendered Pathways to Just Transition for MSMEs in India

Gendered Pathways to Just Transition for MSMEs in India

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As India accelerates its journey to a low-carbon, environmentally sustainable economy, integrating a just transition approach is needed to maximize social and economic opportunities for climate action (ILO, 2022). However, unless gender-transformative measures are integrated within a just transition approach, women would not be able to benefit equally and could be further vulnerable to the negative impacts of the transition.

Growth of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) is crucial for India to deliver on the twin commitments of development and climate change. MSMEs contribute nearly 29% of India’s GDP and employ over 110 million workers. Women constitute about 24% of the total workers in MSMEs, which is greater than women’s participation in any other industrial segment in India. Women also own about 20% of the total enterprises and about 22.24% of the women-owned enterprises are concentrated in rural areas and are likely to be informal micro units. However, women-led enterprises are largely unregistered and home-based, making them more vulnerable to market and climate risks, and are likely to miss out on available government and institutional support (International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), 2014).

This webinar explores the gendered pathways to just transition for MSMEs in India. It will examine the current gaps and the need for addressing women’s issues in the MSME sector, including:

  • Gendered workspaces and labor market segmentation of women’s representation in sectors such as textiles, readymade garments, and food processing, while sectors such as automobiles are electronics are dominated by male entrepreneurs and workers. Additionally, the experts will also discuss barriers and opportunities for women entrepreneurs and workers across different MSME sectors.
  • Social norms and gendered barriers to women’s inclusion and entrepreneurship in the MSME sector, including barriers to women’s mobility, workplace safety and discrimination, gender wage gap, paid and unpaid work of women, and social roles for women.
  • Access to productive resources such as institutional credit and seed capital, ownership of assets, transfer of technical knowledge, information, and skills required for the flourishing of women entrepreneurs and workers during a just transition.
  • Policy landscape such as legal and policy level differences and protection for men and women entrepreneurs and workers and gender-responsive policies such as provisioning of maternity leaves, accommodation for women workers, and childcare support.


  • Michelle Armstrong, Head of Philanthropy, Ares Management Corporation and Executive Director, Ares Charitable Foundation
  • Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)
  • Kavya Michael, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Chalmers University
  • Sabina Dewan, Founder and Executive Director, Just Jobs Network
  • Tarun Shukla, Senior Lead, PanIIT Alumni Reach for India Foundation
  • Ashim Roy, Member, International Secretariat, Asia Floor Wage Alliance
  • Sucharita Bhattacharjee, Policy Analyst and Deputy Head, CUTS International, Kolkata
  • Ulka Kelkar, Director, Climate Program, WRI India (Moderator)

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