As one of the first countries of the world to formalise the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), India is creating pathways for corporates to actively participate in nation building.
Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 includes Schedule VII that states ‘promoting gender equality and empowering women’ as a key cause area for corporate investment. The reason for this emphasis is based on evidence that shows that despite significant strides in economic growth and social development, India ranks 127 out of 189 countries on the gender inequality index as of 2017. On the other hand, achieving gender parity in economic participation can boost India’s GDP by USD 700 billion by 2025.
The private sector is a key partner for India to achieve this goal.
In our latest report, created in partnership with UNDP, we present a micro-analysis of the CSR activities of companies listed on India’s BSE 100 index. The study examines the nature of support for women’s economic empowerment, including the proportion and distribution of funding, geographical footprint, the most popular types of interventions, and the effectiveness of CSR in addressing women’s needs. It also explores the corporate sector’s treatment of women in its practices in employment, leadership, supply chain management, and customer treatment. In doing so, it makes the case for better and more comprehensive measures for gender inclusivity and sensitivity across the board.