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Code Unnati Brings Together the Synergies of SAP Labs and the UNDP to Foster Women and Youth Empowerment in Karnataka

Women empowerment in India is still a work in progress. Though the constitution enshrines equal rights to men and women, many issues such as gender discrimination, casteism, illiteracy, class divide, etc. create roadblocks in the process. Though the government is taking steps to end gender discrimination and create opportunities for women, India’s ranking in the Global Gender Gap report commissioned by the World Economic Forum dropped to 112 in 2020, in comparison to 108 in 2018. Women, especially in the rural areas face challenges such as gender stereotypes, familial oppression, and exclusion from economic decision-making.

Youth is the most important section of the population of a country and play a significant role in its potential growth and development. Proper channelling of the energy and passion of the youth of the country can have a positive impact on society and the nation, at large. However, a majority of youth in India face challenges created by unequal access to resources, education, healthcare, training and employment.

To bridge the existing disparities and empower the youth and women in Karnataka, SAP Labs launched Project Code Unnati, in partnership with the UNDP. The project brings together the experiences of the UNDP in youth and empowerment across the globe and the essence of SAP’s CSR strategies to make meaningful contributions to the development of communities.

UNDP leverages its comparative advantage as a facilitator and knowledge leader to support the Government’s initiatives to empower the weak and marginalized communities of the country. The UNDP focuses on achieving inclusive growth by creating scalable development solutions that support the poor to build sustainable livelihoods and reducing gender inequalities by fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship in rural women through training, skill development and continuous mentoring. Project Code Unnati emphasizes the three Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the UNDP (SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG 5 – Gender Equality and SDG 8- Decent Work and Economic Growth) and aligns with SAP’s mission of improving peoples’ lives and helping the world run better.

The project is being implemented in three districts of Karnataka, namely Bengaluru Rural, Dakshina Kannada and Raichur. It aims to reach 20,000 youth and 5000 women across the three districts.

The course curriculum for the 21st-century skills training was developed from scratch and fine-tuned to be delivered through offline and online mediums. The curriculum consists of three categories – learning and innovation, digital literacy, career and life skills. The program is relevant for youth from the 16 to 24 age group and can be integrated into their school and college curriculum. Code Unnati team also held consultations with school and college principals and teachers to create awareness about the framework and get them involved with the project. Registration drives were conducted in over 50 institutions across the 3 districts to enrol students for the skill training and career guidance and counselling sessions.

The team is set to launch the 21st-century skills curriculum in both English and Kannada on the occasion of International Youth Day. The four-volume 600-page Unnati Sakhi certificate course curriculum is translated to Kannada and is ready to be implemented to create community mentors for entrepreneurship promotion in rural women.

The 21st century skills are broken up into multiple easy to understand modules both for the trainer and the trainee. The courses will soon be available for download through Code Unnati App and the Code Unnati Website.