Dr. Nandini Azad is a senior women leader in the cooperative movement at the International, Regional and National levels. Dr.Nandini Azad has the distinction in half a century to be worldwide the only Woman Co-operator to be elected to senior leadership of both the oldest and largest International Cooperative Unions/Alliances. Dr. Nandini Azad, president of Working Women's Forum (India)- Indian Cooperative Network for Women. She is currently elected Chairperson of the International Cooperative Alliance - Asia Pacific (ICA-AP) Women's Committee and First Woman Board member in 50 years elected, to the International Raiffeison Union board (IRU) (the oldest cooperative union in the world).An elected President of the Indian Cooperative Network for Women and Working Women's Forum (India) with a membership of over 6,00,000 poor women in the informal sector(H.Q, Chennai). 1.7 million Loans have been provided in 14 Indian locations.
Received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” A documentary was created/screened on Dr. Azad as “the Social Activist of the year” by Global Mega TV network at the 12th edition of Women Achievers Award 2020 (Women’s Day).
The Asia-Pacific International Award, Bangkok from the Global Achievers’ Foundation was awarded to her for her work on “Women’s empowerment and financial inclusion” by the Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand (in absentia) in May 2017.
Dr. Azad received the International Avon Award, for the project ‘Male Youth Forums for Gender Equity’ (Youth Forums) (one amongst 15 countries from all over the world) for the youth project to mainstream gender based violence from the U.S Government, State Department, Washington D.C. (November 2010).
Dr. Azad, was awarded a Certificate for Outstanding Achievement “Jewel of India Award” by the “International Institute of Education and Management (IIEM), New Delhi, on 25th July, 2016
National Mahila Rattan Gold Medal Award, by the Indian Solidarity Council, New Delhi, Certificate for Outstanding Achievements, 25th July, 2016
Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Shakti National Award for the Year-2016 on 20 August, 2016 at Tirupati by the Chief Guest Dr. A. Chakrapani, the then Chairman, AP State Legislative Council for the Academy of Grassroots Studies and Research of India (AGRASRI). They organised the 75th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Shri Rajiv Gandhi alongwith the 16th Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Lecture and Rajiv Gandhi National Awards conferment programme.
Jury member to select 100 women achievers by Ministry of Women and Child Development through a contest alongwith Facebook for the category ‘Commerce, Industry, Entrepreneurship.’ The selected achievers and Jury were hosted by the Hon’ble President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Member of the Selection Committee (for two years) (Ministry of Women & Child) set up to select women achievers for the Nari Shakti Puruskar Award that were awarded on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2017) by the Hon’ble President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan (for two years) (2017, 2018).
Twitter Message from the Minister of Women and Child Development, Madam Maneka Gandhi on her recognition as the 1st Indian and woman in 50 years to be elected to the International Raiffeisen Union.
Commendation letter of Hon’ble P.M. Dr. Manmohan Singh for her Planning Commission work (2005)
Commendation of HRD Minister for her work as Director General, NYKS (1993)
Commendation letters of the Ministers of Women and Child (Govt. of India (1992), foreword to her book “Empowering Women Workers” (1995) on her contribution to women.
She is the Vice President of Asia’s oldest Cultural Sabha (only women) i.e., the 120 years old Parthasarthy Gana Sabha, Chennai HQ;
Some Presentations/ Papers (1981-2019)
She was inaugural speaker at in the “Feminization of Family Farming; Gender Equality Innovations. The Case of the Indian Cooperative Network for Women World Farmers Organization” 2019 General Assembly Luxembourg, May 20, 2019.
Invited and presented a paper on ‘Women in Cooperatives – The Power to Act for a Sustainable Future’ at New Delhi on November 2018. This paper evaluated the role of women’s cooperatives and India’s commitment to women re-affirmed by National/International covenants. The Gender Disaggregated Data – Status of Women, Bottle Neck Challenges, Study Recommendation was highlighted. The significance of women cooperatives banks, progressive levels of equality, forms of women’s empowerment was enlightened in this paper. The successful experiment of women’s cooperative i.e., Indian Cooperative Network for Women was focused.
We Effect (formerly the Swedish Co-operative Centre), Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in April, 2017. Presentation of the Indian Gender and Equity Model.
Presentations at FAO and IFAD in Rome on the Indian Co-operative Network for Women ‘A Gender and Equity Model’ and Youth Forums Against Based Violence in April, 2014.
UNESCAP - High Level policy Dialogue on Regional Cooperation and Inclusive Development in South and South-West Asia, 18-19th October 2012, New Delhi.
Global Micro Credit Summit, Spain in November 2011 – Chairperson at the Plenary Session on women. Paper presented “How Can Microfinance Contribute to Restoring dignity and Transforming Lives in Urban Slums- Learnings from WWF and ICPRD experience”
Asia-Pacific Regional Micro Credit Summit, 2008, Indonesia, Bali, July, 2008. Chairperson at the Plenary Session on women. Paper presented “Engendering Ownership of Financial Services: Learning from WWF and ICPRD experience”.
The “Gender Based Violence Intervention Product” in Microfinance” – paper presented at a special Associated Session at the Asia-Pacific Regional Micro Credit Summit 2008 in Indonesia, Bali in July 2008.
Presented the results of “the Innovative Young Men Combating Gender Based Violence” at the International Foundation for Election Systems Washington D.C (June 2006).
Presented “Status of Women in India”, Current Trends at M.I.T, Boston (July 2006).
Her Research/ Publications/Papers/Studies (1981-2020)
NITI Aayog, Government of India - Invited and presented a “Women in Cooperatives – The Power to Act for a Sustainable Future”, 20th November 2018, New Delhi and a Gender Strategy Paper for Poverty Reduction, May 20th, 2015 to the National Taskforce on Poverty Reduction.
“Innovative Governance Mechanisms for Women’s Safety and Security – Engaging Men and Boys Against Gender Based Violence” – A monograph on engaging men and boys against gender based violence, published and released on 26th July, 2016 at the IIC, New Delhi
“Gender is more than a Statistic” – Status of Women in Co-operatives – A Research Study for the International Co-operative Alliance – Asia-Pacific (ICA-AP), February, 2017
“Towards an Engendered Poverty Paradigm in SAARC” as the concluding chapter in U. Kalpagam, Jaya Arunachalam edited “Rural Women in South Asia” (Monograph) (Rawat Publications, New Delhi), published in (2007).
Outcomes- Outlays a Pioneering study of 65 Ministries in Government of India (unpublished, Program Outcome and Response Monitoring Division, Planning Commission 2005)
Gender Perspectives of State Interventions in India - Presented at the International level workshop on "Family and Gender: Changing patterns of family and gender values in Europe and India", 1 - 4th March, 2000, Neemrana Fort Palace, Rajasthan. Later published in the volume on Gender and Family in India and Germany, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, 2003.
IFAD (published) working paper series “Household Food Security and Gender Series” Food Security, Poverty, and Women: Lessons From Rural Asia, February, 1998.
Gender and Equity, a new Paradigm (Published by the UNESCO journal as a special issue on poverty eradication, 1996),
Empowering Women Workers, a survey of 1200 micro-entrepreneurs in Chennai (17 occupations) (Published by UNICEF) on petty vendors / traders (1985);
‘Sisters of Hope’ a monograph on Cambodian Women Entrepreneurs and their struggles in 2 decades (unpublished, ILO);
Household food security and nutrition in MALDIVES (report submitted to IFAD Rome)
Engendered mobilization, the key to Household Food Security in South Asia for the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD (regional study findings).
Women’s struggle for bettered human settlements (submitted to UNCHS, Nairobi) (1999) (later published in a edited volume).
Rural women’s organizations: improving living and working conditions (of landless women, fisher women and so forth) (for the ILO, Geneva) Published in the volume, Lessons from the field. Successful strategies in the Asia & Pacific. (1984, Geneva).
UNDP/ UNIFEM in India Data Base on Women in Development Overview of Anti- Poverty Programs in Government of India with Special Reference to Women (unpublished).
Indian and Foreign Review: Reaching out to Women Workers through Grassroots Delivery Systems. Vol. 21, No. 22, 15 September, 1984.
Dowry Among the Slum Women of Madras for the Indian Social Institute (New Delhi) Seminar on Dowry (1983).