Women’s Education Project Announces Recipients of 8th Annual Red Bangle Award

Women’s Education Project Announces Recipients of 8th Annual Red Bangle Award
Women’s Education Project Announces Recipients of 8th Annual Red Bangle Award

Women’s Education Project Announces Recipients of 8th Annual Red Bangle Award

Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women’s Deputy Executive Director to receive the award at the 8th Annual Forum & Red Bangle Award of WEP

(National): Anita Bhatia, Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women’s Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, UN System Coordination, Sustainability and Partnerships, and Marissa Wesely, the Co-founder of Win-Win Strategies (WWS), will receive the 2021 Red Bangle Award at its 8th annual forum - Zoë Timms, Founder and Executive Director, Women’s Education Project announced today.


The Red Bangle Award, presented annually to a woman (or women) who “by her life and accomplishment demonstrates the indomitable eloquence of the human spirit,” was inaugurated in 2015 to recognize women globally who share WEP’s vision and can inspire its students, young south Indian women, to higher goals.


The Award will be presented at WEP’s 8th Annual Forum where the honorees will engage in a discussion on Leadership in a Time of COVID, sharing their experiences leading global organizations working towards gender equality.  


Speaking on this topic, Ms. Bhatia stated, “The COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis, but a global crisis with a profound impact on our societies and economies. Women were a majority of the front-line responders, health professionals, community volunteers, and scientists who responded to the crisis all over the planet. As we continue to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and build back better, we must ensure that women and girls are at the center of the design and implementation of the solutions for a long-term recovery.“


Ms. Wesely added, “The disproportionate effect that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on women and girls has shown a spotlight on the critical role that grassroots women's organizations and local women leaders play in building and implementing strategies to address the systemic issues underlying gender inequality in complex local settings and drive transformative change for women and girls in their communities and countries”.


From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ms. Bhatia advocated with International Financial Institutions, Ministers of Finance as well as Ministers of Gender and Development with a view to ensuring a gender lens in response and recovery efforts as part of UN Women’s approach to highlight the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women and girls. In this context, UN Women developed a series of policy briefs on areas affected by the COVID-19 pandemic: economic fallout, the care economy, violence against women and girls, women’s leadership, and humanitarian response; produced rapid gender assessment surveys with national and United Nations partners on the impacts of COVID-19 in countries across the world confirming that the COVID-19 pandemic was exacerbating pre-existing gender inequalities and deepening gender-based discrimination and vulnerability; and established a COVID-19 and gender monitor on the UN Women data hub, and, with the United Nations Development Programme, a COVID-19 Global Gender Response Tracker. UN Women produced fact sheets with country examples, best practices, and gaps in the COVID-19 policy response and a framework for the UN Women response from the global to local levels: Gender-Responsive Prevention and Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic: from Emergency Response to Recovery and Resilience.


Prior to joining UN Women, Ms. Bhatia had a distinguished career at the World Bank Group and made significant contributions to the evolving discourse on development finance.  Ms. Bhatia holds a BA in History from Calcutta University, a MA in Political Science from Yale University and a JD from Georgetown University.


During the time of COVID, Ms. Wesely has been working, as part of the Win-Win Strategies team, with the UN Foundation’s Universal Access Project, BSR (Business for Social Responsibility) and key corporate partners and investors to build, launch and operationalize the

Resilience Fund for Women in Global Value Chains.  This innovative pooled fund builds on emerging practices in philanthropy to invest in women’s funds and local women-led organizations, adopt democratized and participatory processes, emphasize learning, and shift power from funders to grantees.   Throughout 2021, Ms. Wesely Win-Win Strategies’ work has also involved hosting “virtual salons” to help build more meaningful private sector engagement and more effective cross-sector collaborations as part of the Generation Equality Forum.

Prior to 2014, Ms. Wesely was a partner in the global law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and was regularly recognized as a leading lawyer in banking and finance.  Ms. Wesely is also on the Board of Directors of Women Win Foundation, Root Capital and the Canadian Equality Fund, and was formerly on the Board of the Global Fund for Women.  A graduate of Harvard Law School and Williams College, Ms. Wesely is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a 2014 Fellow at the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative.


The forum will be hosted digitally on November 09, 2021 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM IST. 





Previous recipients of the Red Bangle Award: Elizabeth Howard, WEP President 2014, Kayce Jennings, Girl Rising 2015, Shabana Basij-Rasikh, School of Leadership Afghanistan 2016, Saba Ismail, Aware Girls 2017, Esther Subhashini, WEP-Hyderabad 2018, Anjlee Prakash, Learning Links Foundation 2019, Vandana Goyal, Avanti Fellows & Ramya VenkataRaman, Centa 2020.



Founded in 2020, Women’s Education Project-India is a trust registered in Bangalore for young women to become knowledgeable, confident and responsible leaders. It does this by providing grassroots NGOs its Leadership Academy, a locally-sourced, holistic curriculum for women, ages 15 to 24, to make informed choices for themselves and positive change in their families and communities.  Within a spirited community of peers, they gain knowledge, skills, and a broad understanding of their opportunities. Graduates enter formal sector careers or pursue alternative, entrepreneurial livelihoods of their own choosing.