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Ela Bhatt

elabhattHonorary Board Member for Life

A founding member of Women’s World Banking, Ela Bhatt is also the founder of the Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), one of the most successful organizations for the economic empowerment of women in India. She also founded SEWA Cooperative Bank in 1974.

In 1989, she was the first woman appointed to the Planning Commission in India. Prior to this, she was a member of the Indian Parliament. Mrs. Bhatt’s many awards include the Right Livelihood Award and the Ramon Magsasay Award and she was named to the Elders Project by Nelson Mandela in 2007. She has served on the Women’s World Banking Board of Trustees since 1980, and was Chair from 1988 to 1998.

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