Renana Jhabvala

Padma Shri and Chancellor, Gandhigram Rural University (2012-17)

Renana Jhabvala is best known for her long association with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), India, and for her writings on issues of women in the informal economy. She is presently the Executive Trustee of Mahila Housing SEWA Trust, Chair of SEWA Grih Rin and  President of SEWA Bharat.


In 1990, she was awarded a Padma Shri from the Government of India for her contributions in the field of social work. In April 2012, she was appointed Chancellor of Gandhigram Rural University (2012-2017) and she was a Member of UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment from 2016-2017.


She is on the board of many Indian and international organisations including Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore;  IRADE, Delhi, HomeNet based in South Asia, and WIEGO based in the UK.