Women empowerment is one of those significant topics of discussion we keep on hearing. We see government, non-profit organizations, and corporates across the world speaking of gender equality. Schemes are designed to ensure economic prosperity for women and rural women in particular. All these interventions are planned in such a way to raise the status of women by bringing in awareness. Women empowerment programs help women to have an access to opportunities allowing them more freedom to pursue desired goals.
In India most of the NGOs run women empowerment initiatives with financial support from the government and corporates, such initiatives are aimed to improve the socio-economic status and well-being of women in the society. We often come across many success stories of women being converted into successful entrepreneurs.
We at Sam and Jane Foundation (SJF) strongly believe that awareness, education, literacy, and training allow women to make life-determining decisions within their family and community. Women empowerment is one of the areas SJF works on, and SJF executed empowerment training for rural women through “SJF Skill Development Centres” located in Guntur District, Andhra Pradesh.
SJF’s supporting initiatives are driven towards the livelihood and income generation for poor and disadvantaged rural women by upscaling them as breadwinners in their families. SJF skill development center has trained about 500 rural women in embroidery and handcrafts, these small initiatives helped shape the rural women to lead dignified lives in this harsh world and positively respond to the constantly changing challenges. The Foundation has been working with the women in the Tenali region of Guntur District. The Foundation has mobilized to get organized as women groups and empowered them to take up development initiatives by securing business loans from the bank to start their sustainable livelihood options and thereby achieve self-reliance.
Empowering women by raising their socio-economic status can change the society and communities at large, undoubtedly these interventions have provided economic self-reliance for women by safeguarding them against economic vulnerabilities, ensuring the quality of life, improving their negotiation power, and enriching the knowledge & technological advancements.
There are, however, several challenges women face today, which need to be addressed. Hence Government / NGOs need a better understanding of the women empowerment initiatives. Also, the entrepreneurial spirit and skills of women need to be strengthened. NGOs though play a crucial role in the development of rural women, however, they too lack adequate capacities to guide and handhold women in the ever dynamic challenges.
We at Sam and Jane Foundation are thankful to the donors, the contributors, and all those volunteers who have been instrumental in sharing and exchanging practical field experiences.
Sam and Jane Foundation
Undoubtedly COVID-19 pandemic has pushed society into darkness and disrupted all walks of life, the disruption of the dreaded novel virus continues unabated in most of the Nations. Lockdown has pushed down the economies badly and the long-term implications of the same are still not clear, fortunately, many of us have managed to ride the waves of resilience and adaptability, but the miseries of migrant laborers, daily wage workers, waste pickers, pushcart vendors, single mothers are beyond one’s imagination. Their lives have come to a halt, many of the migrant workers succumbed to coronavirus and became jobless and homeless during this unprecedented challenging period.
Around the world NGOs, charities, government and private institutions worked towards this cause at their best. They worked around the clock to provide essentials that support the life of these vulnerable communities.
Until a burst of the dreaded virus, most of the NGOs were focusing on the upliftment of educationally and socially backward societies through sustainable livelihood and skill training models, all these sustainable models are tossed with COVID-19 having adversely affected the vulnerable sections of the society. NGOs and other charities took the route to ensure essentials are met for survival, it is glad to see that people who were fortunate enough raised to the occasion and did their part. Many aid organizations raised money for the sake of distributing daily essentials through its network of volunteers and they did it.
We at Sam and Jane Foundation do follow the same pattern as other NGOs and completely occupied ourselves in putting together our funds to help the most vulnerable communities during the difficult phase of life on earth. During this phase, we realized the gravity of the hardship people are facing due to economic deprivation from the loss of income and livelihoods. We are putting our best foot forward to play our part in a much-coordinated way by strengthening our efforts to work together with philanthropists and donors.
Whereas none of us can know what the future holds for us, we can start identifying key questions and possible outcomes, now the question is will this period of disruption lead to fundamental changes in how our society and economy operates? Or will we revert to how things were before as soon as the pandemic ends? We have to wait and see, hoping vulnerable societies emerge strong and more empowered at the end of the COVID crisis.
With Best Wishes
Founder and Chairman
Sam and Jane Foundation