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