Why is it important?

Gender inequality has remained a worldwide challenge. The educational and economic participation gaps have persisted. Political reservations have given voice and leadership to women at the grassroot level. Gender norms and stereotypes have significantly constrained women from exercising their own agency.

Women empowerment is important not just because it promotes equity. It is also necessary because empowering women may benefit development.  The multiplier effect of girl’s education on several aspects of development like reduced fertility rates, lower infant and maternal mortality rates is well recognized. Socio-economic empowerment of women would require addressing multiple, and often reinforcing, barriers within family and in several formal and informal institutions.

What are the priority areas for action?

Social organizations can enable and empower women through interventions at various levels:

  • Capacity building: Key women representatives from the community can be trained in terms of access of information or understanding of government schemes, leadership training.
  • Breaking down gender norms: Several discriminatory norms and practices limit women’s autonomy and restrict their social and economic mobility. Breaking these down is critical to increase access to services, improve safety and mobility.
  • Increasing the skill sets: If women are enabled to acquire practical skills, this shall not only lead to a rise in their incomes but shall also improve intra-household decision making responsibility.
  • Staying in Schools: If girls continue to stay in schools, this shall, probably, reduce chances of early marriage and pregnancy and improve health.

How has Parivartan been driving change on the ground?

Mahila Samakhya initiative centers around creating awareness amongst women regarding their rights. Mahila Samhooh meets regularly at village level to inform and sensitize itself on issues comprising five areas- health and sanitation, education, gender violence, economic empowerment and Panchayati Raj. To strengthen further the idea of ‘samooh’, community training programs are regularly conducted where the aspect of mutuality gets highlighted and nurtured. Furthermore, Parivartan is also working with adolescent girls by initiating Kishori Baithaks. These meetings focus on sensitization of the girls on gender discrimination, issues of social justice, awareness of legal rights and attempts to enable the development of their skills and perspectives.

How can you support the cause?

  • Share your own experiences and learnings with children and/or teachers
  • Talk to us to explore opportunities to partner