Adolescent Girl & Women Empowerment

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MAHILA SAMAKHYA

Objective of the Vertical

Support women and adolescent girls and build a coherent network between themselves for various Women’s causes. Support and work collectively towards their education, capacity building, and livelihood thus creating a more equal environment in society. Overcome the existing roadblocks by creating awareness and motivation. Though National and International initiatives are being formulated, only few women and girls are getting benefitted. The Constitution guarantees free primary schooling to everyone up to 14 years of age. However, studies show that only 39% of the girls attend primary schools. As a result girls get burdened with household work at a very young age.

Even after so many Constitutional legislations and amendments, there is still a large section of women who are uneducated, and married off before the age of 18. In today’s time also, studies show that very few parents invest in a girl child’s education as they find no value in it. As a result of which very few women are actually employed in  well-paying jobs. Statistics say that close to 245 million Indian women lack the basic capability to read and write, which is a large number. Only 13.9% women are employed in the urban sector, and 29% in the domestic and agriculture sector. Here also, majority of women are exploited by men. A lot is yet to be achieved in context of sex ratio as Indian society is still prejudiced against females.

The path towards an overarching gender empowerment is full of impediments. Over the years, one will notice that women have made great strides in many areas with remarkable progress in reducing some gender gaps. However, realities such as 11,332 women and girls getting trafficked every year, and increased practice of dowry, rape and sexual harassment muffles the development that has taken place over these years. Women in India are still fighting against all socialized prejudices and the world is yet to allow and accept the women to be equal participants in the country’s way forward.

Program Details

To achieve a healthy and progressive society, it is important for women to enjoy equal rights. Factors like women’s empowerment, their freedom and independence are essential cornerstones for the holistic development of the entire society. Inspired by these thoughts Jagriti Mahila Samakhya has worked towards mobilizing women. Through focus on education, workshops, training, formation of groups and support systems Mahila Samkhya has been working relentlessly for women in our community. Through the support of the Parivartan Mahila Samakhya team, today, women in our community are encouraged to voice their opinions and participate equally in decision making. Mahila Samakhya aims to empower women at individual and group levels by actively involving in areas related to Education, Health, Economic Empowerment, Panchayati Raj and Domestic Violence.

Workshops

Mahila Samakhya believes in enhancing the confidence of women and adolescent girls through interactive sessions and workshops. Sahyoginis move from one village to the other, mobilizing women and adolescent girls, creating awareness and organizing meetings to address issues faced by rural women. Naari Jutan is one such annual platform where women gather in large numbers, share their life stories and seek solutions to their problems. Through vibrant dialogues and brainstorming sessions women are encouraged to build a perspective on 5 core areas: Panchayati Raj, Health and Sanitation, Domestic Violence, Education and Economic Empowerment.

Nari Jutan is our regularly held annual programme that celebrates women. Women from different villages congregate at Parivartan and share their views and experiences on various gender issues. They discuss the prejudices and roadblocks and discuss strategies to overcome them. They also share stories of their life journeys.

Kishori Karyshala/Adolescent Girls Workshop Adolescent girls are the future of Jagriti Mahila Samakhya. We are working towards their mobilization and capacity building. In the workshop on early marriage, sanitation and health, adolescent girls learn about personal hygiene and habits.  We also believe women should be aware of their rights and duties that can safeguard and protect them from different atrocities. With this motive, we started a Legal Aid Camp with the help of High Court lawyers from Patna. Women were given the opportunity to learn and share experiences that were addressed on an open forum.

CASE STORY
Kanti Kunwar (husband late Shivnath Ram) of Village Bharauli, runs a family by working in MNREGA. She is the bread winner of her family and takes care of everyone. Her daughter Asha Kumari had successfully passed the matriculation exam and wanted to study further. However due to lack of money, she was reluctant to go ahead. Asha shared her problems with Sahyogini Chanda Devi. She guided them by advising that they should share their problem with the teacher of the school. She also assured them that she will speak to one of the teachers as well. When she went to Mahendra High School, Jiradei and met the head teacher (Mr. Ashok Ojha) and told him the whole thing, the teacher took only 200 rupees for the admission. He even returned 100 rupees for travel fare!