Women Empowerment

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Women Empowerment

Empowering Women as Key Change Agents

Women bear almost all responsibility for meeting basic needs of the family, yet are systematically denied the resources, information and freedom of action they need to fulfill this responsibility. They are neglected in society, as a result they became illiterate, poor and malnourished.

We at Shakti firmly believe that empowering women is the key to change the gender imbalance and poverty. Wherever we work, our programs aim to support women and build their capacity. Shakti has been organising rural women through a process of motivation, mindset change, leadership development, encouraging, assisting and training the women to stand on their own two feet. We at Shakti work for women’s socio- and economic development.

Economic Empowerment

Shakti has been supporting the formation and strengthening of Self-Help Groups (SHG) since 1998. It has introduced the concept of Group Saving through the SHG model in order to encourage a spirit of self reliance among women. Shakti has organized 5643 women in 419 SHGs covering Ramanaguda, K.Singpur, Kasipur and Lanjigarh Blocks.  A typical SHG comprises 10 to 15 members of the community who agree to deposit monthly savings into a fund, a portion of which can eventually be borrowed to fund Income generation activities.

To support SHGs, Shakti provides basic record keeping and financial training and encourages the group to undertake income-generating activities. When the group gains the ability and confidence required to successfully manage their funds, they are linked to local banks. In this way they are able to access external funds and government loans.

Shakti supports the SHG members to undertake income generating activities, like small business, Forest produce processing, Agricultural produce processing, Poultry, Goatery, Piggery and fishery.

Social Empowerment

Shakti focuses on the social empowerment of women through their leadership development. The SHG programme provides a social space for women to discuss common concerns in addition to wider issues. Additionally, this enables women to develop the confidence they need to speak out even when men are present. In a village council meeting (Palli Sabha & Gram Sabha), this allows women to play a greater role in the decision-making process.

Shakti also focuses on improving the leadership quality of women elected representatives of Local Self Government bodies (Panchyatraj), so that they play a qualitative role in it. We educate them about their powers and responsibilities as Panchayat leaders and build their capacity to create a vision and plan of actions to achieve it. To date Shakti has empowered over 500 elected women representatives to be effective change agents for the development of their village and locality.