Discuss the role of women’s organizations in promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment in the context of poverty alleviation and development.
गरीबी उन्मूलन और विकास के संदर्भ में लैंगिक समानता और महिला सशक्तिकरण को बढ़ावा देने में महिला संगठनों की भूमिका पर चर्चा करें।
Candidates can start the answer with giving basic idea about inequality and then straightway address the question with highlighting how woman organisation worked for woman development and poverty alleviation.
Women constitute almost half of the country’s population, therefore improving their condition in the country can immensely contribute to poverty alleviation. Therefore, role of woman organisation becomes important to fill the gap in such instance.
- Improving Socio Economic situation: The origin of SHGs with SEWA in 1972 came together to find ways to improve woman’s living conditions. It can be defined as self-governed, peer-controlled information group of people with similar socio-economic background and having a desire to collective alleviation of poverty.
- Entrepreneurial culture: SHGs have become a vehicle to lift people from below poverty line, generate awareness about welfare and developmental schemes of government, monitor its implementation etc. For example, Lizzat papad promotes entrepreneurial culture among women.
- Aiming gender parity: Beijing Platform for Action stemming from the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing 1995, the prioritization of women’s leadership was considered vastly important. Two decades later, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underscored the need and urgency to achieve gender parity in leadership through SDG Target 5.5.
- Financial Independence: Gramin Vikas Evam Chetan Sansthan (GVCS) was founded in 1998 in Barmer, Rajasthan. It is committed to empowering women artisans by making handicrafts a viable means of home-based employment for financial independence.
- Health and Awareness: In 2017, a Mumbai-based non-profit organization, ‘SheSays’ led by Trisha Shetty, began a campaign, #LahuKaLagaan, which called to abolish tax on sanitary napkins. As the campaign went viral across the country, other organisations picked up the cause. Eventually, in 2018, the 12 per cent tax on sanitary napkins was scrapped by the government.
- Skills and education: Milaan foundation works for an inclusive and equal world for girls. It strives to achieve this through the empowerment of young girls from marginalised communities with the education, knowledge and skills needed to pursue their dreams.
- Exposure and leadership skills to underprivileged: Ibtada from Rajasthan works closely with government schools to improve the learning levels of underprivileged girls. It also has a programme for young girls to build confidence, provide exposure, awareness, and hone leadership skills.
Acts as pressure groups:
- Sampatlal devi’s started a society called the Gulabi Gang with a group of women from her village to fight various forms of social injustice. This developed into an organized women’s movement with tens of thousands of members spread over several districts in Uttar Pradesh.
- Nirbhaya Vahini helps to mobilize public opinion and launch a sustained campaign for ban on liquor trade, self-defence training for girls, special protection for women security in every district, and Fast-track court and special investigating & prosecuting wing in every district.
Responsibilities of organisation are huge because women’s empowerment plays a catalytic role towards the achievement of transformational economic, political and social changes required for sustainable development.