Women Empowerment
Status of women in Indian Society

The ancient Indian civilization women hold a very strong position in the society. The civilization has produced great women ranging from Braham vadinis to states women, from ideal wife to warrior queen. The status of women during the Vedic period was honorable and respectable. Equal social and religious status was allowed to boys and girls in Vedic society. Both boys and girls had equal opportunities for advanced education, in fact, it was necessary for the girls to study Vedas. The husband- wife stood on equal footing in the institution of marriage. There was no tradition of child marriage prevailing in the Vedic society. The choice of girl was considered in the settlement of their marriage. The practices of Svayamvara and Monogamy, and widow remarriage indicate the high status of women in this period. Women had sufficient freedom and were healthy from all perspectives- social, physical and psychological.

List of NGOs working for empowerment of women in India

Bhubaneswar, India
E-mail:   aaina50@hotmail.com
Development of women and children who are distressed, disabled, or trafficked. They have organized several programs like counseling for distressed women through Art therapy, responding to natural disasters in terms of relief and rehabilitation, Community Based Rehabilitation for children and adults with disability, and special schools for children with disability.

Aid India
E-mail:   ttn_aidindia@sancharnet.in
Since 1992, Aid India has expanded to include focus on the welfare of dalit women and widows. Aid India stands for "Empowering the women and disabled people in rural areas where they have no access to economy and education.” It implemented programs for awareness rising, free medical camps, adult literacy for the rural illiterate women, and educational assistance for the poor.

Akshara - A Women's Resource Center
Mumbai, India
E-mail:   aksharacentre@vsnl.com
They work for women in poor or marginalized areas with the necessary information to allow them to assert their rights and realize their full potential. Their mission is to enable women to continue with education, to develop critical thinking skills in regards to gender and development, and to promote self-awareness. Akshara presently works with young women in schools, slums, and institutions through training groups, discussions, and workshops, as well as by issuing scholarships for education.

Source : http://www.jagriti-international.org/organizations.asp?Country=India
Schemes For Women

Rashtriya Mahila Kosh

In India, the formal financial institutions have not been able to reach the poor households, and particularly women, in the unorganized sector. Structural rigidities and overheads lead to high cost of making small loans. Organizational philosophy has not been oriented towards recognizing the poor as credit worthy. The problem has been compounded by low level of influence of the poor, either about their credit worthiness or their demand for savings services. Micro-finance programs have often been implemented by large banks at government behest. Low levels of recovery have been further eroded due to loan waiver programs leading to institutional disenchantment with lending to small borrowers. ll this gave rise to the concept of micro-credit for the poorest segment along with a new set of credit delivery techniques. The most prominent national level micro-finance apex organization providing micro-finance services for women in India is the National Credit Fund for Women or the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK).

Micro-finance, as is being practiced by the National Credit Fund for Women or the Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK), could be defined as a set of services comprising the following activities:

  • Micro-credit in form of Small loans; primarily for income generation activities, but also for consumption and contingency needs and
  • Micro-savings in form of thrift or small savings from borrowers’ own resources

Its loans are available solely and entirely to the poor women as the poor women are the most disadvantaged - they are characterized by lack of education and access to resources, both of which are required to help them work their way out of poverty and for upward economic and social mobility. The problem becomes more acute with their low social status and lack of access to key resources. As women are proved to be better customers than men by managing the resources better, the benefits of the loan are spread wider among the household if loans are routed through women.

Kishori Shakti Yojana
An intervention for adolescent girls (11-18 years) the Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY) was launched in 2000-01 as part of the ICDS scheme. Kishori Shakti Yojana being implemented through Anganwadi Centres in both rural and urban areas. The scheme aims at breaking the intergenerational life-cycle of nutritional and gender disadvantage and providing a supportive environment for self-development.
Kishori Shakti Yojana (KSY) seeks to empower adolescent girls, so as to enable them to take charge of their lives. It is viewed as a holistic initiative for the development of adolescent girls. The program through its interventions aims at bringing about a difference in the lives of the adolescent girls. It seeks to provide them with an opportunity to realize their full potential.

Women Participation in PRI
PRI Support Institutes
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