Women Empowerment

Power of Common Women

Dhulagori Mahila Samity
Empowerment of women that will have lasting impacts must involve consciousness raising before the social construction of gender, which subordinates women in the family, class, caste, religion, or society, can be changed. The economic empowerment approach has relied on improving women's control over economic resources and strengthening women's economic security. The results also suggest that policies to rise women's age at marriage, enhance their educations and open greater employment opportunities will also help to empower them, at least in some respects. Our goal is to cause policy, institutional and individual change that will improve the lives of women and girls everywhere.
India has also ratified various international conventions and human rights instruments committing to secure equal rights of women. The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favor of women. Women's empowerment is an important agenda in the development efforts. There has been significant shift in approach of the district administration towards the development of women, especially the poor & the illiterate. When you train a woman, you help the entire family, the village and the nation.
The current paper focuses on women's empowerment in the domestic sphere—that is, their freedom from control by other family members and ability to effect desired outcomes within the house hold.


Dhulagori Mahila Samity
Empowerment is a multi-faceted, multi-dimensional and multi-layered concept. Women's empowerment is a process in which women gain greater share of control over resources - material, human and intellectual like knowledge, information, ideas and financial resources like money - and access to money and control over decision-making in the home, community, society and nation, and to gain `power'.
According to the Country  Report of Government of India, "Empowerment means moving from a position of enforced powerlessness to one of power".The process by which people, organisations or groups who are powerless a) become aware of the power dynamics at work in their life context, b) develop the skills and capacity for gaining some reasonable control over their lives and c) exercise this control without infringing on the rights of others and d) support the empowerment of others in the community


Dhulagori Mahila Samity
Education to women is the most powerful instrument of changing their position the society. Education also brings about reduction in inequalities and also acts as a means to improve their status within the family. In order to encourage education of women at all levels and to dilute gender bias in the provision and acquaintance of education, schools, colleges and even universities were established exclusively for women in the State. To bring more girl children, especially from marginalized BPL families, into the main stream of education, Government has been providing a package of concessions in the form of free supply of books, uniform, boarding and lodging, clothing for hostilities, mid-day meals, scholarships, free by-cycles and so on. As a result women's literacy rate has grown over the three decades and the growth of female literacy has in fact been higher than that of male literacy rate.


Dhulagori Mahila Samity
Health and well-being
Health and well-being is a concept related to the substantial differences between women and men in their access to sufficient nutrition, healthcare and reproductive facilities, and to issues of fundamental safety and integrity of person. According to the World Health Organization, 585,000 women die every year, over 1,600 every day, from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The complexity of the social and cultural issues, combined with the stigma and fear of disclosure lead to a situation where only a small proportion of the crimes of sexual assault, child abuse, wife battering and gun related violence are ever reported, making accurate data extremely difficult to obtain.


Dhulagori Mahila Samity
Against the background of the patriarchal system of society, the women need special attention to ensure their development and participation in the decision making process at home, in the community and governance.
With the objective of bringing about economic and social development of women and improving their status in the community the programme for Women Development was being implemented by DMS in and around Howrah District.
The various activities planned and carried out are:
  • Formation and Training of Self Help Groups
  • Group Development
  • Capacity Building
  • Income Generation Activities
  • Credit and Savings Mobilisation
  • Establishment of linkages
These activities had made impressive impacts in empowering women and improving their economic and social status in their families and communities.


Dhulagori Mahila Samity
We implemented vocational training & production centre on jute products among the rural women for their skill development and economical sustainability development in remote villages of Howrah district, especially in Dhulagori under West Bengal state of India.
Skill development activities are implement through society’s vocational training cum production centre in the special schools. The condense course for rural poor women include based skill development and job oriented training are given to the beneficiaries as per their aptitude through this skill development activities. The target group became self sufficient within stipulated period under the effective training and also earn fair income by skill development in various trade and traits under the Howr District of West Bengal State of India.


Dhulagori Mahila Samity
* SHG(Self Help Group) :
The Self Help Groups (SHGs) Guiding Principle stresses on organizing the rural poor into small groups through a process of social mobilization, training and providing bank credit and government subsidy. The SHGs are to be drawn from the BPL list approved by the Gram Sabha wherein about ten persons are selected, one each from a family and focus on the skill development training based on the local requirement. The SHG movement has gathered pace in countryside and is directly or indirectly contributing towards the economic development of rural areas. This article throws light on forming self help groups in rural areas as well as its effect on the rural economy. The objective of Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) is to bring the assisted poor families; that is; the beneficiaries or Swarozgaris; above the poverty line by ensuring appreciable increase in income over a period of time. This objective is to be achieved by organizing the rural poor into SHGs through a process of social mobilization, their training and capacity building along with the provision of income-generating assets through a mix of bank credit and government subsidy. The main objective of SHG concept is to improve the economic development of women and create facilitating environment for their social transformation in the lift of gender discrimination in work and the household.
Code of Conduct & SHG Mechanism : 
SHG is a registered or unregistered group of micro entrepreneurs having homogeneous social and economic background, voluntarily coming together to save small amount regularly, to contribute a common fund and to meet their emergency needs on mutual help basis.
Persons are selected, one each from a BPL family to form a group which is expected to implement following code of conduct like Assigning name to the SHG, Regular meetings in a Democratic way, Open exchange of thoughts in these meetings, Participation in the Decision Making process, Bank Account in the name of the SHG and Selecting a President and Secretary from the SHG.
SHG Mechanism :
The groups’ total fund is to be deposited in the bank account so created. SHGs that are in existence for about six months and have demonstrated the potential of a viable group enters the 3rd stage, wherein it receives a ‘Revolving Fund’ from DRDA and Bank as a cash-credit facility. This money may be utilized for internal lending among the members. If group is found to be regular in its internal lending and successfully utilizes this revolving fund; proposal for bank loan may be forwarded for sanctioning.
SHGs and Rural Development :
In order to change the face of socio-economic scenario, micro enterprises and SHGs are playing significant role in the self-employment by raising the level of income and standard of living rural people. In this framework, one of the most vital aspects of rural self employment is the formation of SHGs which is a valuable investment in human capital through training and capacity building measures. From dairy to mechanised farming, weaving, poultry, food processing units, mushroom cultivation; Rural India has been busy setting up micro-enterprises by forming SHGs. The group members use collective wisdom and peer pressure to ensure appropriate use of fund and its timely repayment. These are informal groups in nature where members come together towards collective action for common cause. The common need is meeting their emergent economic needs without depending on external help. SHG movement is supposed to build economic self reliance of rural poor, overcome misuse and create confidence predominantly among women who are mostly unseen in the social structure.
SHGs : Effects & Outcome
In India, self employment has been recognized as an essential force of development in rural areas. It has emerged as a strategy designed to improve the socio-economic life and mainly focuses on extending the benefits of development to the poorest in the rural areas improving their standard of living and self-realization. SHGs in India are integrating the low income segments with rest of the rural community by ensuring them a better participation in a more equitable share in the benefit of developments. These Groups are not only speeding up economic growth, but also providing jobs and improving the quality of rural life towards self-reliance. Self-employment needs a very wide ranging and comprehensive set of activities, relevant to all aspects of rural economy and covering rural people including skilled, unskilled and landless labours and artisans of Rural India. Even though the Rural Indians put their entrepreneurial skills in all the rural development activities their economic status has not improved to the expected level. Although they have much potential; they are ignorant of converting their skills into reality.
It is very important and vital to address these issues and for this an integrated approach of Government, Banks and NGOs is crucial. The institutional efficiency needs to be increased. Speeding up the delivery process is also very important. Easy access to credit, flexibility in the repayment schedule, conceptualization of new schemes for the poor should be considered. Dhulagori Mahila Samity has a role, too, i.e. equally important as we serve as the most important element to create awareness among the rural poor. We try to give wide publicity to rural banking and its linkage programmes at local level and must enable the underprevileges to participate in the decision making process at the bottom level. These measures can significantly make the Self Help Groups effective and efficient in order to boost the Rural Economy of India.
Like other years to promote Self Help Groups and to motivate them in Micro-credit financial system, we regularly arrange promotional workshop and group meeting followed by a centralized workshop in our area of operation. Resource persons from NABARD. Financial Institutions and Social Workers are regularly invited to deliver their valued opinion in these workshops.
The scattered beneficiaries group particularly women who are always victimized under present socio-economic context needs to be united. SHG formation can increase Poverty alleviation, rising of Socio-economic status, banishing of social taboos self-employment and above all self-reliance and women employment.