Sukarya’s women economic empowerment programme works with women living in peri-urban slums and villages. By forming SHGs and collectives, they are provided knowledge and skills to save money, access micro credit, engage in income generating activities and become agents of change.
An important learning based on Sukarya’s work in the area of health and reproductive rights in communities of Mewat and Gurugram districts of Haryana, has been to focus more on women’s health. This had to be seen in the larger context of social and economic backwardness of women in traditionally male-dominated societies like Haryana.
Scenario in the project districts
Women empowerment forms a major strategic thrust area in Sukarya’s health efforts. Women living in rural areas of Haryana have little control over their lives or in decision making matters. Dependency on male members limits their own agency within the social and familial setting. It was therefore felt that the impact of any standalone women’s health programme would not be truly empowering, unless it ensured male inclusion.
Dependency on male members of the family was observed in almost every sphere of their lives. In part, women’s low status in the family and lack of decision-making was ascribed to her near total economic and social dependency on men.
Strategy for using SHGs
While strategising on women empowerment to improve women’s health, Sukarya focuses on mobilising women into SHGs and imparting to them training in skill development with an eye on income enhancement. Women are guided on how to save money, access micro credit, engage in economically viable activities and become inspiring leaders in their communities.
This and the other socially significant gains experienced by women members in terms of increased mobility, decision-making and access to resources has helped Sukarya to support an increasing number of women entrepreneurs backed by requisite training, capacity-building and developing of marketing linkages.
According to Meera Satpathy, Chairperson Sukarya
“The economic empowerment of women has been one of our most important goals since our inception. Under Project Saathi, our SHGs and spice and cereal processing units have helped countless women to add to their family income.
Our vision for Sukarya is to make women economically independent and to help them achieve better health, livelihood and quality of life outcomes. The inspiring stories of women who rise against tremendous odds to achieve a life of dignity and respect is our greatest reward. Our gratitude to all donors, sponsors and well-wishers who continue to support us in expanding our reach.”
Key Past Projects
- Spices and Cereals Processing Unit for Livelihood Enhancement
- Strengthening Self Help Groups to Empower Women
- Self Reliance Through Skill Training Programme
- Spices and Cereals Processing for Economic Empowerment
- Spices and Cereals Processing Center for Economic Empowerment
- An Initiative for Women Empowerment Programme for Villages of Haryana by ENACTUS – Project Auric