Mobility restrictions, lack of access to education or job opportunities, and adverse cultural norms are just some of the barriers to employment these women face. As a result, they have little to no financial autonomy or security.
In our Under the Peepal Tree project, SEWA travels to the heart of marginalized communities in Bihar to equip women with the skills they need to work and become financially self-reliant. Under the Peepal Tree includes garment-making, design, nutrition, beauty and wellness courses, and its mobile model brings skill training to women who face cultural and other obstacles that prevent them from traveling to traditional skill training courses.
Even in Bihar's mainstay occupation of agriculture, growth is sluggish and money is rarely transferred to the women who do the bulk of the work. Without the skills to earn through other means, women are more vulnerable to exploitation and have little bargaining power at home or in their communities. This project will give them skills and knowledge and help create a more gender-equal workforce.
Another issue faced by these women: mobility. Most women in these areas lack the freedom of mobility to travel to towns and cities, not to mention these villages are remote and have limited connectivity.
- Jyoti, 25, trainee, Katihar
* For Rs. 1200 ($18), you can support one woman's 3-month-long Skill Development training of a woman in rural Bihar. Post training, SEWA will help her set up her own enterprise or connect her to a market opportunity.
* For an additional Rs. 4000 ($60), you can help her purchase a sewing machine or kit to earn a livelihood within her community.
Our total target is Rs. 1,20,000 ($1806), which will be utilised to train 100 women over one year. We have already raised Rs. 30,000 ($452) for this project that will go towards training-of-trainer expenses, travel costs and set up cost. Any contributions collected above this will be used to create a cash pool for these 100 women, which they can use to buy machines, kits, material etc.
The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) works to empower poor women working in India’s informal economy by equipping them with both the personal confidence and practical tools necessary to fulfill their needs and exercise their rights. A grassroots organization and empowerment movement developed by women, for women, SEWA’s strength lies in its decades-long personal connections to some of India’s most vulnerable communities. Since its start alongside Gandhi’s Textile Labor Association in 1972, SEWA has spread across 14 states. It now includes 1.9 million members, unified across cultural, geographic, and linguistic lines in pursuit of a vision of self-reliance, full employment, and fair treatment.
For more information, please visit sewabharat.org. For any further queries, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By organising poor women and providing training and capacity building of various kinds, SEWA have developed their leadership abilities, their self-confidence, and their life skills.
- John Blaxall, consultant, World Bank