IKEA - Women's Empowerment in India (UNDP)
Contact name: Kazuhiro Numasawa
The partnership project envisages empowering 50,000 women in 500 villages in three districts the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh- making it a highly intensive undertaking in terms of both funding and coverage.
The project aims to strengthen women’s social, economic and political empowerment by applying an integrated approach. It will demonstrate sustainable models of women’s empowerment by strengthening their technical, institutional, managerial and financial skills so that women are able to play a larger role in the social and economic development in the villages. Simultaneously, it will strengthen women’s participation and leadership in political processes and local decision making bodies.
Overall, the project will linked to UNDP umbrella projects in Uttar Pradesh, namely (a) “State-level Support to Livelihood Promotion Strategies” and (b) “Capacity Development of Elected Representatives for Local Governance”. Learning’s, good practices and empowerment processes emerging from this project are intended to inform new practice and policy dialogue in the domain of women's empowerment.
Description of Services
UNDP provided technical and managerial assistance to Local Non Government Organizations, women's Self Help Groups, Federations, Producer Companies, Rights based Networks etc.
The Project institutionalises modalities of bringing together rights holders (Women) and duty bearers (local self government bodies and government administration) by enhancing means of sharing & cooperation between them. It provides mechanisms of needs redressal by aligning flagship schemes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in favour of rural women.
As a policy dialogue tool, the project does away with proxies of empowerment by engaging in social mobilization and advocacy efforts wherein 50,000 women are expected to define what exactly empowerment means to them - as of now voices of 13,000 women have been captured and are is articulated into a 12 point charter which is discussed in public hearnings and government meetings to enable buy in from government and other key stakeholders and alignment of agendas.
Since the start of the project in 2009, awareness on management of thrift and credit groups has resulted in the revivial of 1011 Self Help Groups (13643 women and consolidated savings worth of INR 2,12,64,284- USD 459,470). Trainings to 2000 women and 200 field staff of implementing organizations on legal rights and political entitlements is resulting in greater access to government services and flagship schemes.
Community awareness on Pre-Election Voter Awareness has reached out to 13,869 women who are being made aware of election related processes and importance of local self government elections and has resulted in inclusion of 3300 new names in voter lists to date. Awareness on financial products and bank services is leading to greater financial inclusion and risk reduction for over 2400 rural women.
Consensus building process at villages on women's empowerment and identity through participatory tools such as Reflect and Role play exercises coupled with capacity development on gender issues provided to over 300 field staff of implementing organizations is leading to acceptance of the 12 point womens empowerment charter across some of the most backward districts of India. Finally women are being trained in business and entreprenuership to diversify their livelihood and augment their skills in the craft, dairy and service sectors - this has resulted in mobilization of two economic federations.
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