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Empowering Rural Women: Igniting Change, Fostering Progress.



  Oct 20, 2023

Rural Women Empowerment



Empowering Rural Women for a More Inclusive Society

Question:

Why is the empowerment of rural women crucial, and what initiatives have been introduced to promote their well-being and equality in society?

Answer:

Rural women play a pivotal role in feeding their families, yet they often lack access to the same nourishment for their personal health and well-being.
This disparity is evident from the fact that a young woman from a remote district in Rajasthan realized the benefits of eating hot food only after attending a nutritional and mental health awareness session.
Data from the National Family Health Survey 4 (2015) indicates that one in four women of reproductive age in rural areas is undernourished, and nearly half of them suffer from anemia.

To address these challenges, various government initiatives such as Poshan 2.0, National Rural Livelihoods Mission, Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana, Stand-Up India Scheme,
and the Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Program have been launched. Furthermore, NITI Aayog's Women Entrepreneurship Platform aims to support and empower rural women entrepreneurs.

Several NGOs, including SEWA, Mann Deshi, Swayam Sikshan Prayog, and Swaraj University, have successfully created role models among rural women entrepreneurs.
Philanthropic organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Tata Trust, NASSCOM Foundation, Piramal Foundation, Edelgive Foundation, and Ola Foundation have worked towards enabling rural women with financial digital literacy, vocational skilling, and livelihood opportunities.

However, the deep-rooted system of patriarchy remains a significant barrier. Few organizations directly address this mindset due to its intricate nature.
It's crucial to invest more in programs that tackle patriarchy directly. Engaging men and boys from all community sections in promoting 'Positive Masculinity' can help combat this issue.
Introducing gender equality and 'Positive Masculinity' in school curriculums and making it a mandatory training aspect for professionals can further help in this endeavor. Lastly, providing rural women with access to digital tools like smartphones, laptops, and the internet can pave the way for a more equal and inclusive India.

SRIRAM’s Classroom Enhancing Rural Women Empowerment!


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