Women Empowerment

Women Empowerment


Building Alliances for Holistic Interventions and Actions for Women

During the past two decades, staff at LokPanchayat has been continuously witnessing the deplorable plight of ‘Single Women’ abandoned by their husbands and maternal family. A small survey undertaken pointed out to an average of 16 ‘Single Women’ women per village from a sample of 25 villages in Ahmednagar district. These women faced physical and mental harassment at home. With no source of income their dependence on their families made them even more vulnerable.

BAHINA as a project aims to encourage, build confidence and capacities of these ‘Single Women’. It raises their awareness on the need to challenge their oppressors and fight against domestic violence and claim their basic rights to a better life.

The project is supported by Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust and supports ‘Single Women’ to integrate into mainstream social processes.

Approach :

• Facilitation of Self Help Group
The Self Help Group is an entry point activity for women empowerment. And so far more than 300 groups with a membership of 5000 women has been promoted. The cumulative savings amounts Rs.------- and cumulative loans mobilized from nationalize bank is Rs.-------.

• Income Generating Activities
Several small activities have been started by women such as goat rearing, dairy animal rearing, petty shops, vegetable selling, tailoring, food processing, vermi compost production, collection and sale of neem seeds and forest produce.

• Providing temporary shelter to ‘Single Women’
Short Stay Home that provides a temporary home, allowing the ‘Single Women’ to stay in a safe and supportive environment. Till date more than 145 women have been able to seek shelter and learn a livelihood at the Short Stay Home.

• Engage ‘Single Women’ in learning new skills
Skills training is imparted to women as it not only helps the traumatised women to utilize their time effectively by learning a new skill. Simple skills like food processing, tailoring, beauty grooming are provided.

• Provide legal aid and counseling
Legal Support andCounselingthrough‘Samvadini’ centers where legal experts and trained staff provide legal aid and counseling. There are three centres in Sangamner and three centresinAkole block.

• Cadre of Sakhis (close friend) at the village level
Sakhis are women at the village level trained in providing initial and subsequent support to ‘Single Women’ and women facing domestic violence. They are trained in basic aspects of laws for women, issues of domestic violence, legal provisions and other relevant acts.

• Jivahala (compassionate) groups formed of village women
These groups help in settling domestic issues and counseling couples. These women are also sensitized to issues of domestic violence and support to be provided to ‘Single Women’.

• Samvadini Centres is a cluster level legal aid and emergency support centre.
• Counseled and provided legalaide to more than 750 women since the year 2010.
• More than 160 Single Women have availed of the Short Stay Home facility.

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