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Women Empowerment

The question of Women Empowerment has now become critical to the human rights based approaches to development. The empowerment of women can be seen through three variables that reflects women’s participation in society – political power or decision making, education and health. As is evidenced in the programmes of IISD which being centrally focused on empowerment issues are:

1. Formation of SHGs

   
     
  Training of self-help groups in progress  

IISD has been instrumental in formation of women Self Help Groups in rural area for last 4 years. During this period it has initiated more than 100 SHG’s in various blocks of Barabanki District. Majority of them are bank linked and CCL has been granted to them.

2. Aggarbati and Candle Making

In collaboration with Department for International Development (DFID), IISD established more than 80 SHGs in the Deva Block of Barabanki District. Most of these groups had been linked with banks and majority of them are enjoying the financial benefits through CCL. Majority of these groups are women SHG and they are being provided training in Agarbati & Candle making trade and more than 50 women were trained in Chiken work.

3. Training of New Bee Keepers

During the implementation of DFID programme IISD has promoted around 80 SHGs in the Deva block of Barabanki District. These SHGs are basically women groups and they were provided with many livelihood options. The Bee keeping was one of them and in this trade 50 men and women were provided extensive training so that they could start the practices at their own.

4. Rural Innovative Health Post

IISD has established this post in Hassanganj Block of Unnao District under the Uttar Pradesh Health Systems Development Programme which is being funded by World Bank. The rural post has been established in the month of July 2006 after the baseline survey conducted by the organization in the month of June 06. Under this post all health services related to mother and child care are being provided free of cost and regular OPD is being done to provide free medicines. Now it is very encouraging that after the review of IIM-Lucknow, it has been extended by another 3 years. This indicates the commitment of IISD towards its programmes. It is also very encouraging that the MMR, IMR, immunization, pre and post natal services had been very much improved in the area within the 17 months period.

5. Health Camps

For last 9 years onwards it has organized more than 50 Health camps in various districts both in urban and rural areas. In these camps the medicines were distributed free of cost and women & children were given preference in treatment. Times to time several special camps for aged and disabled children are also being organized in the area of operation.

6. HIV/AIDS

IISD is also working on HIV / AIDS awareness programmes for last 5-6 years with different stakeholders at various levels. For last 3 years IISD is working with MAMTA-Health Institute of Mother and Child Care, New Delhi on Youth issues which include HIV / AIDS, early marriage and early pregnancy, girl education, school detention, youth friendly services, gender and sexuality etc. Under this programme one Youth Resource Centre and Drop-in-Centre has been established at BKT Block of Lucknow District.

7. Women Literacy Programme

IISD in collaboration with Development Alternatives, New Delhi (Supported by DFID, UK) is running an Adult Literacy Centre at Deva Block of Barabanki District in which till date around 170 women were trained and empowered to read and write. These women were asked to devote 2 hours per day for 30 working days i.e. in 60 hours they were made literate. This was the biggest achievement which was also appreciated by the then DM, Barabanki.

8. Formation of Network of SHGs

To bring sustainability among the SHGs established under various programmes, IISD had established one network of all the SHGs “Mahila kta Vikas Manch”. This informal body functions independently under guidance of IISD and had its own officials like Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer etc. to perform day-to-day smooth function. All the existing SHGs are the member of the network and are roped in for sustainability.