Empowering rural women through community-based skilling programs

By June 24, 2024 No Comments

In the heart of rural India, where opportunities are scarce and challenges abundant, community-based skill development programs run by not-for-profit organizations are lighting up paths to empowerment for women. The programs are not just about imparting skills; but about customizing interventions to suit the unique needs and aspirations of women in these areas, which in itself may pose a challenge given the diversity of our country.

To my experience, here’s how such programmes are empowering the lives of rural women, and through them as change agents, contributing to the long-term development of communities –

  • Tailored programs:
    One of the key strengths of community-based skill development programs is their ability to customise its elements or interventions to the specific needs of the communities that they serve. In rural India, where societal norms and economic constraints often limit women’s access to education or employment opportunities, these programs bridge the gap by offering training in relevant skills such as handicrafts, food products, agricultural techniques, tailoring, and entrepreneurship.
  • Empowering through education:
    By providing women with access to skill development programs, not-for-profit organizations are not only equipping them with practical skills but also instilling confidence and self-belief. Many of these programs start by incorporating elements of literacy and numeracy say reading and math, thereby empowering women to feel more capable in handling everyday challenges. The confidence ripples out to their families too, as they become more empowered to make wise choices for everyone’s well-being.
  • Promoting entrepreneurship:
    Entrepreneurship holds the promise of economic independence and sustainability. Some of the skill development programs in rural India often include modules on business management and entrepreneurship. By encouraging women to start their own businesses, these programs help communities grow organically and economically from the ground up, which then spreads positive effects to everyone living there.
  • Breaking social norms:
    In a patriarchal society like ours, women often face numerous social barriers that restrict their mobility and autonomy. Community-based skill development programs challenge these norms by creating safe spaces where women can learn, collaborate, thrive and break out of these stereotypical behaviours. Through peer support, exposure to modern world, and mentorship, rural women gain the confidence to assert their rights and challenge traditional gender roles, promoting greater gender equality.
  • Transforming livelihoods:
    The impact of these programs extends beyond individual beneficiaries to entire communities. By equipping women with marketable skills and providing market linkages, not-for-profit organizations are not only enhancing their earning potential but also diversifying local economies. From reviving traditional handicrafts to introducing financial literacy modules, these programs are driving positive change that transcends generations.

In conclusion, community-based skill development programs are harnessing the potential of rural women as catalysts for change, driving a sustainable progress for the entire communities.

We at Srujna, will continue to lead such programs, for they hold the key to a more inclusive and prosperous society for all.

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