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Women Rights

Women Rights

Our route to women’s empowerment is charted through promotion of Medium Scale Finance Institutions (MSFI), which are actually primary cooperatives and are defined based on certain criteria, such as, coverage of upto 40 villages in a taluka, share capital upto Rs.10,00,000/- and savings & credit to a limit as per the bye-laws which are decided by the promoters.

The first Women’s Saving & Credit Cooperative was started in 1993 for economic and social empowerment of dalit women. During 1993 and 2008, total 10 Taluka Cooperatives are registered and functional; of them, 8 are functioning autonomously since 1st October 2008. On 30th September 2008, these cooperatives were spread over 481 villages of 10 talukas in 4 Districts with a membership of 12,538 women.

These cooperatives have provided an opportunity and space to the marginalized women to exert their leadership potential in influencing decision making in the family, in challenging patriarchal values in the society, political forums and creating new role models within the society. This program has been instrumental to impact the areas like gender discrimination, economic dependence of women and women’s right to property.

The exposure obtained through the activities; has built the capacity of the women and some of them have bought land to construct houses for their families. They have learnt to do business and have started taking decisions in business. Their economically self reliance has increased and they do not have to take money on interest from else where.

Creating Livelihood Options For Women
A dairy unit was started for the girl’s hostel campus of Siddarth Manav Kalyan Trust in Malia in September 2006. This trust is a people’s organization which is promoted by BSC. The dairy unit was started with an aim to financially sustain the operational cost of hostel after a period of time. Seven Milch animals were purchased. The income of the families linked to the livelihood activities has increased. The understanding on Animal Husbandry has increased. They are able to build their assets (in form of cash or cattle).

SANKALI: A unit for embroidered products
Sankali is a group of women artisans (Dalits, Koli and Muslims) from Wagad region of Kachchh District in north Gujarat.

The earthquake ravaged Rapar & Bachchau in 2001; thousands of lives were lost and caused destruction to property and livelihood. BSC started livelihood project for women through embroidery programme to provide supplementary livelihood options. With Kachchh’s elegant tradition of embroidered products, we decided to train women of the marginalized communities for embroidery and to earn livelihood. Traditionally, women of the marginalized communities have never been involved in embroidery but they acquired the necessary skills – embroidery, marketing and sustaining this venture.

We provided technical support, trainings and other needed assistance for the development of this activity and later developed market linkages so that women are able to sell their products, undertake job works and continue dealing with the clientele. Since 2008, the marketing agency is WAMA for embroidered products.

Gender Equality and Women’s Development Agenda across all Programmes
We as an organization has evolved gender policy and it is one of the important components for all our activities.

During annual meeting we review our efforts and examine whether women’s development and empowerment components are taken care of well, in form of participation, decision making, having access and availing benefits of government schemes and programmes, asset ownership and so on. In continuation, annual planning encompasses activities through which gender equality is achieved and women’s empowerment is not undermined.

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