Empowering women in rural communities

While discrimination is multifaceted, gender bias is one of its most prominent forms, which sparks inequality and inequity. In India, women, particularly those at the grassroots, get caught in an intersectionality of differences. We are committed to work towards enabling these women to break these shackles.

Foster learning and development

Katha works towards advancing gender equity in urban slums, by increasing the women’s role in community action and decision-making. Irrespective of their age, women join this initiative to get equipped with financial, advocacy, leadership, and community-engagement skills. They attend workshops that help them understand the benefits of education, literacy, gender empowerment, safe water, sanitation, health and hygiene. They are also provided with skills-based, capacity building and entrepreneurship training so they can become financially independent and empowered. This enables them to improve their standard of living.

Some of these skilled women leaders run Community Owned Libraries (commonly called ‘COOLs’), which promote a culture of reading and learning among women and children in the community. COOLs serve as community resource hubs. This level of intervention helps them become accountable leaders for education, future learning and development in the community, and helps boost women’s participation in social, economic, and political decisions.

Drive change in communities

The Karuna Fellowship (a programme of Kaivalya Education Foundation) focusses on developing women from the grassroots into community leaders, through extensive training and community immersive experiences. These women, residing in rural areas, typically have high career aspirations, but do not have many choices or avenues to pursue them.

Through the fellowship, they get to learn key life skills, digital skills, and employability skills – so they can work extensively on community development.

  • Having been trained on negotiation, conflict management and problem-solving skills, they are better equipped to engage with community members, to sensitise them on critical issues such as health education.
  • With better knowledge of technology related skills, they provide services to supplement community teachers on process enhancement and to improve students’ learning outcomes.
  • With professional development training, they pursue their ambitions by taking up jobs or starting a business of their own.
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