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From aspiration to empowerment: Impact of women’s collectives

July, 2021

The Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana- National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY NRLM) has adopted a focussed approach towards gender mainstreaming in its programme architecture. This includes establishing institutional mechanisms like Social Action Committees at the village organisation (VO SAC) and cluster federation levels to serve as response mechanisms to various issues that women and girls face, and that continue to act as barriers for them in accessing their rights and entitlements to lead a decent living. These Social Action Committees have shown exemplary leadership in strengthening the gender responsiveness of the programme at the grassroots level, especially during COVID-19.

The compendium on best practices titled, From aspiration to empowerment: Impact of women’s collectives, was launched in the presence of Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Minister of State, Rural Development, officials from the Ministry of Rural Development and all State Governments through an online event, national webinar on sharing of best practices adopted for addressing gender issues by VO SACs held on June 29, 2021. The compendium of case studies from 23 States highlights the processes, mechanisms, strategies and plans for replicating and scaling gender interventions to advance gender equality and end all forms of discrimination against women and girls. This volume contains inspiring stories of VO-SACs in increasing women’s access to rights and entitlements, and other economic issues like addressing wage disparities between men and women in the village through collective action; addressing issues of drudgery; the labour rights of migrants, prevention of child marriage, increasing girls’ retention in schools, preventing child abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, witch hunting, human trafficking, and COVID-related gender issues. Broadly, the case studies highlight how VO-SACs have used multiple strategies including restorative justice, collective action, offering support to women (including psycho-social support) and sometimes even engaging with men to address issues that matter to women.

Resource Type Compendium of best practices

Partner Organisation NRLM, SRLMs, SHGs, COVID-19

Topics Gender, SHGs, access and delivery, women’s collectives

Authors Aasha Ramesh, Kalamani Arumugam, P. Prashanthi, Moumita Sarkar, Kanika Jha Kingra, Gauri Goyal, Seema Bhaskaran