Policies and Programmes for Women and Girls
Over the years, states in India have put in place several schemes and programmes that either directly, or indirectly, target women and girls and address a range of outcomes. These outcomes are linked to various critical dimensions needed for advancing gender equality and lead to social, political and economic empowerment of women. Some of the aspects that have been prioritized so far in India for women and girls, include better livelihood and employment opportunities; financial and digital inclusion; improving health and nutrition outcomes by ensuring food security and maternity entitlements; increasing school enrolment and skill building through several vocational training programmes; preventing and ending violence against women and girls; and finally programmes that improve their access to basic amenities like water, sanitation, housing, electricity, clean fuel, and childcare facilities. The union and state governments in India have been working towards ensuring that such policies and programmes are designed using a gender lens and that allocated budgets are outcome-focused. However, for most policies and programmes, there has been an absence of a rigorous, evidence-informed debate on what works for women and girls and is effective in improving key outcomes for them.
While information about policies, schemes and programmes targeting women and girls exists across various government platforms and publicly available repositories, there have been few concerted efforts to synthesize and map them. This has been particularly challenging when it comes to individual states and union territories, where no such focused mapping exists.
The IWWAGE Policies and Programmes for Women and Girls in India series presents a mapping of the policies and programmes that exist at the state level and are targeted at women and girls, and indicate the state’s intention of addressing one or more key outcomes to advance gender equality. Through this series IWWAGE, aims to consolidate the information, and highlight evidence on the effectiveness of policies and programmes meant to do so, but also identify gaps where no such rigorous evidence exists.