What makes Self Help Groups (SHGs) the most significant player in empowering women especially in the rural areas? Discuss with suitable examples.
Women are considered to be vulnerable sections of the society especially when it comes to rural areas. They suffer from many disadvantages as compared to men in terms of literacy rate, labour participation rates and earnings. Therefore, the major strategies for women empowerment include social empowerment, political empowerment, economic empowerment and gender justice.
It is believed that economic empowerment can be harvested through the concept of Self-Help Groups (SHGs). SHGs are a boon to the rural poor women because it enables them undertake viable economic activities on their own.
SHGs have emerged as a tool which have the capacity to wield power in order to create a socio-economic revolution in the rural areas of our country.
SHGs have enabled to produce tangible assets and improved living condition of members.
SHGs have also been able to change the outlook of the women in the rural areas.
SHGs have been able to disburse microcredit to the rural women for the purpose of making them enterprising and encouraging them to enter into entrepreneurial activities.
The SHGs empower women both socially and economically. They encourage women to participate in the decision making in the household, community local democratic sectors and prepare women to take leadership position.
Some of the SHGs which have played a pertinent role in the empowerment of rural areas are-
- SEWA- Self-employed women’s association
- Aga Khan Rural Support Programme