Women Empowerment Schemes in India – India is a land of customs, tradition and practices which have been developed through centuries to centuries. These customs, tradition and practices become the consciousness of our society. We worship female Goddesses, give importance and respect to our mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, friends,etc. But at the same time, we can’t ignore the patriarchal system of our society and male superiority. In fact, principles of gender equality are enshrined in our Constitution. The Constitution of India not only grants equality to women but also empowers the State to adopt measures of positive discrimination in favour of women.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao
When we talk about the government schemes for the women, the very first scheme which comes to our mind is ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padho’. The scheme ‘ Beti Bachao Beti Padho’ revolves around the notion of female feticides. It is campaign which aims at eradication of female feticides and to make girls socially and financially self-reliant through education.
The movement came into force in 2015. It is a joint initiative run by the ministry of women and child development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of human resource development. The movement also revolves around the actions to bridge the growing gap between the girl and boy infants.
Mahila-E-Haat is a bilingual online marketing platform which helps aspiring women entrepreneurs, self-help group, and NGOs to showcase their products to the world. The platform is open to all Indian women above the age of 18.
It is an initiative by the Ministry of Women and Child Development and was launched in 2016. The platform is very user-friendly and provides an easy sign-in process with convenient payment modes.
Mahila Shakti Kendra
Another important initiative by the government is the Mahila Shakti Kendra. The scheme came into force in 2017 and it aims to empower rural women with opportunities for skill development, employment, digital literacy, health, and nutrition.
Each of the Mahila Shakti Kendra provides an interface to the rural women so that they can approach the government so as to avail their entitlements through training and capacity building. It works at four levels, national, state, district and block levels.
One-Stop Centre Scheme
The next scheme on our list is the One Stop Centre Scheme or popularly known as ‘Sahki’. Sahki came into being in 2015 with the ‘Nirbhaya’ fund. The main aim of Sahki or One Stop Centre Scheme is to provide shelter, police desk, legal, medical and counseling services to the victims of violence. It has been established at locations throughout the country. It has an integrated with a 24-hour helpline. The toll free number to remember is 181.
The last one on our list is STEP or Support to Training and Employment Programme for women. STEP aims at providing skills and competencies to women which will lead to employability. Under the scheme, a particular project is provided for a duration of 5 years, depending upon the nature of it, kinds of activities involved and the number of beneficiaries to be undertaken.
It provides help in sectors including agriculture, horticulture, handicraft, computer handlooms, tailoring, etc. With this, it also provide help and support in skills like spoken English, it and computer, travel and tourism, hospitality, etc.
Nari Shakti Puruskars
The Nari Shakti Puruskars are national level awards recognizing the efforts made by women and institutions in rendering distinguished services for the cause of women, especially vulnerable and marginalized women.
The awards are presented by the President of India every year on 8 March, International Women’s Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.
The Swadhar scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2002 for rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances.
The scheme provides shelter, food, clothing and care to the marginalized women/girls who are in need. The beneficiaries include widows deserted by their families and relatives, women prisoners released from jail and without family support, women survivors of natural disasters, women victims of terrorist/extremist violence etc.
The implementing agencies are mainly NGOs.
Working Women Hostels
The objective of the scheme is to promote the availability of safe and conveniently located accommodation for working women, with daycare facility for their children, wherever possible, in urban, semi-urban, or even rural areas where employment opportunity for women exist.
Further details of the Working Women Hostel Scheme can be accessed on the Department of Women and Child Development’s official website.
Women helpline Scheme
Aim: Scheme for Universalization of Women Helpline is meant to provide 24 hours immediate and emergency response to women affected by violence.
Launched on: 01 April 2015
- To provide toll-free 24-hours telecom service to women affected by violence seeking support and information.
- To help crisis and non-crisis intervention through referral to the appropriate agencies such as police/Hospitals/Ambulance services/District Legal Service Authority (DLSA)/Protection Officer (PO).
- To provide information about the appropriate support services, government schemes available to the woman affected by violence
Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme
Aim: This scheme is for the children of working mothers to take care of the children.
Launched: launched in 2012.
- It was revamped in 2016. T
- The present scheme will provide assistance to NGOs for running crèches.
- To providing a nursery where babies and young children are cared for during the working day. Employment of women has resulted in increased opportunities for their employment and more women are now working within or outside their homes.
- Thus the children of these women, who were earlier getting support from relatives and friends while their mothers were working now in need of day care services which provide quality care and protection for the children.
National Mission for Empowerment of Women (NMEW)
Aim: It is an initiative of the Government of India for empowering women holistically.
Launched: 15 August 2011
To strengthen the conceptual and programmatic basis of women-centric schemes implemented. Training & Capacity Building to enhance and strengthen understanding of gender issues, build a Resource Pool (trainers) at the National and State level to bridge gaps between knowledge and practice will be the other focus area of NMEW
Rastriya Mahila Kosh (RMK)
Aim: To provide micro-credit to poor women for various livelihood support and income generating activities at concessional terms in a client-friendly procedure to bring about their socio-economic development.
Launched: In March 1993
- To demonstrate and replicate participatory approaches in the organization of women’s groups for effective utilization of credit resources leading to self-reliance.
- To promote and support the expansion of entrepreneurship skills among women.
- To do all such lawful acts & things as may be necessary or conducive for furthering the objects of the Kosh.
Nand Ghar Yojana
Aim: To enhance the learning environment through an e-learning module and skill enhancement programme for women.
Launched: 24th June 2015
- To make Anganwadis as a community center for children and mothers.
- To provide solar-power system to make them stand-alone and television for teaching purpose.
- To provide supplementary nutrition to children in the age group of 0-6 years and to pregnant/lactating mothers with main objective to fight the problem of malnutrition.
Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana
Aim: To encourage parents of a girl child order to create a fund for the future education and marriage expenses for their child.
Launched: In January 2015
Objective: To ensure the financial independence of women by encouraging them to invest in a savings scheme that would enable them to fulfil their long-term life goals and dreams like higher education, marriage, etc. and ensure financial stability.
Aim: It aims to provide speedier remedy to women facing sexual harassment at workplace
- To report complaints of Sexual Harassment at Workplace
- For prompt disposal of complaints on SHe-Box, each case goes directly to the central/ state authority concerned having jurisdiction to take action in the matter.