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Gender & Development

Equity Foundation has long experience of working with women issues. We have addressed issues of domestic violence such as Female feticide, sexual harassment, Dalit atrocities such as marital rape (fear of and control over female sexuality) and cultural sanctions that have traditionally denied women an independent legal and social status. Our intervention design is based on four principles of prevention, protection, early intervention, and ensuring accountability of stakeholders.

Applying innovative approaches to promoting women’s economic empowerment-

Action needs to address the underlying causes that restrict women’s economic opportunities: it is not only a denial of human rights but also bad economics when women do not have an equal chance as men to contribute to growth and development. Our activities focus on three core dimensions of women’s economic empowerment, namely:

1. Economic opportunity (e.g., expanding employment and entrepreneurship, promoting decent and productive work, improving access to finance through MGNREGA in flood affected areas facing large number of male migration);

2. Legal status and rights (e.g., improving women’s property, inheritance and land rights); and

3. Voice, inclusion and participation in economic decision-making (e.g., developing mechanisms to enhance women’s involvement in decision-making bodies).

4. MAJOR GENDER BASED INITIATIVES

COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT & LOCAL GOVERNANCE-
The Equity Foundation firmly believes that community empowerment with rights-based approach leads to sustainable development. Therefore we emphasize to make community rich in information through our collectivization of community and knowledge & capacity building program, so that they could address their social poverty, initiate for their economic enhancement and realize their civic rights with integrated development approach. Our community empowerment program is focused on Dalit and the most backward women.

About the Empowering Rural Women (ERW):

ERW is a unique program in the context of Bihar. The key focus is on the leadership development among the rural women of Dalit and the excluded sections of society that helps them in progressive realization of rights by ensuring entitlements. The program started in December 2011 currently being implemented in 28 Gram Panchayats of Bisfi Block in Madhubani district focussing on 13,000 dalit women from 40 SC dominated villages. The intervention is focussed on the leadership development of women through collectivization and providing a platform in the form of FEDERATION, strengthening women’s informed participation in local governance and ensuring entitlements related to right to work/livelihood and right to food for the most poor. The basic structure in the form of women’s collective namely, Gram Panchayat level Mahila Sangathan will help in layering the intervention with various other programs such as women’s livelihood on the basis of expressed need.

  • The program’s focus is on the following points-
  • Collectivization of women in form of GP level Mahila Sangathan and leadership development among them
  • Collective voices of women in local governance: Active participation of women in Open Gram Sabha meetings for ensuring transparent and participatory development process
  • Realization of wage entitlement under MGNREGA
  • Improving the Public Distribution System- PDS

The focus of activity is:
Leadership Building
Ensuring Entitlements