Womenia – Initiative empowering rural women through self-help groups
Dr. Bhavana Singh
Empowerment of women is crucial for the development of any developing nation. Evidence across nations suggests that the empowerment of rural women can be achieved through the provision of micro-credit to Self-Help Group (SHG) members. A number of research studies show that the empowerment of women can be achieved through Self Help Groups. Rural women are key agents for achieving the transformational economic, environmental and social changes required for sustainable development. The study was based on primary data collected from Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh through interview of SHG member beneficiaries. A total of 100 members from 50 groups of two blocks (25 SHGs from each block) formed the sample size of the study. The study revealed that majority of the respondents belongs to the age group of 25 to 45 and have educational qualification of primary education and most of them are married and major portion of the respondents have 4 to 6 dependents. A number of income generating activities were undertaken by the members after joining SHGs. The result showed positive change in indicators of economic empowerment, viz., income, employment and savings after joining the SHG. Empowering them is key not only to the well-being of individuals, families and rural communities, but also to overall economic productivity. Thus the study concluded that SHGs have been playing a vital role in the empowerment of rural women in the study area.