Programmes for Women Empowerment
We at WHAD, have discovered that to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals effectively, we must focus on the third MDG, i.e., Gender Equality.
With this focus on Gender Equality, it has been our challenge to empower women to apply their acquired knowledge to their own problems and to the problems in the community at large.
Sharing And Caring Hands (SACH)
SACH is a unique approach with a process of self-management and development for its members. The key elements of SACH includes:
- mapping of existing skills, attitudes, behaviours and practices;
- utilization of existing strengths and identifying gaps; and
- developing customized development programmes based on the gaps
SACH provides a platform where women address not only their financial problems, but also focus on their social issues and political environment, enhancing the personal determination of the women concerned added with mutual support from SACH members and the WHAD staff. SACH works through groups of 10 to 15 women with a common vision and operating framework, following a democratic model -- where they map it, end it and demand change. Today, there are 271 operational SACH groups with 5,420 active members.
SACH Melas enable women to move towards social entrepreneurship in order to eliminate ignorance and poverty. A strong component of education has crept into this programme. The SACH Melas stimulate and facilitate social change. During the last year, 35 Melas were conducted, attended by 1,676 women.
Exposure Visits are planned so that women build on the information shared during the SACH meetings. During the last year, visits to the Police Station and Court were organized, educating the members on lodging and filing of cases, court procedures and a clear understanding of how these institutions functioned and how to approach them in times of need. Five such exposure visits were organized in the year where 140 women participated.
Legal Aid Clinics
Legal Aid Clinics address violence against women ranging from deprivation of education and basic needs to sexual violence. These clinics are conducted every quarter, which promotes respect for women leading to reconstruction of communities.
Pehchan and Swadhaar
Pehchan and Swadhaar are programmes focused on women's economic empowerment through entrepreneurship and smart economics. Swadhaar is home-based entrepreneurship which has enabled 25 new businesses by individual women in the last year. Pehchan enables setting up of business units by groups of women where the economically vulnerable women are allowed to have their children by their sides while the women continue their business-day. 26 such units are functional in 5 areas, of which 6 were opened during the last year.
Basheera / Asha Centres of Hope
WHAD identifies adolescent girls as a rich resource to their communities, who can bring about women empowerment easily. The objectives of the Asha centres (formerly, Basheera) are:
- gender empowerment of adolescent girls;
- improved livelihood activities for the girls;
- prevention of early marriage; and
- mobilization towards socialization.
These centres provide a conducive environment for even the most vulnerable girls. The programmes in these centres are more interdisciplinary, friendlier and incorporate psychological as well as social aspects while promoting gender equality and adolescent rights. These centres ensure sustainability and ownership of interventions through direct participation, enabling girls to exercise their rights to survival and health along with skills training for their economic benefit.
Health Education And Development (HEAD)
Women's physical empowerment is addressed through the HEAD programme. It focuses on preventive, promotive and curative health.
Health Camps and Health Awareness Exhibitions
Health camps and Health awareness exhibitions are also conducted in this programme. Immunization, Ante-natal Care, Pre-natal Care are in focus during these events.
Home visits are made by the Community Organizers of WHAD, who, on an average, visit 150 homes in a week, bringing in at least 10 new members into the WHAD programmes.
Condom Usage Programme (CUP)
The Condom Usage Programme (CUP) is a HEAD initiative especially focused on organized sex workers.
The religious education initiative of WHAD focuses on Women's empowerment in the Muslim context for gender equality, poverty alleviation and democratization. The sessions contribute new knowledge on how to achieve women's empower in the face of disempowering forces old and new. The fallacies are highlighted and women are enabled to validate and strengthen their voices as internal agents of change, challenging the disempowering structures to promote democratization. These sessions also help women weigh their own circumstances, pinpointing ways whereby good governance and appropriate development would support and strengthen them. 1,842 women have been covered under this programme.
Asha Kirana Street Theatre
Entertainment Education is an approach towards sensitizing the general public about various social and economic issues, providing information on relevant solutions and providing access to programmes available for their benefit. The Asha Kirana Street Theatre has demonstrated 17 street plays covering 3,500 individuals. The topics covered during the last year include Family Planning, SRH, Gender Issues, HIV and AIDS, Maternal Mortality and Morbidity. The education added with entertainment creates favourable attitude and behavioural change, also raising good organizational support from the local leaders.