Empowering women..

Livelihood Promotion Workshop

Venue: Sanjay Nagar (Chitrakoot), Jaipur
Date: November 23-24, 2012

Every woman can play an important role in the development of the family if she is provided with awareness & training and given the necessary freedom.

SETU has been focusing on livelihood generation initiatives for the women dwelling in poor slum areas of the city. Lots of marginalized families stay in `Sanjay Nagar’ Basti (a slum area) with low education levels and low income, insufficient even to fulfill their basic needs. The survey, interviews and networking within the area were designed to measure the women’s quality of life, their expectations of living standards as well as measuring their awareness on fair wages.

SETU team carried out the research in the area for weeks. Since they were administered in the actual homes of the women, it allowed the team see their living conditions as well as create an open dialogue between the women and the team. The results from the survey concluded that the majority of the women did not engage in work outside of the home, even though the household income from the working members was not enough to sustain their family.

It was also found that though these women needed extra earnings, were even capable of doing so (if given opportunities & trainings); they were confined to the boundaries of their homes, limited to the house-keeping & child-care roles only. There was lack of motivation, lack of self-confidence & also restriction in some cases from the male/elder members of their families.

Therefore SETU identified household women of the area for a two-day Livelihood Promotion Workshop. The basic aim was to:

• Attract the women to come out from their homes and participate in group discussions with SETU team members and amongst themselves.
• Build self-confidence
• Provide motivation to work/earn for supporting their family
• Provide training /skill development to the women so as to enable them to earn/start their own business.
• Build them respect within their community
• Collecting & bonding them to develop a Self Help Group (SHG) of women.

After multiple visits, women were invited to attend the training program. The workshop was organized in the slum itself, in the house of one of the families. This two-day program involved teaching women new things of their interests, such as cooking unconventional delicacies and making soft toys, as well as providing them with vocational training for making jewelry for the purpose of income generation.

The first day was spent learning how to prepare the popular palatable Chinese delicacy, Chow Mein, as well as learning the process of baking cakes. Such dishes are quite popular; however most of the women in these areas do not know how to cook these. The women were given hands on opportunities to be part of the cooking process by working together in the preparation of the materials to be cooked.

The second day was dedicated to learning craft & tailoring skills for vocational use. The first half of the day was spent on teaching the women how to make a soft toy monkey. Group of women cut the materials and stitched the pieces together. Upon stuffing, they created a cute monkey.

In the second half of the day women were trained to produce jewelry from recycled Saris. Eventually the production of jewelry can generate an extra income, by working for 2-3 hours a day, remaining at home i.e. without disrupting their routine household duties. This will make the women more confident as well as independent and gain respect from her community.

The workshop was successful in gaining interests of women & showing them that they are capable of providing for their family, if willing!

SETU will soon be providing them with work & market opportunities as means of their livelihood generation.