Academy of Root Development Australia Inc  

Women's Empowerment in Indian Villages

A Programme of Academy of Root Development (Australia) Incorporated

Incorporated Association (NSW) INC9887920, ABN: 18 446 710 511
Endorsement as Deductible Gift Recipient
ACNC Registered Charity Tick


Self Help Group 2

Self Help Groups

Self Help Groups

The Concept of Self Help Groups:
Self Help Groups can be defined as supportive educational and usually change oriented mutual aid groups that address life problems or conditions commonly shared by all members. The purpose may be personal or for societal change or for both.

The empowerment of women is necessary to overcome exploitation and to create confidence for the economic self-reliance of rural poor. Saving and credit activities of Self Help Groups have been identified and adopted as a means to achieve the goal of empowering women, who are mostly invisible in the social structure.

Self Help Groups are designed to respond to the multiple dimensions of poverty, material and non material, in a democratic, peaceful and flexible manner. The poor community, organised around women's groups, can expect to receive the administrative and legal support to which they are entitled, with channels open for redressing grievances at the local level itself.

Role of Groups:
Group formation is seen as crucial to the empowerment process, as women draw strength from members. The group provides (a) confidence and mutual support for women striving for social change, (b) a forum in which women can critically analyze their situation and devise collective strategies to overcome their difficulties, (c) a framework for awareness raising, confidence building, dissemination of information and delivery of services and for developing communal self reliance and collective action, and (d) a vehicle for the promotion of economic activities.

Self Help Groups (SHG's) provide poor women with the space and support necessary to take effective steps towards greater control of their lives in private and in society. The essence of SHG's is that they lay the foundation for self-reliance through building up an institution which has the capacity to continue the development and empowerment process for women into the future.

Savings and credit is an important entry point for the activities of SHG as it requires the active participation and commitment of all members. It provides them with the opportunity to exercise control and participate in decision marking. It also fulfills the short term needs for consumption and emergency purposes and later to the provision of credit for productive purposes and removes them from exploitation from the clutches of money lenders.

The self-help group is seen as a dynamic institution, which builds on the resources and management skills of the members and their increasing confidence to become involved in issues based programmes.

Personal Profiles: Read the personal profiles of SHG members here

Success Stories: Read how Self Help Groups are supporting their members here

Women's Empowerment in Indian Villages

Success Stories
Read about women whose lives have been changed by ARD programmes

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Academy of Root Development is a not-for-profit charitable organisation that aims to bring equity and opportunity to rural villages in Bihar, India