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Day 21 – Q 2.Economically empowered women can contribute better to the developmental process. Do you agree? Comment. In this regard, examine the role played by Self Help Groups (SHGs).

2. Economically empowered women can contribute better to the developmental process. Do you agree? Comment. In this regard, examine the role played by Self Help Groups (SHGs). 

आर्थिक रूप से सशक्त महिलाएं विकास प्रक्रिया में बेहतर योगदान दे सकती हैं। क्या आप सहमत हैं? टिप्पणी करें। इस संबंध में, स्वयं सहायता समूहों (एसएचजी) द्वारा निभाई गई भूमिका की जांच करें।


It is said that, ” A woman is a complete circle, she has the power to create, nurture and transform the society”. Any human civilization cannot move towards enlightenment by keeping half of its population in darkness. IMF chief Christine Lagarde had said, “raising women’s participation in the workforce to the level of men can boost Indian economy by 27 per cent.” It is imperative to mainstream women’s participation in the economic development of the country to make the most of the demographic dividend of India.


The process of economically empowering women be carried out by the following ways – 

  1. Increasing Infrastructural facilities and awareness to stop Female Foeticide.
  2. Proper Pre Natal and Post Natal care for women.
  3. Accessible, Affordable, Equitable and Quality Health care and Education facilities throughout their lifetime.
  4. Awareness about menstrual hygiene.
  5. Creating Equal job opportunities at par with men- by compulsory reservation with respect to women recruitment.
  6. Integrating women in the decision making at various levels.
  7. Strict Laws against Sexual Harassment at work and Molestation – Complying by the Vishaka guidelines.
  8. Ensuring Safety in public transport.
  9. Direct Benefit Transfer of Money by the government to the account of the eldest women in the family.
  10. By Gender Based Budgeting

If the above measures are achieved at the policy level – Women can act as Catalysts for the Economic Development of a country in the following ways – 

  1. Change in the patriarchal mindset of the society and women being seen at par with men at various economic levels.
  2. More investment in health and education at the family level- leading to overall wellbeing of the family in general and Children in particular.
  3. Increase in the labor force participation by the women.
  4. Increase in the overall GDP and economic empowerment of the country.
  5. Investment of sanitation measures like building of toilets – which can lead to overall improvement in health care parameters.
  6. Improvement in overall Human Development parameters, reducing the Gender Gap Index.

Various Schemes carried out by the Government in this regard can be mentioned as follows – 

  1. Mahila-e-haat –    for Women Entrepreneurship.
  2. Sukanya Samriddhi yojana – to ensure education of the girl child.
  3. Stand Up India – encouraging women entrepreneurship.
  4. Ujjawala Scheme – against women trafficking, rescue, rehabilitation etc.
  5. Swadhar Greh Scheme –  To cater primary needs of women in distress.

In addition of the above measures, Self Help Groups (SHGs) have been seen to play a pivotal part in the Economic Integration of women into the mainstream and their economic development as follows – 

SHGs—- Empowering— Women 

Impacts of SHGs on Women Economic Empowerment (According to the 2nd ARC) 

  • Collective generation of additional income and act as an conduit for formal banking.
  • Helps in Financial inclusion of families in general and women in particular by providing collateral security to the women, credit to the poor and effective reach.
  • Increase in the average value of assets and price of house.
  • Developing the habit of saving
  • Reduction in Dependency of women on the male member of the family.
  • Creating Leaders among Women and raising their confidence levels.
  • Imbibing the values of Self Help, Democracy, Equality and Solidarity.

       Successful Examples of SHGs empowering Women:

  • Lijjat Papad- successfully transformed lives of several women.
  • SEWA under Ela Bhatt.
  • Kudamshree initiative of Government of Kerala.
  • TANWA ( Tamil Nadu Women in Agriculture) programme of Government of Tamil Nadu.
  • Shramik Bharadi in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Andhra Pradesh Government programme of poverty alleviation by successful integration of women by SHG formation.

However, various issues faced by the SHGs are as follows – 

  • Members are not necessarily the most needy sections of the society.
  • It is mostly based on the primitive skills.
  • Social empowerment is not much qualitative.
  • Male dominance at some stage and women turning to be pseudo leaders.
  • Inadequate skills, especially in the rural areas.
  • The pace of movement being very slow.
  • State wise disparities very high in India, very less representation by Bihar, Jharkhand etc.

Thus, to ensure that the Domino effect of women being economically empowered is very substantial and SHG act as a catalyst effective and serious efforts are necessary on government and people’s part, specifically by ensuring successful participation by SHGs in nation’s development.

Best Answer: Ankita Jeph

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