Self Help Groups : Catalyst for Women Empowerment

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Paper Written by

Mr. RAHUL P. MORE

ABSTRACT
Self Help Groups : Catalyst for Women Empowerment
(The Paper to be presented at 60th All India Commerce Conference at Hyderabad from 27th December 2007 to 29th December 2007)

`Self-help' may be defined as a process, group or organization comprising people coming together or sharing an experience or problem, with a view to individual and/ or mutual benefit. As empowerment commonly means `becoming powerful', self-help may thus be viewed as one form of empowerment. Methodology

Secondary data is gathered from organizations facilitating the SHG movement. Reports of NGOs working in rural area with substantial activities of SHGs. Primary data pertains to interviewing NGO office bearers working in Pune district especially for SHGs. The present paper is divided into three parts as follows-

1.Progress of SHGs in Maharashtra
2.SHGs and Empowerment of Women
3.Conclusion.

2. SHGs and Empowerment.

With all SHG and associated activities it is observed as well as revealed by the people interviewed that, SHG activities brings about a change in the social, economical life of the village which directly or indirectly enhances Empowerment of Women. It can be discussed as follows-

1.Household Level
2.Community Level

For both the levels the empowerment is discussed for following parameters- Increase in knowledge and skills
Changing attitudes of men –
Equal opportunities
Active participation in village level forums
Acceptability and recognition
Economic independence.
Reduced exploitation –
Financial security –

Conclusion
People can be empowered not by any external agency or institutions but by themselves through discovering their social and political location in relation to others and through building up capacity to take up challenges and to question all kinds and forms of exclusion and exploitation. This is possible through SHG activities. Women not only find themselves...
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