International women's day is just a week away. Countries around the world including India are emphasizing on women empowerment. With initiatives like #metoo and #time'sup, violence and discrimination against women gained attention and helped raise the voice of vulnerable and silent victims around the world.
The Indian government has also recognised women issues and their contribution to the country's economy. Some of the women empowerment initiatives are:
1. Mahila E-haat
It is a direct online marketing platform launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development to support women entrepreneurs, Self Helf Groups (SHGs) and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to showcase products made and services rendered by them. This is a part of the 'Digital India' initiative.
2. Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao
This is a social campaign aimed at eradication of female foeticide and raising awareness on welfare services intended for young Indian girls.
Launched on 22 January 2015, it is a joint initiative run by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Human Resource Development.
3. One Stop Centre Scheme
It was implemented on 1st April 2015 with the 'Nirbhaya' fund. The One Stop Centres are established at various locations in India for providing shelter, police desk, legal, medical and counselling services to victims of violence under one roof integrated with a 24 hour Helpline. The toll free helpline number is 181.
4. Working Women Hostels
The objective of the scheme is to promote availability of safe and conveniently located accommodation for working women, with day care facility for their children, wherever possible, in urban, semi urban, or even rural areas where employment opportunity for women exist.
5. Swadhar Greh
The Swadhar scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2002 for rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances.
The scheme provides shelter, food, clothing and care to the marginalized women/girls who are in need. The beneficiaries include widows deserted by their families and relatives, women prisoners released from jail and without family support, women survivors of natural disasters, women victims of terrorist/extremist violence etc.
The implementing agencies are mainly NGOs.
The Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP) Scheme aims to provide skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies and skill that enable women to become self-employed/ entrepreneurs.
Sectors include Agriculture, Horticulture, Food Processing, Handlooms, Tailoring, Stitching, Embroidery, Zari etc, Handicrafts, Computer & IT enable services along with soft skills and skills for the workplace such as spoken English, Gems & Jewellery, Travel & Tourism, Hospitality, etc.
7. Nari Shakti Puruskars
The Nari Shakti Puruskars are national level awards recognizing the efforts made by women and institutions in rendering distinguished services for the cause of women, especially vulnerable and marginalized women.