Women Leadership Scheme

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Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women Ministry of Minority Affairs 1 Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women Background 1. The status of women in the country, particularly those from the disadvantaged sections of the society, is unfavorable. A girl child suffers from discrimination even before birth and also after birth in the allocation of household resources such as food, education, access to health care and at puberty, coerced into early marriage. Most women in
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   1 Scheme forLeadership Developmentof Minority WomenMinistry of Minority Affairs   2 Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority WomenBackground 1. The status of women in the country, particularly those from thedisadvantaged sections of the society, is unfavorable. A girl child suffers fromdiscrimination even before birth and also after birth in the allocation ofhousehold resources such as food, education, access to health care and atpuberty, coerced into early marriage. Most women in the rural areas sufferfrom double burden of carrying out less visible work like cooking, fetchingwater, sending children to school, agriculture labour, feeding cattle, milkingcows etc., while the men folk perform visible activities like selling milk andgrains produced by the household.Women in the minority communities farebadly too. They are not just a minority, but the 'marginalised majority' and aresidelined in decision making in the family, and usually cut off from a fullinvolvement in the workings of the society and from an equal share in thes ociety’s rewards. 2. Empowerment of women per se is not only essential for equity, but itconstitutes a critical element in the fight for poverty reduction, economicgrowth and civil society strengthening. Women and children are always theworst sufferers in a poverty stricken family and need support. Empoweringwomen, especially mothers, is even more important as it is in the hearth ofhomes that she nourishes, nurture and moulds the character of her offspring.3. A report of the High Level Committee on the social, economic andeducational status of the Muslim community of India (popularly known as theSachar report) had highlighted the fact that India’s largest minority group, the Muslim numbering 13.83 crore, have been left out of the developmenttrajectory and within this group Muslim women are doubly disadvantaged.With this in mind, the Ministry of Women & Child Development (WCD)formulated a scheme of “Leadership d evelopment for life, livelihood and civicempowerment of minority women ” in 2007-08 for ensuring that the benefits ofgrowth reach the deprived women among the minority communities. Thescheme has now been transferred to the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2009-   3 10. The Ministry of Minority Affairs has suitably recast the scheme andrenamed it as “Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women” .   Target group and distribution of targets 4. The minority communities served by the Ministry of Minority Affairs areMuslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis), which havebeen notified as minority communities under Section 2 (c) of the NationalCommission for Minorities Act, 1992. Eligible women of these minoritycommunities would be the target group. However, to further strengthen themosaic of plurality in the society and bring about solidarity and unity in theirown efforts to improve their lot, the scheme would permit a mix of womenfrom non-minority communities not exceeding 25% of a project proposal.Efforts should be made by the organisation for having a representative mix ofwomen from SC/ST/OBCs, women with disabilities and other communitiesunder 25% group.   Efforts should be made to persuade Elected WomenRepresentatives (EWRs), from any community, under the panchayati rajinstitutions to be included as a trainee.  Objective 5. The objective of the scheme for leadership development of minoritywomen, including their neighbours from other communities living in thevillage/locality, is to empower and instill confidence in women, by providingknowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems,banks, and intermediaries at all levels. The life of majority of women in thetraditional settings is of daily drudgery and their hardship is furthercompounded by non-availability of infrastructure and services relating tocivic/basic amenities and socio-economic conditions. Unless women stand upand fight for their rights, mitigation of their hardship may take time. Thescheme is envisaged to reach out to women through non-governmentalorganizations/organizations/institutions who will be provided with financialsupport for conducting leadership development trainings so that women areempowered and emboldened to move out of the confines of home andcommunity and assume leadership roles and assert their rights, collectively orindividually, in accessing services, facilities, skills, and opportunities besides   4 claiming their due share of development benefits for improving their lives andliving conditions. Leadership 6. Leadership, in the context of this scheme means, empowerment ofwomen from the minority communities   and emboldening them   to move out ofthe confines of their home and community and assume leadership roles andassert their rights, collectively or individually, in accessing services, facilities,skills, and opportunities besides claiming their due share of developmentbenefits of the government for improving their lives and living conditions.  Community based organization/non-governmental organization/organizations/institutions 7. Nurturing/hand holding service envisaged in the scheme of leadershipdevelopment of minority women linked with advocacy is a field intensiveactivity. It requires continuous involvement and availability of facilitators at thedoorsteps of the target group. The personnel of the organisation implementingthe scheme would be required to visit the village/locality periodically forproviding nurturing/handholding service to the group of women impartedleadership training so that they are guided in the use of tools and techniquestaught to them and are able to extract the benefit from their efforts. Such fieldintensive activities are best suited for highly motivated and dedicatedcommunity based organizations. Due to the very nature of women’s household activities requiring them to stay close to their home, it is importantthat the organization implementing this scheme have the experience,personnel and resources to carry out trainings in the village/locality where thewomen reside. The organization should also have prior experience andresources to arrange residential training in recognized Government traininginstitutes for women who fulfill higher educational requirement. It is, therefore,necessary that organizations having the reach, motivation, dedication,manpower and resources to carry out such trainings in the villages/localitiesand also arrange residential training courses in recognized Governmenttraining institutes only are eligible to participate.
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