Woman empowerment schemes in India

Woman empowerment schemes in India

Constitution of India under Article 15(3), states that it allows positive discrimination in favour of women and children. Nothing in this article...

Constitution of India under Article 15(3), states that it allows positive discrimination in favour of women and children. Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from making any special provision for women and children. Following are the list of Women Empowerment Programmes instigated by the government:

Rashtriya Mahila Kosh

The Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) was set up in 1993 under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, with an aim to fulfill credit needs of poor and women with no financial assistance specifically in the formal sector. The micro finance services under RMK is provided through a client friendly and hassle-free loaning mechanism for livelihood activities , housing needs , family needs etc with a motive to uplift the economic status of poor women. It is also known as National Credit Fund for Women as it provides financial assistance to poor women to meet their needs.

Support to Training and employment Programme for Women (STEP)

STEP was launched by the Government of India in 1969 in the Central Sector called the Short Stay Homes for Women & Girls to protect and rehabilitate those women and girls who are facing social and moral danger due to family problems mental strains, social ostracism, exploitation or other causes. The services extended in these Homes include medical care; case work services; occupational therapy; education- cum- vocational training and recreational facilities.

The need for providing Short Stay Homes for Women and Girls has been due to the changing pattern of life, rapid urbanisation and industrialisation and the resulting migration from rural to urban areas. This effort is made to help the women to rehabilitate themselves within a short period of time. These Short Stay Homes have been established by voluntary organisations.

Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (RGSEAG) – ‘Sabla’

The Sabla scheme was launched in year 2011. It aims at covering all out-of-school Adolescent Girls in the age group of 11 to 18 years who would assemble at the Anganwadi Centre on a fixed day at regular interval. The others, i.e., school-going girls, meet at the AWC at least twice a month, and more frequently (once a week) during vacations/holidays. Here they receive life skills education, nutrition and health education, awareness about socio-legal issues, etc.

This provides an opportunity for mixed group interaction between school-going and out-of-school girls, motivating the latter to also join school and help the school going to receive the life skills. This scheme mainly aims at reducing the dropout rate of Adolescent Girls by increasing their literacy rate and work participation.

Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB)

The Central Social Welfare Board was set up by a Resolution of Government of India dated 12th August, 1953 with the object of promoting social welfare activities and implementing welfare programmes for women, children and the handicapped through voluntary organisations.

The Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY)

IGMSY was introduced in year 2010 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development for pregnant and lactating women, aiming to partly compensate them for wage-loss during childbirth and childcare and also provide conditions for ensuring safe delivery and promote good nutrition and feeding practices for infants and young children.

Swayamsidha scheme

Swayamsidha scheme was launched in the year 2001 dedicated to Women empowerment. It is a Self Help Groups (SHG) based programme with emphasis on convergence activities. The objective is to ensure that SHG members avail the benefit of all schemes and services in an integrated and holistic manner. This scheme is being implemented in 6 Swayamsidha Scheme districts under which 13 blocks have been sanctioned in Haryana State.

1,300 SHGs have been formed under the scheme and all the 1,300 SHGs are doing saving and have accumulated savings to the tune of Rs. 526.48 lakh and all these groups are conducting inter loaning which is to tune of Rs 442.24 lac and all of them have also opened bank accounts out of which, 603 groups have even availed Bank loans.


This is a Central sector scheme for providing holistic and integrated services to women in difficult circumstances such as destitute widows, women prisoners released from jail and without family support, women survivors of natural disasters; trafficked women/girls rescued from brothels or other places or victims of sexual crime, mentally challenged women who are without any support etc. The package of services made available include provision for food, clothing, shelter, health care, counselling and legal support, social and economic rehabilitation through education, awareness generation , skill upgradation.

The scheme is implemented through voluntary organisations including Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Boards, State Women's Development Corporation, urban bodies etc., provided they have the required experience and expertise in the rehabilitation of such women. The scheme also supports a helpline for women in distress, counselling centre, training centre and medical centre. At present, 34 swadhar centres are functioning in the State.

Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA)

Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas (DWCRA) introduced in 1982-83 in a sub-scheme of Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) at district level.

The primary objective of the scheme is to focus attention on the women members of rural families below the poverty line to provide them the opportunities of self-employment on a sustained basis. The programme was initially introduced in 50 selected districts. Later, it was extended to more districts in a phased manner all over the country.

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