Empowering Women

Creating a cycle of positivity for women, their families and their communities.

Literacy and Vocational Training Programs

SEEschool provides literacy and vocational training programs to provide economic equality and protection for women.

Many are mothers of the children at the school, and many had to work as children themselves. These women show great courage, in spite of the most challenging conditions — they may live without plumbing and electricity, and lack food and security, yet they walk several miles each day to attend the school.

SEEschool provides microfinancing for 50-100 village women. Women qualify by taking 7 months of literacy classes and training, after which they can apply to become part of the finance groups.

After graduating from our programs, equipped with knowledge, confidence, and business skills, many of these extraordinary women are then able to build new lives for themselves and their families, and even to employ other women as their enterprises grow.

Women’s Exercise and Cultural Programs

SEEschool provides Women’s Exercise and Yoga, as well as regular cultural programs to help build community and networking opportunities for women who are often increasingly vulnerable due to their isolation in a culture that encourages women to stay home and avoid physical exertion.

The importance of empowering women according to UN India

(http://in.one.un.org/unibf/gender-equality/):

The Challenge
TheWomen in India represent 29 percent of India’s labour force, down from 35 percent in 2004. More than half of the work done by women in India is unpaid, and almost all of it is informal and unprotected. Women are not well represented in most sectors, including business leaders. Though they comprise almost 40 percent of agricultural labour, they control only 9 percent of land in India. Women are also shut out of the formal financial system. Nearly half of India’s women do not have a bank or savings accounts for their own use, and 60 percent of women have no valuable assets to their name. It is unsurprising then that at 17 percent, India has a lower share of women’s contribution to the GDP than the global average of 37 percent. In addition, women face great physical insecurity. The rate of crimes against women in India stands at 53.9 percent in India. In Delhi, the capital city, 92 percent of women reported having experienced sexual or physical violence in public spaces.

The Opportunity
The economic impact of achieving gender equality in India is estimated to be US$700 billion of added GDP by 2025. The IMF estimates that equal participation of women in the workforce will increase India’s GDP by 27 percent. More than half of India’s women don’t have cellphones, and 80 percent don’t use them to connect them to the internet. If as many women as men had phones, it could create US$17 billion in revenue for phone companies in the next 5 years. Globally, women make or influence 80 percent of buying decisions and control US$20 trillion in spending. There are also social benefits to empowering women. Women spend 90 percent of their income on their families, and economically empowered women boost demand, have healthier and better-educated children, and raise human development levels. One in three private sector leaders reported that profits increased as a result of efforts to empower women in emerging markets.

Women’s economic empowerment is central to realizing women’s rights and gender equality. Women’s economic empowerment includes women’s ability to participate equally in existing markets; their access to and control over productive resources, access to decent work, control over their own time, lives and bodies; and increased voice, agency and meaningful participation in economic decision-making at all levels from the household to international institutions.

When more women work, economies grow. Women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity, increases economic diversification and income equality in addition to other positive development outcomes.[2] Conversely, it is estimated that gender gaps cost the economy some 15 percent of GDP.[4]

Women’s economic equality is good for business. Companies greatly benefit from increasing employment and leadership opportunities for women, which is shown to increase organizational effectiveness and growth. It is estimated that companies with three or more women in senior management functions score higher in all dimensions of organizational performance.[7]