• Government has finalized a proposal to set-up a National Resource Centre for Women which will act as an apex body for promoting and incorporating gender perspectives in policies and programmes of the Government. A pilot project to test the concepts and methodologies underlying the National Resource Centre has been successfully implemented recently.
• India has a rich tradition of selfless voluntary action. While Government’s interventions for women’s empowerment are largely through non-Government Organisations, the initiatives that the latter have themselves developed, are rich are diverse.
These efforts have often demonstrated the success of alternative models in the field of credit for poor women, health awareness generation, literacy, participatory rural appraisal involving women and organizing women’s self-employment groups in traditional and non-traditional sectors of the economy There are over 12,000 organisations at the Block, Districts and State levels. These are actively supported by a vibrant women’s movement.
Strategies during the Nineties
• During the Nineties, the strategy has been to ensure that the benefits of development from different sectors do not bypass women and special programmes with greater gender sensitively are implemented to complement the general development programmes. The flow of benefits to women in the core sectors of education health and employment are being closely monitored as these contribute a great deal towards mainstreaming women into national development. Employment and income generation activities including self-employment with training for up gradation of skills are seen as major interventions.
• The strategy recognizes that Government responses to the problems of women often tend to be sectoral and therefore fragmented. The needs of women, however, are holistic. Therefore, this strategy focuses on an integrated approach for providing basic services. It also accepts women as active participants in the process of development. Such participation requires women to be mobilized into groups at the grass-roots level, so that they can ensure co-ordination of Government programmes and articulate their hopes and aspirations.