MMBA is working towards changing social, economical and political status of women in Rajasthan, where status of women is going down tragically. In some part of western Rajasthan cases of killing of infant girls have come up. According to Census 2001 in all the districts of Jodhpur region, the gender ratio is very low, indicating indicating tragically low status of women. The educational level of women is very low and in case of Dalit women it is much lower. Violence against women is very common in the area since time immemorial and it is going up recently. Women have no liberty to take the decisions and no rights over home resources.
MMBA believes that there is strong need to work intensively on women issue to bring about positive social change. Owing to male dominant system and social environment, violence against women sometimes takes the social sanction. Dalit women are in more problem.
In this rather dismal scenario, MMBA has taken several initiatives for empowering women:
Formation and Capacity Building of Women Self Help Groups
With the objective of exploring collective strength, increasing social and economical level and increasing participation in development activities, 360 SHGs with a membership of 3,966 women have been formed. Meetings were organized with these groups every month on specific dates. Women were briefed about the importance of SHGs and savings. Apart of savings village level issues were discussed such as NREGA, mid-day meal, common distribution pattern, women health and girl child education and also tried to draft the strategy towards working collectively on the issues.
Leadership skill development trainings for leaders of formed SHGs have been organised with the objective of social and economical development, development of occupational resources, development of awareness regarding laws, generate organisation strength and access to resources.
Most of the SHGs have been provided training in income generation activities. These include 1,000 artisans of embroidery and applique.
A mechanism is in place for monitoring of SHGs.
Advocacy against Women Exploitation
Family, community and state are responsible for all visible and invisible forms of violence against women such as domestic violence, sexual exploitation, rape, dowry, murder, prostitution or infant girl killing. To eradicate violence against women the government has taken several legal steps, but the suffering of women continues. Many cases of violence against women come to the organisation and attempt is being made to solve them with the support of local organisations.
Advocacy on Food Safety and Right to Work
MMBA is making efforts to enable the deserving people to avail proper benefits of the government schemes such as mid-day meal, anganwadi centers and NREGA. For this fairs and workshops are regularly organised. People are being helped to get their job cards prepared under NREGA and also in actually getting work under the scheme.
MMBA has promoted Marwar Jagrook Manch at district and block level to advocate the problems and issues of women. Active women of village level SHGs and women sarpanches/panches (ward members) are member of this manch. This manch discusses issues related women and holds protests through rallies, dharna, etc., to address the issues. In the recent years, the manch has carried out advocacy on NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), BPL (below poverty line) issues, social security scheme, food security, common education system, violence against women, water supply, etc.
Events like International Womens' Day are celebrated on a massive scale every year to instill solidarity among women and highlight concerns of women on the issues like domestic violence, social exploitation, infant girl killing, etc.
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