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Women Empowerment through Self-help Groups (SHGs)
By A. Abdul Raheem

First Published : 2011
ISBN : 9788177082876
Pages : 182
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 5 x 9
Price : US$ 29

Advancement and empowerment of women has been a leading objective of state policy ever since the attainment of Independence in 1947. Institutions of different types—Central, State and Local Governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil society and other bodies—are active to ensure gender equality as laid down in the Constitution of India.

The underway Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12) of India recognizes women, for the first time, not just as equal citizens but as agents of economic and social growth. The Plan’s approach to gender equity is based on the recognition that interventions in favour of women must be multi-pronged and that they must be provided with basic entitlements.

Self-help Groups (SHGs) have emerged as an effective instrument to promote entrepreneurship and self-confidence among women, particularly in rural areas. The Self-help Group (SHG)-Bank Linkage Programme, since 1992 has become a well-known tool for bankers, developmental agencies and even for corporate houses.

This book provides a vivid account of the various measures taken by the Government of India for the economic, social and political empowerment of women. More importantly, it examines the role of SHGs in women’s development, thereby envisaging a synthesis of formal financial system and informal sector.

1. Women and Society: An Introduction
1.1 Women and Family
1.2 Gender Equality and Development
1.3 Globalization and Women
2. Economic Empowerment of Women
2.1 Women and the Economy
2.2 Vicious Circle of Poverty and Gender Inequality
2.3 Characteristics of Women’s Work in India
2.4 Strategies for Economic Empowerment of Women
3. Social Empowerment of Women
3.1 Health Needs of Women
3.2 Approach to Women Health
3.3 Education and Training of Women
3.4 Women and Media
4. Political Empowerment of Women
4.1 Representation of Women in Decision-making Bodies
4.2 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments
4.3 Women in Local Governance Structures
4.4 Women in Legislatures, Judiciary and Police
5. National Policy for Empowerment of Women (NPEW), 2001
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Objectives of the Policy
5.3 Various Elements of NPEW
5.4 Operational Strategies of NPEW
6. Institutional Mechanism for Empowerment of Women
6.1 Components of Institutional Mechanism
6.2 Role of Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD)
6.3 Programmes/Schemes of the MWCD
6.4 Compensation to Rape Victims
6.5 Protection from Domestic Violence Act and other Acts of the Ministry
6.6 Autonomous Organisations under MWCD
6.7 Gender Budgeting
7. Self-help Groups (SHGs): Emergence and Multiplication
7.1 Functions and Characteristics of SHGs
7.2 Different Models of SHGs
7.3 SHGs as a Strategy for Women Empowerment
7.4 Emergence of SHGs in India
7.5 Areas of Concern
7.6 Summing Up
8. Self-help Groups and Women
8.1 Women in the Indian Economy
8.2 Role of Self-help Groups in Women Development
8.3 India’s Approach to Micro Finance
8.4 Role of NABARD
8.5 From SHGs to Micro-enterprises
8.6 Microfinance and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)
8.7 Kisan Credit Cards (KCCs)
8.8 RBI’s Internal Group on Rural Credit, 2005
8.9 Select Schemes for Rural Women
8.10 Summing Up
Appendix: Self-help Groups (SHGs): A Case Study of Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu



Dr. A. Abdul Raheem is Assistant Professor and Research Advisor, Post-graduate and Research Department of Economics, The New College (Autonomous), University of Madras, Chennai.

He did his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu. With more than 13 years of teaching experience and 11 years of research experience, Dr. Raheem has contributed numerous research articles in national and international journals of repute including Journal of International Forum of Information and Documentation, Netherlands, and International Journal of Commerce and Business Management. Recently, he completed a research project onWomen SHGs and Their Sustainability” funded by University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi. His areas of research interest include micro finance, rural development and women empowerment.

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