IMPORTANT WOMEN EMPOWERMENT SCHEMES BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
UPSC MAINS SOCIOLOGY SYLLABUS
Paper 2 – Section C – Visions of Social Change in India
(vii) Challenges of Social Transformation:
(a) Crisis of development: displacement, environmental problems and sustainability.
(b) Poverty, deprivation and inequalities.
(c) Violence against women.
(d) Caste conflicts.
(e) Ethnic conflicts, communalism, religious revivalism.
(f) Illiteracy and disparities in education.
Mission POSHAN 2.0
It is an umbrella scheme covering the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) (Anganwadi Services, Poshan Abhiyan, Scheme For Adolescent Girls, National Creche Scheme). It was announced in Union Budget 2021-22 by merging supplementary nutrition programmes and the POSHAN Abhiyaan. It was launched to strengthen nutritional content, delivery, outreach and outcome, with renewed focus on developing practices that nurture health, wellness and immunity to disease and malnutrition in the country. Month of September is celebrated as POSHAN Maah since 2018 to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. It includes a month-long activities focussed on antenatal care, optimal breastfeeding, Anaemia, growth monitoring, girls education, diet, right age of marriage, hygiene and sanitation and eating healthy (Food Fortification).
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana is a national initiative run jointly by the Ministry of Women & Child Development (MoWCD), Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and Ministry of Human Resources Development (MoHRD). In 2015, the Indian government introduced the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme to address concerns of gender discrimination and women empowerment in the country. The scheme was launched after the national census results for 2011 revealed detraction in key gender metrics – Child Sex Ratio (CSR) and Sex Ratio at Birth (SRB).
The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Yojana aims to achieve the following goals:
Improve the child sex ratio
Ensure gender equality and women empowerment
Prevent gender-biased, sex selective elimination
Ensure survival and protection of the girl child
Encourage education and participation of the girl child
UJJAWALA : A Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation and Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation
Ujjawala Scheme was launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2007 to put an end to the trafficking of children and women. The primary goal of the Ujjawala Scheme is to prevent, reintegrate, rescue, and repatriate victims trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
The objective of the Ujjawala Scheme are as follows:
To prevent women and children from being trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
Creating awareness through public debate, social mobilization, and involvement of local communities, organizing seminars, and other innovative activities.
Ujjawala Scheme also aims to rescue the victim and find a safe and secure place for them.
To offer basic needs to the victims like shelter, medical aid, legal aid, food, etc.
To facilitate the cross-border victims to their country.
To reintegrate the trafficked victims into their society and mainly families.
To offer rehabilitation services to the victims.
Rashtriya Mahila Kosh
Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK) was established by the Government of India in March, 1993 as an autonomous body under the Ministry of Women & Child Development. It was registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860. It is a national level mechanism to meet the micro credit needs of the poor and asset-less women in the Informal Sector.
SWADHAR Greh (A Scheme for Women in Difficult Circumstances)
The Swadhar Greh Scheme was actualized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It targets the female casualties of troubling conditions who need institutional help for rehabilitation. This Scheme provides them with shelter, food, apparel, medical treatment, and social and financial support. It also envisions that the special needs of these women are properly taken care of and under no circumstances they should be left unattended or abandoned which could lead to their exploitation and desolation.
Mahila Shakti Kendras (MSK)
It was a result of the expansion of the schemes of the Ministry of Women and Child Development under the umbrella scheme “Mission for Protection and Empowerment for Women”. PMMSK Scheme will empower rural women through community participation to create an environment in which they realize their full potential. PMMSKs will be set up across 115 most backward districts of the country in order to reach out to rural women and facilitate health, nutrition, skill development, employment, digital literacy, etc.
One Stop Centre Scheme
One stop centre is a centrally sponsored scheme of Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), for addressing the problem of violence against women. One stop centre, will be established across the country to provide integrated support and assistance under one roof to women affected by violence, both in private and public spaces. Funding: The scheme is funded through Nirbhaya Fund and the central government provides 100% financial assistance to the state governments /Union Territories administrations.
The Government of India had set up a dedicated fund called ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security for women in the country. Department of Economic Affairs under the Ministry of Finance is responsible for the administration of the fund while the Women and Child Development Ministry is the nodal agency for expenditure from the Nirbhaya Fund. Under the Nirbhaya Fund, one of the schemes namely “One Stop Centre (OSC) Scheme” is implemented across the country since 1st April 2015.
Nari Shakti Puraskar
It was instituted the annual Nari Shakti Puraskar in 1999 to recognise outstanding work in the fields of economic and social empowerment of women. Nari Shakti Puraskars shall showcase the Government’s commitment towards women with the aim of strengthening their position in the society. Nari Shakti Puraskar will also provide an opportunity to Young Indians to understand the contribution of women in building of society and the nation.
Mahila E-Haat is an initiative for meeting aspirations and needs of women entrepreneurs. It is an online marketing platform for women, where participants can display their products. It is an initiative for women across the country as a part of ‘Digital India’ and ‘Stand Up India’ initiatives. The platform has been set up by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India under Rashtriya Mahila Kosh (RMK).
This project aims at establishment of more than 16000 self-reliant women SHGs(Self Help Groups) having 15-20 members each & thereby enhance women’s access to and control over resources for betterment of their lives. Also to sensitise and strengthen the institutional capacity of support agencies to pro-actively address women’s need.
Support to training cum employment for women (STEP)
Ministry of Women and child development launched this program in the year 1986, for training and employment for women below poverty line in traditional sectors like agriculture, small animal husbandry, dairying, fisheries etc where women are employed on a large scale. Its basic aim is to upgrade skills of women for self and wage employment
OTHER SCHEMES WHICH ELEVATE THE STATUS OF WOMEN
While the schemes implemented by the Government like Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban & Rural), the National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP), the initiatives like Samagra Shiksha, Scheme of National Overseas Scholarship, Babu Jagjivan Ram Chhatrawas Yojna, Swacch Vidyalaya Mission, etc. ensure that schools are girl-friendly especially for vulnerable sections of society and have adequate facilities in place to fulfil their special requirements.
Further, the National Education Policy (NEP), 2020 prioritises gender equity and envisions ensuring equitable access to quality education to all students, with a special emphasis on Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Groups (SEDGs).
In order to enhance the employability of female workers, the Government is providing training to them through a network of Women Industrial Training Institutes, National Vocational Training Institutes and Regional Vocational Training Institutes. To ensure economic independence of women through skill development and vocational training, the Government has also introduced Skill India Mission.
There are schemes like Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana and Stand Up India, Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), for helping the women to set up their own enterprise. Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY) aims to safeguard the health of women by providing them with clean cooking fuel and also reduce burden on them from drudgery of collecting firewood.
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005 (MGNREGA) mandates that at least one third of the jobs generated under the scheme (MGNREGS) should be given to women.