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 Plans approach to gender equity is based on the recognition that interventions in favour of women must be multipronged 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. Ore importantly it examines the role of SHGs in women’s development, thereby envisaging a synthesis of formal financial system and informal sector.