According to the Second Annual Employment and Unemployment Survey 2011-12’, conducted by the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, only 17.9 per cent of women in urban areas are in the labour force compared with 73.3 percent of men. While Gujarat has lower unemployment rates than many states, there is a high attrition rate, and most youth drop out of jobs within a month of their working. Those who are self-employed, and from underprivileged backgrounds have inadequate business skills, entrepreneurial training, and finance linkages. The gender norms in Indian society along with the expectations and practices such as child marriage prevent girls and young women from getting education, jobs and mobility.
In a gender benchmarking study (National Assessments and Benchmarking of Gender, Science, Technology and Innovation) carried out in 2012 by Organisation of Women in Science for the Developing World, that assessed the level of support, opportunities and participation of women in science and technology in leading knowledge-based economies, India ranked the lowest largely as a result of women’s low social, economic and educational status and access to resources. Their presence in employment, entrepreneurship and research is lower than men. The results showed that access to education is not a solution in and of itself and special attention must be given to encouraging women and girls in all the STEM fields.
Established in 1998, SAATH works in urban slums of Gujarat. The focus of SAATH’s programs is to improve the overall quality of life for households in slums. Their stakeholders include children in pre-school, youth, women, men, and young persons with disabilities. Amongst youth, they focus on supporting those who have dropped out of school or college, to build their confidence and access to decent livelihoods. SAATH’s experience and expertise is particularly relevant to EMpower because of their focus on exposing girls to non standard livelihoods. Prior to joining Saath, Niraj Jani, the executive director, worked in livelihoods programs in Gujarat Maritime Board, All India Institute of Local Self Government and CEPT Research and Development Unit in Gujarat.
EMpower’s 3rd grant to Saath enables adolescent girls to receive Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) training to continue their secondary school education. It also will help young women receive business skills, technical training and placement support in non-traditional livelihoods.
Primary Location: Gujarat
Funded Since: 2014
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