Women breaking barriers in India

“There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women,” said Kofi Annan in 2005. We at UNDP in India are working to improve the lives of 1 million underprivileged women by enabling them to acquire marketable skills, become micro-entrepreneurs and find employment opportunities through Project Disha.

The exciting IWitness trip with co-workers from Germany coincides with International Women’s Day. What better day than this to show the innovative work we do with the support of IKEA Foundation for women in India?

The co-workers from IKEA Germany will be visiting the project sites in Telangana, a state in Southern India famous for sarees and pearls. The visit commencing on 4 March 2019 will witness women being supported with four different interventions of Project Disha. With the support of IKEA Foundation, since 2015, 800,594 women in Delhi NCR, Haryana, Telangana, Karnataka and Maharashtra have been enabled with employable skills.

During their visit, the co-workers will be able to experience how sustainably managed farms are linked to the supply chain of big retailers and see howsarees and textiles are woven by women who are being trained in digital designing, embroidery and natural dyeing methods.

Dandu Bhulaxmi in her half acre tomato farming Thimmapur Village in Telangana. Photo by UNDP.

After all, Telangana is known as ‘the producer of garments of gods’. The women are trying to put an end to unpaid care work by learning new skills and earning an income by working for a few hours every day at Abhihaara, a social enterprise supported by UNDP’s Project Disha. Some have even started their own enterprises.

Women learning embroidery and stitching at a social enterprise in Siddipet Village in Telangana. Photo by UNDP.

The co-workers will also meet young aspiring girls of Indira Priyadarshini Government Degree College who are receiving career guidance and counselling.

Shambu Shobha Bai weaving sarees at Narayantpet Village in Telangana, photo by UNDP

The visit to Telangana will show the great impact that Project Disha is making with support of IKEA Foundation in women’s lives. After all, if you empower a woman, you create a better and brighter future for her children and her family.