To awaken and educate rural women to fight for rights, health and development, the Rural Women Empowerment Project-II (RWEP-II) was implemented in five blocks of Chittorgarh district of Rajasthan, through an integrated training programme. First, 45 underdeveloped villages were identified from each block and then these villages were divided into 15 clusters.
From each cluster, two animators (one female and one male) were selected as targeted participants in the project. Furthermore, from each village, ten motivators were selected as targeted beneficiaries of the project. Thus, there were 450 targeted beneficiaries, out of which 225 were women. A training manual, entitled “Sashakt Naree, Sudridha Samaaj” (Empowered Women, Robust Society), was published and widely used for training and awareness generation.
The main objectives of RWEP-II were to:
- Raise the status of women in the male-dominated society;
- Inform and educate women on health-related issues; and
- Fulfil their basic needs and facilitate participation in local self-governance.
The need was to recognise the opportunities and the possibilities for the development of women. The project was able to bring changes in the society’s attitude (particularly of the menfolk) towards women and, at the same time, worked with women on their self-confidence. The target groups in the project were the disadvantaged and weaker women. Their capacity was built and confidence was raised to involve them in local self-governance activities and the village level development work. The project was funded by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, USA.