can happen across five dimensions - Sociocultural, Economic, Legal, Political and Interpersonal/Psychological. Chaitanya has designed its interventions to spread across these dimensions. There are indicators in each of these dimensions that characterises it, however it also has to be cross referenced across varying levels - individual, household and community. Change happens differently across these three levels and Chaitanya believes that women's collective action is the fastest path to empowerment.
Community based institutions of women promoted at the village, block and state level so that they come together to learn, grow and create opportunities for themselves.
Access to Social Spaces
This indicates the social support system she has. Where she gets information from. Does she have access to media?
Purdah/Ghoonghat is a common practice in villages of India. Does she practice with only elders or everyone?
This indicates how far the woman can travel geographically. Can she can travel unaccompanied, can she ride a cycle or a motor vehicle.
The institution platform is three tier in structure starting from SHGs, and then federating into Village Organisations and then federating into larger block level organisations. Over the last three years, a super federation (MahaSangh) was formed to represent the combined interest of all federation and for sustainability of the federations.
Large block level groups owned and managed by women that allow for an open exchange of ideas, information and experiences. Provides financial services and linkages with outside institutions. Contain around three to six thousand members.
Focused intermediate platform composed of 150-300 members (10-20 SHGs) to address social issues. Leaders often recommend services to federations to those who need additional support.
SELF HELP GROUPS
Basic institution of development (village level) that provides a rudimentary platform for sharing information, financial services, legal advice, and the like. Generally conducted in small groups of 10 to 20 members
ACCESS TO FINANCE
Access to and control over finance is facilitated through the three tier community based institutions. A micro finance programme that covers 21 districts in two states run and governed by the women from the grassroots with technical support from Chaitanya.
Indicates her source of income and freedom of choice of livelihood. Is she allowed to choose her area of work?
Resource Control and Ownership
Indicates her usage and control over her income and assets. Does she have a claim to family property? Who controls her income?
Indicates her interactions with the formal financial system. Does she have a personal bank account? Has she taken a loan?
A network of legal Jankars (community resource persons with legal expertise) and community counselling centres prevent and reduce incidence of domestic violence and increase awareness on women's rights and support systems providing social security leading to increased voicing by women.
Access to Rights and Entitlements
Indicates awareness of and accessibility to the rights and entitlements provided by the government.
Domestic Support for Exercising Rights
Acceptance and support of her immediate family and household members in her rights. For e.g.. right to property.
Indicates support from the local enforcement including police, panchayats, school and hospital authorities.
Counselling centers run by Chaitanya have created a forum that demands the respect and authority of women. In desiring to shift a culture towards greater equality and awareness of rights, best practices are to create an actual example of the power and rights of women. By being an effective and productive structure, the center forces society to adhere to women authority figures. It is an institution that requires society to acknowledge a woman as an equal and capable figure that demands respect.
The women Jankars have become role models for the community in testifying to the capabilities and potential of women. In addition to raising the status of women, the Jankars, being female, have an innate insight into the plight of women.
The Legal Jankar Program’s innovative, culturally specific, women-centered strategies - to address local disputes and violence against women are rooted in the success of village level conflict resolution and the strength and knowledge of local women’s leadership. It contributes to creating a community led action that will restore faith in the legal system. The police and judicial support systems in India also seek active involvement of local community members in facilitating community support initiatives under the programs such as Domestic Violence Act 2005, Criminal Law Act Amendment (2013), Tanta MuktiAbhiyan, among others.
The federations are involved in raising awareness of its members on how to access entitlements especially Aadhaar, PM Awaaz, Janani Suraksha Yojana, etc.
Access to Political System
Indicates her awareness of local governance systems and a means to access it. Does she exercise her right to vote?
Does women represent themselves in the local government bodies? Has she ever been involved in political campaigns?