PRADAN and IWWAGE have partnered for a three-year project (Jun 2019-May 2022) Gender Responsive Organisations for Women (GROW) to develop, pilot and establish women collective-led (Self Help Groups and their Federations) gender transformative approaches in situ; institutionalize learnings within State Rural Livelihoods Mission(s) (SRLMs); and develop gender responsive pedagogy. The project will be piloted in Dumri block of Giridih and Thetaitangar block in Simdega districts of Jharkhand and in each district there will be one block where gender sensitive pedagogy will be demonstrated with the Cluster Level Federations. The district and the blocks will be selected jointly by PRADAN and SRLM, based on the present social mobilisation status and maturity of the collectives.
The main objectives of the project are:
A. To develop a model for “gender responsive women collectives”, thereby advancing women’s social, political and economic empowerment with a gender and rights lens;
B. To institutionalise and further reflect on lessons learnt and new practices emerging in the SRLMs as part of their ongoing engagement with women’s collectives and scaling up these practices through developing the prototype in situ; and
C. To develop gender sensitive curricula and pedagogies (for collectives, NGO and government practitioners and staff) through systematic documentation, critical reflection and research, deriving a set of effective practices for further scaling up of the approach.
The processes of learning about gender equality require a complex and intersectional pedagogy that involves experiential learning, where women reflect over their own life journey, to discover/unpack concepts of patriarchy and gendered socialization. The realisation then leads each woman to internalising the idea of gender equality so she can make changes within herself, her family and subsequently in the larger society. Women’s collectives play a vital role in creating such safe and supportive spaces where women confide and share their own experience and seek support to strengthen their voice and actions.
GROW attempts to contribute to not just addressing women’s practical needs, but also effecting more strategic consequences, such as building critical consciousness about gender inequalities, enhancing collective action and solidarity, and supporting economic mobility through women’s enhanced access to assets, entitlements, rights, and livelihoods. PRADAN will lead a consortium consisting of Jagori, Transform Rural India Foundation (TRIF) and itself, in providing this support to the Jharkhand SRLM.