What is the Full Form of SEWA?

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The Full Form of SEWA is the Self Employed Women’s Association. Founded in the year 1972, by Ela Bhatt it is a culmination of three other popular movements that were the women’s movement, the cooperative movement, and the labor movement. Moreover, it is more than just an association, it is considered an entire movement as it has more than 1.75 million women in its membership spanning 12 states in India. The rural and urban women are self-employed and the organization provides them food, income, and social security like a trade union. Additionally, SEWA has gone on to form social protection organizations that include housing, banking, insurance, childcare, and education. Membership to the association is a yearly fee of Rs. 5. 

Also Read: Women’s Equality Day

What are the Aims and Main Goals of SEWA?

Moreover, the main goals of SEWA are as follows:

  1. Self Reliance- it involves women’s empowerment and the development of groups to make independent decisions.
  2. Full Employment- refers to job opportunities that ensure women’s employment security, financial stability, as well as access to vital aspects of social security which include shelter, healthcare, and childcare. 

The day-to-day practical aims of SEWA are as follows:

  • To empower women who are self-employed.
  • Moreover, to organize initiatives that help marginalized women in all forms. 
  • To build assets for the holistic development of all women.

Also Read: BA in Women Studies 

What are the Key Activities of SEWA?

The key activities of SEWA are:

  • Organizing self-employed women at the grassroots level for collective strength, cooperation, and leadership.
  • Furthermore, establishing unions, cooperatives, producer groups, and networks to empower women.
  • Facilitating access to social security and protection through collaboration with social service organizations.
  • Advocating for improved social protection and labor standards on a macro-level.
  • In addition, to enhance the capacity of self-employed women through formal education and professional training initiatives.

Also Read: Importance of Women’s Education

What are the Innovative Initiatives and Institutions by SEWA?

Since its inception half a century ago, SEWA has gone on to pioneer innovative initiatives and institutions, here are some:

  • SEWA Cooperative Bank grants poor women access to credit was formed in 1974. 
  • SEWA Academy allows members to acquire education and skills
  • SEWA Bharat
  • Additionally, StreetNet and HomeNet, two international networks
  • Lead advocate for government policies- the Unorganised Workers Social Security Act of 2008 and the National Policy for Urban Street Vendors of 2004. 

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