Organizing and Advocacy

SEWA has long-term experience organizing women in the informal economy and working for their rights and empowerment, taking up issues based on the needs of the women workers. It works closely at the grassroots level and understands the issues from the member’s point of view. Thus, SEWA highlights the true concerns of women workers at the national and policy level.

Achievements:

  • SEWA Delhi: In 2014, The Street Vendors Bill, the first comprehensive national-level legal protection for the livelihoods of street vendors, was pushed through with strong support from SEWA Bharat and partners.
  • SEWA Bhagalpur: 6,000 can access healthcare after activation of 2 village health sub-centers

Grassroots organizing approach

SEWA Bharat’s grassroots workers (SEWA saathis) first reach out to poor women through Mohalla meetings (community meetings) to spread awareness about the SEWA movement’s achievements and ambitions. Saathis identify aagewans (community leaders) to work within their communities. Organizing requires a high level of strategizing, motivation raising and field-level leadership from local teams. SEWA supports women to organize into member-based collectives such as producer groups, cooperatives, trade committees, and producer companies for livelihood support and advocacy, and self help groups and thrift and credit cooperatives for microfinance.

Leadership building

leadership

SEWA strengthens women’s individual and collective capacities through trainings, workshops, exposure visits, seminars, and conferences. Specialized trainings have been developed under each program theme such as technical skill building and microenterprise training under livelihoods; financial literacy within microfinance; and show to apply for government schemes under social security and health. Exposure visits for women workers promotes intra- and inter-institutional sharing between SEWA organizations and other agencies, NGOs, and government departments.

Aagewan development

Aagewans (those who come forward) are SEWA members who exhibit a natural tendency to take on a leadership role in their community. Aagewans are champions of the SEWA philosophy and are the driving force of SEWA’s organizing and advocacy efforts. They occupy a unique position in the organizational structure and form the link between SEWA staff and the membership base. SEWA’s objective is to build capacity in the aagewans to ensure sustainability of its programs.

Advocacy and Legal training

SEWA members participate in advocacy campaigns, and hold demonstrations and rallies to bring their concerns to local and national government and media attention. SEWA Bharat works engages with employers and policy makers’ to further their understanding of women workers’ issues and incorporate their needs into policy.

Legal training activities:

  • Confidence building; awareness on general issues; information on specific laws and procedures – FIRs, domestic violence, dowry prohibition, right to information, property matters
  • Keeping track of government initiatives and bills – providing inputs and recommendations on the same
  • Providing legal information through SEWA Shakti Kendra to ensure easy accessibility of legal knowledge
  • Organizing legal awareness

Advocacy and Legal training

SEWA members participate in advocacy campaigns, and hold demonstrations and rallies to bring their concerns to local and national government and media attention. SEWA Bharat works engages with employers and policy makers’ to further their understanding of women workers’ issues and incorporate their needs into policy.

Legal training activities:

  • Confidence building; awareness on general issues; information on specific laws and procedures – FIRs, domestic violence, dowry prohibition, right to information, property matters
  • Keeping track of government initiatives and bills – providing inputs and recommendations on the same
  • Providing legal information through SEWA Shakti Kendra to ensure easy accessibility of legal knowledge
  • Organizing legal awareness

Meetings

Annual Report

SEWA Bharat Annual Report 2013

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