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Organizing & Advocacy2022-02-14T12:09:14+00:00

Organizing and Collectivising Women

SEWA is rooted in its ability to organize and lead large-scale organizing efforts to improve the working, community, and social conditions. SEWA is a member-based organization, meaning its members are at the heart of its direction, focus, and efforts. Since its origin, SEWA has strengthened communities and informal sector working women by uniting and organizing.

By working at a grassroots level across India, SEWA is able to understand and transmit the issues members face across broad audiences, from a local to a national perspective. SEWA’s size, history, and reach allow large and long-lasting change through the organizing efforts. All of SEWA’s programs, from health to microfinance, rely on the strong unity and identity that SEWA develops through the organization.

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Women Impacted

SEWA’s direction and approaches reflect the needs of its communities.

Grassroots organizing approach

All of SEWA’s efforts and programs begin at the grassroots level and rely on organization of its members. SEWA works through local leadership and volunteers to help identify chronic gaps, mobilize communities towards solutions, and SEWA relies on local grassroot leaders and volunteers to help identify and drive SEWA’s efforts. SEWA’s volunteers (SEWA saathis) first mobilize their local communities for regular community meetings called Mohalla Meetings. During these meetings, community leaders (aagewans) spread awareness of SEWA’s resources and missions as well as collect and answer any difficulties or questions that members of the community face.

Leadership building

SEWA strengthens women’s individual and collective capacities through training, 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 promote intra- and inter-institutional sharing between SEWA organizations and other agencies, NGOs, and government departments.

During COVID, most organizing efforts shifted online (instead of coming to a halt). Various types of digital training happened, via different SEWA institutions to equip members with the digital know-how required. Aagewans were given digital training to operate WhatsApp, zoom, and google meets. This digital capacity building for some women- helped them in collectiving, mobilizing and organizing other women.

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