Women today are facing an economy that is increasingly becoming less labor-intensive and driven more by capital, technology, knowledge, and skill. Due to the discrimination for ages in our society, women lack awareness of their surroundings and find it difficult to portray their true potential, thus developing a feeling of powerlessness. Women face complex ground realities including low levels of literacy; discriminatory social customs and practices; limited hours available for training and work, limited exposure, and unfamiliarity with new technology. In addition, women are more likely to be underemployed, underpaid, or work under temporary contracts. There is often a mismatch between the skills the workers can offer and the skills demanded by employers. Even the government efforts for the skill development of women have not reached a satisfactory level due to many confronting issues and inhibitions. In many cases, skilling does not convert into actual employment in terms of getting a job due to a lack of industry/market linkages and other support.
Economic empowerment of women is a prerequisite for sustainable development and is sustained by gender equality and empowered women. SEWA Bharat’s skill development project has been envisioned to enhance the lives of women, who are at disadvantageous positions, through various livelihood initiatives suited best for them. These initiatives become a part of women’s struggles, equipping them with skills that increase their bargaining power in their families and the community. SEWA Bharat through its experience has observed that the concept of skill development needs to move beyond imparting technical and managerial skills. For holistic development, there must be a focus on personality development, life skills, and the knowledge of the competitive and ever-changing environment. Through economic empowerment, the program tries to bring a positive change in the cultural and social life of women who have been facing historical injustice for ages.. Our skill development training systems have adapted to the pandemic, participated in the recovery, and have developed strategies to continue filling the relevant skill and job gaps in India.