Women empowerment becomes the need of the country when low-paid, devalued work and inhuman working conditions reflect true facets of woman labors. The burden to feed the family, especially woman from unprivileged background migrates along with family for labor jobs like construction, agriculture, caretaker, etc.
The true facets of woman labors in India
Construction involves tremendous manpower and constitutes a major source of employment in India. 50% of the female workforce is employed in this sector.
Women workers in construction, do 17 hours of work in a day that includes 10 km walk and lifting 3000 kg of weight.
Women tend to perform low-end jobs at construction sites including digging, lifting and carrying heavy materials like brick, cement sand, etc. They are absent in skillful works like carpentry, masonry, and plumbing.
In India, Total 1.5 crore female workforces in construction that constitute 50% as per WEIGO.
In Ahmedabad, 75000 female workforces in construction out of which 80% are migrant from states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, M.P, and Chattisgarh.
Restriction to most menial, strenuous and low-end jobs
The work includes low end and less paid jobs include digging lifting and carrying. They are deprived of basic facilities at construction sites like no toilet, drinking water, or cooking.
Their health is at risk as they are forced to work even they are ill. They don’t get time for proper childcare. They feel unsafe at the construction sites.
Azad Empowering Women To Drive For Dignity
These working conditions strenuous increases the rate of harassment and adverse impact on their health. The persistence of gender inequality, women are limited to education as well as a low skilled job.
There’s a need for a way out to give a dignified life to women, especially those from the unprivileged background.
Azad Foundation has shown women that they can break stereotypes and earn a livelihood with dignity. They equip women with knowledge and skills so that they can be socially and economically powered.
Their “Women’s on Wheels” is a successful flagship programme that trains women to become professional drivers and helps them to achieve financial independence. They trained women about self-defense, women’s rights, personal grooming, skilled in driving to make them self sufficient and live with dignity.
Their Sakha Cabs employee these women as a chauffeur. This boosts their morale and drives towards dignity, independent with self-respect. This initiative has enabled more than 1600 underprivileged women to be employed as a chauffeur in the transport industry.
They have successfully provided safe rides to more than a million women. This also includes DTC’s first woman driver, UN’s first woman driver among others.
Let’s Hear The Voice of Change
Lata Rathore do stitching at home before joining Azad women’s on wheel initiative. This give a better future and she learn to say no to domestic violence.
Joytsna Sardar never looked back after joining the Azad foundation. This give her financial independence and learn to respect herself.
Zeenat 22yrs family doesn’t supported by her father, later because of her mother illnesses she started being a chauffeur. Her family supported later when they come yo know about support system like 24hrs helpline, self defence to ensure her safety.
Azad Foundation is a Delhi based charitable trust incorporated in 2008 that skilled women leading to dignified livelihood especially from poor communities.
They empower women to get themselves employed and increase participation in public life.
Initiatives like Women on Wheels and Sakha Cabs definitely helps to fill the gap for gender equality in a long term basis. Women get a new world of opportunities with high-return livelihood and dignified life in society.
*As per Aajeevika Bureau’s Study.
Picture courtesy Azad Foundation.