Ahmedabad : Growing from strength to strength, SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Organisation)’ s sister organization Indian Academy of Self Employed Women (IASEW) is emboldened to educate and impart skill training to 10,000 women in a year from 2,000 it trained in a year. At the IASEW conference, trade union groups from all over the world had gathered to share their experiences of working with people in the informal economy.
Namrata Bali, director of IASEW shared that through education and skill training they want to enable 10,000 women to either become leaders in the informal sector or help them join the formal sector in the State, in the next one year. IASEW, better known as SEWA Academy, has already reached out to more than 10,000 women in the past five years and hopes to match that number in the next one year to speed up the rate of working women and improving their quality of life.
Bali said, “We are currently training 2,000 women per year at our Kaushalya Kendras across the State. Looking at the enormity of the issue, we are determined to provide skill training to 10,000 women this year itself.” Speaking on the job opportunities for these women, Bali said, “Thirty per cent of the women go into the retail sector, another 30 per cent are absorbed in other service sectors such as banking as data operators and we convince yet another 30 per cent to complete their schooling or college education for a better future.”
According to Bali, the biggest employer of women in the informal economy is the garment sector and there are currently 30,000 women from SEWA working in the garment industry. Around 40 participants from 16 international delegations belonging to 5 countries – Vietnam, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Germany and India – are participating at the five-day international conference of trade unions at IASEW.
The conference has been held to give a conceptual understanding to members of other countries about how women are trained and made able leaders in their own right, here in India. The salient points of the conference include training and methodology for illiterate women, witnessing the dedication of teachers and their participation, contact with rural areas and poor neighbourhoods and integration of services such as health and finance along with education.
What they learnt
While participating in interactive sessions and going on rural visits, this is the learning delegations from other countries will be taking back home:
Bangladesh:Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) will make efforts by going to the people in rural areas.
Germany:DGB Bildungswerk now has better information on how to integrate part-time workers, migrant labour, contract workers into the system.
Vietnam:Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL) now understands how to organise the 20% informal workers like hawkers, rickshaw drivers and fisherfolk.
Indonesia: Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) has learnt how to encourage women to come out, learn skills and enter the economy
Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.