My experience of working among rural women in Tamilnadu, be it dalit, adivasi or fisher, goes as long as 1981. In all these years, I find that women have allowed me to provide them empowerment education and have successfully emerged from the clutches of the partriarchal dominance, without at the same time, letting the male members realise that it is becoming a threat. I cannot claim that me or my organisation has one hundred percent fool proof methods, as we have seen in some cases, the most progressive men have turned 180 degree and become stumbling blocks. The challenges are actually more from outside the community. Let me explain.The companies that are coming up recently, the new NGO (with or without the support of govt funds) who are thrusting the model of so called self help groups (SHG) which are nothing but groups to seek loans and ensure repayment, are becoming de empowering process. The companies in the name of providing job for women, send vehicles far and wide to fetch them. There is some job, which does not expect rural women to anymore put their hands into the soil. This attracts them. They can now go dressed decently like everyone else and stay so. But the disadvantages are very many. They work in unhealthy conditions and can be thrown out at any time. They do not have right to unionize. And there are very many reported sexual harassments, which they cannot speak of, lest they loose their job. I want my sisters in Puslewire group to help in the following way. Please tell the funding agencies you know and to whom you could talk of, that they shall not support local NGO who promote women's self help group, without really having a component that would ensure women's empowerment process inbuilt. Please tell your friends to ask your governments to be doubly sure of work standards from companies in developing countries whether they have safety and security for the women workers. In other words demand a gender certification to be introduced, as child labour free certification is promoted now. And tell everyone how it is important to support women run organisations where women have a say in the decision making at all levels.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.

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you are very right that funding agencies should not fund without knowing the component but you should be also focusing on your string points. Tha powerful lady and the empowering women like you can not be stopped by these small problems. sooner or later people will realize the right and wrong one-i wish you always a very best for your work and i believe in you.

Dear Nilima, Thanks a lot for the comment and kind words. Actually it is a challege, but not so strong a challege that could stop me from going forward. But the energy it takes is large. You work for ten years to build a women's community to a given level and these guys come in and in the name of credit self help groups damage the fibre. Everybody is after all in need of money and so they are attracted. Then their bondage to them makes them incapable of concentrating on common good and taking up struggles. Take care. More later. Regards, Vasantha

Down here Nilima, it is a thankless job. We do not get any encouragement, as 'social work' is primarily the domain of the politicians in this country and they have spoiled the name. So we are looked at as people who are aspiring to become politicians. Therefore whatever good you do is looked at as if having a selfish motive. Such encouragement comes from friends like you alone. Thank you very much indeed. Warmly, Vasantha

ya in every job there comes the supporters and more than that there comes the obstacles.........you shouldnt worry abt people what they think about-you are walking with the nobel cause and you know what you want to do , you know what you want to see in your community!

you have the power to create change and i am sure there will be many after you:)

hello vasantha

why dont you try changemakers.com , they have competitions that if you win, you will be able to support your advocacies and missions financially,

take care

everly

Solvitur ambulando (it is solved by walking)

Thanks a lot for that suggestion Everly. I will definitely follow it up and see whether I can win competition of changemakers. com. Take care. Yours Sincerely, Vasantha

There are opportunities at the Resource Exchange, just make sure that you check that always and you can send your organization e mail to me and I will forward some websites where you can register for resource announcements. Welldone my dear sister.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria https:

I really appreciate the support you are providing dear Olutosin.

We will have our own website by next week, to go along with the anniversary of the organisation. Do keep in touch. Warmly, Vasantha

Dear, please edit your message now to remove your e mail address. Just click on edit at the bottom of your response and delete the e mail before you re post it again. Loads of love, India is my home, Dooda Gubbi at Bangalore, I still have a kind mother there, she is Mercy Kappen co founder of VISTHAR. wishing you happy anniversary, I will visit India next year and we will discuss over a plate of Chapati and Maaza drink!

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale Founder/Project Coordinator Star of Hope Transformation Centre 512 Road F Close Festac Town Lagos-Nigeria https:

Mercy is a good friend of us and infact she and her husband Vimal are very old friends.Thanks for the anniversary wishes. I am very much looking forward for you visit. Not just chapati. You will come and stay with us and have a proper south indian squire meals. Regards, Vasantha

Hi The work you're doing is admirable, and hope you can find a way to bring more attention to these concerns, and find some grants or funding. I agree women's empowerment is an important component of any self-help effort. I'd like to know more details about the empowerment efforts you are adopting at your organization. Best of luck in reaching your goals. - Jenn

"The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage." -Thucydides, ancient Greek historian & author

Dear Vasantha,

I just had the pleasure of reading your assignment for week 1. It sounds like you are an amazing woman doing amazing things. What I also wanted to hear was how you think web 2.0 could help bring solutions to the global women's empowerment movement?

I encourage you to keep speaking out and helping other women find their voice. Aloha, Beverly

Hello Vasantha! I'm one of the listeners for your Week One assignment too. I enjoyed reading your journal entry and can sense your passion for social change to provide a fair and safe working environment for the women in your community. I was so impressed when I read in your bio that it was your own struggles as a child that inspired you to create a non-profit organization focused on protecting and promoting women’s rights. What an incredible example of your leadership abilities. Your solutions-oriented writing is an expression of your positive vision for the future. However, you didn’t answer the Week One assignment questions about Web 2.0 so please read the remaining assignments carefully and ask for clarification if needed. Your friend, Valerie