Participation of CSI in the Sixty-first Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), United Nations, New York, 13-24 March 2017.
The Church of South India received an invitation to be part of the USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) panel in the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW61), that took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 13 to 24 March 2017. This year, the CSW61 focused on “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”. The key theme for the discussions was “the empowerment of indigenous women”. Rev. Dr. Jayachitra L (Professor of New Testament, The Tamilnadu Theological Seminary, Madurai) represented the Church of South India in the USPG panel held on 22nd at the Church Centre of United Nations Headquarters in New York. She presented the role of CSI in facilitating economic empowerment of Dalit women and girl children in select five dioceses:
1. Dalit Women Empowerment Project, Huzurabad, Karimnagar Diocese
2. Kathipara-Adimali Women Development Project, Cochin Diocese
3. Kottarakara Human Development Project, Kollam Kottaraka Diocese
4.Dalit Women Empowerment Project, Madras Diocese and
5. Ashakakirana Dalit Women Empowerment Project, Northern Karnataka Diocese.
Aim and Objectives: The primary goals of these projects are
1. to form and strengthen Self Help Groups and Family Sangha
2 to form Milk Societies and Dairy farming through affordable loan
3. to develop skills training
4. to facilitate income generation programmes and
5. to provide assistance to adolescent girls for higher education. Programs:
The following programs are conducted in the above mentioned five dioceses:
Awareness and family Leadership camps in the villages on the benefits of dairy farming.
Cash loan of Rs.20,000 or more.
Formation of Milk societies to sell dairy products; veterinary camps to monitor the health of the cattle. Leadership Training programmes
Health camp and Medical camps conducted with the help of the local CSI Mission Hospitals.
Dress design, and computer training.
Success stories of Dalit Women and Girl Children.
Dalit Women have been able to utilise the opportunities provided through these projects and become empowered. Alternative skill development through training and income generating programs have enhanced their income to a large extent. Their involvement in doing business as a group and as an individual have given them motivation and courage and a sense of ownership and confidence to face new challenges with ease. Coming out of their homes and learning a skill help women to adapt their behaviour to a more positive outlook on life. Women are now able to dialogue with the Government, Bank Officials and Other higher authorities. Their Savings help to build rapport with the help groups and they have been benefited through expert help in development. Scholarship programmes help many young girls to continue their education.
Rev. Dr. Jayachitra