What should we do to empower women

Equality for women in India

We fight for equality for women in India


Contempt, oppression and discrimination of women and girls in India are not isolated cases, but rather a mass phenomenon. Despite the rapid development that India has made on the one hand, the patriarchal power structures are far from abolished and women and girls do not experience equal rights in many areas of social life. Sexual assault on them is the order of the day, and arranged marriages with underage girls are normal in many places. Even if child marriages are prohibited and the minimum age for girls to marry is officially 18 years. Female fetuses are frequently aborted, so it is not surprising that 52.1% of children between the ages of 0 and 6 are boys. Giving birth to a girl is considered a woman's fault. The consequences can be seen in the gender distribution: there are 943 women for every 1,000 men (Indian Census 2011).

Traditionally, women and girls do not eat until the rest of the family has finished their meal. This can still be found increasingly in the countryside. It can also happen that women and girls receive very little or no food: many suffer from it Malnutrition and iron deficiency.

The Child mortality rate for children under 5 years of age was 36.6% in 2018. Girls drop out of school significantly more often than boys. Parents sometimes fear that it will be more difficult for them to find a husband for their daughter if she has a good education. The Literacy rate is 73% in India. Here, too, there is a clear difference between men and women: the rate is 80.9% for men and 64.6% for women (Indian Census 2011). 25.51% of women compared to 53.26% of men are gainfully employed. These examples show that discrimination and exclusion of women take place at all levels. Men determine the course of things in India.

Gender-based discrimination, violence and harassment against girls and women violate the fundamental rights of women. We want to fight this and sensitize women and men to the rights of women. So we question traditional ideas and men's privileges as soon as they do Fundamental rights of women violate. We have set ourselves the goal of changing the attitudes of boys and men towards girls and women, to raise their awareness of the issue of violence against women and to convince boys and men that women are valuable partners in the development of families, communities and women To look at society and promote equality for women in India.

What we do

The “Women Development Trust” was founded back in 1984 to support women on their way to a self-determined life with equal rights. Today the topic of women is present in all of our projects and programs. We focus on four areas: Avoidance of gender-based violence; Access to education; Health and wellbeing; economic independence and access to property.
More information about our work in the Women> program area

Some examples of our work

  • We support the establishment of sanghams (self-help groups for women) in which women network, address problems in the family and community and try to solve them, and get access to loans or microcredits in order to do business.
  • We train women in weaving, tailoring or making handicrafts or provide loans so that they can create a livelihood for themselves.
  • We run counseling centers for women and men to prevent gender-based violence or to provide supportive advice.
  • We take action against child marriage.
  • We maintain a women's refuge.
  • We carry out awareness-raising measures for boys, girls, men and women.

Almost 1,500 social workers support us in our work. More than 100,000 women are organized in self-help groups (sanghams) to get a voice. There is constant social change:

Sivamma, member of the Sangham of M. Mhalli

Earlier: We had to stay in the house and our men did all the chores outside of the house.
Today: Let's go out in public, go to the bank to deposit our savings, and have our own little businesses.

Earlier: A girl got married after her first period.
Today: Do not marry girls until they are 18 years old.

Earlier: Men owned all the land.
Today: Are the houses registered in our names. Our name also counts.