Date of Meeting: 13 March 2017

Meeting Organizer: Azad Foundation

CSW Delegates Present: Ben Gilbert

Reporter: Ben Gilbert

Which SDG does this topic cover? 4, 5

Type of meeting: CSW Parallel Event 

Brief summary of presentation of information made

  • Non-traditional livelihoods for empowerment for Women. This is not just get women into jobs that were traditionally for men, but it’s actually about changing those jobs sectors. This is about challenging patriarchy norms
    • Example: Azad has managed to get one women bus driver to date. The main obstacle to this is because the minimum height criteria is 5ft 3in and most women are below this height. Azad foundation have taken up the discussion with bus manufacturers to change the seat design of the buses so they are useable by women who do not reach this height restriction can work as a bus driver.  
  • Azad foundation trains women drivers for a women only cab service across the major urban centres of India
    • Includes first aid training,
    • mechanical knowledge
    • self defense
  • Currently they have 500 women drivers working in the cities, and are principle breadwinners in their families
  • Have trained 2000 women by 2017
  • So why only 500?
    • Can’t work with 1000’s of women at the same time. While they provide the skills training, there is also a need to provide a great integration for addressing the barriers that come against them in pursuing a non-traditional livelihood. 
    • There also needs to be an enabling system in the market so that the jobs are sustainable and employers except this change.
  • key principle is providing a livelihood with dignity
  • Driving is a skill that they will carry with them for their lives
  • Driving also gives women their mobility.
  • Issue of violence is prevalent in India and this is the reality of many women on the programme.
  • Violence goes across the society but have a particularly high impact on resource poor women, including marginalized women (eg Dalit communities)
  • They are able to think of options of their own and stand up for their own basic rights

What was of particular significance to share with The Salvation Army globally?

There can be high value is supporting vocations for women that are outside the societal norms as these help to break traditional views held by others.

Tags: United Nations, Women, SDG4: Quality Education, SDG8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG5: Gender Equality