Group Photo
Group Photo

Raising women’s awareness of human rights is fundamental to their empowerment

Tanglichock Group
Tanglichock Group

A women’s group meets to add their monthly savings to the pool and to circulate small loans for micro enterprises

Arghakhachi, Training
Arghakhachi, Training

Women meet regularly for training and discussions

Women Meet
Women Meet

A fieldworker organizes a mixed caste women’s group

A Rights-Based Approach to Development

EDWON gives women the tools to become agents of change. Rather than “solving” their problems, we enable people to improve their own lives and claim their inalienable human rights through social and economic empowerment.

EDWON’s programs are based on women’s empowerment groups, developing leadership and encouraging women of different castes to work together. Reaching out to the non-Dalit community is a unique approach that aims to be inclusive and human rights-based.

EDWON’s groups help form bonds and friendships across caste divisions. Through growing solidarity, women begin to alter their learned behavior with regards to caste and “untouchability.” Internal attitudes and behavior of mutual support spread to the families and eventually permeate the entire community.

The “REAL Change” Program– EDWON’s Flagship Program

“REAL Change” (Rights, Education, Action, Livelihood) aims to build confidence and solidarity. Savings and loan activities and non-formal education give women the means to build small enterprises. By giving the women insight into social forces, EDWON fosters their ability to act collectively for change.

Stage 1: Organizing Women’s Groups

EDWON organizes 15-25 women of different castes into groups and teaches them how to run autonomous savings and loan associations. Women save small amounts monthly to build a common fund from which to borrow to develop small enterprises. At the same time field staff teach them basic numeracy and literacy.

Stage 2: Education and Livelihood Development for Women

This is a comprehensive approach to human rights concepts, critical thinking, strategies for social action and livelihood development. It includes business training and introductory workshops on women’s health and community sanitation.

Stage 3. Community Outreach

In addition to human rights training within the groups, ADWAN’s staff also conducts annual human rights workshops, which include non-Dalit community leaders. Some women’s groups have also constructed meeting houses, which benefit the entire community.

For detailed information, contact us.

The “Take Charge” Program is a loosely structured program that builds on the achievements of the REAL Change Program.

Leadership training responds to the women’s own initiatives and helps them develop sustainable livelihoods by applying for grants, skills training and loans from local NGOs and agencies. The program also offers continued support for women’s actions for social change in their communities.

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