Women's Empowerment at the Local Level (WELL) - a study undertaken in the state of Uttarakhand
The last decade has seen a growing importance of the term "empowerment." While the term has been used for the poor and the deprived groups, it has now been used even more extensively with regard to women's programs. As a matter of fact, most state governments now consider it desirable to offer women's empowerment programs in order to alleviate poverty and to bring about women's development. Considering the widespread use of the term, it was decided to understand what the term connotes for such government programs and to understand how the term has got translated into programs that are run by the government as well as by non-government organizations (NGOs). What kinds of programs are these? Are training programs organized for women? What is the nature of such programs? Do they use technology for ensuring reach of such programs? What would be the appropriate technology that could be used to ensure that such programs reach out to large numbers of women? How do they measure success? In what ways have these programs affected the lives of women? It was thought necessary to ask such questions to understand whether technology based learning could play a role in the empowerment of women, particularly of poor rural women.