TRIBAL SELF-HELP GROUPS IN MANIPUR: A GENDER PERSPECTIVE
On 1st of April 1999, the Government of India’s (GOI), to incorporate people’s participation in the implementation of rural development policies and programmes at the grassroots level, had launched a rural development programme called Swarnjayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY). To this end, the rural poor, especially the vulnerable groups (women), were encouraged to form Self-Help Groups (SHG) in each block, with specific guidelines for operation, to avail the scheme. From gender perspective, this paper investigates into the constraints and working of SHGs in relation to the specified guidelines of the scheme in the tribal areas (Churachandpur district) of Manipur. It is found that gender composition of the group matters in income generation and saving. Those Self-Help Groups consisting men and women - Mixed Self-Help Groups (MS) - could generate more income and save more than those Self-Help Groups that consist of only women - All Women Self-Help Groups (AWS). AWS faces certain gender constraints embedded in patriarchal system like limited access to family resources, overburdening of women with domestic work, lack of social networks and exclusion of women in decision-making in society.
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International College Suan Sunandha
Rajabhat University, Bangkok, Thailand