Author: Kalima Rose
Publisher: Sage Publications
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-7036-300-4
The Self-Employed Women's Association (or SEWA as it is known universally) is the outstanding success story of the contemporary women's labour movement in India. Essentially a union with more than 46,000 members, it focuses on the poorest and most vulnerable segments of Indian society - women who are self-employed or who work in the informal sector. Today, barely 20 years after having come into existence, SEWA is a major source of inspiration for all those throughout the world who are grappling with economic and development issues as they relate to women.
Where Women are Leaders traces the origin, history and strategies of this unique organization. Kalima Rose spent three years observing SEWA at first hand and in interviewing the main organizers and long-standing members of the Association. She discusses its evolution from the initial efforts to organize women in the informal sector, to research and lobbying around larger issues relating to development, to the influence SEWA currently enjoys in the fields of labour, employment and human resource policies both nationally and internationally. In this process, the author analyses the tactics adopted by SEWA to organize for and to influence the course of social and economic change in India. These revolve around forming cooperatives and unions, providing childcare and health services and even extend to a women's bank which has become a model, worldwide, for helping women in the formal sector to gain access to credit.
This authentic and comprehensive account of a widely acclaimed model of women's development will interest all those involved with women's issues, or with understanding the changing face of the labour movement, and in developing effective ways of organizing and assisting economically disadvantaged women.
SEWA: Women in Movement
SEWA`s Shakti: Growing Up and Leading Out
The Union: Struggles of Solidarity
Video SEWA: Focusing on Issues
The SEWA Bank: `This Bank is like Our Mother`s Place`
Women`s Cooperatives: A Lever for Change
Health Services: `This Body is My Only Asset`
SEWA Bharat: Reaching Across the Country
Moving On: Pushing Policy Outward