ASHA believes in empowering women in order to empower our future generations. Gender discrimination is the primary concern in our society with women not given an equal chance and rights to express themselves, right to a decent living and share equal status with men. With the rise in crime levels against women; particularly within their domestic surroundings, with cases of domestic violence stemming out of the dowry, rape, etc. Therefore, ASHA in its efforts to address severe challenges that are currently plaguing women’s rights in India has stepped forward, accelerating the spread of education amongst women and in narrowing down the male-female gender disparity in education which has been so severe since decades.
- Eradicating this gender gap and educating women about their basic rights in a society, is ASHA’s first step towards creating an environment to fight against intolerance and exploitation.
- The second challenge before ASHA is to tackle the growing poverty concern which is leading to the exploitation of women and their illiteracy levels. This has forced them to work as housemaids, sex workers, etc. which has resulted in extreme forms of exploitation and grave denial of basic human rights.
- ASHA works for such vulnerable women belonging to the extreme poor household by forming a Community Action Group (CAG) in rural regions by providing education, training and other skill development programs. This supplement them with some income to meet their basic needs and also build their potential by imparting education that is both formal and informal.
- Health and safety concerns for women are an important factor in gauging the empowerment of women. The maternal healthcare in India is at dismal state. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) as per 2009 UNICEF report stands at 301 per 1000 with 78,000 women dying of childbirth complications.
- ASHA has taken up major programs to empower and promote women’s participation in the democratic process. Promotion of human rights for the grassroots women is a central theme of ASHA’s development intervention. Various workshops and meeting, advocacy, developing local capacity, awareness raising and campaign; building networks and alliances; investigation, documentation and publication, are some of the activities through which promotion of human rights for women can be achieved.