Strengthening rural communities

In South India, the majority of women from oppressed communities are agricultural workers. It is low-paid, irregular and often difficult and dangerous work.

Although they work as hard as men, women are paid less because they carry out tasks, such as weeding and transplanting, that are perceived to have less value than the male tasks of ploughing and harvesting.

Our rural development programme focuses on strengthening women’s ability to secure employment rights and equality. We meet with rural women on a monthly basis, supporting them to join labour unions to secure better pay and conditions. We also work with the local Panchayat government to help them take up the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme. This entitles women to a minimum of 100 days’ paid employment a year.

We run an organic farming demonstration at our Village Training Centre. This helps us to educate the local community about the health, economic and environmental benefits of organic farming. We also educate local women about government subsidies offered to organic farmers.