Supporting and Empowering Widows

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$18,000 $18,000
Project Code: IND-ENA-SEW-P01


This project follows on from a successful program that has been running for four years. It will provide economic empowerment for 20 new widows each year in remote villages in northern India. They are provided with income generating opportunities such as agricultural farming or goat/poultry rearing. In each case they are given equipment and supplies, and taught how to increase crop yields as well as animal husbandry and breeding. Business training and selling networks are provided, enabling the women to maximise returns and avoid being taken advantage of. The widows form or join Self Help Groups (SHGs) to save money, take out loans, for group learning and sharing their lives.

Why support this:

We have been impressed by the results of this project and its thoughtful design, in which key risks and mitigation methods are identified. Our partners are passionate about restoring the widows to positions of respect within their communities by giving them financial independence. Widows in rural India are the lowest of the low, and are often excluded from community events and never given assistance or shown they have worth. Our partners are not just seeking improved financial stability but culture change within the community.

Budget: $18,000 per year for a three year project. Total budget $54,000.

The Need:

Widows occupy a very precarious position in rural Indian communities. Often the villagers turn on a widow, claiming that she ‘ate her husband’. She is often stripped of her land and taken advantage of by traders and buyers. Hers is the lowest position in society and she is last to be included in any event, if at all. This often means that widows are extremely poor, struggling to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads.

Expected Life Change:

  • Improved financial situation means widows can send their children to school.
  • Widows living independent lives, with a sense of worth and self-respect, empowered emotionally and economically.
  • Once held responsible for their husband’s deaths, excluded from community events and treated badly, widows rise in status and community participation and leadership.

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