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Transforming Lives: Women Empowerment Initiatives in J&K

February 20, 2024

Concerted efforts by the Modi government have sparked a transformative wave of women empowerment in the beautiful region of Jammu and Kashmir. Through a multifaceted approach encompassing economic opportunities, social support, and legislative reforms, the lives of women in J&K are witnessing unprecedented positive changes.
One of the cornerstones of this empowerment drive is the establishment of self-help groups (SHGs), which have provided over seven lakh women with a platform to harness their entrepreneurial skills and financial independence. These SHGs serve as vibrant hubs of economic activity, enabling women to collectively engage in various income-generating activities and access financial resources for their ventures.
Furthermore, the provision of training to around three lakh women farmers has not only enhanced agricultural productivity but has also empowered women to play a more active role in the agricultural sector. With the support of approximately 3,000 agriculture and animal husbandry assistants, women farmers are receiving last-mile assistance, thus ensuring their sustained success in farming endeavors.
A notable initiative is the establishment of nearly two lakh agriculture nutrition gardens by women farmers, aimed at meeting the nutritional needs of their families. This grassroots-level intervention not only promotes food security but also empowers women to take charge of their family’s health and well-being.
The Rural Livelihood Mission’s endeavor to initiate 10,000 micro-startups in the past year has further bolstered women’s economic empowerment. By fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and providing advanced training to 5,000 women entrepreneurs, the mission is enabling women to scale up their businesses and contribute significantly to the local economy.
In collaboration with the National Commission for Women (NCW) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), the Government of J&K has taken proactive steps to address gender-based violence through the establishment of Special Cells for Women in each district. These cells serve as safe spaces for women victims to receive professional support and assistance, marking a significant stride towards creating violence-free homes and communities.
Moreover, the introduction of horizontal reservation of 15% for women candidates in non-gazetted ranks in the J&K Police Services underscores the government’s commitment to gender inclusivity and representation in public institutions. The creation of two exclusive women battalions within the Jammu & Kashmir Police, comprising a total of 2014 new posts, further amplifies women’s participation and leadership in law enforcement agencies.
The abolition of discriminatory laws under Article 370 has been a pivotal moment for women in Jammu and Kashmir, granting them equal rights to inherit property irrespective of their marital status or spouse’s residency. This landmark reform has not only symbolized gender equality but has also empowered women to assert their rights and shape their destinies on equal footing with men.
As we embark on the journey of women empowerment in Jammu and Kashmir, it is evident that these initiatives are not just about uplifting individual women but are about transforming entire communities and societies. Through economic empowerment, social support, and legislative reforms, women in J&K are reclaiming their rightful place as agents of change and progress. With each milestone achieved, the region moves closer to realizing its full potential, where women’s empowerment is not just a goal but a lived reality, enriching the lives of all its inhabitants.

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