Video via Video Volunteers:
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, responsible for providing millions of Indians employment opportunities, has a special mandate to provide jobs for women. This emphasis is a bold move to tackle the inequality that women face, both in terms of access to work as well as the wages they receive. Under MGNREGA, both women and men are to receive equal wages and at all times at least 33 per cent of the beneficiaries must be women.
Video Volunteers’ Community Correspondent, Chanda Bharti, found that at least 15 women from Salahpur Panchayat in Uttar Pradesh’s Pratapgarh District had not worked under MGNREGA for four years. In the absence of this work the women are compelled to go to far off farms for work, or worse, remain unemployed. Chanda Bharti is now in the process of taking their grievances to higher level authorities so that they too can benefit from the scheme.
It is worth noting that the general trend of the participation of women in MGNREGA is an upward one– it has risen from 40% in 2006-07 to 53% in 2013-14. Not many states however fulfil the criteria of 33% participation. In Uttar Pradesh only 22% of the beneficiaries were women during 2013-14. Surveys conducted with women who have worked under MGNREGA suggest that women do indeed feel that they have greater decision making powers while collecting and spending the money they earn from MGNREGA employment.
You can ensure that Urmila and 14 other women start to benefit from MGNREGA. Pick up the phone and make this call today!