Indian Social Enterprise Empowers Women – Includes Survivors of Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence

20
Jun

By Prateek Modi | Guest Blogger

“You thought I’d be weak without you, but I’m stronger…
 …You thought I’d be broke without you, but I’m richer.
Thought I would be helpless without you, but I’m smarter.
You thought I would die without you, but I’m living.”
– Survivor, Destiny’s Child

 

 

‘Empowerment’ starts with realizing that you do not need to depend on anyone to live your life, that you do not need to stay – in that abusive relationship, in that condescending society, among men who consider you inferior to them – to survive.

Most women in all parts of the world undergo sexual abuse, domestic violence, or gender discrimination because they have been taught to believe that they cannot survive on their own. They must endure whatever is being thrown at them silently because they are dependent on their oppressors for financial, social, or emotional support.

This belief is what iVillage Social Solutions, an enterprise working towards women’s empowerment in rural India, has set out to eradicate. By providing employment to all women- divorcees, sexual abuse survivors, women who have been victims of domestic violence, or just women who want to earn their own living – iVillage has taught them that they must feel no shame in being who they are, because contrary to what they have been raised to believe, they are capable of standing on their own. They must not put up with anyone who demeans them because they do not owe anyone anything. They can earn their own living, and live their own lives, and will only take someone who supports their dreams and loves them for themselves, not their body, or their ability to handle domestic chores. Their talent for handcrafting beautiful products is appreciated and loved by hundreds of people out there, and they don’t have to believe the words of anyone who dares to tell them that they belong inside the kitchen.

 

Millions of women feel that it is their obligation to ‘satisfy her husband’s needs’ or ‘protect her family’s honour,’ thus undergoing unspeakable experiences, only because it is her ‘duty’ to put others before herself. We want them to know that they are not obligated to anyone but themselves- they owe themselves a respectful, fulfilling life. We want them to know that they are not an object, not a burden, not a liability, not a disgrace. They are important, they are beautiful, and they are perfectly capable of surviving on their own. And we want everyone who put them down to know they were wrong, that their actions can not, and did not break her, that she does not need their support, she’s living a better life, still as strong as ever, still standing- and standing taller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About iVillage Social Solutions:

With an aim to establish and grow a socially responsible enterprise that offers high-quality products and services and contributes to uplifting women, iVillage aims to eradicate discrimination against women specifically by generating employment for rural women and empowering them through social and financial independence. iVillage makes products of contemporary use in soft furnishing, home decor, clothing and gifting fused with a classic Indian culture. Please visit us at www.ivillagefamily.in

 

About Prateek Modi: 

Prateek Modi runs a digital marketing business at www.modifyed.in. She volunteers with iVillage, helping them increase their impact in society using digital media. She is passionate about education and entrepreneurship and strongly believes in iVillage’s values of empowering women through education and employment. She loves traveling and meeting new people, connecting the dots as she goes along.

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