What Are the Women Empowerment Schemes in India?

Over the past few years, the Government of India has introduced several schemes that focus on women and aims to provide them with their due social dignity and ensure ways of earning. As the past of Indian society is filled with stances of gender inequality, the Government has come forward to bring equality at every level, empower women and uplift child education.

Following is a list of women empowerment schemes in India to give you a comprehensive understanding of various operational schemes.

List of Women Empowerment Schemes in India

1. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme

Launched on 22nd January 2015 by the Prime Minister of India in Haryana, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme ensures survival, protection and education of girl children. The scheme aims to address issues of the declining sex ratio over the past few years, create social awareness and enhance the efficiency of welfare services developed for girls.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme is applicable to the whole country. However, to ensure maximum reach, this scheme is divided into 3 groups. These are –

  • Primary Group (young and married couples, pregnant mothers and parents)
  • Secondary Groups (the youth of India, adolescents, in-laws, doctors, private hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres)
  • Tertiary Groups (general people of the country, religious leaders, voluntary organisations, frontline workers, officials, media and women SHGs Sector)

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Welfare

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

  • A family with a girl child (Indian) below 10 years of age is eligible.
  • A family with a girl child must have a Sukanya Samriddhi Account (SSA) opened in any nationalised bank.

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

  • Step-1– Visit the registered bank or post office.
  • Step-2– Collect and fill in the application form of the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme.
  • Step-3– Attach the required documents and submit the application form.

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for This Scheme?

  • Birth Certificate of the girl child
  • Passport size photograph
  • Proof of Identity of the Parents (Aadhaar Card, Ration Card, etc.)
  • Proof of Address (Passport, utility bills like water, driving licence, telephone, electricity etc.)

2. Working Women Hostel

To promote safe accommodation and environment for working women and provide daycare facilities for their children, the Government of India has introduced the ‘Working Women Hostel Scheme’. Through this women empowerment scheme, the Government provides grant-in-aid for construction and new hostel buildings and extension of an existing building in rented premises.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

  • Working Women (single, widowed, married, divorced, separated).
  • This scheme provides a particular preference for working women belonging to the disadvantaged sections of society.
  • The Scheme guidelines also provide for the reservation of seats for physically challenged beneficiaries.

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Care Development Ministry

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

  • Working women whose husband or immediate family does not reside in the same city/area.
  • Women undertaking training (not exceeding one year) for a job
  • The consolidated gross income per month should not cross the limit of ₹50,000 in the metropolitan city and ₹35,000 in other cities.

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

  • Step-1: Approach the WCD department of your concerned state.
  • Step-2: Collect the application form and fill it in with the correct details.
  • Step-3: Submit the application form and other essential documents.

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for This Scheme?

  • Duly fill-in application form
  • A certificate from the employer with all the details of the gross salary, including allowances.
  • Medical Certificate from a registered practitioner
  • Identity Proof (PAN/Driving Licence/Pass Port/ Any other valid document issued by Government)
  • Passport-size photographs

Note: The requirement of documents may vary from one state to another.

3. One Stop Centre Scheme

Next in the list of women empowerment schemes in India comes One Stop Centre Scheme. It is a centrally sponsored scheme and is funded through the Nirbhaya fund. State governments receive 100% central assistance to protect women affected by violence (gender-based such as acid attacks, rape, and sexual harassment) in public and private spaces. This scheme facilitates emergency (medical), legal aid and counselling, non-emergency services under one roof to combat all forms of violence against women.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

All women affected by violence, irrespective of class, caste, region, religion, marital status or sexual orientation, can get benefits under the One Stop Centre Scheme.

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Development Ministry

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

All women, including girls aged below 18.

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

Since this is a different kind of scheme (which provides shelter, medical assistance, etc.), there is no such specific application process.

However, women affected by violence can reach for help by any of the following methods,

  1. By communicating by own self
  2. Through women helpline and other emergency response helpline
  3.  Through any person, i.e., public servant (as defined under section 21 of Indian Penal Code, 1860), friend, NGO, relative, volunteer

Once the complaint is registered (be it SMS or internet), a text message will reach DPO/PO/ CDPO DYSP /CMO /SHO/ DM/ SP/PO of the district/area as per requirement. Also, if the victim comes in person to register an application or any other person comes on her behalf, the case details will be updated in a system, and a Unique ID will be generated.

4. Women Helpline Scheme

Women Helpline Scheme is one of the government schemes for women empowerment that intends to give 24×7 emergency responses to women affected by violence in private or public spaces. The universalisation of women helpline numbers has been done in every State and Union Territory through a single toll-free number (181) that provides immediate support to women nationwide. Further, this scheme creates awareness about women empowerment schemes and programs.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

Any women or girls facing violence or willing to know about various women related schemes or programs

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Development Ministry

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

No data is available

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

Women suffering from violence in public and private spaces can contact for instant help or rescue through the following ways,

  • Step-1: Telephone (mobile phones through calls, mobile apps and fax messages, SMS/text messaging, landlines
  • Step-2: Internet (emails, social networking sites such as web page, Facebook, Twitter, MyGov.in, etc. web-posts, web-interface)

In this service, a victim’s number is tracked or located. If a call gets disconnected or interrupted while a victim is stating her issue due to being sick or disabled, emergency services will reach there (by tracking address) immediately.

5. Mahila E-Haat

Mahila E-Haat is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It is one of the women empowerment schemes in India which provides an opportunity for women entrepreneurs for using technology and presents their products (made/manufactured/sold) on an online platform.

With only mobile and internet connections, women entrepreneurs can showcase their products along with descriptions and photographs. Here, buyers can also reach sellers telephonically, physically, through email or any other medium. The list of products may include clothing, fashion accessories, pottery, boxes, home décor, toys and many other things. This initiative supports the ‘Make in India’ program through an online platform.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

Women entrepreneurs, women self-help groups (SHG), NGOs

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Development

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

  • Women entrepreneurs must be Indian citizens.
  • Products sold must be legal.

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

  • Step-1: Visit the official website of Mahila E-Haat.
  • Step-2: Click on ‘Join Us’.
  • Step-3: A new webpage, i.e., Mahila E-Haat initiative registration will open. Fill in the registration form with correct details and submit it to complete the application process.

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for This Scheme?

  • Aadhaar card
  • PAN card
  • Address proof
  • Bank account details

6. Mahila Police Volunteers

The Ministry of Women and Child Development, along with Home Affairs, launched the Mahila Police Volunteers scheme in all States and Union Territories. This central government-sponsored scheme aims to create a link between police authorities and local communities to ensure police outreach on crime cases. This scheme works to create a safe woman-friendly environment and encourages women to join the police force.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

Indian women

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Ministry of Women and Child Development and Home Affairs

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

  • Women applicants’ age must be 21 years.
  • Women applicants must have a 12th-grade certificate.
  • She should belong to the same geographical area (where she is applying for the scheme) and must know the local language.
  • She should not have any criminal record.
  • She should not be a member of any political party.

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

At the district level, the Superintendent of Police and the General Director of the State conduct the selection process.

The first step to applying correctly for this women empowerment scheme in India is approaching the concerned authority. The notice will be issued in offices including Local Thana, Police Chowki, PS/OP/DySP/SP Offices, DM Office, Panchayat Office, Accredited Social Health Activist, Municipal Office, Anganwadi Workers (AWWs), Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs), Publicity through Tehsildar Office, Block Development Officer.

Thereafter, applicants can follow the steps given below –

  • Step-1: Collect the application form and submit it to the Superintendent of Police of the area.
  • Step-2: The Screening Committee will complete the short-listing process.
  • Step-3: Once the short-listing process is completed, the Superintendent of Police will call for an interview of the selected individuals. The Superintendent of Police will issue appointment orders.
  • Step-4: Selected candidates have to submit important documents and a Self-Declaration.

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for This Scheme?

  • Identity proof (Aadhar card, voter identity card, PAN Card, driving licence, etc.)
  • Address proof (Aadhar card, valid passport, utility bill, property tax bill, etc.)
  • Bank account details
  • Educational Qualification certificates
  • Passport size photograph

Note: The women applicant must not have a default record in any bank.

7. STEP (Support to Training and Employment Program for Women)

One of the most effective women empowerment schemes in India is STEP (Support to Training and Employment Program for Women). It was introduced to provide training in skill development and to assure employment to women. This government-backed scheme offers grants to institutions and organisations to conduct the training programme.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

Marginalised (with special focus on SC/ST households, women-headed households and families below the poverty line), asset-less rural women and urban poor.

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Development

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

  • Women of 16 years of age or above
  • Institutions or organisations registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860/ Indian Trusts Act, 1882 (Not for Profit)/ other statutes.
  • Non-government organisations/voluntary organisations registered under the Societies Registration Act or Indian Trust Act.
  • Co-operative societies are registered under the Co-operative Societies Act.

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme (For organisations and institutions)?

  • Step-1: Eligible NGOs must register themselves on NITI Aayog Portal or NGO-PS Portal and generate a unique ID.
  • Step-2: Submit the project proposals online to the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
  • Step-3: The State Government will address these proposals and forward them to the Ministry of Women and Child Development with a recommendation.
  • Step-4: A pre-screening Committee will verify these proposals and pass them on to the Project Appraisal Committee for final approval.
  • Step-5: Once the selection is made, the fund will be given to the registered NGO.

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for This Scheme?

  • Balance sheet, income and expenditure account and receipt and payment account (audited and of the previous 3 years).
  • Proof of experience in the sector concerned.
  • Document stating that the course follows the stipulations of the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF).
  • Annual Report (previous 3 years).
  • Copy of Registration Certificate (if any).

8. SWADHAR Greh

SWADHAR Greh, one of the Government schemes for women’s empowerment in India, aims to provide shelter, food, clothing, social, economic and health security. This scheme provides legal assistance to women and helps them take initiative for readjusting in societies.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

  • Women who are deserted and do not have any economic and social support.
  • Homeless women (who survived natural calamity but do not have economic support)
  • Women prisoners (released but do not have a family)
  • Trafficked women or girls rescued or escaped from a brothel
  • Women suffering from AIDs, HIV

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Development

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

Women aged 18 years or above

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

  • Step-1: Visit the nearest Gram Panchayat, municipal corporation office.
  • Step-2: Collect the application form and fill it in with important information.
  • Step-3: Submit the duly filled application form along with other documents.

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for This Scheme?

Aadhaar Card and other documents as instructed by the concerned authority

9. Mahila Shakti Kendras (MSK)

Another popular women empowerment scheme in India is Mahila Shakti Kendra. It aims to provide one-stop convergent support services to women to develop skills, generate employment opportunities, and increase digital literacy. This scheme is operational at multiple levels, such as national level, state level, and district level. The Government intends to cover the 115 most backward districts by establishing 920 Mahila Shakti Kendras.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

Rural women

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

Women must be a resident of India.

10. Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme

The Government has introduced National Creche Scheme for the children of a working mother. This scheme provides daycare facilities to the children and guarantees to improve the health and nutrition status of children. Further, this women empowerment yojana promotes physical, social, and holistic development of children and educates parents to enhance childcare methods or techniques.

Who Are the Beneficiaries of This Scheme?

Children of working women.

Which Sector Does This Scheme Target?

Women and Child Development

What Is the Eligibility Criteria to Avail the Benefits of This Scheme?

  • Children aged between 6 months to 6 years.
  • Working women of both rural and urban areas must be employed for at least 15 days in a month or 6 months in a year.

What Is the Application Process to Avail This Scheme?

The applicant family has to provide certain fees to the respective crèche to opt for the services offered under the Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme. These are –

  • Families with income up to ₹12,000 – ₹100 (each month) per children
  • Families with an income of more than ₹12,000 – ₹200 (each month) per children
  • BPL families – ₹20 (each month) per child

What Are the Documents Required to Apply for This Scheme?

  • Birth Certificate
  • Identity card or any document stating that the applicant children’s mother has been a part of a public organisation for the last 6 months

Benefits of Women Empowerment Schemes in India

The introduction of various women empowerment schemes in India has benefited women in multiple ways. These are –

  • Women have been able to gain social security.
  • They can gain advanced training related to skill development and others and increase earning opportunities.
  • Women can address their issues more freely and quickly with the government or local concerning authorities.
  • Working mothers can now ensure proper care of their children by keeping their children at daycare facilities. Thus, they need not compromise their jobs/careers for family.
  • They can ensure dignified living (at government hostels) away from home.

Now that you know about various government-backed women empowerment schemes in India and their benefits, apply for any of them (as per your requirement) and establish yourself as an educated and empowered woman in society.

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