The Role of Self Help Groups In Women Empowerment in Maharashtra: An Empirical Analysis

In contemporary Indian society, the terms ‘women empowerment’ and ‘self-help group’ have been used synonymously. Undoubtedly, self-help groups (SHGs) have played a significant role to provide women their rightful place in the society and have propelled their inclusion in to the larger economic and political systems in India. Over the last decades numerous research papers have already been published to showcase the benefits of SHGs and their limitations as well. However, there is hardly any evidence to claim that SHGs have been successful in bringing ‘self-reliance’ among its women members beyond their identity as ‘beneficiaries’ of those groups. It is evident from the available literature that SHGs as a phenomenon has instilled hope and confidence among the women members by creating positive synergies. There is insufficient evidence on the extent of transformation on their mentaland economicindependence outside their activity groups. Without such transformation SHGs will not be able to make the women realize their full potential. The present paper though limited in its scopeattemptsto draw insights on the various factors influencing women empowerment.

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First Author: Dr.Indrajit Goswami

Second Author: Dr. Nigel D’silva

Third Author: Dr. Vijeta Chaudhary