The IKEA Foundation has announced a new grant for €3.5 million to support its partner PRADAN with its successful women’s empowerment programme in India which helps women living in rural communities in India to organise themselves into strong self-help groups. These groups give them a stronger voice within their families and villages, and enable them to take charge of their lives.
IKEA have been working with PRADAN since 2013 and invested a total of €11.5 million in their programmes, which will reach up to 421,000 women.
Head of the IKEA Foundation’s Building Self Reliance portfolio, Petra Hans said, “PRADAN has developed a strong approach to empowering women and their communities in remote, rural areas of India. Thanks to PRADAN, women are starting businesses, improving their farms, and helping their communities access government funding for better healthcare, schools and incomes.”
Executive Director of PRADAN, Narendranath Damodaran said, “The collaboration between the IKEA Foundation and PRADAN has resulted in meaningful changes in the lives of rural poor women in different aspects of their everyday life. The self-help groups into which they are organised, even while acting as strong social networks for the women, open up pathways to enhanced incomes, improved access to basic services of health, sanitation, clean water and education, and promise to lighten up not only their lives but those of their children also.”
Globally, PRADHAN support more than 20 partners to empower women through work, education, skills training and healthcare. Also in India, grants to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the India Development Foundation (IDF) is aiming to help one million women learn marketable skills and connect with income opportunities.
In Kenya they are funding Root Capital to give training and support to small and medium agricultural businesses. The programme, which focuses on involving women, will help 200,000 people increase their incomes whereas grant to Oxfam is creating training, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people—the majority of whom are women—in rural communities affected by climate change in Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Pakistan.