Our result so far: 182,000 jobs for women in rural India. These jobs have been created by the business partners (social enterprises in India) with support of Women on Wings. This means that 182,000 women have an income, 182,000 families enjoy at least 2 meals a day, and around 550,000 children can go to (a better) school! But what do we mean with ‘a job’ and how do we count these jobs?
First of all, the kind of work for women that we envision, is based at their homes, or near their homes in the villages. Women can easily do paid work a couple of hours per day in/around their homes and combine this with their other responsibilities, like cooking, working on the land, taking care of their children, etcetera. Additional paid work could be found in weaving, embroidery, seri-culture, dairy or poultry. The income they earn is per piece, per kg or per liter, depending on the kind of work. Women can choose themselves how many hours they are able to do paid work. The average income depends on this and varies between 2,000 and 5,000 INR/month (between 30 and 150 euro per month).
Sustainable work in the informal sector
Up to 90% of the workers in India is employed in the informal sector. An important sector, but quite different from the formal sector since in general there are no contracts, fixed salaries or standard terms of employment in the informal sector. It is to be clear that this has nothing to do with exploiting. What is important in this informal sector is that it offers continuity of work. We believe that work should be sustainable, since you can only create a decent livelihood if you can count on a regular income. Therefore we support our business partners in becoming sustainable businesses. We share our business knowledge and expertise with the management teams to create a life long business with access to markets, strong organizational structures and efficient production processes.
When we start working with an Indian business partner, this partner already employs a certain number of women. This varies from hundreds to thousands of women. We cannot give an exact number as the informal sector mechanisms are not 100% accurate. This number of women working for the Indian business at the start of our collaboration is the baseline. Since we work closely together with our business partners, we create a high level of trust with the management. Therefore, we have access to all relevant figures, data and financial results. Twice a year, our business partners report on their organizational growth which includes the growth in financial results and number of jobs for women.