Women on Wings’ latest milestone is a total of 284,800 jobs for women in rural India. The growth in the number of jobs is the result of successful partnerships with 39 business partners in India. The impact of a job goes beyond the money it brings. Women will spend their income on educating their children. And their self-esteem and self-confidence increases when they contribute to the family income.
For 1.4 million people improved livelihoods
These 284,800 jobs are co-created over a period of over thirteen years. Women on Wings measures its impact twice a year with its business partners for which it uses a special impact measurement sheet which is developed in partnership with EY and Erasmus University Rotterdam. Thanks to these 284,800 jobs, 1.4 million people in rural India have improved livelihoods and as an extra result, 854,400 children are in (a better) school thanks to the fact their mothers have a job with an income. The jobs contribute to a decreasing poverty level in rural India. Through its work, Women on Wings contributes to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals which are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure all people enjoy peace, justice and prosperity.
Sustaining jobs in COVID-19 era
Says Shilpa Mittal Singh, joint MD at Women on Wings: “The growth in the number of jobs is the result of our partnerships with 39 business partners and measured per March 31, so here the impact of COVID-19 is hardly seen. However, for this current financial year we foresee a huge impact on the jobs for rural women at our partners, especially those in Textiles & Handicrafts. Sustaining the existing jobs will be a challenge in itself, let alone adding extra.” Adds Ronald van het Hof, joint MD at Women on Wings: “Obviously sales of normal products of our Textiles & Handicrafts partners has dropped to an all-time low because of the lockdown. But fortunately, our partners are very creative and committed. They look at other ways to provide for their artisans. Many have shifted to making personal protection equipment like masks, some provide food relief in the field. This way they contribute to fighting COVID-19 and still manage to earn some income.”
Impact through business consultancy and mentorship
Women on Wings’ experts share their time and knowledge with the Women on Wings partners; social entrepreneurs in India who aim for sustainable growth of their companies rather than growth of their personal wealth. So that the women they provide work to can earn an income and support their families. By providing mentoring and supporting the partners in expanding their businesses, more products can be sold and thus more jobs for women are co-created. A job and an income provide women in rural India greater self-sufficiency, purchasing power and a better social position. It is an escape from the cycle of poverty. Women on Wings is always eager to hear from rural women themselves how having a job and income changed their lives. Read the inspiring stories composed from field visits.
Picture: Brett Cole