All India Women's Conference

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The All India Women's Conference (AIWC) is an organization based in Delhi. It was founded in 1927 by Margaret Cousins,[1] "as an organization dedicated to upliftment and betterment of women and children". As well as continuing its original mission, the AIWC has since diversified into various social and economic activities involving women. Today there are more than 100,000 members[2] in over 500 branches. AIWC is recognized worldwide as a premier organization working for women's development and empowerment.[3]

Mission[edit]

AIWC was registered in 1930 under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860. (No. 558 of 1930) with the following main objectives:

  • To work for a society based on the principle of social justice, personal integrity and equal rights and opportunities for all.
  • To secure recognition of the inherent right of every human being to work and to achieve the essentials of life, which should not be determined by accident of birth or sex but by planned social distribution.
  • To support the claim of every citizen to the right to enjoy basic civil liberties.
  • To stand against all separatist tendencies and to promote greater national integration and unity.
  • To work actively for the general progress and welfare of women and children and to help women utilize to the fullest,one of the fundamental rights conferred on them by the Constitution of India.
  • To work for permanent international amity and world peace.

International level[edit]

AIWC has

Activities and programmes[edit]

  • Literacy and Education:

One of the initial main objectives of the AIWC was education of women, and it remains a primary concern today. The organisation's literacy campaign was intensified in 1996 by initiating non-formal education programmes for school drop outs and literacy programmes for adult woman with craft training through its branches.[9][10] [11]

  • The Socio-Economic Programme:

AIWC has started programmes for capacity building and skill development by providing financial support for entrepreneurial endeavours including goods processing and solar drying.

  • Micro Credit Program:

Microcredit schemes are operated to eradicate poverty among woman in rural areas. Self-help groups have been identified for the encouragement of saving among woman, management of credit, and encouragement for small business enterprises.

  • Health family Welfare and Population Management:

AIWC is actively involved in organizing health camps, awareness programmes, antenatal care and immunization programmes though its branches all over the country. AIWC has conducted “Training of trainers” programmes for prevention of and protection from sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS among woman in low-risk groups for members of its branches. The outreach awareness programme has become an important part of the overall AIWC health programme.[12]

  • Rural energy:

AIWC was identified as a Nodal Agency by the Ministry of non conventional energy resources in 1989 to implement the Improved Chullah program[clarification needed] and biogas development program. AIWC conducts programmes on renewable energy among woman at the grassroots level and demonstrates how use these technologies to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

  • Legislative Reforms:

AIWC has been represented on committees set up for legal reforms and amendments framed for women's welfare. The Legal Cell helps women who are victims of social and domestic violence. Free legal advice is provided as well as counseling for women in distress. AIWC acts as a consultant to the National Commission for Women for legal issues.

  • Textile printing:

A socio economic project run by AIWC began in 1976 to train and provide employment for woman and girls from the lower socio-economic sectors. This program has also been extended to some branches.

  • Computer Training Centre:

AIWC started its computer training center in 1996 as a vocational course for capacity building among women. Students were prepared for the one year “O” level diploma course recognized by DoEACC while the centre has also been accepted by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) as their centre for degree courses. At present there are over 350 students attending different computer classes. AIWC branches also run computer training programmes with a 90% success rate in placement of students in jobs.[13]

  • Activities — MCM Library:

This is a research and reference library for women's studies that contains numerous books on topics of contemporary interest such as environmental education and literacy programmes, microcredit and microfinance training, manuals for training on adolescent life skill development, HIV/ AIDs prevention and protection training, Panchayati raj, adult leadership programs, microcredit for poverty reduction, health programs along with many others. More than 11000 books — including fiction, non fiction, history, biography, woman issues, and legal awareness, etc. &mdash are to be found in the library which also has a reading room containing leading journals, periodicals and newspapers. The documentation centre has press clippings, reports, articles and photographs on various topics such as women, children, environment, literacy, legislation, violence against woman and several others. Resource centre papers, correspondence reports from various projects seminars etc. pertaining to AIWC from 1927 are available as well as a portrait gallery of photographs of past presidents of AIWC.

Projects[edit]

  • The IGNOU Action Research Pilot project on gender empowerment through green technology has two programs in operation, one in Trivandrum and the other in Delhi.
  • A two day legal awareness programme funded by the National Commission for Women took place in September, 2008.
  • A one day Seminar on the role of women in promoting communal harmony and national integration has been held at AIWC branches in Jammu, Delhi, Bijnor, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Cuttack and Bangalore funded by the National Foundation for Communal Harmony.
  • A project on plastics recycling with financial assistance from the Ministry of Environment, Government of Delhi NCT has been alloted to the South West Delhi Women's Association branch in Delhi. Machines have been installed at Palam Gaon and training in their operation is complete.
  • A project to establish herbals gardens at 100 Schools across different states is in progress supported by the National Medicinal Plants Board.
  • Vocational training for computer and beauty culture has taken place in Rithala Village in collaboration with North Delhi Power Limited (NDPL).
  • An AWAIC project for the sensitisation and alternate vocations for women beedi workers is supported by the World Health Organisation.
  • An "Ayurveda Treatment and Massage Training Center" has also been set up.
  • One day national consultation on "Sexual Harassment-Strategies for its prevention" was organised in November 2013 by President Bina Jain and member-in-charge legal Jyotika Kalra

Publications[edit]

Books:

  • Woman with a Mission: Rajkumari Amrit Kaur
  • Women's Struggle: History of AIWC 1972-2002, Aparna Basu, Bharti Roy
  • Rainbow in the Dark: Dr. (Mrs.) K. Lakshmi Raghuramaiah
  • My Reminisences - Renuka Ray
  • Profiles of Laxmi Menon

Reports:

  • Report on a Workshop on Project formulation, Management Evaluation
  • Reports on the National Seminar on the Role of Young Women in Socio- Economic Development
  • Conference on Women in Environment: Report
  • Asian and Pacific Regional Workshop on Women & Renewable Energy: Report
  • Asian and Pacific Consultation on Non-Governmental Organizations on Women in Development: Report
  • Short Stay Home: Philosophy, Program & Potential
  • A Report on the Micro credit Summit

Booklets/Pamphlets:

  • Women Know your rights
  • Nari aur Kanoon
  • Training manual on solar dryer
  • Preparation of projects
  • HIV AIDS training manual for trainers
  • Directory of branches of AIWC

Journals:

  • ROSHNI (a quarterly magazine)

Past Presidents[edit]

Some prominent women have remained President of AIWC:[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]