We work with organisations to create tailor-made programmes in literacy, leadership, technical, communication skills, and gender discrimination awareness specific to their needs.
Programmes, offered in Gujarati, Hindi, and English, are created around the needs of the organisation be it a trade group, an educational institution, a government agency, or a business. For example, we recently worked in the corporate sector to sensitise employees on gender issues and sexual harassment. We've also delivered online modules in women's leadership to international unions and organisations.
Students learn technical, managerial, and facilitation skills to lead the discussion on the importance of women workers in society and of the struggle for equality. Our programmes also provide students with opportunities for introspection and sharing, which leads to learning how to improve their own situations.
All our training methods are based on interactive approaches. From the beginning, participants are trained through activities like role-play, discussions, exercises, drawings, songs, and games. We believe in learning by doing, and this philosophy guides classes and field exposure visits.
Our Exposure Dilaogue Programme is an immersive experience that allows government officials, researchers, academics, and others to move toward solidarity with women workers by gaining an increased understanding of what the day-to-day lives of poor, working women look like.The programme runs for three days. On the first day, participants learn about SEWA’s history and principles, and about how to conduct themselves in the women's homes. Participants then spend 24 hours fully immersed in the lives and homes of poor, working women. On return from these homes, participants reflect on their experiences through guided questions that highlight impressions, expectations, learnings, and new understandings. Further dialogue takes the discussion deeper into the social, family, and economic issues these women face,and then includes possible next steps the individuals and organisation can take to help SEWA's mission.
To organise an Exposure Dialogue for your organisation, please contact us.
In addition to meeting internal research needs, SEWA Research conducts studies commissioned by other organisations and works in partnership on joint studies.
IASEW has conducted recent research partnerships with the following organizations: Samarth, in order to evaluate success of Hepatitis B education campaigns; Association for Stimulating Know How (ASK), in order to enumerate a householder survey around toilet access; Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), on how technology impacts the working poor; and SEWA Bank, conducting a needs assessment.
All SEWA research centres around the following objectives:
—Understanding the socio-economic conditions and issues of women in the informal economy.
—Conducting impact studies on the eleven principles of SEWA.
—Evaluating SEWA interventions and campaigns.
—Documenting the history of women’s struggles for economic and social security.
—Bringing research on women in the informal economy into the mainstream.
Research projects are action-oriented and support SEWA’s organising, programme development, and advocacy campaigns. Research at SEWA never sits on a bookshelf; it is actively shared and used as a tool to guide action. In fact, other organisations often use SEWA’s research when formulating, testing, or evaluating their own interventions.
SEWA’s research links grassroots issues and the local development context to government policies and the economic development process. Through its research, SEWA strives to understand the effect of macro policies on women in the informal economy. Moreover, SEWA documents alternative solutions at the grassroots level and then lobbies for them at the macro level.
India’s total informal employment accounts for 93 per cent of all employment in the country. Informal workers are significant contributors to the economy, but still their contributions are not visible. SEWA’s research tries to fill this gap and encourage others to study the informal economy. SEWA’s research findings have been used as the basis to influence policymakers and call for widespread policy change at national and international levels.
One of SEWA’s most fundamental values is its commitment to build the capacity of its members through training. In this tradition, members have been trained to be an integral part of the research team and to establish a decentralized research structure.
To learn more about working with IASEW on your research initiative, please contact us.