Women’s empowerment has been at the forefront of the Chhattisgarh government’s development agenda. Leading from the front, now Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has implemented initiatives such as Gauthan and RIPA to empower women and boost their participation in the state’s economy. Women in Gauthans are engaged in various economic activities, including vermicompost and mushroom production, and oil refining, driving entrepreneurship in Chhattisgarh.
Since December 2018, over 13 lakh women have joined self-help groups (SHGs), leading to significant growth in economic activities in the state. As women join SHGs, they gain access to banking services, acquire accounting skills, and develop a deep understanding of market dynamics. This comprehensive approach equips them with the necessary expertise to thrive in economic activities, fostering their overall skill development.
The establishment of C-Marts in every district has provided a platform for women to showcase and sell their products, expanding their market reach.
Chhattisgarh has also witnessed a surge in girls’ education. Improved school infrastructure and rising awareness among women have contributed to this. According to the National Family Health Survey 5, there has been a 36.9 per cent rise in the enrollment of girls studying for more than a decade.
In a meeting with the Chief Minister, both male and female beneficiaries from rural areas shared their experiences, highlighting the positive impact of the government’s efforts to promote gender equality. These gatherings have projected Chhattisgarh as an egalitarian society where women and men actively participate in various fields, shaping the state’s development narrative together.
On World Population Day, observed on July 11th worldwide, India’s demographic data highlights the country’s average age of 28 years, underscoring the significant potential of its youth in driving progress. Harnessing this potential, however, depends heavily on the participation of women in the workforce.
Currently, only 17 per cent of India’s female population is engaged in formal employment, in contrast to China’s 40 per cent. In Chhattisgarh, CM Bhupesh Baghel’s rural development schemes have empowered a substantial number of women, enabling their direct involvement in economic activities and decision-making.