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Rural women are usually poorer than their male counterparts, more vulnerable, own no land, are less educated and in poorer health. They struggle because of low paid work and care for the home. The women are often ignorant of their rights, liberties and privileges. Being women, they are likely to have little or no say in the financial matters within her house. A girl child is deprived of schooling or literacy for no other reason than that she is a female and it is this illiteracy that often excludes her from written knowledge and participation in decision making, affecting both the household and the community.
SCAD conducts legal aid training for the staff and members of Women’s Self Help Groups. Two such legal aid training programmes were held, one at Pottal Colony, Tirunelveli, on 24 July 2012, and the other at Tiruchendur, the following day, 25 July 2012. 130 women participated with great interest. Mrs. Ramani Matthew was invited as the Resource person and while visiting our project’s operational areas she gave specialist advice to the staff and members on legal aid. She explained to the women their rights and the different options they had before them to resolve their problem. She encouraged them to believe that women have equal rights to a share in property, right to education, improved health and higher income. Female education can lead to a reduction in poverty by giving women the literacy skills and confidence they need to have a say about how things are run, she insisted on mothers’ education that leads to better health and nutrition of her children. Removing gender inequalities is not only morally right but also good for the economic growth and development.
The women who attended these trainings were highly motivated and thanked SCAD Project Director, Nagarajan, and the BDOs of Tirunelveli and Tiruchendur, Velmurugan and Manoharan, for organising such useful programmes and expressed their desire for more awareness trainings.