ERIC Number: ED416307
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
The Role of Literacy Training in NGOs' Efforts To Improve the Self-Sufficiency of Rural Indian Women.
Park, Rosemarie J.
A study to examine literacy programs for women in rural villages in India interviewed all program directors and staff and some women involved in nongovernmental (NGO) projects in the Pune area. NGO officials were universally disenchanted with government programs. NGOs' goals varied from preschool education in the villages to agricultural reform to entrepreneurial projects for women. All NGOs had improvement of the state of women mentioned prominently in their goals. Upper caste Brahmin ran NGOs, whereas the village women were lower caste or tribal women. All of the literacy programs were run with a top-down management style. The attitudes toward the lower caste women varied from respect to outright "paternalism" and influenced the type of work for which they were trained. Two NGOs trained women to become maids or make handicrafts. Conversations with the women in one village showed they were vitally concerned with literacy as a way to help their children have a future, but they were more fatalistic about chances to improve their own lives. Only two of the six NGOs had active literacy programs where women were instructed in educational skills necessary to accomplish a stated self-sufficiency goal. The most successful program, in terms of the difference it made in women's lives, was the Vanashthali Rural Development Project operating in 17 villages that offered 6-month preschool training courses to young village women. (An appendix highlights goals and effectiveness of the six projects.) (YLB)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Developing Nations, Empowerment, Foreign Countries, Individual Development, Job Training, Literacy Education, Nongovernmental Organizations, Program Effectiveness, Rural Women, Self Help Programs, Womens Education
Thirty-three selected papers from this conference are available on the "Literacy Online" Web site: http://www.literacyonline.org
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India