Five Charities Working For Women

Five Charities Working For Women

Anyone who has experienced even a subtle form of discrimination or bias knows what patriarchy is. Whenever women have talked about their experiences in multiple workshops and training, they have actually described the different forms of patriarchal control that they have personally experienced. As we begin to reflect on these fragments of experiences, they all start forming a pattern: How women are subjected to discrimination and subordination in different forms in their lives. These feelings and experiences may destroy self-respect, self-esteem and also may set limits on their aspirations. It is a matter of great concern that in a country like India, the largest democracy in the world, women are still a long way from being treated as equal citizens. They live in constant fear of rape, trafficking, physical and sexual violence while fighting bravely to prevent the denial of equal opportunities for education and work. Women's rights are extremely important if a country needs to move forward and prosper, and no matter how much India “shines", the nation can go only so far if women are held back. This is amply illustrated by ILO statistics - Globally, in 2021, women's participation in the labour force decreased from 51% in 1990 to 46% in 2021. 

education of girl child in india

Finding a sustainable solution to gender discrimination in India

According to World Economic Forum, in the Gender Gap Report 2022, which measures the level of equality in a country between the two genders based on Economic Participation and Opportunity, Educational Attainment, Health and Survival and Political Empowerment, India has been ranked at 135 out of the 146 participating countries in the report. This rank is a huge setback on the country’s account despite so many central and state-level government programs working in the context of women empowerment like Beti Bachao Beti PadhaoOne Stop One Centre SchemeWorking Women HostelMahila E-Haat, and Delhi Ladli Yojna.

Problems that persist, include:

·         Gender discrimination

·         Lack of Education

·         Female Infanticide

·         Financial Constraints

·         Family Responsibility

·         Low Mobility 

·         Low ability to bear Risk

·         Low need for achievement

·         The Absence of ambition for the achievement 

·         Social status   

·         Dowry  

·         Marriage in same caste and child marriage  (still existing) 

·         Atrocities on Women (Raped, Killed, humiliated daily)


ending violence against women and girls


In India, during the last two decades, women’s rights organisations have been taking patriarchy head on in many ways. Their challenges have been local, sporadic and spontaneous, as well as thought out, organised and coordinated, through autonomous women’s agitations or in association with other social movements, political parties or trade unions. The organisations not only analyse this system but also helps to deconstruct the powerful social norms which affect women, adds to gender inequality and the stereotypes related to it. There are several organisations working for the women to help them overcome the constant fear of violence, inequalities in different spheres of life and work towards, making the country a safer place for women by initiating the policy level changes and also by conducting awareness campaigns that aim to educate the public about the importance of gender equality and its importance in development.

Charitable Organisations working for women’s rights 

Some of the charitable organisations working in India are:-

1.      Women India Trust

Established in 1968, in Mumbai, by Ms Kamila Tyabji. The charitable organisation was started by training less privileged and unskilled women to stitch sari petticoats. This helped women develop skills and become financially stable by earning a regular income; this changed not only their lives but also their families’.  They also run girls hostel and skill training centres for the women to provide them with the necessary opportunities for employment. WIT continues to help less fortunate women secure a better future. They have helped women by setting up educational centres (nursing schools), vocational skill training, livelihood programs through a Food Processing Unit, a professional unit which employs full-time, trained staff. Here, women are involved in the production of jams, jellies, marmalades, pickles, chutneys and fresh fruit squashes.

2.      Indian Women And Child Welfare Trust

This registered charitable trust works in the field of social, cultural, economic, health, educational, relief and rural/urban community development. They are committed to sustainable development goals and the previous millennium development goals for women and child development. The aim remains to have efficient opportunities for the marginalised so that they can achieve their optimum potential. They help in empowering disadvantaged women and girls by imparting skill training, computer training, educational scholarships and self-help support, which will help to generate an income for their families.

3.      Apne Aap Women’s Collective

Apne Aap Women’s Collective is an anti-trafficking organization, which help the women and children of Kamathipura, the red light area of Mumbai that is also one of the largest and oldest red light areas in Asia. Established in  1998, they operate through three programs: Umeed for women in brothel-based prostitution, Udaan for daughters of Umeed members and other girls living in the red light area, and Umang for toddlers of Umeed members and other children living in the red light area.  They seek to empower the women who have been trafficked into brothel-based prostitution and thus prevent the cycle of intergenerational prostitution which is a common case in India. Their success stories can be proved by the fact that their alumni have earned Bachelor's and Master's degrees and entered professions like accounting, beauty, business process outsourcing, dance, hospitality management, nursing, teaching and social work.

4.      Myna Mahila

One of the seven charities chosen by Markle and Prince Harry of Britain, Myna Mahila is an Indian charity that transforms the lives of women by moving beyond taboos and social stigma. Founded by Jalota, a 21-year-old student at the Duke University in North Carolina at the time, this organisation works as a women's menstrual health foundation that provides affordable sanitary napkins to women from Mumbai's most impoverished neighbourhoods. Every year, in India, many girls drop out of school when they start menstruating as they can neither afford napkins nor do they have someone they can speak to about their menstrual health and hygiene because of the stigma associated with menstruation in the country. The foundation seeks to empower women by providing them with the tools and materials to manufacture their own sanitary napkins, and then sell them to their community at a fraction of the cost of regular napkins. This foundation was in the news when Meghan Markle visited the small factory in Mumbai.

5.      Oxfam India

In the year 1951, Oxfam Great Britain came to India during the Bihar famine to provide humanitarian relief, and in 2008 – Oxfam India officially came into being. They are dedicated to empowering women from vulnerable communities through the means of sustainable livelihood opportunities, which in turn strengthens their communities. Oxfam India tirelessly works towards building a society where women and girls can access their rights, have the freedom to speak their minds and live a discrimination-free life. They have worked with over 7500 women across 11 states and supported them with livelihood opportunities in agriculture and entrepreneurship. They work in partnership with different local organisations to help reach marginalised women. Oxfam India also works towards eradicating violence against women and girls, as well as child, early and forced marriages in five states through the project ‘Creating Spaces’. The organisation focuses on the following states - Assam, Delhi, Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, in particular.

achieving gender equality in india can be a reality


Charitable organisations in India are helping marginalized and disadvantaged women by empowering them. You too can contribute today. 


📢Oxfam India is now on Telegram. Click here to join our Telegram channel and stay tuned to the latest updates and insights on social and development issues.


Information in the Oxfam India section has been updated as of September 2021 to reflect ongoing efforts for strengthening women's livelihoods.

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