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India, Pune : Women’s Welfare Center (WWC) an attempt to empower women

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The vision of WWC is to promote a social order where there is equality, dignity and opportunity for all. A society where there is no gender discrimination and no woman is violated of her freedom, dignity and space for development.

The mission statement of WWC is summed up as :- Education for Human development as God wants them to be, capacity building for economic independence and organization to empower women socially and politically.

Under education programs we organize awareness sessions for groups of women, conduct seminars to increase their knowledge of the situations as well as to understand the role of women in the family and society and to maintain good realtionship.

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Under capacity building we are offering various kinds of short courses to improve their skills and potentials. This is to help them to become income generators in the family. We have introduced micro-credit program among the women to avail them sufficient amount of finance for their enterprises. Education and ability to supplement the family income is giving our women a new identity and boost their status in the family and community.

Under our organization programs we have organized neighborhood groups of 20 women. These groups of women keep vigilance on their community so that no women are victimized in their family and community. They function as a reference for any women who are in kind of distress situations. They are considered as the link between WWC and the larger community. These groups are organized and guided by the social workers of WWC. We organize leadership programs for them to improve their skills to reflect and articulate, to take initiative and to intervene in the different situations in their community. These groups of women are primarily responsible to bring to light any issues that affect the women in the community. In close collaboration with WWC we organize public programs and rallies to mobilize public opinion and to bring pressure on the structures of the government.

Impact of WWC on the women and society.

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The women’s self image has changed from being treated as an object to become subjects who decide their life and create their history. They enjoy better status and respect in their families. The domestic violence has considerably reduced in the areas where we are working. Women are well informed and capable of expressing themselves. They have become bold and assertive. They are no more constrained to the domestic walls. Large numbers of women take part in public meetings, rallies and cultural programs.

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Large numbers of women are positively contributing to their family income and enjoy better living conditions. There is more gender equality in their families and girls are getting equal opportunity for education and development and more girls are educated and employed. In short today the women of WWC have become a force to reckon with.

The majority of our beneficiaries are poor, non-Christian women from the slums of Pune. We have to exercise extreme caution not to favor one religion. So direct evangelization or propagation of Christianity is not possible. But evangelical values are common for all humans. Therefore we can emphasis on love, forgiveness, sharing, compassion, respect the dignity of each person’s etc.

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Through the education programs we help the women to discover their true identity as dwelling place of God. “Aham Brahma” is one of the basic tenets of Hindu religion which means I and God are one.

Philomina Thomas, RA
Director, WWC, Pune


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