Kudumbashree: A Network of the Poor

Women of Kudumbashree

There is special kind of ‘network effect’ and ‘platforms’ we should be talking more of.

‘Kudumbashree’ was setup in 1997 as a poverty eradication and women’s empowerment program by Kerala government.

‘Kudumbashree’ (prosperity of the family)is the largest women’s network in the world. It covers more than 50% women in Kerala.

It aims to empower families through women-centered activities. Working through a 3 tier structure, neighbourhood groups of 10–20 poor women are its foundation.

It prioritizes local production, catering to local consumption to increase economic activity within local areas.

Kudumbashree encourages poor women to save and extends credit to them. It provides vocational and entrepreneurship skills and facilitates creation of self and wage employment.

This, in turn, enhances the household income.

It has empowered 4.5 million women, economically, socially and politically by bringing them out in the public sphere.

It is not only ‘pro-poor’ but also ‘poor-led’.

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