World Literacy Canada assisted women community leaders in establishing democratically-elected groups that met regularly to discuss local issues, and acted as the decision-making body on all components of our holistic program. These Mahila Mandals (women’s groups) established in each program community truly are at the centre of our programming in India.
The Mahila Mandal leadership was the focal point of our advocacy efforts. Advocacy is both a means and an end to our programming. Achieving literacy brings a responsibility to speak on behalf of those who cannot yet read or write. Advocacy is ultimately about empowerment – acquiring a voice to speak for one’s self.
In our former advocacy project:
- We provided resources to Mahila Mandals about human rights, government services and how to access them, and guidance about how to make positive changes in their homes;
- We supported women to become self-advocates and fight for their rights and provide spaces to make their voices heard;
- We encouraged women to become involved in local government and to run in elections.