Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI)

A holistic approach towards empowerment



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"It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved” - Swami Vivekananda

We are pleased to share with you the details of ICA’s Women’s Leadership Initiative and invite you to support and participate in its work.

This initiative carries out its mission by nurturing and strengthening women’s possibilities to succeed and help them overcome systemic barriers that limit their opportunities to thrive.  Few will dispute that women’s autonomy and betterment of their lives is a socio-economic need and a moral imperative.

Join us to make it a reality!

Facts...

  • India ranks 112 of 153 on the Global Gender Gap Index.
    (World Economic Forum (WEF))
  • Less than one-quarter (20.3%) of women (15 years) participate in the labor force in India, putting India among the bottom 10 countries inranking in the world in terms of women’s workforce (World Bank/CMIE)
  • Only 13.5 per cent women held seats in Parliament in 2020. UN Women.
  • Gender-based violence is the top crime against women (NCW)

About


The Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) of ICA supports the social and economic empowerment of women & girls in India who face societal and cultural barriers to self-sufficiency. Adopting a multi-pronged, holistic learning framework and working with local community-based partners, WLI programs are designed to help these women and girls attain their full potential.

Goals

WLI seeks to create a more equitable world where women can contribute meaningfully in all spheres of their lives without facing physical, cultural or educational barriers.

We do this by

  • Supporting and strengthening community-based networks
  • Fostering leadership at the grassroots level through training & mentorship
  • Building skills through tailored workshops and presentations.
Empowering Women & Girls in India
Partnership is a core element of WLI with goals to work in a collaborative manner with local NGOs and community-based groups serving women & girls in India. By working with those who know their membership most, WLI is able to support efforts focused on the underserved. All programs are designed by a special team of women, for women and are completely customizable by objective, audience, region and uniquely tailored for Indian women & girls.
  • Life Skills

    These workshops are offered on social and interpersonal skills to marginalized adolescent girls and young women whose life outcomes are threatened by poverty and gender-based discrimination. The advantage of life skill programming especially using participatory methods is a highly effective strategy increasing the awareness and confidence of the participants.

  • Livelihood

    Workshops are aimed at improving income -generating and entrepreneurial capabilities of women at the grassroots level by conducting targeted workshops that responds to their needs that would lead to long term economic empowerment and sustainability.

  • Leadership

    The Transformational leadership training allowing the workshop participant to recognize her own skills, capabilities and potential for a more balanced personal vision & purpose has shown that not only women but all of society will gain politically, economically, and culturally.

Impact of WLI

Over 400 women & girls in different regions of India participated in WLI programs this past decade. Informal studies show that these programs have had significant impact in the communities and lives of those who participated. Women and girls reported a dramatic improvement in their self- confidence and productivity. They formed strong alliances and partnerships to help each other through critical decision-making tasks and ultimately empowered themselves to take leadership roles in their communities.

The program has resulted in -

  1. Unprecedented improvement in performance;
  2. Dramatic breakthroughs in critical strategies that require change;
  3. Alliances and strategic relationships to produce superior results;
  4. Individual autonomy & productivity has been elevated.

What we have accomplished

  • 2007-2010 – Sponsored 4 women leaders from India to attend advanced leadership training in the SF bay area
  • 2012 – Leadership training for 60 women in Kadapa, a mid-size town in AP
  • 2015 – Professional training for 100 mid-level women managers in Hyderabad
  • 2019 – Entrepreneurial training for 70 micro-entrepreneurs in Ahmadabad
  • 2019 – Sponsored a woman leader to advanced professional training in SF
  • 2020 – Enrichment workshops for 70 teen girls and 60 young women in Bangalore and Mumbai

Women Leadership Development Program - 2013

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Women Leadership Development Program - 2019

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Women Leadership Development Program - 2020

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Get Involved

Join us and get involved! Here are a few options:

  1. Donate to WLI in order to support more women & girls
  2. Help us structure and scale the program
  3. Volunteer your time and talents 
  4. Connect us to other partner NGOs or potential participants 

Contact us at womensinitiative@icaonline.org

WLI Team

Lata Patil, Shobha Hiatt, Shailaja Akkapeddi, Anjula Tyagi

Testimonials

"I did not imagine that I could ever contest in elections and become Panchayat President – I did it... I am very grateful to ICA and Aarti Home for the leadership training”

- Jayasree  Badrachalam

“The leadership training gave me so much of confidence. I am aware of myself now and am thinking like a leader”

- Bhagya Lakshmi Madanapalli

“The leadership training is amazing. I did not know I had so much of strength in me. I can take any challenge in my life now”

- Padmavati Sangareddy

“The flow of the training was good. The information related to personal information and personal insight is very interesting as you get to know what is important, what they want out of life and how it is linked with SEWA goals”

“The planning pyramid - planning from top to bottom was a good tool and can be used in team”

“What do you care about, what do we want out of life and base that plan to your vision and define goals activity was very intuitive and insightful”

- Ahmedabad