Transforming underprivileged women with micro skills and soft skills
Why do we need to empower women?
Underprivileged. It is a word that comes to mind when we think about those that are worse off in life. People who are not favored by fortune. People who are uneducated and have had access to fewer opportunities in life. But oftentimes, a person’s privileges aren’t all that black and white.
According to the NGO, Initiative for What Works to Advance Women and Girls in the Economy (IWWAGE)’s, survey quoted on Business Insider India, the support for under-privileged women to be financially independent and contributing is evident. 84% of the families surveyed from the Anganwadi hubs are supportive of their women and 72% stated that they would be encouraged in travelling outside their homes for training programs. What’s more, there’s a drive among women themselves, with over 77% of them intending to start small businesses to financially support their families.
However, the issue becomes more complex when we see that the biggest obstacles that cut their dreams short are domestic responsibilities as mothers and sisters, a lack of clear business ideas, as well as a lack of access to seed capital.
When we get to revising the definition of ‘unprivileged women’, we realize that these are women, who although uneducated, and originating from socially backward communities, are just as competent as any other women, but only differ in the sense of facing a unique set of challenges.
March 8th of every year, we celebrate ‘Women Empowerment Day’, better known as ‘International Women’s Day’, a day on which we recognize the journey that is yet to be traveled and changes that need to be made for all Indian women to be able to access the same opportunities and reap success from their lives. The need for women’s empowerment has never been clearer and has shown the potential for women’s economic empowerment to lead to change.
What are macro and micro skills?
In general, macro skills are the largest skill sets that are utilized in a particular context, for example, they are considered to be reading, writing, speaking, and listening. On the other hand, micro-skills are smaller and more individual skills used within a specific area of practice. For example, as an entrepreneur, they may be customer support, product design, digital marketing, operations management, etc.
There are even micro skills within the macro skills, for example, micro skills for speaking are producing clear, audible sounds, and using voice inflections and stress to draw attention to particular words. In reading, the micro skills are the memory of vital parts of a body of text, skimming through text to obtain the main idea, and being actively aware of the use of language to convey varied meanings. In communication, micro skills might be silence, empathy, and non-verbal communication.
Understanding their meanings shows us that these two types of skills show us the breadth and depth of a person’s knowledge through work experience and learning, and are vital in building a person’s profile.
How are hard skills different from soft skills?
Another way of looking at skills is hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are skills that are taught face-to-face, particularly because they are physical skills, and they are specific to an industry or economic sector. Some examples of this are SEO marketing, computer coding, and prototyping, and they are often learned through training, hands-on experience, or through education.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are non-industry specific, and intangible skills, or interpersonal attributes, are skills that develop naturally without intervention and most importantly, determine how well a person is able to succeed with other peers in the workplace or school. Examples of general soft skills include leadership, communication, and time management.
In the workplace, some of the top soft skills needed to excel are an optimistic attitude, proficient communication in terms of both listening and speaking and a strong work ethic in terms of sticking to deadlines and being diligent with work and responsibility. For students, the soft skills slightly vary, taking into account resilience, a sense of responsibility, and problem-solving.
Another strong differentiator between hard and soft skills is that the level of a person’s hard skills can be measured in terms of numerical value, but soft skills are more difficult to categorize because they are developed in many shapes and forms.
How can underprivileged women develop skills?
Skill development is a vital tool in instilling in underprivileged women, the macro and micro, as well as hard and soft skills in transforming under-privileged women from sole participation in their homes, to being equipped with the skills and resources in order to be able to successfully land jobs, access financial services and buy property, all aspirations of current underprivileged women. Their participation in the economy is crucial to greater stability in the world, earning income to develop their local economies, setting a path for poverty reduction, as well as diminish gender inequality.
Women’s skills development organizations and women’s empowerment training organizations are the foundation in bridging the current market and its needs for underprivileged women seeking to better themselves, their families, and their communities by participating in it. During COVID-19, there was an influx in need for informal, digital work, as many businesses and offices had shut down. Women who had been previously trained, especially in leveraging technology were able to seize this opportunity, communicating with clients online, and using e-payment methods to facilitate transactions.
Why should you donate to Ebendavid Charities?
We, at Ebendavid Charities, are an NGO from Tamil Nadu who have had experience in empowering financially vulnerable women so that they can lead more independent lives on their own terms. One of our initiatives called the UpSkill Center, is aimed at providing skill development courses and training for unemployed, and underprivileged women, irrespective of their caste, religion, or colour.
In addition to enabling women to be active members of our economy, we encourage them to make a positive impact on their families and communities to bring the next generation of women and girls closer to financial freedom and a sense of confidence in them.
On 13/04/2023 Micro skill program was conducted in Thandalam village for a batch of 15 beneficiaries. The Batch was trained to produce Chemical products using the raw material. The products are as follows Soap Oil, Soap Powder, Phenyl, Candel
By donating Rs. 2000 per month only, you support our work in running our Upskill centers and creating change, one community at a time.