Article Title:
Working Women and Security: Self Employed Women’s Association’s Response to Crisis
Title of Journal:
Journal of Human Development
Vol. #:
Issue #:
Vaux, Tony and Francie Lund.
July, 2003
Publication Type:
Journal Article

This article examines how SEWA (Self Employed Women’s Association), a registered trade union of informal self-employed women in India, has responded to natural disasters. It is argued that the approach taken by SEWA has often been more appropriate than that of governments and aid agencies. SEWA has consistently focused on sustaining the livelihoods of its members by developing instruments such as insurance schemes, housing projects, savings and credit institutions. These tools all have an increased value at times of disaster. It is argued that the membership base of SEWA has a good understanding of disaster, as they are vulnerable to crisis in their everyday lives and can thus be regarded as experts. Furthermore, SEWA is experienced in dealing with different kinds of crises, and in working for sustainable livelihoods. SEWA has also aimed to influence the government for more pro-poor disaster policies, and participated in government commissions and committees.

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