Real Empowerment: Rural women launch 'Sharab Chodo, Ghar Jodo' Campaign

Real Empowerment: Rural women launch ‘Sharab Chodo, Ghar Jodo’ Campaign

Alcohol abuse is one of the main killers of young men in India today. But its impact also entends to the social and family dynamics that underlie communities. Domestic violence and an exacerbation of poverty have made alcohol abuse one of the most important problems for women in India.

That’s why the women of Khapatiya village in Gujarat recently decided to take action to eliminate alcohol abuse from their community and take greater control of their lives. Six months ago, they launched the  ‘Sharab Chodo, Ghar Jodo’ campaign, encouraging  villagers to quit liquor and instead concentrate on shaping their future. Since then, the campaign has persuaded hundreds of addicts to quit the habit and join the campaign to make their villages “liquor-free.”  It is also quickly spreading to other villages across the state.

When talking about women’s empowerment, many people think about NGO programs or government policies that help address some of the structural issues inhibiting gender equality. While these are very important, we love the ‘Sharab Chodo, Ghar Jodo’ campaign because it is an example of the most intrinsic, and thus most sustainable form of empowerment. The women of Khapatiya chose an issue that matters to them and used their own knowledge and experience to devise a solution and mobilize their community around it. To launch this campaign, the women had to execute cunning decision making, assertive communication, and express their feelings. These skills are intimately tied to the development of autonomy, feelings of control, and self-efficacy—all the ingredients of true empowerment.

Read the full TOI story about the Sharab Chodo, Ghar Jodo’ Campaign here.