We Are Poor but So Many: The Story of Self-Employed Women in India (South Asia Series)
Ela R. BhattISBN: 0195169840;
Ela Bhatt is widely recognized as one of the world's most remarkable pioneers and entrepreneurial forces in grassroots development. Known as the "gentle revolutionary," she has dedicated her life to improving the lives of India's poorest and most oppressd citizens. In India, where 93 percent of the labor force are self-employed, 94 percent of this sector are women. Yet self-employed women have historically enjoyed few legal protections or worker's rights. In fact, most are illiterate and subject to exloitation and harassment by moneylenders, employers, and officials. Witnessing the terrible conditions faced by women working as weavers, stitchers, cigarette rollers, and waste collectors, Ela Bhatt began helping these women to organize themselves. In1972, Ela Bhatt founded the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA) to bring poor women together and give them ways to fight for their rights and earn better livings. Three years after SEWA was founded, it had 7,000 members. Today...