The approach organization WELL (Women’s Empowered through Local Livelihood) has adopted is helping women sustain their livelihood and to gain freedom outside of their household by incorporating independent social enterprise concept.
The independent work model of WELL has adopted is the women workers purchase the papers and other necessary material to make the products. Then, the organization buys back the products and the ideas that these women have created. This system allows the organization to create quality regulation on the products
By allowing Indian women who have been excluded from the economic sector and suppressed culturally for decades to work independently, it creates an outlet for women to gain monetary freedom. And most importantly, non-monetary benefits of the workshops impact the livelihood of these women, her household moreover her community. It teaches how to speak for herself in the public sphere and to gain leadership experience without being tied down by the cast system. The cast system in India is almost 3,000 years old, is the world’s oldest forms of surviving social stratification. The system sanctions repression of the lower castes by the upper castes. Among the women who are working for WELL, that cast system is invisible and work in unity to develop equality within the organization. These women exchange techniques and ideas for the products, allowing the group empowerment to happen naturally. Also, instead of having a leader to represent the unit, the creation of the “Future Group” allowed the women to plan and to discuss for the progression of the organization and for their own future livelihood.
The women working with WELL used one umbrella term to summarize how the organization has impacted their livelihood in 12 non-monetary elements. It was love. These women understand the importance of loving oneself, loving others without boundaries and segregating anyone based on social class. This concept should be universally adopted like it does in a country of the world’s oldest surviving social caste system.

– Stella Kim

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