Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA)

March 5, 2019 Scott Fletcher Bowlsby

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Mission and Purpose

The Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) was established as a trade union in 1972 with the aim to organise women workers and their families for full employment: employment whereby workers obtain work security, income security, food security and social security (at least health care, child care and shelter). SEWA works to make women autonomous and self-reliant, individually and collectively, both economically and in terms of their decision-making ability.[1] 

Origins and Development 

Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding

Specializations, Methods and Tools

Major Projects and Events

The Rural Urban Distribution Initiative and its multi-trading company were established by India's Self Employed Women’s Association to "internally generate funds for the rural producer groups, enhance the quality, capacity and efficiency of production with the help of new technology for the farming, warehousing and post-harvest processing of the agro commodities and improve the economic condition of the marginal farmers and workers who are struggling to survive and are below the poverty line."[1]

Analysis and Lessons Learned


See Also

Linking Local Producers to Local Consumers: India’s Rural Urban Distribution Initiative (RUDI)  


[1] "About Us," Self Employes Women's Association,

[2] "About Us," SEWA RUDI,

External Links


Lead image: Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) Inclusive Cities,