SEWA Cooperative Federation’s history can be traced back to the struggle for workers’ rights led by the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA). Since its inception in the 1970s, the SEWA trade union has worked actively to promote the rights of women working in the informal sector. Today, SEWA is one of India’s largest and oldest national trade unions of informal workers with over 1.8 million active members across 18 states.
Alongside workers’ rights, SEWA identified the need for sustainable livelihood for informal women workers. The Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) Cooperative Federation has been working with and for women workers of the informal economy since 1992. The Federation is committed to women’s economic empowerment and self-reliance through collective enterprises that are owned, managed and run by women. Our role is to provide a stable support system to women’s enterprises, nationally and internationally, enabling sustainability both financially and in terms of decision making.
The Federation supports over 100 women-owned and women-led cooperatives across 6 sectors — Agriculture, Dairy, Artisans, Services, Savings & Credit, and Labour, with the view of achieving full employment and self-reliance for informal women workers. The Federation provides support services that enable these cooperatives and other collective businesses of informal women workers to become viable, to innovate, and to scale.
With the help of a panel of experts and experienced professionals, the SEWA Federation provides specialised services to women’s collective enterprises across sectors, to enable them to become sustainable businesses. These services include:
- Human Resources and Administration
- Capacity Building
- Finance & Accounting
Linked 300,000 women with work and income security
110 women’s collective enterprises incubated, promoted and supported
4000 + grassroots leaders creating change at the community level
Reaching 1,700,000 individuals in 2021–2022
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