The International Congress EW/ES on Women Work and Health
has been rescheduled to 11th - 13th March, 2016.

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About The Festival

Women Work & Health Initiative is a non-profit organization, based in Delhi. WWHI works in the areas relating to gender aspects of work and health. The WWHI team, which organized the International Congress on Women Work & Health in 2005 has been invited by the International Scientific Committee to hold the International Congress on: EQUAL WORLD EQUAL SPACES, a Festival celebrating Women, Work & Health in Jaipur, India this year, from 11th – 13th March 2016.
The Congress will be housed at the stunning Diggi Palace, Jaipur. Jaipur, the Pink City of India has played host to many International festivals with great success. Apart from accommodating the academic presentation of papers on specified themes. Diggi Palace will be converted into a colourful venue for a host of activities spread over the 3 days.
Activities have been planned to entertain the intellectual minds gathered at Diggi Palace. A carnivalesque atmosphere will provide the participants and visitors with fun, frolic and festivity.
Food stalls selling traditional Rajasthani delicacies, workshops demonstrating the making of local handicrafts, stalls selling these local handicrafts will be dotted all over the heritage site of Diggi Palace.
Musical events have been planned over the 3 days that will entertain the Congress delegates and visitors. Carefully slotted into the Paper presentation schedule these will enhance the entire festival experience. Several artistically constructed stages will be put up in the Diggi Palace complex that will make the entire venue a pleasant place to be.

  • Mission

    Our mission is to create an interactive and dynamic meeting ground for thinkers and advocates who facilitated conversations between researchers, academics, practitioners, representatives of government. agencies, trade unions and the voluntary sector
    We cast new, exciting and informative light on how gender structures and processes in the world are different for women and men. The forum goes further to present new research & pathbreaking practices, collaborations & policies, possible solutions & linkages with policy decisions that provide new insights into contemporary concerns. As labour markets change and more women enter it, the processes need to be dynamic to integrate changes in work life situations.

  • Vision

    • Creating a synergy between NGOs, Trade Unions & Stakeholders.
    • Adopt a holistic approach towards promoting gender equality and equity.
    • To promote sensitivity and gender awareness about gender issues and encourage women’s empowerment through income generation schemes and women’s leadership
    • Inculcate and enhance women’s leadership roles.
  • History

    WWHI is a part of the International Network of Women Work & Health initiated in Barcelona, Spain in 1996. The network is presently in more than 60 countries. WWHI has been given the mandate to be the Asia representative. This forum was established after the successful IV International Congress on Women Work & Health, held in New Delhi in 2005.

a festival celebrating women work & health.



Handloom Revival in Chhindwara (Dist Chhindwara) Madhya Pradesh.

The quiet and scenic town of Chhindwara nestled in the hills of the Satpura range, has an old weaving tradition, which unfortunately has all but died due to a variety of reasons. The Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India has recently given to WWHI the responsibility of reviving the Handloom industry. The objectives will be:

  • Employment Generation
  • Sustainable Development
  • Gender Empowerement
  • Revival of Handloom

WWHI’s intervention will be long term and intensive, which will include improving the socio-economic status of the weavers and also revive a tradition, which will endow the town with a unique handloom identity. The weavers have accordingly formed a consortium named Shri Lakshmi Hathkargha Vikas Samiti, which includes both women & men weavers. They are being trained in all the aspects of weaving, with a special emphasis on Marketing, so that they become self-sustainable.


Municipality to Municipality Cooperation : Visby (Sweden) – Jhansi (India)

WWHI has initiated a Municipality to Municipality Cooperation between Gotland (Sweden) & Jhansi. This will work in the areas of: a) Literacy & Gender Empowerment b) Health & Sanitation c) Development strategies. This program is working successfully for the last two years.
The project focuses on the women bidi-rollers from a back ward Municipality ward in Jhansi – the Khushipura ward. The overall goal is to empower women through capacity building. This strategy will facilitate better conditions for women, equality in society and family, increased participation in decision making within the local authorities – a process that will increase local democracy.

As a part of this project women who voluntarily joined in, were selected with the aim of providing knowledge, tools and methods to initiate skill training that would create alternative sources of income for them. BINDU “Building Initiatives & Networking for the Development of the Underprivileged”, an adult literacy centre for women was formed as a part of this project.

Empowerment through handloom

Integrated Handloom Development Scheme – Maheshwar, Saunsar & Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh)

WWHI is working at empowering weavers through handlooms in a Handloom Development project supported by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. Of India, amongst the Weaver Cluster in Saunsar, in Chindwara district of Madhya Pradesh.

Saunsar has been famous for its rich hand weaving tradition and the distinctive style of its cotton saris. About a quarter century back, because of competiion from other handloom centres and other sociological reasons, the craft fell into a state of neglect in the region. Weavers left their traditional work and went to seek livelihoods through, vending, supari breaking at construction sites etc.which, eroded their dignity and skills. WWHI supported by The Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India is now working at strategic design intervention and hand holding in the areas, as would be necessary for further development of this age-old Craft under the Integrated Handloom Development Scheme.

A multi-pronged approach is being adopted in order to facilitate the capacity building of weavers, particularly the women, who form an integral part of the weaving process. Women SHGs (Self Help Groups) are being trained on management & business skills and also on micro enterprise and savings to encourage sustainable work. Sensibilities of traditional skills will be used as the elements of design vocabulary for the new collections in order to give a definite value. Such skills & techniques will be identified appropriately to match the available resources and emerging consumer aspirations & demands. Ethical Fashion an inherent idiom of the project is promoted via intervention in rural areas and backward communities; usage of environmentally friendly hand woven natural products and by encouraging entrepreneurship, particularly amongst the women.


HIV/AIDS: Capacity Building & Awareness

WWHI has been instrumental in creating awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. The project was conducted in 3 Phases. In the 1st phase workshops were held in 5 towns of India, in partnership with us, to raise awareness at the workplace. Vulnerable groups such as the ‘left behind population’ i.e. the women, in the areas of Sitamarhi and Madhubani in Bihar and the migrant population in the three industrial belts of Mumbai namely, Bhiwandi, Taloja and Navi Mumbai, were the focus of the 3rd Phase of the project. There were two mapping surveys conducted in the areas of Bihar and Mumbai to understand the mechanisms between migratory patterns and the spread of HIV/AIDS, and to create awareness and sensitization about women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, through partner/spousal contact. The project was implemented by involving Trade Unions, Local administration, Panchayat leaders specially women leaders, local NGOs, MSM groups, Positive networks and others committed to the issue. The methodology aimed at involving the following groups/institutions: educational institutes and Counselling Centres. Training Programs; Awareness programs, Poster campaigns, Yatras, street plays, popular folk dances and songs were also employed for creating awareness.

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National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme launched by the Government of India,under the National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC)

scheme entails training classes on retail management for youth aged between 18-25 years. The program aims at boosting employability and productivity by incentivizing them for skill training through monetary rewards as per the guidelines of NSDC scheme . WWHI took the task of training , assessement and certification of more than 100 students. Many students have recieved the monetary reward form the government. We are also facilitating placement assistance to certified students in retail outlets .


Gender and Development through Community based Micro-Enterprises running successfully in the Sangam Vihar slum of Delhi

Originally, 25-30 women were targeted for micro-enterprise scheme of knitting training and marketing. However, WWHI is happy to report that the number of women who have benefited are not just through capacity building programme such as knitting & tailoring, but also through additional awareness raising and health training etc. totalling some 100 women.

Computer literacy classes for women and youth are held at WWHI Literacy & Vocational Training Centre, Sangam vihar. The technical support was provided by Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany. The main aim behind this initiative is to increase the self-esteem of the students, build and strengthen their capacities to cope with the demands of a professional life, by giving them the necessary skills. Two batches one in the morning and one in evening with a total of 25 students in each batch i.e. 50 students were trained over a period of six months. Subsequently, the computer centre has introduced advanced classes, for those who have received their Basic level certificate. The biggest achievement of these classes has been the placement of students in the job market, which gives them economic empowerment. The course is accredited with Gras academy to provide these students with certificates after completion of the course. We have also started providing hardware networking classes.

English Communication Classes – English as a language skill has become indispensable in today’s job market. With the objective of improving spoken, reading and writing skills of children, WWHI has started these classes. Games, role play, debate are also conducted to improve skills. A proper teaching methodology is followed and evaluation done to understand the impact of the programme . 15 students have enrolled in the new batch and we expect more students to join.

Beautician classes – Understanding the market trend of employment options , WWHI Has recently started a course in beautician . This has generated a lot of curiousity among the local girls who have enrolled for the course . We would also facilitate placement after the completion of the course.

Research & Publication


Gender & Development

A. Sahaya, S.Kaistha & V. Patel (eds.); (2011, The Women Press, Delhi)

This book seeks to publicise and share the immense work both in the fields of research and practice that is involved in carrying the debates at the International Conference on Gender & Development in the World of Work (2010, Jhansi, UP, India) forward. It advocates a sharpened, more nuanced usage of the gender lens, ‘in order to expose and unveil the entrenched philosophies, which favour and preserve the gendered production structure’ with all its socio economic and cultural ramifications. The papers reproduced here focus on the 3 themes of the conference: Gender and Development, Gender, Work and Health, and Sustainable Development in South Asia.

To order this book please contact The Women Press at or +91 – 11- 13259196 or +91 – 11 – 23259648


Women Work & Health

Current Concerns, A.Sahaya & S. Kaistha (eds.); (2010, The Women Press, Delhi)

There is a definite need to comprehend the complexities of the social fabric that has been redefined by the shifting staus of women. This publication attempts to provide an overview of the immensity of research and practice that comprise the world of women’s work and health, acknowledging above all else, the milestones that dot this complex journey. These selected readings have been chosen from a plethora of 400 papers that were presented at the IV International Congress on Women Work and Health in Delhi in 2005. They contain the essence of the proceedings, and form an integral part of the continuum of studies, research and analysis done in the field of women’s work and health, ranging from reproductive health to chemical exposition, gender constructs to kitchen ergonomic, new age technology to globalisation and of course touching on our deepest concerns regarding gender inequality and its manifestations. These papers aim at promoting women’s health and safety at work, indication a possible roadmap for researchers, practitioners, activities and policy makers work in the field of women, work and health.

To order this book please contact The Women Press at or +91 – 11- 13259196 or +91 – 11 – 23259648


Abstracts: National Seminar on Gender & Development in the World of Work & Health Focus: Women workers in the agrarian sector ((19-20 November 2010, Nainital, Uttarakhand),

New Delhi (2010)

The seminar ‘Gender & Development in the World of Work and Health – with focus on Women in the Agrarian Sector’ took place at the Kumaon University in Nainital (Uttarakhand) in November 2010. This publication encapsulates the sub themes of papers presented and final recommendations. They focussed on Macro Economic Policies and the Predicament of women in agriculture, Women in the subsistence sector, women in commercialised agriculture, Health and Nutrition of agrarian women workers and social security and social protection provided by the nation states of India to agrarian women workers


Report: Mapping of Bhivandi, Navi Mumbai & Taloja

The Industrial Belts of Mumbai on Awareness of HIV/AIDS 2008-2009, Women Work and Health Initiative (2009)

The report on the Mapping of the 3 industrial belts of Mumbai (Bhivandi, Navi Mumbai and Taloja) on the awareness of HIV/AIDS in that region in 2009 was supported by the Embassy of Finland. The publication lays bare the awareness of the people of the industrial belt (a section of the population greatly affected by the large number of migrants) of Mumbai on HIV/AIDS according to research conducted by WWHI.


Mapping of Two Districts: Madhubani & Sitamarhi

Bihar on Awareness of HIV/AIDS 2007-2008, Women Work and Health Initiative (2008)

The report of the Mapping of two districts in Bihar (Madhubani & Sitamarhi) in 2007/2008 (supported by the Embassy of Finland) lays bare the awareness of HIV/AIDS of the people in this area with a large migrant population.


Selected Readings

IV International Congress ‘Women Work and Health, A. Sahaya (ed.) (2008

This publication gives the reader an insight into the intensive, in-depth debates and deliberations that formed an integral part of the International Congress on Women, Work and Health held in New Delhi in November 2005. Practical examples and research find a confluence in these pages. This work is an attempt to assess and to provide an insight into the vast research and practice being conducted in the areas of work and occupational health of women in India and worldwide.

a festival celebrating women work & health.

Who We Are

Produced by Teamwork Arts, a strong advocate for women’s work and health, the VI International Congress WWH 2016 is curated and programmed by Women Work & Health Initiative.

The VI International Congress WWH 2016

focuses on strengthening the empowerment of women through research and action. Providing emphasis on work, health and its gendered aspects, WWHI have brought voices together over challenging issues from the very beginning, with strong and direct encouragement and support from Teamwork Arts. In this VI Congress, the forum goes further to present new research and path breaking practices, collaborations and policies, possible solutions and linkages with policy decisions, that provide new insights into contemporary concerns for women. As labour markets change and more women enter it, the processes need to be dynamic to respond to and integrate the resultant changes in emerging work-life situations.


A festival celebrating women work & health.

Amita Sahaya is Founder-Secretary Women Work & Health Initiative (WWHI). As a Social Entrepreneur, she has integrated research and grassroot level interventions, th


Sunita Kaistha (M.Phil; PhD) Co-Founder & President WWHI is an Associate Professor in Business Studies at the Jesus & Mary College (University of Delhi). Her special fo



For over 24 years, Teamwork has presented the finest of Indian writers, artists and performers


Advisory Board

  • Prof Surinder Jaswal


  • Malashri Lal


  • Vibhuti Patel


  • Hanna Westberg


  • Preeti Singh


  • Professor (Dr) Suneeta Mittal


  • Anshu Dogra


Get Involved

Work with us to empower girls and women to fight gender inequality and poverty in India! To join us on this campaign, there are different ways in which you can make a difference!

  • Help fund our organisation!
  • Become a sponsor!
  • Sponsor a project close to your heart!
  • Spread the word! Share our vision!

Help out!

To help fund our projects you can make a one- time donation to WWHI, which will go towards the maintenance of our on-going projects, such as office support and staff and donations of funds for the benefit of underprivileged women and girls our projects. Your donation will help us reach our mission:

  • Women’s Empowerment through education and income generation
  • Enhancement of women’s socio-economic status through equality of opportunity
  • Development of negotiations skills and leadership training
  • Environmental Analysis and its impact on women’s working life
  • Promoting Healthcare awareness; particularly in the field of HIV/Aids and occupational safety and healthcare

Become a Sponsor!

Sponsor a project close to your heart!

BINDU: you can support the educational tools or monthly medical camps or nutrition for the participating women at our BINDU project by making a minimum donation of €25 per month x 1 year = €300.
Being a partner to their empowerment process you will get pictures and a quarterly report of their progress.

Spread the word! Share our vision!

You can follow us on Twitter as well as sharing our work via Facebook and linking to our website. Follow our news!
If you cannot support us financially, but want to volunteer your time and knowledge to our projects, we would love to hear from you.
Contact us:
Tel: +91-11- 40502699;
Fax: +91-11- 41025289


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