History of Sakhi

Sakhi women’s resource centre was conceived as a welcoming and comfortable space for women which is repository of resources and a centre which conceives, implement and facilitate initiatives for empowering and supporting women and youth

Ms. Aleyamma Vijayan, with her 16 years of experience with the fishing community and Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) initiated this process using the three-year Mac Arthur Foundation fellowship she received in 1996. She was assisted by Ms. Prema Nair in the initial period. After three years of the fellowship, Sakhi was registered as a charitable trust. Besides Aleyamma, Ms. Mercy Alexander and Ms. Vanitha Nayak Mukherjee were the other two trustees. Presently the Trust has five members.

In the initial three years, the focus was on information collection, documentation and dissemination; training programmes; empowerment and networking. Over the years our work expanded into other areas to work for an equitable and just society.

Sakhi works mainly through local governments (Panchayats) which are constitutional structures with elected governments. 50% of seats to local governments are reserved for women. Mainstreaming gender through the local governments is a practical and effective way to reach out to society. Sakhi had made substantial contributions to engender governance at local governments by developing methodologies and publishing books and manuals for gender based planning, budgeting and auditing for use by local governments. Sakhi had assisted gram panchayats to set up and streamline Jagratha samithis (vigilance cells) and Gender Resource Centres (GRC).

Besides all our programmes like leadership training, post flood rehabilitation and life skill education were done in collaboration with local governments