The “Theory of Change” in the RGMVP Model of women Empowerment and Poverty Reduction is based on the unique concept of Breaking Hierarchy. Unlike traditional approaches to women empowerment that used community mobilization and organizing women in to Self Help Groups for applying the economic model of savings and internal lending, RGMVP Model focuses on the root causes that perpetually bind the women to poverty and subjugation. Women in Uttar Pradesh face several social barriers apart from economic constraints of which the patriarchal, feudal and caste hierarchies that exist in the society are the major ones.
The barriers created by caste system, patriarchy, marginalization, lack of mobility, lack of resources, feudal structure and lack of information lead to gender inequality, low literacy, poor health, financial dependence, malnutrition and many incapability that become hurdles to behavior change. Therefore the first step in RGMVP ‘s empowerment process is to disrupt the hierarchy and break barriers to create an eco system for women’s participation, learning and capacity building for empowerment. The three-tier women self help group learning platforms of RGMVP enable a community led process of disrupting hierarchy and breaking barriers.
The Theory of Change in RGMVP is “Organize women to unleash their individual and collective potential as change agents to disrupt hierarchy and change the power relations required for poverty alleviation”
The Break Hierarchy Blog is created to highlight field experiences of RGMVP in the most essential process of breaking hierarchy in which the SHG members, i.e., the women are the central characters.