Context: Over half of Mumbai’s population of 20 million people live in slums. Young women living in slums lack marketable skills to enable them to be competitive in the formal workforce.

Organization: Founded in 1995 with the goal of strengthening the capacity of women and youth to promote gender equality and human rights, Akshara works with women and youth from different walks of life (youth in local colleges, young women living in slums) and provides leadership development workshops, a free library, and online courses in women’s studies to empower women at the individual and community level to challenge and prevent gender based violence and discrimination.

Current Grant: EMpower’s 5th grant to Akshara enables 80 young girls to acquire technical, employability and leadership skills to become more competitive in the formal workforce.

India Contact: Nandita Gandhi and Nandita Shah Contact Email: gandhinandita@yahoo.com Website: http://www.aksharacentre.org/ Year Established: 1995