Abstract

Women’s contribution towards all developmental related activities is well documented but often under played. This, the women’s self image which is already under siege gets further bogged down by the socio-cultural shackles. To be a female in India is to be less than a human.  She is considered a burden in her family and the gender based discrimination starts from the birth of a female child in the society. Over the last 20 years, totally four world conferences about women have been held. These conferences have helped to strengthen the socio-economic, potential and legal dimensions of the role of women.  From time to time since India’s independence various legislations have been passed, programmes and polices have been formulated to protect the interest of women in the country.  They have acquired a new status and new role in the present day society.  New opportunities have been created.  But still we have a long way to go to achieve the goals of women’s development.  More than 60% of women’s are still illiterate, around 27% still live below poverty line.  The work participation rate is just 29.3% as against 55.9% that of males. Indian Government implements various welfare schemes to promote women in the society. WSHG is the scheme implemented, by the Tamil Nadu Government to improve women empowerment. The primary objective of this scheme is to create economic independence among women in the rural areas.  This article focuses its attention to the factors influencing the empowerment of women through self help groups in Dharmapuri district.