Women empowerment issues – Jobs,Reservation and education

25 years of Kudumbashree Scheme


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Kudumbashree Scheme

Mains level: Women empowerment initiatives


Central Idea: President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the silver jubilee celebrations of Kudumbashree.

What is Kudumbashree?

  • Kudumbashree is a poverty eradication and women empowerment program implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) in Kerala, India.
  • The program was established in 1997 based on recommendations from a task force appointed by the state government.
  • It was created in the context of devolving powers to the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the People’s Plan Campaign in Kerala.
  • Membership in Kudumbashree is open to all adult women, with one membership allowed per family.
  • In 2011, the Centre recognized Kudumbashree as the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).

Working mechanism

  • Kudumbashree operates through a three-tier structure:
  1. Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs),
  2. Area Development Societies (ADS), and
  3. Community Development Societies (CDS).
  • The community network was gradually expanded to cover the entire state between 2000 and 2002.

Evolution and Contributions of Kudumbashree

  • Kudumbashree has transformed significantly over the past 25 years.
  • During the Kerala flood, Kudumbashree donated a substantial amount to the Chief Minister’s relief fund, surpassing contributions from tech giants and foundations.
  • The organization was initially conceptualized as an all-women poverty alleviation program.
  • Despite being flood victims themselves, Kudumbashree members showed resilience and contributed generously to help others.

Role during the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Kudumbashree played a crucial role in responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • They manufactured and distributed masks and sanitisers.
  • The organization set up COVID treatment centres and worked as the nodal agency for COVID management in several local bodies.
  • ‘Janakeeya Hotels’ provided affordable meals to those in need, including those in home quarantine.

Empowerment and Social Impact

  • Kudumbashree has empowered women and facilitated grassroots planning for employment generation, poverty alleviation, and women’s empowerment.
  • It mobilized women for community activities and increased their participation in local bodies.
  • Kudumbashree’s initiatives include micro-enterprises, agricultural projects, rural development, and compassion programs.
  • The organization has made significant strides in empowering Dalit and tribal women.

Challenges and Future Directions

  • Critics highlight the need for Kudumbashree to evolve gender perspectives and alternative development models.
  • Despite criticism, Kudumbashree’s contribution to poverty reduction is unparalleled.
  • The organization aims to address gender-based crimes and eliminate social evils.
  • Mental and cultural empowerment are deemed crucial for overcoming the ‘gender paradox’ in Kerala.


  • Kudumbashree success in reducing poverty is widely recognized.
  • Continued efforts are needed to combat gender-based crimes and challenges.
  • Kudumbashree aims to be a force for positive societal change and women’s empowerment.


Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your personal mentor for UPSC 2024 | Schedule your FREE session and get the Prelims prep Toolkit!

Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your 1: 1 personal mentor for UPSC 2024

Attend Now

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Join us across Social Media platforms.

💥Mentorship New Batch Launch
💥Mentorship New Batch Launch