Empowerment is a multidimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. It is a process that fosters power for use in their own lives, their own communities and in their own society, by acting on issues that they describe as important. Above all, empowerment is a result of participation in decision-making.

Tsering Yangskit from Jammu and Kashmir

"I take on the challenge of changing the profile of Ladakh in one year or else, I will change my name..."

Tsering Yangskit, member of Nimoo Panchayat, Ladakh, contested the elections and won against a male candidate in her village. She is the mother of five children and has the satisfaction that her daughters are educated and that they have studied much more in comparison to her sons. This determination to educate her daughters was a result of her own lack of education, due to her parent's poverty. Instead of going to school, she was sent to graze cattle. Along with educating
her children, Tsering also worked hard to improve women's status in her village.

Tsering owes her success to the women in her village who supported her through the elections. Since then she has managed to arrange solar lights for the entire village, an Anganvadi centre (pre-school) in her ward, an office space for holding village meetings and sanctions for repairing a bridge. She has recently activated four Self Help Groups in her village and challenged them to work towards being the best in the area. Tsering is unhappy that she is often left out of the
decision-making process as she does not get to know about scheduled Gram Sabha (village council) meetings. On the other hand, she feels that she is a lot more aware of various government schemes because of the opportunities she has had to attend trainings in and outside Ladakh, which for her, is her asset.

Hunger a common platform. The Ladakh Development Organisation (LDO), a partner of The Project, is working to build She feels that women must come forward and work with dedication, for which they need the leadership of women like Tsering.

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