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The WWF's rich experience in the field of development through addressing two main critical needs of poor women (i.e. credit and health) has a number of macro lessons to offer. WWF's counter culture has been possible as it has enabled poor women to be the trainers and leaders; to express themselves; to articulate their problems; and to learn by listening to others and that poor are not problems but can be solutions as well.

Where the poor participate as subjects and not as objects of development process, it is possible to generate growth, human development and equity not as mutually exclusive tradeoffs but as complementary elements in the same process. At relatively low levels of income it is possible for the poor to achieve high levels of human development.

By putting poor women's priorities first by working exclusively with the poor; by promoting leadership from below; and by exercising clout to get the poor their rights, the oppressed can be helped to help themselves

The absolutely poorest and smallest enterprises can be reached by services perceived by them as relevant.

Debt-ridden poor women are bankable and credit worthy; they can move effectively and contribute to growth.

Economic development can provide a positive base to further social change. Poverty need not be a barrier for population planning. Women, however poor, asset less or illiterate can become dynamic agents of Population Planning.

Population programmes can also be women-sensitive and respond to critical health needs at the grassroots, and integrated Reproductive & Child Health approach has a catalytic effect in achieving broader population objectives.

Leadership by the poor can break the barriers of ignorance and resistance for change and change agents can come from within the community.

The dynamic women of WWF have been able to sensitise bureaucrats, politicians, policy makers and educated elites on several issues that affect their lives.

A cost-effective grassroots development process such as WWF does not require large-scale capital investment, educated elites or technical expertise to succeed.

Experiment such as the Working Women's Forum that has socially mobilised poor women has brought about a social transformation gaining momentum day by day into a mass movement. This has built a platform for the poor to voice their concern independent of external support generating community consciousness towards self-reliance and development.

To conclude with a quote from Dr. Chambers, "For the sake of the tens of millions of oppressed working women in India, and other women in other countries, one may hope that the exhilaration of the Forum will spread, and that the Working Women's Forum and its example will inspire others to make reversals, to start similar movements, and to help many, more of the deprived and oppressed in their just struggle for a better life."


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