About Us

Institute for Women Development (IWD) as a Secular, Non-Profit and non-political organization was formed in the year 1993 by a group of women activists in Odisha. On basis of their experience they decided to form an organization under the leadership of a woman that would work towards addressing gender discrimination issues and promote social, political and economic empowerment of women. IWD believes that development can be achieved only when people concerned become direct stakeholders of the development process. Therefore the development of women is possible only when women become direct partners in the development initiatives. With this backdrop IWD decided to facilitate a process of intervention to integrate women’s issues into main stream development process which in long run will enable women to built their capacity, stand against discrimination, injustice and become equal partners in development processes.


 IWD aspires  a society where people belonging to all sections of society, particularly women live in peace  with  equality and dignity,



Institute for women’s development works with the poor, marginalised and discriminated people  particularly  with women of Adibasi, Dalit and Other poor communities in rural Odisha  and supports them with  various  appropriate and need base interventions  to achieve a  sustainable and secure life  with dignity and  gender equality.



  • Promote, support and strengthen people’s organization under the leadership of women, Adibasis and Dalit for achieving equality , justice dignity and human right.

  • Sensitize community on gender discrimination issues and practices and empower women to stand against discrimination and injustice

  • To build capacities of people particularly women to thrive for good governance and enable them to increase access to basic serves such as health care, education, food security etc that are critical to their life.

  • To support most needy and vulnerable people to create sustainable livelihood resources through a sustainable use and management of natural resources and human skill.

  • Become part of State and National level net-works to oppose polices that goes against the interest and dignity of poor and women.

  Organizational Structure:

IWD is managed by a Governing Body consisting of seven persons and the Secretary is authorized to manage day to day activities of the organization including administration. At the field level the Project Coordinators looks after the day to day field activities and coordinates the activities with Cluster Coordinators. The Secretary and Project Coordinators form the core team of the organisation and take decisions relating project matters, staff placement and other field related matters.


Staff position:

At present there are 15 staff members working in the organization. Out of which 7 are female and 8 are male members.


Area of Operation:

IWD works in three Blocks of Gajapati District in South Odisha for supporting community base organization to achieve food security, mainstreaming gender, women empowerment and leadership building of elected women panchayat members in Panchayat Raj Institutions.


Major  Activities that IWD Supports:

  • Organizing people  and women at community level and enhancing their capacity through leadership building  intervention such as   training, information dissemination, organizing issue base workshops. etc.

  • Sensitizing community on prevailing genders discrimination  practices and issues and mainstreaming gender. .

  • Campaigning against   the practice violence against women  such as domestic violence, girl child marriage and sensitizing  women about existing  preventive  laws.

  • Livelihood promotion of poor and vulnerable families though natural and human resource development.

  • Creating events for Awareness creation and information dissemination on laws such as MGNREGA, RTI, Right to Education, Forest Right Act, etc. that affects the people and increase their access to benefits available under them.

  • Leadership building  of Elected Women members in  local governance through  organizing trainings,   issue base  workshops and  information  sharing  on functioning of  local  Governance, their role and responsibility as members of local governance,  implementation of Govt. programmes in favour of  women and poor.

  • Participate and organize  advocacy and lobby activities to oppose any law and action that are inimical to development and dignity of women and poor.


Current Activities of IWD:

  • Supporting livelihood resource development of poor families in Six Gram Panchayats of Gajapati District, Odisha through natural resource management and human skill.

  • Women empowerment and mainstreaming gender through self help groups and promoting Women Farmers Association etc.

  • Forming and strengthening village base CBOs for proper delivery of services  relating to village base institution such as Village primary Schools, ICDS, Gram Kalyan Sammittee etc.

  • Capacity building of elected women panchayat members in two blocks so that they play their role as effective Panchayat members in addressing issues of food security,   water and other issues critical to people.

  • Organize awareness camps. workshops, and  trainings  to popularize pro-people  laws such as RTI, Forest Right Act,  Food security Act , Right to Education etc mobilizing people to use these laws to their benefit and bring improvement.

  • Engaged in promoting  peace and development  in conflict sensitive area.
Some of the key Achievement:
  • 1000 poor Adibasi and Dalit families have developed skill and resource and increased their food security situation.

  • 200  women panchayat  members have done significant work in terms of implementation of  MGNREGS work,  improving functioning  of  ICDS canters,  regularizing  the functioning of village schools , inclusion of   eligible persons in social and food security schemes, provision drinking water, road connectivity, etc.

  • 200 marginal farmers have increased their agriculture production by using water from Gravity base irrigation and surface water harvest tank.

  • 600 acres of waste land has been converted into community forestry in 19 villages.

  • The women farmers association, formed at village and Panchayat level has been duly recognized by Govt. and women have availed support meant for farmers.

  • The  Self help groups run by women has  successfully eliminated money lenders and members  of SHG beside thrift and credit , are also involved in opposing gender discrimination practices and violence against women.

  • The monitoring of Food security programme by members of SHG has brought significant improvement in function of ICDS centres  and mid-day meal given in the schools.

  • The vigilant community particularly the members of SHG have taken action to bring improvement in the functioning of village schools, ICDC centers and immunization coverage.

  • There has been significant improvement in implementation of food and social security programme by use of RTI and   increased barging power of people.

  • Mobilise community through campaigns against the practice of child and under age marriage of girls and motivating parents for the education of girl children.
  • Supported 4000 families to present their claim to get lease land under Forest Right Act and 700 families have got lease title under Forest Right Act.

Area of Operation:

IWD works in three Blocks of Gajapati district in South Odisha, India. For supporting community base organization to achieve food security, mainstreaming gender and women empowerment and leadership building of elected women Panchayat members in Panchayat Raj Institutions.



No. of GP

Total Families

 Total Population



 Total Adibasi

Total Dalit













R. Udayagiri