The Support to Training & Employment Programme for Women (STEP) was launched as a Central Sector Scheme in 1986-87. The programme of STEP aims to make a significant impact on women by upgrading skills for self and wage employment. The sequence of activities is envisaged as mobilizing women in viable groups, improving their skills, arranging for productive assets/ access to wage employment, creating backward and forward linkage, improving/arranging for support services, providing access to credit, awareness generation, gender sensitization, nutrition education, sensitization of project functionaries etc. Thus, STEP advocates an integrated package of inputs aiming at the self-reliance and empowerment of women by enhancing their productivity and enabling them to take up income generation activities. The ultimate endeavour of each project should be develop the group to thrive on a self- sustaining basis in the market place with the minimal Government support and intervention after the project period is over.
OBJECTIVES OF THE SCHEME
1. Mobilising women in small viable groups and making facilities available through training, access to credit and other inputs.
2. Provide training for skill up gradation
3. Enabling groups of women to take up employment-cum-income generation programmes of their own, or to access wage employment.
4. Provide support services for further improving and employment conditions of women and for access to health care, literacy, legal literacy, and other information.