Sangeetha Purshothaman. The Empowerment of Women in India— Grassroots Women’s Network and the State. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 1998. Hardbound. Indian Rs 450.00. Paperback. Indian Rs 250.00. 384 pages.

This study discusses the impact of the new organisational structure emerging in India to improve the status of rural women. The objectives of the study are twofold: first, it intends to explore the possibility of small organisations working together to have an impact at the local level; the second issue is the sustainability of such an arrangement. The study concentrates on the experience of the Swayam Shaikshan Prayog (SSP) in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The basic theme of this organisational set-up is that women know best what they want and what solutions work for them. The SSP’s networking process allows for an organisation which can bargain, interface with, and transfer resources from the state to poor women, as well as maintain the flexibility to adapt to statewide policy changes and the local conditions faced by them.