Due to the many ways in which the introduction of SRI can improve women’s lives, it is sometimes integrated into civil society projects that seek to improve the incomes, status, and security of marginalised rural women. These projects create and/or support village self-help groups, with training programmes tailored to women. When trained as farmer-leaders, women gain confidence and enhanced status in the family and community. Much of the grassroots leadership for the dissemination of SRI has come from women, who actively promote SRI village-to-village. In India, women have begun receiving national recognition for their achievements for high productivity.
In many cases, the uptake of SRI does not happen without challenges and even battles. Women battle with family, community and tradition to secure successes. Proving they are right against these odds has an empowering effect that has seen women head up tribal and women’s rights organisations and stand for political office. One woman SRI farmer/trainer/activist, Jyoti Devi, in Bihar state of India, coming from one of the lowest and poorest social groups in her society, was elected to that state’s Legislative Assembly.