Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) is a trade union registered in 1972. It is an organisation of poor, self-employed women workers. These are women who earn a living through their own labour or small businesses. They do not obtain regular salaried employment with welfare benefits like workers in the organised sector. They are the unprotected labour force of our country. Constituting 93% of the labour force, these are workers of the unorganised sector. Of the female labour force in India, more than 94% are in the unorganised sector. However their work is not counted and hence remains invisible.
The Hansiba museum, an initiative by SEWA is unlike any other. All the objects in the collection are heirlooms donated by various members of the collective. It is located in the neighbourhood so that it is still part of their collective heritage. It is a gathering place for women, created by women.