The importance of women to Indian dairying cannot be overstated. In much of the country it is women who care for, feed and milk the animals. Raising their participation is essential to the long-term strength of the dairy cooperative movement. While initially the focus could be on participation in dairy activity, as members, this should graduate into governance aspect, i.e. their participation on Management Committee and Union Boards
Specific activities focus on enhancing women's leadership skills, promoting thrift and credit groups as well as health, education and economic activities that contribute to women's empowerment.
In 1995, the Dairy Board initiated the Women Dairy Cooperative Leadership Programme (WDCLP) on a pilot basis in Valsad, Kolhapur, Wynad and Goa in Western India. The success of this programme has led to its replication in other Unions throughout the country.