The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) is one of the most progressive legislations enacted in India, since independence. It’s a bold and unique experiment in the provision of rural employment in India and indeed in the world at large. Further, it is the first expression of the right to work as an enforceable legal entitlement. In a country where labour is the only economic asset for millions of people, gainful employment is a prerequisite for the fulfillment of other basic rights – the right to life, the right to food and the right to education. There is much that the NREGA promises from the perspective of women’s empowerment as well. Most boldly, in a rural milieu marked by stark inequalities between men and women. In the opportunity for gainful employment afforded as well as wage rates – NREGA represents action on both these counts. The act stipulates that wage will be equal for men and women. It is also committed to ensuring that at least 33% the workers shall be women. By generating employment for women at fair wages in the village, NREGA can play a substantial role in economically empowering women and laying the basis for greater independence and self-esteem.