The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over the past few millennia. In modern India, where some women have held high offices on one hand including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Leader of the Opposition.
Still most of “common women” aren’t aware of women rights in India and other times their legal rights are not protected as they should be. Women empowerment plays a significant role in letting them know their right. Lack of awareness about their – legal rights and systems, procedures and avenues to access them supports continuation of an unequal, gender insensitive social fabric that discriminates against women in India has placed it as the fourth most dangerous place for women in the world.
The extent of empowerment of women is determined largely by three factors – her economic, social and political identity-and these remain at the core of all Child Survival India interventions. Two of CSI’s major programmes are solely devoted to advocating social change on each of these fronts.
- Formation of Women’s collectives to enhance the knowledge and confidence of women and adolescent girls to equip them to handle dangerous situations they might find themselves in by conducting regular public and community meetings, safety walks/ audits, Wall Magazines and motivating women to raise their voice against violence
- Built the capacity of grassroots community women to become legally aware, gender sensitive, and non-judgmental, and listen with empathy to victims of domestic violence.
- Organized health and nutrition camps with free OPD services for women and children.
- Imparted Vocational training to community girls and women forming four batches of 200 students each. 138 beneficiaries have benefitted from four new batches (N.F.E, Remedial, Adult and Level A) enabling women to be a part of productive work force obtain good remuneration
- Provided a forum for conflict resolution to resolve family disputes and enabled women to assert themselves and live with dignity and high self-esteem.
- Provided legal advice, organized counseling and awareness sessions for women and prepared them for legal action and encouraged them to seek legal aid when necessary.
- Created a safe, supportive space in the community for women where they can seek redress for their problems of marital discord, eve teasing, etc.
- Organized capacity building workshops for community members on nutrition, cleanliness, health along with workshops on issues like sexual abuse, domestic conflicts between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws, legal aspects of prenatal diagnostics test, etc.
- Provided facilities with linkages for social dropouts to return to the mainstream and to provide non- formal functional literacy
Community resolves a case
Pinky, a resident of Mamurpur, Narela, approached Mahila Panchayat with a case of domestic Violence. She was married to Jitendra 11 years ago. Pinky and Jitendra have two children. Their daughter is 3 years old and their son is 1.5 years old. Jitendra had been working as a small supplier in shops. Jitendra wanted to get into a better job hence spoken to several people about it.
A particular gentleman (tout) asked for 30 thousand in advance in order to get Jitendra a good job. 30,000 was a big amount for Jitendra ! So he started putting pressure on Pinky to get money from her parents. Pinky’s parents gave Jitendra the money on loan.
However, the tout was absconding once he got 30,000. When Pinky’s parents asked for their money back, Jitendra took his frustration out on pinky. Soon Pinky was thrown out of the house and both her children were taken away from her.
Mahila Panchayat called both the parties for resolution. Jitendra was informed that beating his wife is a punishable offence and can be registered under “Domestic Violence” with one year imprisonment and fine. They also informed him that children below the age of five cannot be separated from their mother. Once above 5 years of age, Jitendra can approach the court for their legal custody.
115 cases handled at the Mahila Panchayats, out of which 96 were solved and 18 were referred. GRC covered 103 cases
3841 reached women and children providing them information on legal rights, health and social welfare
12 Nutrition Camps and 6 Health Camps organized at the Gender Resource Center (GRC)
3635 beneficiaries reached through 294 GRC community meetings
1694 beneficiaries covered through six health camps and 1518 beneficiaries benefitted from 24 OPD, 397 beneficiaries benefitted from 12 camps on Nutrition
50 Legal counseling/awareness sessions organized covering 640 beneficiaries
4 new Self Help Groups were formed namely Sathi, Shourya, Anjali and Shakti
4 women’s collective formed, 10 volunteer awareness depots
Gender Resource Centre