Women’s Empowerment Desk under SARD host virtual program on 16th days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV)

Women’s Empowerment Desk (WED) in collaboration with the Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF), Delhi was able to organize a series of events during the 16th Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence (GBV) which is celebrated globally from 25th November – 10th December every year.  This campaign aims to raise awareness on the issue of gender based violence, gender-discrimination, violence against women as well as on building a gender equal society in the long run. During the course of the 16th day individuals and different organizations across the globe will celebrate and mark these days in different ways such as organizing events, discussion, workshop, forums, etc. to raise awareness on the issues related to gender based violence.

During these 16 days WED has organized events with school students, college students and women community workers to discuss their understanding of gender, gender stereotypes, GBV, safe spaces as well as laws that are in place for the  prevention and redressal of  such violences.

On 5th December 2020, a dutch movie called “GIRL FIGHT” was screened online for  the Tibetan school students to watch. The movie revolves around the theme of breaking stereotypes and how parenting plays a crucial role in healthy growth of a child as well as gender based violence. As a follow up, a reflection circle was organized on 6th December 2020 which was attended by 37 students from 7 different Tibetan schools to discuss the movie.

On 7th December, a “Safe Campus” discussion was organized which was attended by  14 Tibetan college students. The students shared their experiences on understanding safe spaces and how race, class, language, gender, socio economic factor contributes in shaping the lives of college students in the campuses. They also shared their recommendation for a safer campus which will be submitted to the Association of India Universities, which is an apex inter university organisation that is engaged in the growth and development of higher education institutions.

On 10th December 2020, a safety circle talk was organized with the barefoot counsellor of TDL settlement, Bylakuppe. The barefoot counselors are trained grassroots women leaders who use counseling as a tool for social change and promote positive living. They have been professionally trained to reach out to women in vulnerable situations. The 15 counsellors were trained on techniques to identify the victims of GBV/SEA, basic counseling skills, communication skills, follow up / support using the standardized modules and referral mechanisms. The safety circle talked about the safe spaces in the community, being informal workers in the settlements, their rights to protection and safety, ways for self care and healing from the work that they are associated with.

With these discussions, WED hopes to create awareness and keep this conversation going in different sectors of the community so that Gender Based Violence can be prevented, prohibited and redressed properly.