Violence Against Women

Project Samvedana – Prevention and Reducing Violence Against Women

“UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon 8 March 2007 Violence “Violence against women and girls continues unabated in every continent, country and culture. It takes a devastating toll on women’s lives, on their families, and on society as a whole. Most societies prohibit such violence — yet the reality is that too often, it is covered up or tacitly condoned”.

“United Nation’s definition of Violence against Women “Any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.”

Millennium Development Goals, India The overall goal of the 2008-2012 MDGs Country Programme is to advance the fulfillment of the rights of all women and children in India to survive and thrive, develop, participate and be protected by reducing social inequalities based on gender, caste, ethnicity or region.

Maitri’s Objectives:

  • Changing Perceptions and mindsets
  • Prevention and Reducing Violence against women
  • Production and distribution of information and educational material
  • Dissemination of information on feminist issues
  • Advocacy on women’s rights and gender equality
  • Campaigns about violence against women (individual to community level)
  • Men’s role in stopping discrimination against women and engaging in solutions to prevent and reduce Violence against women
  • Increased involvement of men in parenting
  • Creating networks and collaborations of organisations on men against violence
  • Gender sensitisation workshops for men and boys at school and community level

Challenges

  • Cultural and patriarchal mindset
  • Superiority” of men versus “inferiority” of women
  • Domestic violence not recognised as violence by men and women

Location: National

Project Description: Maitri has the unique distinction of being one of the few NGO’s working on prevention and reducing Violence against women in the Uniformed Services, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Para-Military and Police in India. Maitri conducts gender sensitisation and training workshops for officers, Men and families. The workshops are meant for sensitisation and creating awareness for officers, men and families to understand and recognise VAW and enable them to take preventive steps for happier and healthier families. Maitri Educates organisations and communities on the impact and costs (financial, mental, physical, reproductive, and otherwise) incurred with each episode of marital disharmony.

Maitri is working with youth, Educational institutions, and corporations on the issues of Violence against women through a broad array of activities and strategies.

Maitri is actively engaging with men and boys to reduce violence against women in three Basti’s (slums) of RK Puram. Through interventions where men and boys are sensitised and educated about the impact of VAW in socity and at home, they go out and become ambassadors of harmony and respect for girls and women whether at home or outside.
Maitri uses street theatre, posters and publications, and workshops for gender sensitization as some of the training tools to equip the audiences with better understanding and awareness. Preventive strategies to reduce Violence against women include workshops on recognizing signs of violence in your relationship, the existing legal framework to know your rights, coping mechanisms, establishing support groups, and last but not the least, an active engagement with men and boys. In order to really change social norms and attitudes of acceptance, we believe that Men must become active participants in preventive and reducing intiatives for VAW.

Maitri is also engaged in promoting a safer and healthier workplace by conducting training sessions on sexual harassment. Maitri facilitates creation of sexual harassment committees in the workplace to adequately, appropriately and sensitively intervene in cases of sexual harassment at workplace.

Project Impact :
Domestic Violence workshops held across India with uniformed services including army, Navy, Air Force, Paramilitary and Police:
1. Reached directly or indirectly over 25,000 officers, men and families
2. 10 legal consultations conducted for domestic violence survivors;
3. Over 2,000 Women have been provided counselling;
4. 24 hour helpline
5. Maitri receives average180 phone calls and 90 emails in a month reporting Domestic Violence
6. In March 2013 Maitri hosted fourth Annual National Conference titled “ Ending Violence Against Women, “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”
7. In March 2014, Maitri hosted its’ fifth Annual National Conference titled “Many Voices, One Movement: Ending Sexual Violence in India”
8. Training for sexual harassment at work place and a member of Sexual Harassment Committees of 5 organisations which

include:

  • CAPART;
  • The Ministry of Rural Development;
  • MPS, Noida
  • Delhi Police
  • Proctivity, Gurgaon