Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment Through Community Work
To sensitise the community towards gender equality and women’s empowerment is a very challenging task and is undertaken by well-trained and committed staff members at the senior level. They are supported by field staff. The second tier is comprised of 14 sanjivinis who are local women leaders and the third tier is that of 14 sakhis, also local women living in the work area who mobilize women for their advancement and growth. The first step is to make women realize and accept that their low status is not their destiny and it can be changed if they have a will to work for it.
Women’s Jagriti Mandali A Forum For Women's Solidarity.
The most effective instruments for women’s empowerment are Women’s Jagriti Mandalis which are proof of women’s solidarity giving strength to disempowered women. In the Mandalis Meeting capacity building activities are undertaken to promote self-reliance. In the target area, VRCT has set up 16 Jagriti Mandalis in 5 villages. Basai, Kadipur,Dhankot, Khandsa, Godauli, and 12 in neighbouring unauthorised colonies. Awareness Meetings in the Mandalis focus on social and economic issues like gender discrimination, life skills and communication skills, domestic violence, mother-child healthcare, female foeticide and infanticide, family planning, parenting, budgeting and saving, digital and financial literacy.
House to house fieldwork is done in the target area by senior staff members, sanjiviniis who are local leaders and have become change-agents and sakhis to make the community aware of the activities of VRCT, focusing on gender and self-reliance. Strong messages are effectively given relating to gender, health, and hygiene, education, environment, and eradication of social evils like- domestic violence, female foeticide, infanticide and early marriages of girls. During field work IEC Material is distributed.
Mass Meetings and Rallies
In addition, mass meetings are also held with the objective of promoting awareness on social and economic issues impacting women’s status. Rallies are organized for creating community awareness regarding social and environmental issues like safai abhiyan, water conservation, and a ban on plastic.