The occasion of International Women’s Day was celebrated with much thoughtfulness across North, Northeast, East and West region of the country where IGSSS is implementing various development programmes.
In New Delhi, at the Head Office, the event was kickstarted with the formal launch of the social media campaign ‘Gender Unmute’. This is an awareness and sensitization attempt aimed at bringing to the fore, pertinent topics related to gender based discrimination and violence faced by women in their daily lives. Similarly, a nutrition camp was organised for pregnant and lactating mothers in the slum area of Baljeet Nagar. The thrust was to educate the women about the intake of leafy and other homegrown vegetables which could act as a nutrition supplement at an affordable cost.
In Kashmir, the event was celebrated with a Peace March attended by 100 women from Baramulla and Bandipora district.
Around 900 women from diverse communities such as Nepalese, Bodos, Adivasis, Rajbongshis, Santhals, Rengmas, Bengalis, Biharis and Muslims came together in Karbi Anglong and Chirang district, Assam. The event was used as a platform to recognize the efforts of Women Peace Committee members towards promoting peace in the conflict stricken areas. In the IGSSS unit office in Guwahati, the day was celebrated by honoring the lady support staff who has been working in the organization for the last 16 years.
CALL for EQUALITY was the theme, around which 180 women from Dimiria village of Ganjam district, Odisha, celebrated the day. In Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, the day was used to reflect upon the status of women in the society, how there needs to be a shift wherein they need to speak up against violence. They also reflected upon the laws and policies which exist in the state which can help in addressing their issues. Around 300 participants present were also encouraged to participate in skill development initiatives undertaken by various government enterprises in the state and take charge of their own livelihood by starting livelihood initiatives.
In the east, the regional office at Kolkata led the way. In a review meeting held, sisters from a partner organization – MSMHC, discussed about the vulnerabilities of women working in the stone crushing units in the quarry area of Birbhum district, West Bengal, and on devising a roadmap for possible interventions. Ekjut, another partner organization, working on the issue of urban poverty was recognized for working together with the Ranchi Municipal Corporation in helping the urban homeless access shelter homes and especially for advocating for a women’s shelter. Similarly Sristy and Durbar Disha , both partners working on the urban poverty programme, observed the day. Sristy organised a rally with 300 domestic workers in Kolkata and Durbar Disha Mahila Griha Sramik Samanwaya organised a pledge ceremony to fight against all forms of gender based violence.
Over 600 women representatives from various slums of Indore city comprising ragpickers, domestic workers etc. participated in a gathering organised by Janvikas Society, a Samaveshi Sheher partner. The importance of creating a safe city for women was discussed at length with the community representatives and the day ended on a note that which stated that there cannot be any development without the development of women.