India has a complicated track record when it comes to women’s rights and women’s empowerment. But now many social organisations are tirelessly working to put an end to promoting equality, supporting women and fairness in wages, in behaviour, and with opportunities have spent years putting women‘s rights at the forefront of their missions. This has been progressed over the last decades: More girls are going to school, fewer girls are forced into early marriage, more women can be seen in positions of leadership, and laws are being reformed to advance gender equality.
Despite these gains, many challenges remain: discriminatory laws and social norms remain pervasive, women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership, and 1 in 5 women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49 report experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner within a 12-month period. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could reverse the limited progress that has been made on gender equality and women’s rights. The coronavirus outbreak exacerbates existing inequalities for women and girls across every sphere – from health and the economy to security and social protection.
NGOs in India have spread like wildfire in the last decades. They are becoming the lifeline of marginalized and disadvantaged communities, giving people a reason to live. For the same, I am sharing a listicle below on “Five organizations that have helped women in different ways “ for your reference.
Pradan: It is a 38-year-old organization, which has been working extensively towards reaching out to the poorest communities, building human capabilities, and building women’s self-reliant collectives as change agents. It has been working extensively for the rural populace in the seven states of Central and Eastern India. PRADAN recruits and trains young professionals from across the country to engage with poor communities at the grass-root level.
Over the years, Pradan has partnered with many State Governments and Departments to design and implement initiatives that impact and transform the lives of the rural poor. Every rupee invested on PRADAN’s team triggers INR 4 of programme investment in creating assets and capabilities for the people residing in poverty and translates into INR 11 of income for families. Prada is also the NSO (DDAY-NRLM Support Organisation) for the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India, which provides a piece of knowledge and capacity-building role in these key ministries.
Centre for catalyzing change: Centre for Catalyzing Change (C3), formerly known as the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA), India, started working in India in 1987. In the last 30 years, C3 has emerged as a key change-making organization focused on improving the condition of girls and women in the country. They design solutions that mobilize, equip, educate and empower girls and women to meet their full potential. They strive to create an ecosystem where all girls and women can demand and get their due entitlements. Their work addresses the challenges that they face in our country at various stages in their lives.
Their programs are aimed at equipping girls and women with practical life skills, improved confidence in personal decision-making, and increased self-esteem. Their work ensures that girls and women have access to quality reproductive and maternal health care. We are committed to the equal participation of women in governance and leadership roles as a step towards building a stronger nation.
Centre for social research: It was founded by a group of social scientists from JNU, CSR was established in 1983 in New Delhi. They are dedicated to creating a violence-free, gender-just society through social research, capacity building, and advocacy. A renowned social activist and a prolific academician, Dr Ranjana Kumari is the Director of the Centre for Social Research as well as Chairperson of Women Power Connect.
They are operating on all three levels — local, regional and national, helping to create better systems for gender equality. Dr Ranjana Kumari combines the two roles of a women activist and scholar with great felicity and panache. Having dedicated her life to significant social causes, Dr Ranjana Kumari continues to impact the lives of many with her dedication and zeal.
Breakthrough: Breakthrough is a human rights organization seeking to make violence and discrimination against women and girls unacceptable. For this, they use the power of arts, media, pop culture, and community mobilization to inspire people to take bold action to build a world in which all people live with dignity, equality, and justice. They inspire people to fight for the rights of women and girls by catalysing leadership in communities and building a larger movement to change deep-rooted cultural norms that perpetuate gender-based discrimination and violence.
Their work extensively with young people through a deep transformation model that helps them develop a stronger identity, the confidence to make their own life decisions, and embark on a journey of being gender equality champions. We ensure that they have an enabling environment to do so by working with their families and community at large and key stakeholders like frontline workers, PRI members, school management, state authorities, etc. Right now they are in 5 states and 13 districts.