Indira Social Welfare Organisation (ISWO)

Project Theme

Ending Violence Against Women

Target Group


Project Period

01 Apr 2016 - 31 Mar 2017

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ISWO has been working on the issue of violence against women in Dhenkanal district for about 29 years and has established itself as a women lead organisation that deals with violence against women issues. It has been instrumental in setting up and running the Women Support Centre in the Superintendent of Police office premises and has provided support to many women survivors of violence. It has been able to create a good linkage with various other support institutions like shelter home, legal service authority and medical department to ensure holistic redressal to survivors.  The organisation is also effective in working with Department of Women and Child and Department of Home for effective implementation of the PWDVA-2005.

India is a signatory to Convention of Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CWDAW) and although various progressive legislation have been enacted, women in India continue to be socially excluded and marginalised. India has adopted and amended existing legislations to curb violence against women (such as the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act-2005 and Sexual Harassment at Work Place and the Criminal Amendment Law 2013) but the poor implementation of these laws remains a challenge.  A lack of awareness of these laws combined with inadequate financial allocation both by the state and central Governments for their implementation adds to other gaps in terms of limited infrastructure, staffing and skill sets to provide justice to the survivors.

Violence against women is a rampant issue in the district of Dhenkanal and ISWO through its experience in working with Oxfam India has addressed over 1,000 cases of DV in the past few years. The major reasons of domestic violence being dowry, extra marital affair, abandoning wives and disputes over property. The violence ranges from physical, sexual, economic and verbal. 

In the above context the project aims to continue its intervention through running the support centre to provide support to women survivor of violence, sensitise stakeholders for effective implementation of the legislation and also mobilise communities to change and challenges discriminatory behaviours and practices.


About the Project: 

  • The project “Empowerment Programme for Women’s Entitlement and Rights” has an overall goal of Reduce the social acceptance of violence against women and bring a positive change in the policy and program environment that perpetuates its acceptance at an institutional and community level. 
  • The project has three main strategies
  • Women experiencing violence especially those from marginalized communities in the program districts increase their access to formal justice system and support services
  • Communities and individuals challenge and initiate actions for change in patriarchal and other discriminatory social practices and belief systems that perpetuate violence against women


The broad activities under the project are 

  • Running the Women Support Centre and supporting the survivors 
  • Community Mobilisation in 15 villages of two blocks in Dhenkanal district
  • Strengthening of civil society organisation and alliances at the district level for advocacy for the effective implementation of the act: 
  • Formation of adolescent boys & men groups in 15 villages 
  • Awareness campaigns during 16 days of activism and March 8th 


Results to be Achieved: 

This year ISWO aims to provide holistic Redressal to women survivors of violence through providing them counseling, legal aid, medical aid, shelter support, livelihood linkage etc. The organization also aims at deepening the community based intervention to mobilize community to change attitudes and behaviors that perpetuates violence against women. ISWO along with other civil society organization will work towards advocacy for implementation of relevant legislation especially for allocation of budget. Apart from this ISWO will make efforts for sensitization of the government functionaries for effective implementation of the act.


Prior Achievements: (2011-12)

  • Strengthening community rapport and sensitizing the law enforcement system and district administration of Dhenkanal through several workshops, training rounds and awareness programme etc. 
  • ISWO runs the Women Support Centre from the premises of the Superintendent of Police Office, Dhenkanal and last year has addressed approx. 150 cases of DV. 
  • ISWO has initiated community based intervention in two Blocks of the district to build up community resilience against violence against women.
  • Village level awareness programme for enhancing community understanding on gender justice.
  • Sensitization programme for stakeholders on PWDVA and advocacy. 


Future plan:

Institutionalization of the support centre at the district level 

Sensitizing Government stakeholders for better response to cases of domestic violence as well as implementation of the PWDVA. 

Outreach with various grassroot functionaries for reaching out to many more men and women. 

Mobilizing communities specially men and boys on the issue of discrimination and violence against women.