The two-day event, attended by 80 women community leaders, addressed social norms and gender norms which leads to violence against women in private and public spaces.
Puri, 17 December 2021 | Eighty women community leaders from five states across the country participated in Oxfam India’s Bano Nayi Soch campaign on 16 and 17 December in Puri. The central theme of the campaign for this year is “Empowerment Not Age” which demands that the government should focus on creating positive incentives for young women and their families to delay marriage, instead of criminalising them.
The women leaders shared their stories as change makers and participated in different cultural events over the two days. Issues like “Women’s Choice and Agency in the cross road and looking ahead” were discussed. The event also saw the women leaders participate in cultural competitions on the theme of “Empowerment not Age”. The two-day event also saw the participation of Dolon Ganguly from Azad Foundation, and Pramila Swain, Convenor, National Alliance of Women Organisations (NAWO) Odisha Chapter. The discussions were moderated by Akshaya Kumar Biswal, Regional Manager, Oxfam India.
Speaking at the event, Dolon Ganguly said, “I find this inter-state women leaders convention, organised by Oxfam India very important. It is crucial for women to unite to combat patriarchy in family, community and in the state. Especially, in today's India, this kind of interactions is needed to strengthen the movement against all kind of discrimination and ensure inclusion and diversity in our regular lives. When I hear, woman leader Geeta Devi says on stage, "Mere naam Geeta, main kabhi nahi banungi Seeta”, it gives me hope and faith for a discrimination-free world”.
Pramila Swain, General Secretary, National Alliance of Women said: “The constitution of India has laid out many provisions to ensure gender equality. But in practice, we see inequality in every sphere. Building women’s leadership has demonstrated the way to bring equality in the society”.
Oxfam India has been engaging with women and girls to build their leadership through the Bano Nayi Soch campaign. As a result of Oxfam India’s intervention with nearly 8500 women in 5 states, many women have demonstrated their leadership and are promoting the rights of women and girls in their community, exercising their agency to assert their rights and participating in decision making role both in private and public spaces.
The women leaders are also significantly contributing to the larger development of the villages as panchayat representatives. During the COVID-19 pandemic, women leaders have been instrumental in raising the issue of women and girls facilitating access of women to different services including services to mitigate violence.
Speaking at the event, Akshaya Kumar Biswal, Regional Manager, Oxfam India said, “We are educating women and girls to build their leadership and to enable them to assert their rights. As a result of this engagement, women have come forward to promote positive social norm and to build violence free relationship. The interstate women leader’s convention is a potent way to celebrate the leadership of women who have contributed to build violence free relationship”.
For more information, contact Rukmini Panda (+91 9439339388)
About Oxfam India
Oxfam India is a movement of people working to end discrimination and create a free and just society. We work to ensure that Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, and women and girls have safe violence-free lives with freedom to speak their mind, equal opportunities to realize their rights, and a discrimination-free future.
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