The overall objective of Oxfam India’s Gender Justice programme is to address deeply entrenched gender belief systems and the resulting inequalities and subordination of women and girls in our society.
Oxfam India works primarily against the social acceptance of violence against women. At the same time, we work also towards enhancing women’s access to both formal and informal justice systems to end violence in their lives.
Our efforts also aim to see that women are increasingly represented in public institutions, are able to raise issues related to gender discrimination & violence and take decisions on the same. This is done by promoting the strategy of transformative leadership for women’s rights, especially in order to address violence-related issues, and is promoted across all of Oxfam India’s work.
Gender Justice work
Girls and women constitute almost half of the population of India, in fact almost all over the globe; yet, they are deprived of access to resources, opportunities in comparison to their male counterparts and become victims of violence due to their gender.
What makes violence against women (VAW) more dangerous is the fact that it also happens within the ‘private’ sphere of the family, something not of ‘public’ significance, and is thus shrouded within a culture of silence. The National Family Health Survey Round III report (2005-06) mentions that one-third of women in the age group 15-49 have experienced physical violence and about 1 in 10 have experienced sexual violence.
Unfortunately domestic violence is considered to be a private affair, a ‘normal’ practice and a culturally acceptable expression of gender-based power relations. Underlying the social acceptance of violence against women is the deep-seated social belief that women are fundamentally of less value than men.
We believe that systematic changes, community awareness and individual engagement are needed to root out the problem. Our partners work towards ending violence against women in six states through various programmes, advocacy and campaigns.
Under our work towards ending violence against women, we endeavour for the better implementation of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) 2005. One of our prime agendas includes improving access to support services and the formal justice system for survivors of domestic violence.
Though women from diverse identities of caste, class and ethnicity are all vulnerable to the threat of gender-based violence, this programme focuses on women facing multiple forms of marginalisation - social, economic, political and circumstantial.
We believe that while we work on addressing gender inequality and violence against women, transformative leadership for women’s rights is key to making massive gains. Increased representation, participation and leadership of women in decision making forums in communities are ensured by equipping women and men with transformative leadership skills.
Oxfam India works through a network of civil society organisations, activists and think-tanks to ensure increased representation, participation and leadership of women in decision making forums.
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