“The issue of gender and violence against women is very vital. They are neither allowed nor encouraged to enjoy their basic rights. Though, small section of women, mostly from elite background, have made giant strides to attain position of power and prosperity in mainstream society, but the majority continue to struggle against social, cultural and religious practices which control their fertility, sexuality, labour, morbidity and limit their access at both material and ideological levels”.
Many districts in north, north-east and central parts of Madhya Pradesh have been characterized by low socio-developmental indicators. The historical background of the region is characterized by Feudal structure of the society. The alarming inverse sex-ratio in these areas, as reflected in the census reports, is indicative of deep rooted discrimination of women.
Keeping in view the above background MPVHA selected Rewa, Satna, Sidhi, Panna, Chhatarpur, Tikamgarh, Bhopal, Raisen, Vidisha and Hoshangabad districts to implement a project, “Gender Issues – Focusing Violence Against Women” with support of MISEREOR, Germany during the period 2005 to 2013. The main goal of the project was “Prevention of Gender Discrimination and Violence against Women in the Society and Creation of Safe, Social Space which allow Women to develop, grow and feel Empowered. The project was implemented in association with the member organizations of MPVHA Network.
Objectives of the Project were:
- To sensitize and educate people, media, police, chief functionaries of NGOs and other government departments about the gender issues like discrimination, gender roles, gender sensitivity in every sphere.
- To develop a cadre of Master Trainers within the NGOs of selected districts to disseminate information, create awareness, etc. at grass-root level.
- To create awareness among the school teachers and students about the issue.
- Advocacy for women rights, gender issues, prevention of violence against women and popularization of State Women’s Policy with the active involvement of media, local administrative officers, academicians, police and NGOs.
- To setup women’s Helpline/Counselling Centres to monitor cases related to violence against women and provide legal support.
- Documentation of cases through research and studies.
- Development of appropriate educational material in Hindi.
- Strengthening of awareness and counselling support through local NGOs in the district.
- The sensitized and well trained NGOs made available in these districts
- Trained NGOs brought into the district level committees formed by the government
- Awareness, campaign and monitoring started in these districts
- State government, especially department of Women & Child Health and District Administration, Bhopal issued a certificate of appreciation to MPVHA.