Dharamshala: Women’s Empowerment Desk (WED) in collaboration with the Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF), Delhi organised a series of events during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) which is observed globally from 25th November – 10th December every year. This campaign aims to raise awareness on the issue of gender-based violence, gender discrimination, violence against women as well as on building a gender equal society in the long run.
During the course of the 16 days, individuals and different organisations across the globe mark the campaign in a number of ways, such as organising events, discussions, workshops, forums, etc. to raise awareness on issues related to gender-based violence.
Accordingly, the WED has organised events with school students, college students and women community workers to discuss their understanding of gender, gender stereotypes, GBV, safe spaces as well as laws that are in place for the prevention and redressal of such violence.
On 5 December, a Dutch movie called “Girl Fight” was screened online for the Tibetan school students to watch. The movie revolves around the theme of breaking stereotypes and how parenting plays a crucial role in the healthy growth of a child as well as gender-based violence. As a follow-up, a reflection circle was organised on the next day, which was participated by 37 students from 7 different Tibetan schools to discuss the movie.
On 7 December, a “Safe Campus” discussion was organised which was attended by 14 Tibetan college students. The students shared their experiences on understanding safe spaces and how race, class, language, gender, socio-economic factors contribute to shaping the lives of college students on the campuses. They also shared their recommendation for a safer campus which will be submitted to the Association of India Universities, which is an apex inter-university organisation that is engaged in the growth and development of higher education institutions.
On 10 December 2020, a safety circle talk was organised with the barefoot counsellor of TDL settlement, Bylakuppe. The barefoot counsellors are trained grassroots women leaders who use counselling as a tool for social change and promote positive living. They have been professionally trained to reach out to women in vulnerable situations. The 15 counsellors were trained on techniques to identify the victims of GBV/SEA, basic counselling skills, communication skills, follow up / support using the standardized modules and referral mechanisms. The safety circle talked about the safe spaces in the community, being informal workers in the settlements, their rights to protection and safety, ways for self-care and healing from the work that they are associated with.
With these discussions, WED hopes to create awareness and keep this conversation going in different sectors of the community so that Gender-Based Violence can be prevented, prohibited and redressed properly.
–Filed by Women’s Empowerment Desk (WED)