Women account for about 50% of the world's population. They are the most vulnerable group of the society and have been suppressed by the men since long time. Women of the community where we are engaged are mainly affected by domestic violence, sexual exploitation, early and child marriage, gender discrimination and the blame of practicing witch craft.
Also, gender equality doesn't deal with women or girls only. It is inequality between genders which include men as well. Men too are discriminated at times. We run different projects to sensitize youth about the issue like My Life Mere Faisle which is aimed at eradicating early and child marriage issue, Safe City safe Safar which deals with eve teasing and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) which talks about health rights and body changes in boys and girls at young age.
ALFA through 'Project Sisterhood' had formed 10 committees of dedicated young female youth in different villages of Kherwara Block. Each committee has 12 to 15 members (of which 4 are leaders) and meets once a month. In total, through the various committees, there are 40 leaders and 130 regular members coming from 22 villages of Six Panchayats. The committee is responsible for looking after gender-based issues faced within the community and discussing these issues in their monthly meetings. ALFA provides regular trainings, mentoring and facilitation to the leaders and supports them in solving those issues. The committees is also interacting and motivating with other female youth of the village and conducting sessions on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.
ALFA celebrated this journey of learning about the constitution of our nation in collaboration with CYC-The Youth Collective. The project reached out to people of all age groups belonging from Udaipur city as well as rural areas of Kherwara Block majorly Karawara, Ghati, Bambala and Sarera.
The project aimed to make 12 pairs who would be called ‘Jaagriks’- Jaagruk Naagrik and they would have to undertake certain weekly activities to show their familiarity with the fundamental rights and duties listed in the constitution. They would be required to find out how many people are aware of their rights and duties and how many are aware plus exercising those rights and duties in their daily lives.
The project was a journey of 2 months starting from 26th November (when the constitution was enacted) and ending on 26th January (when the constitution was finally adopted).
Two Common Action Days (CADs) happened in the whole journey with all the Jagriks and community people. The aim of celebrating the days were to aware the community about the journey of these young people towards knowing the constitution and to introduce the Jagriks about a game, Arzoo Ka Tarazoo, which was a 5 week game under which they were asked to perform certain tasks under different heads of fundamental rights and fundamental duties.
In the 5-week game, participants were asked to perform certain weekly tasks in their local communities on society’s level as well as on personal level. The game was designed in a way that each pair of Jagriks had to roll a dice in a meeting and depending on the number on the dice they received the cards written with certain tasks to perform. Each card had 3 levels i.e. gold, silver and bronze, depicting the degree of difficulty.
For rolling the dice and selecting the task, Jagrik pairs came together at a place and did the procedure. That meeting or gathering was called a Jamghat where all the pairs met and shared each other’s experiences. The closure of the whole project happened in the capital city of the nation where best Jagrik pair from all respective organizations all across the country came at one place to share the memories, highlights and the experience which they have got in this whole journey.
ALFA’s workshop participation in the Community Youth Collective’s (CYC) “Must Bol,” or “must speak,” campaign allowed for conversation and encouraged women, children, and youth to speak up and stop gender-based violence. Film screenings, active discussions, and guest speakers all helped make this program successful. This sensitization program not only worked again with young change makers, but allowed women to voice their opinions on social issues and what needs to change in their communities.
Udaipur City, 'The City of Lakes', is a beautiful and cultural diverse city attracting thousands of tourists each year. Nonetheless, instances of gender based violence are commonly experienced by females within the community. Young females have expressed concerns about the way that males treat them in a myriad of public spaces, suggesting that they do not feel safe travelling late at night or alone during the day.
Following successful work on gender based violence in the rural areas of Udaipur; ALFA has employed a number of these strategies in the city to tackle this issue and sensitize the community towards the protection and safety of woman. The 'Safe City, Safe Safar' campaign will include all sets of interactive activities which will aim at ending all types of violence happening in and around the city. The campaign will be focus and involve dedicated and interested youth volunteers who will be actively participating in all activities of the campaign. Activities include: theatre in public spaces, informative posters throughout the city, a youth camp, film screenings, seminars and capacity building training. The campaign will raise awareness on the issue and community members will be sensitized.
ALFA has been working for the empowerment of women from the last three years. The first SHG was formed in 2012 in Bambala village and our program is expanded to 15 villages now with 15 SHGs which has a total reach out to 198 women. SHGs were started and initiated to create an empowering space for women coming from the same socio-economic background where they can gather at one place and discuss the local community issues and also do some monthly deposit to save some money. This has helped women to empower in both ways, economically and socially. Forming SHGs gave an opportunity to women from rural, marginalized and backward communities to be able to come and meet together with other women, interact and discuss on social issues like health, education, local governance, gender discrimination and communalism. All the groups have four leaders elected by the group members and the group functions completely by all the group members only. ALFA is helping in forming new SHGs wherever there is a need, strengthening the existing SHGs, providing the capacity building training to the leaders and the regular members of the group and helping them in accessing the government schemes. With the help of SHGs, women are able to participate in the Panchayat meetings now and raise their voice on the local issues of the village. Women are also motivating and encouraging their children to go to school, to participate in the activities of Youth Resource Centres of ALFA and also to work on social issues as they also believe that young people and their participation plays an important role in the development of the village.
ALFA conducted 16 Days of Activism Campaign in Udaipur district of southern Rajasthan with an ultimate objective of spreading awareness on the issue and to develop young leaders, change makers and gender advocates in local communities.
The campaign started from 25th November, 2016 and ended on 10th December, 2016. The campaign had various online as well as offline activities scheduled on different days.
During the whole campaign, ALFA engaged with youth, women and school children of both rural and urban areas. We included Rally, Workshops, Sessions, Film screenings, Discussions, etc. Throughout the campaign, international days were celebrated such as
25th November- International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women
29th November- International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
5th December- International Volunteers Day
10th December- International Human Rights Day