Networks of women & ngos lcd 2 1-09


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Networks of women & ngos lcd 2 1-09

  1. 1. "NETWORKS OF WOMEN, WOMENS SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS AND NGOS" by Dr. Vibhuti Patel, Director, PGSR Prof. & HOD, University Department of Economics,SNDT Women’s University, Smt. Nathibai Thakersey Road, Chuchgate, Mumbai-400020 Phone-26770227®, 22031879 Ext. 243(O) Mobile-9321040048 E • Women’s rights organizations have formed networks that involve NGOs, policy making bodies, legal groups, people’s organizations, citizens’ fora and professional bodies. • Issue specific networks exchange information, share experiences, launch advocacy campaigns and negotiate with the state to achieve more space for women, fight against violence against women and for Empowerment of Women. • In the first National Conference of Anti Rape Movement, 1980, the idea of network of women’s groups was mooted. Issue-based campaign against Mathura Rape Case judgment of the Supreme Court of India, 1980 was successful due to network that coordinated nationwide anti-rape movement demanding: a. Amendments in the rape laws b. Justice to Mathura. Concerted efforts were made to motivate M.P.s to support the demand & raise the issue in the 1
  2. 2. parliament thro’ star questions. Global Media Coverage on the issue boosted the morale of newly formed feminist collectives throughout the country.• The Nation-wide anti-dowry Anti- Dowry Networks formed in 1978 organised actions of newly formed women’s rights groups against dowry murders, ensured amendments in Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act and introduced Section 498 A- unnatural death of women within first 10 years of marriage due to physical or mental harassment, played significant role in Family Court Act, 1984.• Networking by Women’s collectives has proved very effective for highlighting the demand of Gender Just Family Laws since 1982.• Network initiated by YWCA was responsible for the Supreme Court’s judgment on Mary Roy’s petition demanding amendments in Syrian Christian Personal law that resulted into equal property rights for daughters among the community.• Similar success stories are of Lata Mittal’s and her sister’s petition demanding coparsonary rights for Hindu daughters in ancestral property in Hindu Succession Act and tribal women, Bhuribai’s and 2
  3. 3. Dhagibai’s petition demanding land rights for tribal women.• At the time of Devrala Sati episode in 1987, women’s Anti Sati Network organised Women’s Chain surrounding parliament of India.• As a result of women’s networks, new legislations such as Anti-obscenity Act, 1986 and Sati Prevention Act, 1987 and Supreme Court directive for Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace were made effective. National Perspective Plan for Women and NPPW, 1988 and Shramshakti (Report of the Committee on Self- employment women and women in the Unorganised Sector) are result of networking between women’s organisations such as SEVA, WWF & Annapurna and women’s studies scholars.• During Nairobi Conference-End of Women’s Decade by the UN, 1985 and Beijing Conference, 1995 women’s networks worked toward vision documents and brought out Women’s Charter. They also pressurized their governments to ratify CEDAW. Collaborative work between NGOs and legislators at Beijing Conference was commendable. 3
  4. 4. • During 1990s, CSR organised round tables for women in decision making in which legislators, political and social activists, academicians, administrators, researchers and policy makes were invited to discus pressing problems of women. These roundtables focused on rapport building to deal with sex-selective abortions, reforms in the family laws, population policy, formation of NCW and 33% reservation of seats in the local self government bodies.• For past 35 years, networks of new women’s rights groups providing social, economic and educational support to women facing domestic violence have played leading role in keeping the issue of domestic violence alive that lead to enactment of Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Currently women’s networks are coordinating campaign to get Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill passed in the parliament.• For past 15 years, every year, global network of women’s rights organisations launch 15 days campaign (from 25th November to 10th December) against violence against women. Their efforts have convinced the nation states to accept that Women’s Rights are Human Rights. 4
  5. 5. • There is not any network fighting against advertisements, television serials and the commercial film industries projecting women as spare-parts for sale and also perpetuating extremely regressive and obscurantist patriarchal values. Currently women’s networks are highlighting 33% Reservation of Women in the ParliamentPrevention of Sexual Harassment at WorkplaceTrafficking of women and child-prostitution that hasincreased at an alarming rate.Reproductive Rights of womenImplementation of PCPNDT Act, 2002Implementation of Domestic Violence Act, 2005 Gender Audit of BudgetsWomen’s Right to Land and HousingWomen’s Leadership in Micro Finance and LivelihoodFinance Movement. 5