WHY SUPPORT OUR WORK
PRESENTING 16 REASONS FOR 16 DAYS
The 2017 Prajnya 16 Days Campaign against Gender Violence
57 % of Indian girls marry before turning 18 compared
to 36% globally. Girls married very young are twice as
likely to report being beaten, slapped or threatened by
It’s never too early to start the conversation
about gender equality and violence. Prajnya
campaign calendars have regularly included
age-appropriate awareness activities for
1 in 3 women have experienced either physical and/or
sexual violence in their lifetime, according to the World
“Gender violence does not happen to people
like us.” Prajnya campaign activities seek to
make violence visible. Our Ribbon Plants and
our Mannequins, where each ribbon or sticker
represented a victim or survivor, fill up within
a day or two, reminding people that violence is
Official figures in 2015 stated that 24,771 dowry deaths
were reported over the previous three years.
The Prajnya Gender Violence in India Report
regularly compiles available data on gender
violence and offers perspective on the
numbers. Other campaign information
initiatives include ‘factboxes’ in the media, op-
eds and features.
25% of married Indian women surveyed have experienced
physical or sexual violence and 10% emotional violence,
according to NFHS 3. It is more likely the longer she is married;
if she goes out to work and if she thinks husbands have a right
to be violent with their spouses.
“Gender violence is never ever justified.”
This is the refrain that runs through our
neighbourhood chats, our social media
engagement and our student programmes.
54% of women participating in the National Family
Health Survey (NFHS 3) believed that a husband is
justified in beating his wife.
Since 2014, Gender Equality Mobilisers have
expanded the reach of the Prajnya campaign
by taking the message into their own spheres,
social and professional. The GEMS have
hosted discussion groups, created resources
including story-telling videos and organised
events like cycling rallies and runs to raise
Women are killed by relatives in the name of family
honour for all sorts of presumed misdemeanours from
being raped to premarital sex--an old UN estimate
speculated this number 5000 a year.
Getting people to share their experiences and
express themselves is part of the process of
ending the silence around gender-based
violence. Theatre workshops, poetry readings
and concerts have been a regular campaign
feature, bringing the personal into the public
sphere. In 2016, we added letter-writing to
The National Crime Records Bureau has found that
more than 90 women are raped every day and 75% of
rapists are known to their victims.
Self-defence has regularly featured in our
campaigns as a tool for building physical
What we promote an end to gender-based
violence based on equality, not protection,
avoidance and prohibition.
Initially and usually perpetrated for personal reasons,
acid attacks have the effect of deterring girls from
entering and working in public spaces.
Our campaign interventions stress that
gender-based violence is not just an
interpersonal issue; it is also a public health
challenge and an economic issue. Prajnya
campaigns have organised special interactions
between stakeholders as well as Public Fora on
violence, public health and public safety.
One in three Indian women who have undergone
sterilisation has done so without their consent.
A campaign to end gender violence must
include discussions on rights and access, as our
campaign does, through real and virtual
symposia, lectures and media interventions.
Women with a history of experiencing violence are less
likely to negotiate condom use, making them
vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted
Campaigns have explored the gender violence-
health interface through training sessions on
mental health and violence, as training for
nurses on responding to signs of violence and
discussions with health care providers.
Research shows that children who witness violence in
their early years are likely to become abusive adults.
Boys are more likely to be abusers; girls are more likely
to justify and receive abuse.
When we recognise that violence is not normal,
acceptable or justified, we will end the silence
that protects perpetrators. At Prajnya, we
create settings that make it possible to speak
out--multi-generational conversations, closed
discussions on parenting and cyber-safety,
even tea-parties for service providers!
Over 68% of child domestic workers surveyed in a
regional Indian study reported physical abuse, of
which more than 20% were coerced into sexual
Campaign programmes are usually planned in
partnership with like-minded organisations
or institutions, and we learn from each
Campaign relationships are coalitions for
The journey from the Vishaka Guidelines (1997) to the
Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace
(Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act (2013) took
16 years. How long for universal compliance?
Every campaign since 2008 has included
training or workshops on workplace sexual
Women with disabilities are more likely to be abused
by their partners than those without.
With each campaign, our own understanding
deepens and new dimensions enter our
programme agenda, from disability to
sexuality to gender normativity—we learn all
the time even as we share information with
Women senior citizens outnumber men in India but
economic dependence makes older Indian women,
especially widows, vulnerable to humiliation and
neglect by their families.
Vulnerabilities overlay and reinforce each
other. Prajnya campaigns place the spotlight
on these intersections as part of the work of
ending deeply embedded patterns of violence
Abduction and rape of women across conflict lines is
now recognized as a war crime. Girls are also abducted
and trafficked to perform labour for the armed forces
and groups within conflict zones.
Violence is experienced as a continuum.
Prajnya campaign programmes engage with
that continuum, addressing personal choices at
one end and conflict and displacement at
How to support the Prajnya 16 Days Campaign
By Cheque or DD (drawn on Chennai)
Payable to “The Prajnya Trust”
Email us at email@example.com
for our postal address, please.
By Electronic Transfer
Details for electronic transfer available at
Feel free to get in touch!
@prajnya on Twitter