MFF/PRIA at the National Consultation on Strategies to Counter Violence Against Women

Date: 05 December 2016
New Delhi

A team from the Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF) and the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) were panellists recently, on November 29, 2016, at a three-day National Consultation on ‘Effective Intervention and Communication Strategies to Counter Violence Against Women' organised by Women in Security, Conflict Management and Peace from November 28 to 30, 2016 in New Delhi.

Akhila Betsy George, Program Incharge in Haryana of Kadam Badhate Chalo (KBC), which is a campaign initiated by the Martha Farrell Foundation with PRIA to end violence against women, was a panellist at the session along with Dr. Nandita Shah, Co-director, Akshara (Mumbai); Poonam Muttreja, Director of Population Foundation of India (Delhi); Manjari Jaruhar, Chairperson of Private Security Industry Committee, FICCI and one of the first five women IPS officers in India; and Dr. Sumona Dasgupta, Senior Fellow, PRIA. The panel discussion was facilitated by Sumona.

The panellists shared stories from the field as practioners.  Akhila shared various combined initiatives of Martha Farrell Foundation and PRIA which have helped in curbing violence against women in the state of Haryana. Interventions like Participatory Safety Audit, the concept of 'Kishori Panchayat' and involving men/boys in curbing various forms of Violence against Women under KBC program as well as the model being followed for fostering health and well being of married adolescent girls and girls at risk of child marriage were highly appreciated by the gathering.

Other panellists too spoke about their experiences. Manjari shared her heartfelt experience of initially not being welcomed as the first women IPS officer of the Bihar Cadre and how her extreme passion and dedication helped her break through the traditional glass ceiling. Poonam spoke about the expansion into the entertainment sector and how through a 172 episode serial they could bring effective attitudinal change to decrease violence against women. Nandita spoke about Akshara's rigorous work towards making Mumbai Local Trains safe for women and how making the state responsible has remained Akshara's major objective.

While concluding, Sumona shared her personal experience as Senior Fellow at PRIA, where her work in Haryana has helped in making institutions like the Panchayat, existing legal systems and Police Force more sensitive and responsible towards the issue of Violence against Women.