Winners of 5th Martha Farrell Award Announced

Deepa Pawar and Shaheen Women’s Resource and Welfare Association, the two winners were felicitated at the 5th Martha Farrell Award Ceremony on 20th November, along with Special Jury Awardees, Suman Devathiya and Sappho for Equality.

2019 Winners & Finalists

Most Promising Individual

Manu Gulati
Mentor Teacher, Delhi Government
New Delhi, Delhi

Committed to bringing gender parity in education, Manu Gulati, a 35 year old government school teacher in Delhi, has been evolving and implementing gender-synchronized teaching approaches in schools for the past 13 years, which help identify and address the unique barriers that keep girls out of school.

Manu’s journey began when she joined a government school in a low-income community in West Delhi in 2006. To empower her girl students, Manu started focusing on increasing their participation in life skills education, enhancing their academic output, and sensitizing, motivating, and mobilizing community structures (teachers, community heads, families and peers) in and around schools, to eliminate cultural barriers that deter girls from pursuing education. She uses a combination of strategies in her teaching, such as social and community mobilization, livelihood training, technology, dance, music and art. These build the formal knowledge and technical skills of girl students and also help them in developing a wider awareness of themselves and the society they live in. At the same time, Manu is also working with boys to build a gender equitable environment, where all students can learn, thrive and grow.

Like Martha, Manu exemplifies that to realize gender equality; it has to be practiced in our everyday actions in both our professional and personal lives.

Best Organization for Gender Equality

Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti (MJAS)
Ajmer, Rajasthan

Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti (MJAS) is a women-led organization, started as a collective of rural women in Central Rajasthan, which eventually transitioned into a registered organization in 2000 to fight against Violence against Women. It is currently working in 20 villages of four blocks of Ajmer district and one block each in Tonk and Bhilwara districts of Rajasthan, covering about a population of 20,000.

MJAS’s programmes have been focusing on the empowerment of adolescent girls, so that they are not coerced into early/child/forced marriages. Through the aid of sport and technology, it has been focusing on elevating the visibility and status of girls, by building their life skills and knowledge. 400 such girls have emerged as leaders and peer-educators, who are also now engaging with their communities, including adult and elderly men to engage with issues of gender-based violence.

MJAS also believes in intensive feminist training of all its employees. Many girl champions that have emerged as leaders from the community also work with MJAS and are supported in completing their education. Like Martha, MJAS exemplifies how a long term change in gender power relationships can only be achieved by building the leadership of girls and women; and that this change has to be embedded within and outside the organization.

2019 Finalists

Supporting victims of gender-based violence Dolly (29) focuses on mental well-being of victims/survivors of gender-based violence to recover, become emotionally resilient and develop a sense of ownership towards oneself.

Empowering single Adivasi Women Arnalu (40) has been collectivizing single Kondh Adivasi women for past five years so that they can access pensions, food security and health benefits.

Supporting women to become economically independent Hemlata (40) enables livelihood and micro-credit opportunities for women, so that they become financially independent and lead lives of  dignity.

Using music to bring about gender equality Reshma (33) founded Manzil Mystics to use music to engage with women and youth from urban-poor communities, on issues of gender equality, especially sexual and reproductive health rights


Promoting women’s involvement, participation and leadership CORO India collectivizes women and youth to collaboratively find solutions to issues of gender-based violence. It   also implements the principles of involvement, participation and leadership within its own ranks. Many   of CORO’s board members and senior managers are Dalit and Tribal women, who emerged as leaders from the community. 

Advancing sexual and reproductive freedoms of all people  CREA build capacities of women, girls and other marginalized people to demand and access their sexual and reproductive health rights. For CREA, its feminist principle is a non-negotiable. It is led by a multigenerational team, that comprises single, young, queer, Dalit, tribal and Muslim women.

ECF’s “Project Raise” build capacities of adolescent and young boys to become gender equality champions in their communities. Many of its male team members recount their personal journey of change that they have undergone with their work in ECF, which has also made them gender equitable in their everyday lives.

Building leadership of girls to fight against child marriage Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti (MJAS) uses sports and technology to empower girls to become community leaders, para-legal workers and peer-educators. Its own team comprises of young girls from the community who are persistently working towards ending child marriage and other forms of    gender-based violence.

Transforming gender power relationships in tribal communities Lok Astha Sewa Sansthan (LASS) is an organization lead by Dalit and tribal women, that implements programmes to empower women and girls from vulnerable tribal groups. They organize sports programmes for adult men and women to dismantle local gender norms and have a developed a special gender curriculum for adolescents and youth for local schools and colleges

Enabling a gender equitable and an inclusive workplace  Mphasis, a multinational IT service company, is committed to enabling a workplace culture of respect, safety and equal rights. Its Gender and Diversity Cell mainstreams gender equal policies across the organisation and pushes for similar policies with all its clients and vendors.

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