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The World Still Doesn’t Give Women Opportunities To Be Independent

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All around us, women have fewer doors open when it comes to monetary opportunities, less access to essential and higher education, more prominent danger to their well-being, and less political representation.

Ensuring opportunities for women and giving them a chance to arrive at their maximum capacity is basic for accomplishing the equality of the sexes, and, additionally, for ensuring a wide scope of worldwide advancement.  ‘Enabled’ women add to the well-being and profitability of their families, networks, and nations, that is of advantage for everyone.

Gender equality‘ and fairness implies that people have equivalent power and an equal amount of open doors in terms of financial autonomy, training, and self-improvement. Empowering women is a basic part of accomplishing gender equality. It incorporates expanding a woman’s feeling of self-esteem, her basic leadership control, her right to access, her capacity for command over her own life, inside and outside the home, and her capacity to impact change. However, gender issues are not centered around women alone. They are also connected with the public. The activities and frames of men also play a basic role in accomplishing gender equity.

Training is key. Many young women don’t attend classes, and families with constrained means ,who can’t bear the cost of, for example, school expenses, outfits, and supplies for the majority of their kids, will not be able to organise instruction for their children. Families may, likewise, depend on the work of young women for family errands, fetching water, for childcare. Yet, organising young girls’ instruction gives, maybe, the single most noteworthy rate of returns in the sphere of education. An informed young lady is bound to defer getting married, raise a smaller family, and send her own kids to class. She has more opportunities to gain financial independence and to take an interest in political procedures.

Women’s health, wellbeing, and security is another significant area of importance. HIV/AIDS is turning into a rampant issue in India. This can be linked with women having fewer open doors for medical awareness, and inconsistent power in sexual dynamics. Maternal well-being is, likewise, an issue of explicit concern. In numerous nations, women have restricted access to pre-natal care as well as childcare, and are bound to encounter confusion before, during, and after pregnancy. This is a basic worry in nations where women are married off early and have children when they aren’t prepared to—often before the age of 18. Quality maternal ‘social insurance’ can give significant passage to administrations and other structures, that engage mothers as ‘educated’ chiefs concerning their very own well-being and the strength of their kids.

The last area of centre in achieving gender equality is the strengthening of women’s monetary and political status. In spite of the fact that women make up over half of the total populace, a large portion of them barely have access to resources. All over the world, women perform extended periods of unpaid labour, according to an ILO report.

A woman prepares a meal for her family. This is one of many examples of the unpaid labour that women do. Image Source: PxHere.

In certain areas, the World Bank has found that women still don’t have the right to possess land, acquire property, get access to credit, earn a salary, or to climb up in their career, free from employment segregation. Both at home and in the public, women are underrepresented as leaders. In lawmaking bodies the world over, women are outnumbered 4 to 1. Yet, as the World Economic Forum reports, the political support of women is significant for accomplishing gender balance and a certifiable popular government.

No nation has completely accomplished equality. In 2017, Scandinavian nations like Norway, Finland, and Denmark were world leaders in efforts toward shutting closing the gender gap. In these nations, there is moderately impartial appropriation of accessible pay, and open doors for people. The opposite is true of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. However, various nations in these areas, including Lesotho, South Africa, and Sri Lanka, outrank the United States in sexual orientation fairness or LGBTQ rights.

Around the globe, various volunteers are working with networks to address sex equity and engage women and girls. In 1974, Congress marked the Percy Amendment to effectively coordinate women into the monetary, political, and social improvement of their nations. Perceiving that men and young men must be active in accomplishing a gender balance. There are different volunteers which advance sexual orientation correspondence and ladies’ strengthening through wellbeing training, business improvement, and by bringing issues to light of ladies’ privileges and commitments to their networks.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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