AWAJ - Violence
Women’s Court popularly known as Nari Adalat is an initiative for the village women at the community level where issues related to violence, injustice and gender discrimination are raised, addressed and the process of resolution is achieved through dialogue and negotiations with the voices of women as central to the decision making... All, including men are free to seek help, in an open and transparent environment. In the last ten years, JG has started Community based Women’s Courts on weekly basis in three blocks ( Dharamshala, Rait and Nagrota Suriyan). A cadre of 12 women and 3 male Legal Justice Activists) are actively engaged in addressing cases of violence against women.
So far nearly 350 cases of VAW have sought help and intervention. Over 200 cases have been resolved and others are either in courts or ongoing and are under process of resolution. The survivors of violence are from a multiple communities, religions and cast groups, including tribal women. It has been heartening that there is an increase in reporting not only by Women but by young girls outside marriage. There are also cases brought to the court by men. Cases approach Nari adalats from very far off places. Gradually Nari adalat has found an acceptance by the community as well as by the Panchayats, the police and other state agencies and other NGOs.
The most heartening outcome of this process is the formation of the survivors group who meets regularly and also helps in bringing other women who need help to Nari adalat as they have become the ambassors of Nari adalats.
Through this process it is our Endeavour to set up people centered institutions that are managed by the community for the welfare of the community. It also helps us to make justice an integral part of a democratic society.
International Campaign to Eliminate Violence against Women
The Sixteen days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an international campaign which is celebrated across the world annually. The campaign spans from the 25th of November which is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (IDEVAW) to the 10th of December, the International Human Rights Day (IHRD), thus illustrating the link between violence against women and human rights emphasizing that the former is a gross violation of Human Rights. Every year, JG organises sixteen days campaign to eliminate Violence against Women and girls. The main objective of this campaign is to sensitise community at large on the issues gender based violence, build network of women , make the state institution mare aware of gender related violations and seek accountability.
In 2013 year, the campaign was linked to the on-going International ONE BILLION RISING campaign and the focal point of the campaign revolved around violence against women and girls and the poor implementation of various provisions to protect and empower women. The preparation for the OBR campaign began in October and continued till 14 FEBRUARAY 2013.
In collaboration with 15 local NGOs, One Billion Rising Campaign was successfully organised in two districts of the Himachal Pradesh. The outreach was nearly 30000 people men and women both from Rural and Urban Community including young girls and boys and especially students. With the help of NGOs, women’ and youth collectives, various sensitization activities were conducted. Day and Night Meetings were held with women’s collectives and community members in 73 villages of the Kangra district on gender based violence in society. Students of 30 schools and 5 colleges rose in morning assemblies with slogans and songs. Human Chain and candle light vigil was organised in collaboration with Tibetan Women Association and 3 Nunneries, 2 monasteries, NGO’s and community members.
One of the major challenges is that participation of men as well as Government functionaries remains very low. Therefore there is a need to start intervening with men, government functionaries and panchayat representatives on the issues of violence against women.