Women's Rendezvous for Addressing Violence against Women

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Women's Rendezvous for Addressing Violence against Women

Nepal
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Women's Rendezvous conceptualizes a 'space' for women where they can meet and interact with each other to find a supportive environment for standing against the gender based violence. It is a well-equipped place for women to discuss on the issues affecting their lives for building knowledge, skills and confidence to act against the violence. The women will find friends to listen to their problems and provide motivational support. Also, the place offers activities to enhance knowledge and skills among women on the issues affecting their lives. The integration of informal methodology and the social transformation objectives makes this approach innovative.

This approach will promote "no-tolerance on violence against women". It will be a place where women can meet on a regular basis to conduct discussion series facilitated by female peer educators. The discussions will incorporate strong messages that violence against women is unacceptable. The rendezvous will encourage, support and provide a platform for women to speak out and act against any cases of Gender Based Violence observed in their communities. Through the discussions with other women and also by making use of several resources of the rendezvous, the women will have access to information on how other women around the world deal with the discrimination and violence against them. Participation in such discussions will also result in women gaining access to wider resources.

Promoting women's access to information on their rights and the issues affecting their lives by is a key objective of the approach. There are many barriers to justice for women. Some of the barriers are women’s lack of knowledge of their rights. The discussion series in the rendezvous will be an opportunity for women to develop better understanding of their rights so that they will be in a better position to raise voice for their rights. The discussions will also involve interactions with individuals from diversified fields such as media, industries, technology, police personnel, bureaucrats, women's rights activists, etc. Likewise, the rendezvous will serve as a space for women to discuss on any other issues that interest them or affect their lives. The women can also make use of the space for their artistic works, music, dance, cultural activities and any other activities that would interest them and enhance their learning and skill development process.

Economic independence is a critical factor in enabling women to live away from violence and abusive situations. Women’s increased role in income-generation changes their status within the household. In other words, if women generate income, this will lead to a shift in patterns of household decision making. Hence, the women can also utilize the informative resources and support mechanism of the rendezvous for economic independence.

The women affected by violence and abusive situations will also have access to psychological support from trained counselors. Likewise, the women who wish to seek justice through courts need information on legal proceedings. Hence, the women in the rendezvous, trained in para-legal support, will also support them to access justice.

The rendezvous will also involve boys and men in the discussions as participants as well as facilitators and promote their involvement in the actions against gender based violence. If men and boys participate in the discussions dealing with the issues of women, they can be more supportive. Similarly, involving young boys on discussions on gender issues will help them to undergo gender sensitive socialization. Even though boys and men, unlike girls and women, do not have an obvious mutual interest in changing gender relations, it will help boys/men to realize that the violence against women has limited women's abilities and potential to contribute for the well-being and better quality of life for their family and the nation as a whole.

Women who are subjected to domestic violence are often in serious need of a safe shelter and support services to remain safe from certain circumstances which may even lead them to critical conditions including death. In this regard, women need to find a safe place to stay so that they can overcome the physical and psychological impact of the violence and develop confidence and courage to act against the violence through the support of other friends. The rendezvous will be able to protect women from critical forms of violence and increase women’s bargaining power within a violent and abusive relationship. The short stay at the rendezvous will increase women’s access to resources and strengthen their capacity to resist future violence.

About You
Organization:
Maiti Nepal
Section 1: About You
First Name

Anuradha

Last Name

Koirala

Website
Organization

Maiti Nepal

Country

, BA

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is this initiative/innovation linked to any established organization?

Yes

Organization Name

Maiti Nepal

Organization Phone

+977-1-4494816

Organization Address

83 Maiti Marg, Pingalasthan, Gaushala, Kathmandu

Organization Country
Is your organization a

CSO/NGO

How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Your idea
What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

When was the project initiated? or When are you planning to begin?

Maiti Nepal is planning to begin this project as soon as we receive some resource support to meet the basic costs involved in the project. We have developed this idea into a concept note and discussed with some funding agencies that have given us a positive response. This approach is influenced by the experiences of Maiti Nepal in Banke district of Nepal where some activities similar to those conceptualized under this approach were implemented and found to be effective.

What kind of beneficiaries is your initiative addressed to?

Women, Girls.

Describe the profile of the beneficiaries of this project

The beneficiaries of the project shall be primarily the women from different communities of Nepal who are subjected to violence. Also, the other women whose social and economic situations make them vulnerable to violence will benefit from the project through increase confidence, knowledge and skills to prevent and deal with violence. Moreover, the children of the women who meet and participate at the rendezvous will also be the beneficiary of this program. Almost 1,500 children and women are expected to be directly benefited through the program in each location. The number of indirect beneficiaries will be more than 9,000 in each location.

What is your initiative’s implementation strategy?

The rendezvous - "Women's Space" will be operated by a group of local women who have been raising voice and fighting against Gender Based Violence. They will be trained on legal provisions dealing with violence against women, basic counseling skills to the women affected by violence, and working with networks to ensure that the women who are affected by violence will have access to various forms of support through referral. The rendezvous will be equipped with recreational and informative resources dealing with lives of women.

The success of the approach will be determined by the number of women benefited. Hence, outreach activities shall be carried out to encourage women to participate in the activities at the rendezvous. Also, the number of women is expected to increase through snow-balling.

The support services available at the rendezvous will be strengthened through regular training of the women implementing the program. Also, equipping the rendezvous and maintaining an effective referral mechanism and networking for continuation of support services will be key priorities.

The discussions at the rendezvous will also look into how women around the world have successfully campaigned against violence. Hence, keeping the facilitators updated on latest developments will also be an implementation strategy.

In your opinion, what are the main barriers or obstacles in connection with this theme?

The deeply rooted patriarchal structure and masculinity serve as the major factors causing violence against women. Acting against this structure is a major challenge that this approach needs to deal with. The women, who raise voice against the social structures that force women to cope with abusive and violent relationship, will pose a threat to the patriarchal structures. Hence, the women's rights defenders will be at a greater risk. Also, the women who feel more confident and empowered through their participation at the rendezvous will find it challenging to adjust in their families when they fail to transform the discriminatory practices and attitudes of their family members. However, it should be regarded as a positive development.

What type of partnerships you have or intend to generate strategic alliances with for the development of this initiative? Choose all that apply

State departments or areas, International organizations, Non-Government organizations, Private companies, Social organizations, Schools.

Describe with whom you have generated these alliances and how

This program will build upon the existing programs of different governmental and non-governmental agencies for the continuation of support services to the beneficiaries. Hence, strengthening the referral mechanism and networking will be a strategic approach. In this regard, linkage will be developed with the private companies as well. Likewise, the teachers from the local schools will also be involved in the program as facilitators of discussions.

What are the main results generated and/or expected to generate by means of this initiative?

This approach will have following major outcomes:
• Increased awareness among women that violence against women is violation of their rights which should not be tolerated;
• Increased knowledge and skills among women on the issues affecting their lives;
• Access to psycho-social and legal support for the women affected by violence;
• Access to short-term safe shelter and supportive environment for the women affected by violence;
• Increased support of men and boys to act against gender based violence;
• Gender sensitive socialization of children as a result of gender sensitive discussions;

What is the main impact that your initiative might generate?

As a result of increased awareness among women regarding their rights against violence, they will act against any forms of violence and discriminatory practices within their families. This can be considered as the most significant impact of this approach. Though this impact may lead to challenging and difficult situations for women, this approach comes with several other support schemes for a violence-free life.

This approach can be sustained by the trained women through the utilization of the resources from the communities. The women who experience the effectiveness of this approach will continue to run this program (mainly the discussion series) even when no external resources are available.