Crimes against girls and women have more than doubled in India over the past ten years, according to the latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau in 2015. As many as 2.24 million crimes against girls and women were reported over the past decade: 26 crimes against women are reported every hour, or one complaint every two minutes. The State Crime Record Bureau of Maharashtra shows that in 2015, Mumbai recorded the second highest number of rape cases (607) registered nationally, preceded only by Delhi. Gender based violence has been exacerbated by an unbalanced sex ratio of 883 girls per 1000 boys in Maharashtra (Census 2011). In the six communities that CORO is working with, gender discrimination plays out in girls getting reduced access to secondary school and higher education, as well as a high prevalence of girls getting married before they turn 18. Girls and women also experience domestic violence based on dowry demands, and common sexual harassment in public places.
The Committee of Resource Organisation (CORO for Literacy; CORO) was founded in 1989 by Sujata Khandekar to propagate adult literacy in urban low-income communities. It has evolved to be a community-owned organization through the leadership of women and men seeking to improve their own lives, families and community. Gender equality and elimination of caste-based inequalities have been CORO’s primary focus. CORO strives to generate the initiative for social change from within marginalized communities especially from girls and women. Current major programs include: Grassroots Leadership Development to empower grassroots leaders to create positive social change in marginalised communities, Meena Raju Manch – a school based gender sensitization program and Mahila Mandal Federation (MMF) – an independent federation of 9,000+ members from 300 grassroots women’s groups working on GBV, health, and access to basic amenities in slum communities. Sujata Khandekar is a dynamic leader who conceived CORO’s community based youth fellows program. CORO’s youth fellow Mumtaz Sheikh was listed among 7 Indian women who appeared in BBC’s list of 100 women of 2016. Mumtaz led a campaign to get free access to toilets for women through the Right to Pee network in which EMpower’s Adolescent Girls Learning Community also participated. This youth led campaign ensured 96 free toilets for women in Mumbai and made the government set aside Rs. 50 million to build women-only urinals around the city.
EMpower’s grant will enable 10 girls and 2 mentors to become active role models and implement change to prevent GBV through participating in Adolescent Girls Learning Community in Mumbai. It will also help them in planning and implementing a gender responsive adolescent girls program and address impact of COVID on girls in their community.
Primary Location: Maharashtra
Funded Since: 2013
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