Published On: Wed, Mar 16th, 2016

CARE India organizes Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Advocacy issues related to Adivasi Women and Girls in India

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careindiaNew Delhi: CARE India today hosted the Multi-Stakeholder Consultation on Advocacy issues related to Adivasi Women and Girls in India, in association with National Confederation of Dalit Adivasi Organisations (NACDAOR) in New Delhi. The day-long consultation addressed critical approaches and future solutions towards addressing the most concurrent issues affecting Adivasi women and girls in the country.

The consultation explored ways to integrate learnings from experience and ongoing work addressing gender, ethnicity, class and their inter-sectionality, to come up with collective advocacy initiatives for Adivasi Women and Girls. Among the issues deliberated at the event; land rights for women, lack of capacity building and skill development, gender–based violence, migration, human trafficking under the garb of domestic work opportunities for young girls, economic exploitation and age-old superstitious practices like witch-hunting were openly discussed. Besides these, access to services such as housing, healthcare, drinking water, dignified employment was also discussed.

Commenting on the initiative, Rajan Bahadur, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, CARE India said, “We understand the need to engage and work with various actors and decision makers to propel tangible impact in the lives of Adivasi women and girls. This consultation today has helped us identify and deliberate on some of the most critical issues, which still remain unaddressed. As an immediate result of this consultation today, we have identified few subject matter experts from various fields to lead the process ahead. Over the next few months, we would be initiating state level discussions and focus on developing concrete advocacy efforts to tackle these issues.”

Some of the key recommendations that emerged from the forum were:
· Formation of a specific wing in the National Commission for Women that would specifically address violence related cases from different Adivasi belts in the count

· Ensure effective implementation of the Forests Rights Act 2006

· Education: Encourage learning of Adivasi languages (similar to the three language formula) in schools in Adivasi belts. In addition, infusion of adivasi stories, folk tales, narratives, stories by Adivasi writers in the mainstream curriculum.

· Streamline efforts towards legal and constitutional recognition of domestic/household work, including its incorporation under the National Classification of Occupation.

· Political Empowerment: Encourage representation of women leaders not just at block and the district levels but also at National commissions and forums for adivasis.

· National level alliance/network for Adivasi women and girls

· Sustainable Livelihoods: Creation of women resource zones in the Sustainable Development Programmes. Besides agriculture, identification of alternate livelihood opportunities.
Mr Rajesh Upadhyay, Executive Director, NACDAOR added, “NACDAOR considers it very important that Adivasi women in India get their due dignity and rights, and that the important issues related to their lives such as livelihood, trafficking and migration, social and domestic violence and access to forest produce are addressed urgently by the governments, civil societies and the corporates. Empowerment of Adivasi women is also significant in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN in September 2015, which were also signed by India.”

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