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Issue 6: Women’s Empowerment: 

Gulabi Gang (Women’s Pink Sari Gang in India)

There are many ways for women’s empowerment movement. An extra ordinary example is India’s “Gulabi Gang” which was founded by Samat Pal Devi, a mother of five children and she is a former government health workers. The Gulabi Gang is a group of Indian women vigilantes (members of self-appointed group that undertake law enforcement without legal authority) and activists originally from Bundelkhand, Uttar Pradesh but they are also active across North India. The main purpose of this Gang to promote Justice and members of this Gang visit abusive husbands and hit their arms and legs with bamboo sticks which paralyzes the arms and legs. This technique is used to make abusive husbands understand, how it feels to be beaten. The Gang has advocated and stopped child marriages as well as protesting dowry and female illiteracy. As of 2008, there were 20,000 Gulabi Gang Members and the numbers are growing. There is a new Bollywood movie made by Nishtha Jain starring the famous Bollywood actresses, Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla that is based on this Gang and it is called, “Gulaab Gang”. 

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"Gulaab Gang": Women's Vigilantism in India

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“…we won’t see radical change until every part of society sees this as their problem too.”
 
There are different perspectives on the idea of men addressing gender inequality and why they don’t always take action. The author of this article uses the example of a man (and crowd) speaking up when a rap battle in London gets ugly to illustrate the importance of men getting involved in the dialogue and process of ridding society of this widespread problem. Women’s empowerment clearly wears many faces…

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Women Empowerment and Sustainable Development

This article brings a multi faceted approach to sustainable development in agriculture with one key component being women empowerment.  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations understands that family farmers are the driving force in food production but are somehow the most at risk.  The goal for utilizing rural women is important, but also acknowledging other factors such as climate change and food security needs to occur for sustainability.  

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Interesting article about women empowerment. Melinda gates on women issues and the importance of data for women empowerment.

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Interesting article about women empowerment. Melinda Gates on women issues and the importance of data to empowering women.

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He For She, The responsiblity of everyone to improve gender equality and women's rights.

The United Nations has recently developed a new campaign, He for She, in which a call is made for more men to speak up against violence against women, and for men to debunk cultural stereotypes and acknowledge the value of women (more information may be found at heforshe.org). 

The video below is one example from this campaign where a group, the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) has developed not just empowerment programs for girls, but also the Adolescent Boys Campaign to empower boys. Working with boys ages 12-18 in rural communities, the organization seeks to develop "men who are willing and feel responsible to fight for women's equity and wellbeing (that) will lead to a brighter future for the next generation of women."  The goal is not just to have boys and men become involved in domestic chores, but rather to enable men to understand the contribution women make in a society and to end discrimination and violence against women.

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Women Empowerment in Relation to Access to Education for Indigenous Girls 

Attached is a great UN briefing relating to women empowerment and indigenous girls' access to education. The UN briefing states that the lack of access to education for indigenous peoples, specifically for indigenous girls, has contributed significantly to the "social marginalization, poverty, and dispossession of indigenous peoples" throughout the world (UN Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues). The UN briefing speaks of education as a universal right that needs to be safeguarded through positive education policy implementation and programs that can benefit all individuals.  

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HONOR DIARIES AND WOMEN EMPOWERMENT IN ISLAM

Culture is no excuse for abuse. Women in Muslim majority countries often suffer from many forms of discrimination, abuse and violence just to defend 'family 'honor.' The movie-documentary Honor Diaries features these realities.

There will be a screening and debate on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 5:30 at AMC River East 21, 322 E. Illinois, Chicago, IL.  60611 (Tickets: $20 General Admission).

Learn more at:
http://www.honordiaries.com/
and
http://www.honordiaries.com/chicago
Photo

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Check out the work being done by the Clinton Foundation here. There is a great video on a world without glass ceilings by Hillary Rodham Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, and Melinda Gates.
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