International Women Day celebrations 2016 in Odisha, India

The international women’s Day was celebrated in many places in Odisha. The MADHYAM Foundation and its partners organized a wide range of activities. Meetings and rallies were carried out, cooperatives, schools and officials participated in the events.  

In Kalahandi district, the Mahashakti foundation hold a meeting with focus on legal rights. Around 60 participants of self-help groups and vegetable growers’ cooperative members received information about women’s rights and domestic violence. Several advocates, a public prosecutor and magistrate Mrs. Sadyasnata Paty highlighted the different laws. The event was also covered by a newspaper.

On a different occasion also in Kalahandi gender based discrimination and its negative effect for the society as whole was the main focus. Here 35 cooperative members and villagers participated in the meeting inaugurated by Panchayat representative Mrs. Kumudini Sahu. Community resource persons were also present as well as different guests of honor who shared about the importance of women day observation.

On the campus of the Paragon Primary school an interactive sensitization meeting was held with school children and cooperative leaders. Only girls students were present and were asked to share about study atmosphere, sanitation facilities, nutrition, gender based disparity and the aspirations of the students. Many of the girls were previously not aware of the day but then shared that demand of separate toilets for girls was now fulfilled. But their wish to be taught by a higher number of women teachers was not yet met. Students were on the opinion that there is a disparity in the families on the scope of a male and female children. Cooperative members highlighted the importance of females in the society and the important role played by them as cooperative members. They also shared how the situation of women improved through their work as cooperative members. Now they easily overcome many of the difficulties due to their collective effort through sensitization and awareness.

The topic gender based discrimination was an issue in Malkangiri district as well. Around 30 cooperative members came together and shared about their experiences on these issues.

On another occasion in Khorda district, women cooperative members also shared how the cooperative helped them to change the mindset of males towards females. The members also informed how the street play performed by them had an impact on the village.

rally by cooperative members

public meeting at block conference hall