‘Women-only’ transport services: Gauging the repercussions by Akanksha Ahluwali & Akanksha Sharma

A lot of debate is going around Delhi CM ArvindKejriwal’s announcement about free bus commute for women. Our CM was quoted saying “Pink Ticket… I send heartiest greetings on BhaiDooj to all the sisters of the Delhi family. May you stay safe and progress… The country can progress only when women progress…” but is making the bus ticket free for women actually progress? Or are we regressing back to a time where we want women to be dependent once again? And why aren’t we talking about the economic state and development of women now that we’re making a ticket that costs Rs. 10 or Rs. 15 free? The fact that the ticket is pink and clearly distinguishes as ‘different’ is also problematic considering 30% of bus riders are women.

In the wake of this news, let’s have a look at some existing transport services for women around the globe.

The ‘women only’ coaches in Delhi metro

In 2013, union minister Maneka Gandhi proposed this idea to allot a metro coach entirely to women. Maneka Gandhi came up with this idea because of existing examples of women-only metro coaches in other countries. This move was rolled-in to curtail sexual and harassment issues that women often have to go through in co-ed metro coaches.

Metro in Japan adopted women-only cars

To curb with sexual offences in the co-ed metro cars, Tokyo metro unfurled the women-only metro cars for the morning rush hour. This move provided female students and workers a sense of safety while using public conveyance.

Women-only minibus in Nepal

The women-only minibus service was established by Nepali Minibus Entrepreneurs Association in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. This service was started considering the inconveniences faced by women commuters especially during and after office hours.

This service was initially a pilot project but it turned to become permanent because of its fine review. In the beginning, only three buses were used for operating this service but the number of buses was multiplied with time. This initiative was widely appreciated by women in Nepal which is obviously apparent from its subsistence.

‘Paxi’ or Pink taxi in Pakistan

In 2014, Authorities in Pakistan launched a minibus service exclusively for women travelling between the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. These mini-buses were named ‘paxi’ which is a syllogism for pink taxi. Later on, female drivers were enrolled for these taxis. These mini-buses were equipped with fire-extinguishers and first-aid kit for emergency purposes.

Women-only subway cars in Egypt

Commenced in 1987, this service is one of the oldest transport service declared for women. According to a report by U.N., about 99% of women in Cairo have faced sexual harassment. This move was much needed in a place where sexual molestation of women is very high. This service had implementation and functioning issues as it was reported that men were often seen boarding these subway cars.

Women-only subway cars in Brazil

The women-only cars in metro are a much prevalent idea in many countries.  The first women-only cars in Brazil were introduced to Sao Paulo back in 1995, but were discontinued due to complaints from married couples, and Egypt’s law of equality among the citizens. This service was again introduced on international women’s day in Rio De Janeiro in 2006 due to rising sexual offences against women.

Mumbai’s local trains have ‘women-only’ coaches

Mumbai’s popular public transport i.e., local train, have two coaches entirely reserved for women.  The coach class I-L and class II-L are allotted solely to women.  This move was made to give a sense of security to women travelling in public transport, especially at late hours.

Female reserved carriages and pink taxis in Mexico

In 2000, carriages reserved only for females were introduced in the metro of Mexico. The first few cars were dedicated entirely for women and children. This paved the way for pink taxis in Mexico that had female drivers, alarm button and a make-up kit.

Women-only carriages in Thailand’s train

The State Railway of Thailand introduced women-only carriages in 2014 in three of its most important routes. This was done after the rape of a 13-year old girl on the train.

Iran’s metro subway has carriages only for women

Since long, the Iranian capital Tehran has metro subways allotted solely to women passengers. This norm also spread to other public transport in Iran. In 2006, gender divided bus services were commenced in Tehran wherewomen could have their own buses with female drivers.

Tracing the footsteps: the initial women-only carriages

‘Ladies Only’ compartments were first introduced in 1874 in United Kingdom by the Metropolitan Railway. However, these compartments had a very low turnout so the practice soon became a service on request, rather than all the time. With time, this policy was completely abolished.

This policy was taken and followed in the coming years by other nations.
Delhi’s bid to make public transport safer for women cannot be achieved by making tickets free. It has to come with the understanding that men are using these platforms to grope, harass and molest women and that is why they feel unsafe, not because they think the ticket price is expensive. Yes, free tickets might encourage more women to ride buses but the problem of accessibility and rowdiness will prevail and will end up targeting even more women now. What do you think about this scheme by the Government? Do you think we can channel it in a way that makes taking the bus safer for women? Or does it encourage men to think that women get special advantages?

https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/Women-get-reserved-coach-in-Delhi-metro/article15766437.ece

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzRFU0WY76w

https://womenintheworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/img_28751.jpg

When Nutrition Becomes Gendered

As people all over the world, observe World Food Day, we would like to shed light on food discrimination and gendered access to food items. To promote confidence-building and increasing the value of girl children as part of our Sports for Empowering Girls Program, we are dedicated towards the five most sex-skewed districts: Ambala, Kurukshetra, Jhajjar, Gurugram and Magendragarh.
Though the ice-breaking and introduction went well in other districts, Mahendragarh was the most orthodox and deeply rooted in patriarchy. After several advocacy sessions and successful implementation, the number of girls who participated and continuously came for training was beyond our imagination. Through the course of the program, the girls started opening up with us and decided to share their stories.

Mahendragarh was the most orthodox and deeply rooted in patriarchy. After several advocacy sessions and successful implementation, the number of girls who participated and continuously came for training was beyond our imagination.

The girls who were eager and heavily invested in playing sports were being denied nutritious diets at home. Though they had the desire to get equal sports-playing opportunities like their male counterparts, but their bodies were not getting enough nutrients to match up. These girls would then travel 3-5kms everyday to get a small cup of milk that was provided as part of the program. This does not only highlight the discrimination against girls and their access to education and extra-curricular activities, but also their access to food at home. Where the boys of the family are given whatever nutrients that these rural families can spare, their girls have to travel for the same.

These girls would then travel 3-5kms every day to get a small cup of milk that was provided as part of the program. This does not only highlight the discrimination against girls and their access to education and extra-curricular activities, but also their access to food at home.

Therefore, on this World Food Day, let us not take our access to food for granted and promote equality even when it comes to necessities!

The Molka Epidemic and the Problem of Toxic Masculinity in South Korea

In South Korea, the rampant use of spy cameras to record endless videos of women in public places, referred to as ‘Molka’- is a huge national issue that came to light when four men were accused for filming in 1,600 hotel rooms and selling the footage online via porn sites. The use of this high-tech technology does not only give access to constant filming of any activities wherever the spy cams are involved, but they also can be disguised as everyday objects so they arouse no suspicion at all.
In the year 2017, 6000 cases of crimes related to illegal filming were reported to the South Korean police and even though their government has strict measures in place since then, the culture of voyeurism and having these videos available online has not depleted drastically.

In the year 2017, 6000 cases of crimes related to illegal filming were reported to the South Korean police.

The fact that this movement turned into a national epidemic where public washrooms, motel rooms, restrooms and even broadcasting stations were targeted as potential spaces that could be installed with hidden cameras; could have been regulated way before it came to the limelight due to public mobilization against this blatant invasion of privacy. South Korean e-commerce website called GMarket reported a 333% rise in sales of hidden camera devices. Though these devices became popular in their use to record evidence of child abuse or domestic violence, masking them up as everyday items like pens, lighters, watches, computer mice, have also made thousands of women susceptible to invasion of privacy and having their videos on national and international pornographic websites.

South Korean e-commerce website called GMarket reported a 333% rise in sales of hidden camera devices. Though these devices became popular in their use to record evidence of child abuse or domestic violence, masking them up as everyday items like pens, lighters, watches, computer mice, have also made thousands of women susceptible to invasion of privacy

What becomes evident then is the repression of toxic masculinity in favor of having a ‘clean image’ for the society, and the way women have been treated in South Korea. While the world was garnering support and women were coming out with their harassment experiences, 10,000 women took to the streets to show their support for the movement and demanded that the spying epidemic and sexual violence against women needs to stop. This was a big step in terms of South Korean feminism moving to a new phase and trying to break out of the deeply patriarchal structure of the society, male groups in the country were blatantly declaring their anger against female mobilization.

South Korean Me Too movement spread so far beyond the professional sector that even college juniors and school students joined the movement and trended #School_MeToo on social media. The tales of sexual harassment and assaults by male teachers or male seniors were reported using this hashtag and one male teacher were reported by his female students for saying girls were “asking to be raped” if they went out drinking at night and wore ‘provocative’ clothes.

South Korean Me Too movement spread so far beyond the professional sector that even college juniors and school students joined the movement and trended #School_MeToo on social media.

Dang Dang We, a group of young men who are “fighting for justice for men”, came into existence when a 39-year old South Korean businessman was charged with harassment for grabbing a woman’s buttocks in a Korean Soup restaurant. What irked this group of misogynists is the fact that the man was charged solely on the basis of the victim’s testimony. Therefore, the group’s logical conclusion was to blame feminism and its empty promises of empowerment and equality.

“Feminism is no longer about gender equality. It is gender discrimination and its manner is violent and hateful,” the leader of the Dang Dang We was quoted saying.

“Feminism is no longer about gender equality. It is gender discrimination and its manner is violent and hateful”, the leader of the Dang Dang We, a group of men “fighting for justice for men” was quoted saying.

With the wide access and availability of these seemingly normal spy devices, a lot of men were reported to indulge in ‘revenge porn’ and ended up sharing illicit videos of teenage girls or their partners without consent. With the sexual violence perpetrated against women and the normalization of selling private videos online, it becomes apparent that women who speak out are pushed to the boundaries. A widespread introduction of feminist voices and new ideas came into being when a woman was targeted by a man and murdered in the streets of Gangnam in 2016. Because of mass outrage and a demand to make penalties and crime against women a mainstream issue in South Korea, the government implemented squads and stricter penalties against these perpetrators.

With the wide access and availability of these seemingly normal spy devices, a lot of men were reported to indulge in ‘revenge porn’ and ended up sharing illicit videos of teenage girls or their partners without consent.

Even today, there are regular checks that happen across motels, public washrooms, bath houses and even beauty salons by a special task force dedicated to inspect spy cams. The South Korean companies capitalized on this issue and started creating detectors that can be attached to mobile phones as chips that would detect any electric waves. Women in South Korea have a history of being targets of inequality, fixed gender norms at home, problematic beauty standards, harassment, sexual violence and discrimination at the workplace. Not just relegated to the private life, but popular celebrities and idols have been accused of various counts of drug abuse, attempted rapes, molestation and selling women as favors in the last couple of years. As a result, the outrage and the demands of #MyLifeisNotYourPorn, Girls Don’t Need a Prince and Girls can Do Anything, are not just female voices demanding equal rights and justice against violent tendencies, but also shows an unprecedented change in social norms and perception.

Women in South Korea have a history of being targets of inequality, fixed gender norms at home, problematic beauty standards, harassment, sexual violence and discrimination at the workplace… as a result, the outrage and the demands of #MyLifeisNotYourPorn, Girls Don’t Need a Prince and Girls Can do Anything, are not just female voices demanding equal rights and justice against violent tendencies, but also shows an unprecedented change in social norms and perception.
Photo by: AFP

#GlobalClimateStrike – BY SAROJINI SAPRU & LAKSHITA IYER

“We need to wake up// We need to wise up// We need to open our eyes// And do it now nownow // We need to build a better future// And we need to do it right now”
To address the devastating effects of climate change and climate breakdown, the Global Climate Strike calls for individuals to walk out of their homes and their offices on September 20th and 27th to protest the current state of climate inaction, and disrupt the notion of business as usual. September’s Climate Strikes are poised to kick start a huge wave of dialogue and action across the world. They are set to make the leaders of the world accountable for the inaction and disregard they have shown towards the climate crisis.

The Global Climate Strike calls for individuals to walk out of their homes and their offices on September 20th and 27th to protest the current state of climate inaction, and disrupt the notion of business as usual.

Origins of Global Climate Strike
The Global Climate Strike can be traced back to 2018, when Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl took the day off from school, to strike in front of the Swedish Parliament. In just a year, Thunberg’s individual action garnered support and applause, from youth across the world. The “Fridays for Future” movement was conceived, and school children from across the world began taking Fridays off from school to strike for climate action. These young people have woken the world up to the urgency of the climate crisis, and are now calling on the rest of us to support the movement and strike for the climate during the global strikes on September 20th and 27th, 2019.

In 2018, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish schoolgirl took the day off from school, to strike in front of the Swedish Parliament. In just a year, Thunberg’s individual action garnered support and applause, from youth across the world.


Image: Greta Thunberg, on strike outside the Swedish Parliament, 2018

What does going on strike mean?
“We’re on a planet// That has a problem// We’ve got to solve it, get involved// And do it now now// We need to build a better future// And we need to start right now.”

Going on #GlobalClimateStrike means people everywhere walking out of their homes and offices and taking time to protest the current state of climate inaction. Some will spend the day in protest of new pipelines and mines, or the banks that fund them; some will highlight the cost of mining on the environment, and many will spend the day in action raising awareness in their communities and pushing for solutions to the climate crisis that will uphold principles of justice and equity.

….many will spend the day in action raising awareness in their communities and pushing for solutions to the climate crisis that will uphold principles of justice and equity.

20th September 2019, Climate Strike
“Make it greener// Make it cleaner// Make it last, make it fast// And do it now now now// We need to build a better future// And we need to start right now.”


Image: #GlobalClimateStrike in New Delhi on 20th September, 2019.

Delhi marched for climate action on the 20th September. The march commenced at Lodhi Gardens and concluded at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate. Students and youth were joined by prominent activists and individuals of all ages. The key slogans chanted were: “We want Climate Justice”, “There is no Earth B”, and “Azadi” from fossil fuels, from climate change, and from action. The march came to a standstill several times, as the police barricaded the path. In response individuals conducted a “die in”. A die-in, similar to a sit-in, is a demonstration in which a large group of individuals lie down as if dead: a symbolic action to demonstrate the consequences of climate inaction.

The key slogans chanted were: “We want Climate Justice”, “There is no Earth B”, and “Azadi” from fossil fuels, from climate change, and from action.

The Global Climate Strike is said to have garnered 4 million strikers across the world on the 20th of September itself, with participation from over 60 countries, and all 7 continents. The second leg is set to take off on 27th September, hoping for an equally robust participation from the masses. Even though the number of participants varies across sources, India saw extensive participation in all its major cities, including Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.

The Global Climate Strike is said to have garnered 4 million strikers across the world on the 20th of September itself, with participation from over 60 countries, and all 7 continents

The climate strikes will not solve the climate crisis. However the action will demonstrate to governments across the world that citizens are aware of the urgency of the climate crisis, and demand a solution that priorities human rights, gender rights, equity and justice at its core. It’s time to show governments, world leaders, and corporations that we want climate justice and climate action. It’s time to demonstrate what people power can achieve!

It’s time to show governments, world leaders, and corporations that we want climate justice and climate action. It’s time to demonstrate what people power can achieve!


Image: “I care because I want to live”. Climate Action is not a choice, it’s a necessity.

“No point in waiting// or hesitating // we must get wise, take no more// we need to build a better future// and we need to start right now.”
The Centre for Social Research supports the #GlobalClimateStrike, and the urgent need for climate justice. We support climate action through our endeavours that link gender, water and climate change. We acknowledge that the degree, to which people are adversely affected by climate crisis, depends partly on their social status, gender, poverty, power and access to and control over resources. In this sense, we note that women are traditionally more exposed to, and less able to cope with the adverse effects of climate change. They are also largely excluded from dialogue and action. Largely, the impacts of gender inequalities and women’s recurrent socio-economic disadvantages continue to be ignored and remain a critical challenge to adaptation efforts.Through our work and the projects that we engage in, we draw on women’s experiences, knowledge and skills, in order to support their empowerment, and thereby make climate change responses more powerful and effective.

Centre for Social Research supports & notes that women are traditionally more exposed to, and less able to cope with the adverse effects of climate change; largely excluded from dialogue & action. We draw on women’s experiences, knowledge and skills, in order to support their empowerment, and thereby make climate change responses more powerful and effective.


Image: Dr.RanjanaKumari at the Global Climate Strike, with activists from Tibet.
References:
Song: Do it now – Bella Ciao (protest song sung on the strike): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7V1qLLsn7M
Global Climate Strike: https://globalclimatestrike.net/
Greta Image: https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/greta-thunberg-photo-viral-again_n_5d85f07ae4b070d468cd3bb7
All other images: Centre for Social Research

Be a voice of Social Change- International Charity Day

September 5 is the death anniversary of Mother Teresa and the United Nation observes it as the International Day of Charity. The whole world is aware of Mother Teresa’s dedicated work for poor, distress and oppressed people. She gave a different meaning to Social Work. Charity in the form of love, care, emotions and social service was very close to her heart. Charity can contribute in reducing poverty and can alleviate worst effects of humanitarian crisis. It is beneficial for the advancement of our rights and social welfare.
What do we understand by the term Charity? Does it only mean helping someone financially or does it has a wider meaning? The meaning and notion of Charity has changed with the time and now it is more about promoting the rights of marginalized and underprivileged sections of society. Charity does not only confine to providing financial aid to the vulnerable people but it‘s definition has changed with time. As Mother Teresa also said once, “Charity isn’t about pity, it is about love”. The one, who knows and learns to take care of his/her family, must have emotion, love and values for others as well. Charity begins first at home then only one can understands human sufferings both within and outside their home. From this comes the understanding of helping those in need, in order to bring about a change in someone’s world.

The one, who knows and learns to take care of his/her family, must have emotion, love and values for others as well. Charity begins first at home then only one can understands human sufferings both within and outside their home. From this comes the understanding of helping those in need, in order to bring about a change in someone’s world.

In today’s world, we witness violence against women around us in our daily lives. Be it within our family, at our neighbor’s home or at our work place. Women experience discrimination and subject to different forms of oppression- domestic abuse, physical abuse, marital rape, dowry violence, etc. Women usually don’t speak about sexual violence or harassment at their work place. The reason of their silence is simply that most women are not aware of their rights and the legal framework that works for their protection. What do we do about it then? We can give our time to such distress women and make them aware of their legal rights or remedy available to them. Time is also a kind of charity to bring about a social change. Our one-time intervention and efforts may have a positive impact on someone’s personal well-being. It is our moral imperative to find solutions and look after destitute and oppressed people around us.

Time is also a kind of Charity to bring about a social change. Our one-time intervention and efforts may have a positive impact on someone’s personal well-being. It is our moral imperative to find solutions and look after destitute and oppressed people around us.

It is sad that gender-based violence is prevalent in India and several civil society organizations, NGOs and Women’s rights activists are working to help such women through volunteer work, skill development and providing them with legal assistance. Empowering women with legal and economic protection allows them to have their voices heard in larger decisions. Gender equality will help reduce poverty and encourage growth and development. Therefore, providing equal opportunities to women can also make humanitarian aid more effective.

On this International Charity Day, we urge people to become a voice for those in need of help and speak up against injustices to ensure that these vulnerable voices are not left unheard in society. So next time will you help, if you see any kind of oppression and violence against women around you, make sure you will help the oppressed. Giving time to your community through volunteerism, charity or other means does so much to help those in needs and contribute to social change. Charity is no more about helping people with money; it is about bringing an initiative of change in our society, of helping people who don’t have a voice, taking a stand against violence and not tolerating any kind of injustices.

Giving time to your community through volunteerism, charity or other means does so much to help those in needs and contribute to social change. Charity is no more about helping people with money; it is about bringing an initiative of change in our society, of helping people who don’t have a voice, taking a stand against violence and not tolerating any kind of injustices.

The Problems of the Gender Wage Gap

When we talk about gender equality in India, we look at the statistics that says women in India earn 19% less than men. According to the Monster Salary Index (MSI), the median gross salary of a man in India stood at Rs. 242.49 for an hour, while it was Rs.196.3 for women. And while the statistic is factually accurate, there’s a lot that hides behind this gap. While the numbers are a comparison of the amount of money women and men get for the same amount of work and time, what should also be highlighted is the difference between opportunities and discrimination is represents.

According to the Monster Salary Index (MSI), the median gross salary of a man in India stood at Rs. 242.49 for an hour, while it was Rs.196.3 for women.

It also doesn’t highlight how the wage gap affects women with different educational backgrounds, ages, family backgrounds and the kind of work they’re offered on the basis of these factors. In order to fulfill the challenge of closing the wage gap, these factors have to be visualized. Starting with the problem of the wage gap, it becomes evident that the gap between opportunities present for men and women are different and governed by various prejudices. Even now, when women are called for interviews, questions like “are you married?”, “will you quit if you get married?” “will staying late be a problem?” are inevitable, and so are their consequences.

Starting with the problem of the wage gap, it becomes evident that the gap between opportunities present for men and women are different and governed by various prejudices.

There’s also the fact that marriage or having a child equates to less productivity at the workplace. These prejudices have hindered the chances of women entering the workforce and being granted positions of power. It might be surprising to realize that even in fields that are pre-dominantly associated with women such as healthcare, care giving services and social work, men earn 21% percent more than women. The survey also discovered that the wage gap is relatively lower in the initial period of joining employment, but becomes wider once the tenure increases significantly.

It might be surprising to realize that even in fields that are pre-dominantly associated with women such as healthcare, care giving services and social work, men earn 21% percent more than women.

While men are given benefits and raises regularly, women who are working at the same post, for the same amount of time or even longer, are paid lesser and lesser. With over 12 years of experience, men start earning 15% more than their female counterparts. This is not just a statistic, but an indication of deep-rooted patriarchy and the fear of letting women work. The survey also discovered that half of the women believe that they will face discrimination at work after they are married, and they also believe that maternity leads to a perception that they are not committed to their professional lives and will quit due to them giving birth. Please note that no men have ever felt the need to do the same.

The survey also discovered that half of the women believe that they will face discrimination at work after they are married, and they also believe that maternity leads to a perception that they are not committed to their professional lives and will quit due to them giving birth.

With patriarchy and gender-roles continuously creating ideologies that dictate the dichotomy between home and the world and the role that women and men play within these sectors, women miss out on essential opportunities that can lead to their personal development and economic empowerment. But the impact of the wage gap is not just personal; it can also be felt by the economic structures of our country. While having both women and men working, it’s obvious that productivity increases. It also introduces new workers in all sectors, and creates more opportunities for both formal and informal organizations to grow rapidly. The decline in opportunity and the rampant discrimination based on gender, not only hinders a whole gender but it also directly effects the economic development of our country and its sustainability.

With patriarchy and gender-roles continuously creating ideologies that dictate the dichotomy between home and the world and the role that women and men play within these sectors, women miss out on essential opportunities that can lead to their personal development and economic empowerment.

World day against Trafficking in Persons 2019 by Akanksha Sharma

“I arrived at JFK with four other women and a man, and we were divided into two groups. Johnny took all my documents, including my passport, and led me to his car with two of the other women.

That was when things started to get strange.”
This is what Shandra Woworuntu, a sex-trafficking victim and survivor told BBC in an interview. Shandra Woworuntu was from Indonesia who lost a well-paid job as a result of Asian financial crisis. In dire need of money and employment, Shandra went to the US to work in the hospitality sector. But, luck had something else in store for her. In the garb of giving employment to women in the hotel industry, a huge sex-trafficking racket was being run which invited women from different parts of the world through hoax advertisements and communication channels. When the women arrived at the airport, they were taken to different hotels and brothels unknowingly. Some women had been manipulated with time to work as free prostitutes, and others like Shandra were made sex slaves who worked under duress.

Shandra, in her interview to BBC, revealed that she was constantly drugged and forced to have sex with as many customers. However, after months of hellish struggle, Shandra managed to flee from the brothel she was kept in. Shandra complained to the police and helped the other women who were kept as sex slaves. The traffickers of this racket got identified and punished.

Due to Shandra’a impeccable will, she saved herself and many other women like her. However, there are innumerable women like Shandra who are tricked into sex-trafficking and subjected to an unbearable heinous treatment. Many of such women are never able to run away from this ruthless world of sex-trafficking and the count of such women is unknown and endless.

Many of such women are never able to run away from this ruthless world of sex-trafficking and the count of such women is unknown and endless.

Human trafficking has become a commercial business which has confidential networks that are hard to trace. Shandra was one of the few fortunate women who are able to escape, but her example highlights the fact that sex-trafficking rackets are being carried on such a massive level that they have strong contacts in advertising, immigration, hospitality, and so much more.
And this becomes even harder to curb because commercial human trafficking makes billions in profits every year. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), forced labour alone generates an estimated $150 billion in profits per annum as of 2014.The International Labour Organization also states that about 4.5 million people(mostly women) worldwide are forced into sex trafficking by coercive or abusive means and escape is nearly impossible for them.

About 4.5 million people (mostly women) worldwide are forced into sex trafficking by coercive or abusive means.

Reportedly, a complex set of factors like poverty, unemployment, discrimination against women, commercial demand for sex, and globalization are responsible for sex trafficking of women. In most cases, poor and less-educated women are pushed into trafficking as they have limited access to opportunities, or more than often women enter sex trafficking,unaware.

A communication medium of sex trafficking that has emerged in the recent times is the internet.
In today’s world, globalization and the advent of internet are simplifying sex trafficking to a large extent. Reports show that explicit and untraceable sites are facilitating sex trafficking. Then social networking sites are ostensibly used for commercial sex trafficking by traffickers. What is appalling is that under-age girls are the major victims of online sex trafficking.

Centre for social Research was formed with the aim of empowerment of women in our society. Since its establishment in 1983, CSR has worked day and night to reform the society’s outlook towards women.
With the motive of development of women, CSR has taken various measures to mitigate sex-trafficking of women. In 2018, CSR organized a training session with CBI officials on anti-human trafficking. This training was conducted successfully, highlighting the role of police networks in diminishing trafficking of women.
Moreover, CSR’s director, Dr. Ranjana Kumari has served as the Coordinator of the South Asia Network Against Trafficking (SANAT) in Persons.

CSR’s director, Dr. Ranjana Kumari has served as the Coordinator of the South Asia Network Against Trafficking (SANAT) in Persons.


CSR’s other programs like Women’s Skill Development and Social surfing are generating a wave of transformation among women and youth.
CSR’s Centre for Excellence for Women’s Skill Development offers specialized trainings such as-Women’s Security Guard Training, Office Assistant Training and Sports for Girls. These programs are motivating socially immobilized women to learn skills and earn a living so that a poor financial state doesn’t force them into sex trafficking or any other such profession.
#SocialSurfing is another initiative by CSR in association with Facebook, that conducts workshops in institutions to create awareness about the critical effects of social media and safety tools present. This training assists in reducing unsafe practices online by spreading the word about privacy measures on social networks.
So, in a world where human trafficking is on a constant rise, an organization like CSR is trying to help women to lead a safe and empowered life. The current environment requires each one of us to become more aware about fake communication channels and essential safety measures.

The current environment requires each one of us to become more aware about fake communication channels and essential safety measures.

This World Day against Trafficking in Persons, Centre for Social Research asks you to stay safe and also assist in reducing human trafficking by referring CSR’s helpful programs to as many women and institutions as possible.

Read ShandraWoworuntu’s full interview here-
https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35846207

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking#cite_note-16

Time is Running Out by Sarojini Sapru

India’s Water Crisis – Why Groundwater Recharge is Key
India’s sixth largest city Chennai, has run out of water. The NITI Aayog has released a study, stating that India is facing its worst water crisis in history, and that the demand for potable water through the country will outstrip supply by 2030 if steps are not taken. The report goes on to say that nearly 600 million Indians face high to extreme water stress, and about 2 lakh people die every year due to inadequate access to safe water. Twenty-one cities including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad will run out of groundwater by 2020, affecting 100 million people. Moreover groundwater resources, which account for 40% of India’s water supply are being depleted at “unsustainable” rates and upto 70% of India’s water supply is contaminated.

This crisis is real, and it is happening now. The intensification of human activity, coupled with extreme weather events caused by climate change can lead to longer periods of droughts and floods (India is facing its worst drought in decades, resulting from a deadly heat-wave and delayed monsoons). These extreme conditions increase the demand for groundwater – which is already a critical and overexploited resource in the country. Enhancing the underground storage of water is a practical and robust measure to augment the availability of fresh water, and to enhance climate change adaption. It is therefore imperative that groundwater play a more prominent role in climate debates.

These unsustainable levels of exploitation have serious implications for the sustainability of agriculture, economic growth and livelihoods, as well as long term food security. A 2012 report by the World Bank notes that India is the largest user of groundwater in the world (“using an estimated 230 cubic kilometres of groundwater per year – over a quarter of the global total”). The report further estimated that more than 60% of irrigated agriculture and 85% of drinking water supplies are dependent on ground water. The potential social and economic consequences of continued weak or non-existent groundwater management are serious. The implications are also disturbing for a plethora of reasons: for sustaining economic growth and local livelihoods, and for environmental sustainability. The consequences will be most severe for vulnerable populations.

Noting the high percentage of irrigated agriculture that is dependent on groundwater, it is important to notes that in states, such as Rajasthan (which is one of the driest states in the country) it is primarily women who work in the fields and perform agricultural tasks and labour. However, several studies have highlighted that despite the fact that it is the women who perform the bulk of agricultural labour in fields in India, they are largely excluded from decision-making activities . The role of women in water conservation and recharge is integral. Providing women with a platform to engage with water conservation and recharge on both a policy level, as well as a ground level is essential. By acknowledging the role that women play in agriculture, and water-related work and building their capacities in this regard, so they are not “invisible workers”, women’s voices and leadership will increase, along with their participation in decision making, and therefore social and economic life. Read about CRS’s efforts towards strengthening climate action by promoting gender equality.

Source: Niti Aayog Composite Water Resources Management Report

Because kicking ‘like a girl’ is just as cool – KamyaYadav & Akanksha Sharma

Centre for Social Research is undertaking a project that is focused on empowering girls through sports. Focused on five districts of Haryana that are the most sex-skewed, that is have the worst gender ratios, the project aims to make communities in these districts understand how sports can be empowering for young girls. CSR is one of the many NGOs in India that has taken the mantle of using sports to further the development and advancement of girls in the country. How exactly do sports like football or cricket empower girls in our country, and around the world?

Over the years, a lot of journalists and media houses have covered stories of girls around the world who have used sports to move out of poverty, to gain access to healthcare and education, to advance their careers and achieve independence. In the simplest way, when girls get access to sports, via training and coaches, and they acquire a certain proficiency level in the sport they choose to play, it illuminates a pathway to education that didn’t exist before.This is through admissions into quality schools that provide scholarships to talented athletes, and to prestigious universities that have a provision for sports quotas.Educational attainment is one of the most important ways of breaking cycles of poverty, gender inequality, and creating a gateway towards financial independence.

When girls get access to sports, via training and coaches, and they acquire a certain proficiency level in the sport they choose to play, it illuminates a pathway to education that didn’t exist before.

In addition to increasing educational attainment, sports provide a medium for girls to pursue a non-traditional, alternative career, which can sometimes propel them towards international recognition as well. Many female sportspersons in India, such as GeetaPhogat and Dutee Chand, have broken the glass ceiling for women in India through their respective sports and have become vocal advocates for promoting sports for girls.

But even today, how accessible are sports to girls? More importantly, how wide is the gender gap in sports? The FIFA Women’s World Cup has been making headlines around the world, but perhaps not for the right reasons. Eclipsed by the Indian men’s cricket team’s success in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup, many in India don’t even know that the women’s football world cup is underway. And these are the same Indians who flock to Kolkata’s football clubs every day to play the ‘beautiful game’ and to the Salt Lake Stadium by the thousands to watch Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.

Eclipsed by the Indian men’s cricket team’s success in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup, many in India don’t even know that the women’s football world cup is underway.

The beautiful game, in fact, is quite ugly. Furor has surrounded the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup because of the gross and utter inequality of the FIFA Federation towards the two genders. To begin with, there exists a $370 million gender gap between the total prize money offered at this year’s Women’s World Cup and last year’s Men’s World Cup.

Below is the infographic provided by Forbes, which not only shows the disparity between the total prize money, but also between the prize money provided to the winner of the world cup. FIFA claims that this egregious disparity comes from the difference in the revenue earned by the two World Cups. But critics don’t buy this claim. They say that FIFA’s revenue books are closed off to

the public and there is no way to validate the veracity of this claim. But even beyond that, why should the revenue pulled by the same organization for two different events be split according to which event pulled more? Why can’t FIFA pool the revenue and split it equally among the two genders?

FIFA, however, is not the only one to blame. Country-wise clubs and football associations are equal perpetrators in this inequality. According to a 2017 article published by Forbes, 1693 female footballers across the top leagues of seven countries receive the same amount of pay as Neymar’s

contract for Paris St-Germain for the 2017-2018 season. In a similar vein, UN Women recently tweeted that Lionel Messi’s annual income was almost twice as much as those 1693 women. Such a disparity is beyond simple inequality; it is disrespectful and dismissive of the effort, talent, and skill of female footballers in the world today.

1693 female footballers across the top leagues of seven countries receive the same amount of pay as Neymar’s contract for Paris St-Germain for the 2017-2018 season.

Beyond prize money and pay gaps, FIFA has been accused a number of times of not investing nearly enough money into promoting football for women around the world, and of not advertising female football enough. So what can be done to rectify this situation? For one, at the behest of PFA and FifPro, both football associations, FIFA has agreed to negotiate to reduce the gender gap post the Women’s World Cup.

At the behest of PFA and FifPro, both football associations, FIFA has agreed to negotiate to reduce the gender gap post the Women’s World Cup.

In addition, national football associations should introduce equal pay for men and women. The United States Women’s Soccer team is fighting a legal battle to ensure equal pay, as they argue that their pay is a violation of the Equal Pay Act. In Norway, the Football Association earlier this year struck an agreement to introduce gender parity among the male and female internationals. National change can help generate the momentum needed to push FIFA towards modifying its own policies.

Sports is perhaps one of the most unequal arenas for women. Given that it can benefit the future of girls everywhere tremendously, it is time that we fought and pushed organizations to become accountable and initiate a positive change towards gender parity for girls.

It is time that we fought and pushed organizations to become accountable and initiate a positive change towards gender parity for girls.