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NEWSLETTER SEPTEMBER 2020

Note from our Director -
Dr. Ranjana Kumari



Looking back on the last three months and the targets we have achieved even during the unprecedented times of Covid-19, I see our learnings as both applicable and critical for our work with partners toward a gender-just and equitable future. In this quarter as well, we continuously launch campaigns of awareness, activism and action discourse in our fight for the girls and women of this country.

Increasing domestic violence and digital bullying have made work from home difficult for women workers. Reported incidents of domestic violence and right to live with dignity increased almost by twofold according to the National Commission for Women (NCW) during the lockdown. The NCW received 2043 complaints of crimes against women in June 2020, the highest in the past eight months. With the launch of our Women’s Relief Response to Covid-19, we have strengthened our efforts to respond to gender-based violence against women not just in terms of rehabilitation and relief but also conducting regular online trainings about domestic violence, sexual harassment at the workplace, health and hygiene, the current issues of education for girls.

With restrictions easing and community ground-work resuming, we also continue our project to enhance women’s leadership capacity in water conservation and to promote women-friendly solutions for the climate crisis. Our field visits to Alwar for training and monitoring the water conservational infrastructure has resumed in full compliance with health and hygiene guidelines in place.

As the Indian economy contracted by a historic 23.9% following the unplanned lockdown in March 2020, loss of jobs and livelihood translated into children being pulled out of schools, early marriages and increase in child labour. Keeping this in mind, our Skills Development Centre has started online training to ensure more holistic development for individuals and economic empowerment.

With the whole world now online for their daily lives, we collaborated with Facebook and the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ensure that children do not feel overwhelmed and understand how to stay safe and secure online. In this quarter, we also released a CSR produced documentary on Online Human Rights Violations Against Women to explore the role that technology plays in the lives of women and the exploitation by traffickers and human rights abusers and continue to use our social media presence to maintain connections with the youth about women rights issues through tweetchats, social media campaigns and surveys that build engagement with our followers and encourage debate on issues of digital parenting, the shadow pandemic of online violence against women, the gender-divide in employment opportunities in light of the new unemployment data and to share authentic news from reliable sources.

In the midst of these unprecedented circumstances when all of us are now grappling to go back to public spaces and resuming in this new normal, I would like to extend my thanks to dedicated members, volunteers, partners and funders for standing with us and creating a circle of empathy across the world.

Women’s Relief Response to Covid-19 Crisis

Centre for Social Research (CSR) in collaboration with German Embassy, New Delhi has commenced the implementation of a program to support “Women’s Relief Response to the COVID-19 Crisis” in 5 districts of Delhi (North East, South, South West, East and West) and 5 districts of Haryana (Gurugram, Jhajjar, Mahendragarh, Kurukshetra and Ambala). This program aims to strengthening our response services and those of our network partners to domestic violence and gender based violence, capacity building of women and communities to stay safe, engaging the front-line health care workers (who are primarily women) in discussions and awareness generation on health, hygiene and sanitation to stay safe and support communities in COVID response, and conducting advocacy and lobbying among key stakeholders, health-care providers and the public regarding the risks to public health.

Since the outbreak of the Covid-19, the emerging data and reports from all the fronts shows that types of violence against the women and girls have intensified among all sections of the society, therefore CSR has been conducting training sessions on the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) POSH Act, 2013 among ASHA, ANM, Aanganwadi wokers and active community members of the concerned districts. So far we have conducted 6 such training sessions in districts i.e. Ambala, Kurukshetra, South Delhi, North East Delhi, West Delhi and East Delhi.

To address the health issues arising from COVID, CSR has conducted capacity-building programs targeting women and community health workers (who are primarily women) in West Delhi and Ambala. These trainings provide WASH education related to COVID prevention, A public campaign has been developed to raise awareness about investment in women’s health through these trainings.
  "CSR has initiated a programme on 'Women's Relief Response to COVID-19 Crisis in 5 districts of Delhi and 5 districts of Haryana. The programme addresses increasing cases of domestic violence and sexual harassment cases at workplaces. It also envisages to ensure greater access of women to health care facilities."

“Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” (BBBP) in 5 gender critical districts of Haryana

"In this quarter, CSR successfully conducted E-Rallies and onlines Stakeholders Interface Workshops in 4 districts of Haryana with Aanganwadi, ASHA workers, ANMs, CMOs, PC/PNDT Nodal Officers, CMGGAs, DPOs, CDPOs and active community members."  
Our “Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)- Responding to Pre-natal sex section in Gender Critical Districts of Haryana” in collaboration with the Netherlands Embassy has been efficiently converted to the online medium.

Even under these unprecedented circumstances we were able to reach out to the Medical fraternity and ASHA workers from Gurugram and Ambala to dicuss about the sex selection cases in the district, the impact of Covid-19 on the raids under the Pre-Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (PC/PNDT) act through our Expert Group meetings.

In this quarter, we could successfully mobilize students from educational institutions of Jhajjar, Kurukshetra and Ambala districts. We spoke to the school students about the importance of equal rights among men and women and the role of the youth in community engagement for BBBP. The students also shared articulate posters on “BBBP” which have been showcased on our various social media platforms as well. At the same time, we have commenced with our stakeholder interfaces in Kurukshetra and Mahendragarh districts, where the PC/PNDT Nodal officers, Chief Ministers Good Governance Associates, Cluster Development Program Officers, ASHA coordinators, ASHA and Anganwadi workers joined us enthusiastically. This activity assisted us in gathering all the stakeholders, discussing the different perspectives and the potential way forward for the BBBP in the respective districts.

In the upcoming weeks, we are planning to conduct stakeholder interface and e-rallies in Ambala, Gurugram and Jhajjar districts to further increase our outreach and community engagements.

Sports for Empowering Girls

Our “Sports for Empowering Girls in Five Gender Critical Districts of Haryana”-‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao” in collaboration with the Australian High Commission, in the Month of June as India was eventually unlocking, our team had reached out to the District Sports and Youth Affair Officers to assist us in resuming the distribution of nutritional intake to the players. Our continuous efforts helped us to successfully resume the nutritional intake in 4 out of 5 districts, i.e. Gurugram, Kuruskhetra, Jhajjar and Mahendragarh.

We were also able to conduct two zonal level competitions in the Gurugram and Kurukshetra districts. Both the events received great appreciation from the district sports authorities and the participants. At the Kurukshetra Zonal Sports meet, former international hockey players Mrs. Harjinder Kaur and Ms. Meenakshi graced the occasion to motivate and felicitate the players. The team and coaches conducted these activities by carefully following all safety guidelines for COVID-19.

The District Sports Officers and coaches have informed us that the nutritional drive and the competitions have acted as motivating factors for the players to come out and resume the sports activities. The players were ecstatic to get back on the ground and join for regular practice.

CSR is planning to distribute sports equipment/ kits to the participants from all the districts in the upcoming weeks.
  "The District Sports Officers and coaches believe that our nutritional drive Sports equipment distribution and the competitions have acted as motivating factors for the players to come out and resume the sports activities. The players were ecstatic to get back on the ground and join for regular practice."

Women Skill Development (WSD)

"We conducted online Co-ed Office Assistant training programme and we have rigorously worked towards the placement of the trainees upon the completion of the training program and have been successful in linking all the trainees to the placement opportunities."  
In 2018, CSR launched the Centre of Excellence for Skill Development with the aim of providing access to skills and employment opportunities to the marginalized section of the society. We have successfully completed a batch of our online co-ed Office Assistant skill training program and have also conducted the e-assessment for the trainees and later facilitated them with the e-certificates with support from MEPSC.

We have rigorously worked towards the placement of the trainees upon the completion of the training program and have been successful in linking all the trainees to the placement opportunities. We have held workshops to groom our trainees for the interviews and have also extended post placement support to the trainees. CSR is focused on creating the best outcomes for the trainees. We work closely with all the concerned stakeholders.

Gender, Water and Climate Change

I SHGs for Sustainable Water Resource management and Restoration of Water Resources – Alwar, Phase 3

The CSR team and Honda India Foundation, along with the local partner organization, SPECTRA, conducted a short inauguration programme on 4th July, 2020 at Dhadikar village in order to start the work intervention under the project titled: “SHGs for Sustainable Water Resource Management and Restoration of Water Resources- Phase 3”. The event was successfully accomplished in the presence of Mr. Rajesh Kumar (Sarpanch), Mr. Rohitas Gurjar (Secretary), Mr. Ratan Singh Choudhary (Technical Guide) and Mr. Pradeep Singh Pundhir (Managing Director of SPECTRA). From SPECTRA staff team Mr. Devendra Gautam, Mr. Naseeb Khan, women from SHGs and nearby villagers were also present at the site during the inauguration program. After this event, construction work commenced for the two sites under this project, namely - Deda Wala Pond, Lapala and Baba Sugnath Wala Pond.

The first batch of the three-day Capacity Building Training was conducted on the 11th-13th September 2020. These three days included a mix of basic, gender-based capacity building training as well as technical training on aspects of water conservation. It was conducted by collaboratively by CSR Team as well as the Technical Expert, Mr. Ratan Singh. Various activities, visuals, and games were used as a mode of instruction. The training culminated with the visit to one of the sites of construction. We are now set to conduct the next batch of training on 25th-27th September 2020!

II Creating a Strategic Framework for Gender-Inclusive Water Conservation Planning: Rajasthan

The Centre for Social Research renewed their partnership with the Hanns Seidel Stiftung for a new project titled - Creating a Strategic Framework for Gender-Inclusive Water Conservation Planning: Rajasthan. This project was kickstarted in July 2020 with the aim to propose revisions to the Rajasthan Action Plan for Climate Change to incorporate gender-responsive strategies for water conservation. The project is looking towards establishing an advisory committee consisting of gender and water experts, along with hosting state and national-level consultations to achieve its vision!

Online Safety and Security Workshops with Facebook and CBSE

Covid-19 thrusting our children in the online spaces in an accelerated manner has opened up a vast possibility of children and adults facing dangerous situations online, like cyberbullying, cyberstalking, scamming, doxxing and many more. To ensure safe navigation, we have been conducting Online Safety and Security Workshops in collaboration with Facebook and Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to ensure students will learn what it means to be a digital citizen, the power of positive online engagement, how to identify and combat dangerous situations, digital wellness, importance of reaching out, how to spot fake news and understand the damage it can do and many more skills and tools essential to keeping safe and secure, while online.

We have successfully completed over 80 workshops with schools all over the nation and have trained more than 9000 students so far. We continue to conduct these training everyday and encourage students to refer to our Online Safety and Security Toolkit for more details and regularly update the toolkit with the latest developments, new information packets and relevant links to other resources.
  "We have successfully completed over 80 workshops with schools all over the nation and have trained more than 9000 students so far. We continue to conduct these training everyday and encourage students to refer to our Online Safety and Security Toolkit for more details and regularly update the toolkit with the latest developments, new information packets and relevant links to other resources."

Documentary : Online Human Rights Violations Against Women

The evolution of the digital environment has created powerful tools for women’s empowerment but also new spaces where women’s rights can be violated. We explore the role that technology plays in the lives of women and the exploitation by traffickers and human rights abusers.

Our documentary highlights the current developments and challenges of protecting women’s rights in these online spaces. Experts from the field shared their recommendations for policies that promote effective and coordinated response, among governments, online service providers, and civil societies in ensuring that online spaces are accessible and safe for all digital users. The online premiere of the documentary was on 11th September and received positive feedback with our followers responding to the issues featured in the documentary with their own online experiences and stories.

Online Safety and Security Toolkit

Since the lockdown and the advent of Covid 19, there are a range of digital issues that are pressing to address. The first is the high volume of misinformation about Covid 19 that is circulating across social media platforms. The critical skill of assessing news sources and understanding the damage that fake news and misinformation can have is more vital than ever. Secondly, the closure of schools is creating a need for teachers and students to connect in online spaces.

What we’re also witnessing is the advent of more and more children and parents coming online to lead their routine daily lives. Now, education, business and pleasure are intrinsically linked with our online presence and communication. The Internet has also become a major source of gathering and spreading information. Keeping in mind that we’re seeing all citizens being urged to make online profiles, we have updated our Online Safety and Security Toolkit to empower all internet users with knowledge of the threats they can face (children and adults), and the various tools that they can use to stay safe and secure online.

WEBINAR SERIES

1. Snatching away Childhood: Child marriage in India"

The Research & Knowledge Management Departmrent of CSR conducted a Webinar on the Child Marriage situation in India on 3rd July 2020, Friday. The panelists included Dr. Chandra Rajan, Advocate Supreme Court, Mr Yogesh Vaishnav, co-founder VIkalp Sansthan , Ms. Shipra Jha, Head of Asia Engagement and Dr. Manasi Mishra, Head, Research & Knowledge Management Division, CSR.

The webinar saw the participation from various civil society organisations, prominent people in the field, gender experts and other individuals. The discussion was focused on different issues pertaining to Child Marriage situation in India such as under the pandemic there is an apprehension that the situation may worsen and many girls will be deprived of their right to education, the age of marriage is also being discussed among policy makers and what could be the response of civil society as a way forward towards recommendation to government.

2. Skill webinar in collaboration with Skill India “ #UnlockingSkills”

CSR in collaboration with National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) through its WorldSkills India & IndiaSkills initiative, conducted a webinar on 15th July, 2020 to celebrate World Youth SkillsDay . The esteemed panelist included of Mr. Ranjan Chaudhry, Senior Head World Skill India , Ms Medha Uniyal , Program Director, Pratham Institute, Mr. Ashish Jain, CEO, HSSC, Ms. Thasleem Mohideen , world skill India champion 19’.

As the country is going through “Unlock” , through this webinar we engaged with the youth and motivated them to unlock their future too. The overall objective was to spread awareness amongst all the stakeholders about the skilling ecosystem and how it can lead to a sustainable development of the youth. The webinar witnessed huge participation from all across.

3. Digital Well-being and Students in the Era of Covid-19

We have been working on capacity building of students around the issues of online safety & security for many years, in collaboration with organizations like Facebook and very recently CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education). In light of Covid-19, as students increasingly find themselves making efforts to navigate their way through the online world, more so currently because of the lock-down. They are faced with numerous challenges from limited access, ignorance about safety and security tools available, to vulnerability to abusers/predators online which often results in negative effects on their well-being.

The Webinar had an expert panel comprising of leading experts from Teach for India, The Shriram Millenium School, Brahmavid The Global School, Dr. Jini K Gopinath, Chief Psychology Officer from YourDost and Mr. Shivang Raina, Policy Programs Manager, Facebook (India and Asia). This action discourse was organised to initiate a conversation with parents, teachers, guardians, and major stakeholders in the well-being of children's lives, to step up and exponentially increase their efforts to make the online spaces accessible, safe and secure.

4. CSR FEMINAR: Discourse on Gender Equality

‘Women’s Democratic & Constitutional Rights to Represent’
As passage of Women’s Reservation Bill is directly related to “SDG- 5” and the gender equality pledge prevailing at national and international forums and with the Indian government being signatory to all international conventions, it will be able to bring about social change institutionally with an exemplary example of ensuring gender equality in India.

Hence, Centre for Social Research conducted a FEMINAR to comprehend the changing dynamic on Women's Democratic & Constitutional Rights to Represent on 28th August 2020 at 3 pm. The Expert panelists included Prof. M.V. Rajeev Gowda , Ex Member of Parliament , Rajya Sabha, Ms. Rajni Patil , AICC In-charge Himachal Pradesh , Dr. Sasmit Patra , Member of Rajya Sabha, Biju Janta Dal spokesperson, Dr. Ranjana Kumari, Director, CSR, Ms. Brinda Adige , Women’s and Child Rights Activist and Dr. Manasi Mishra, Head of Research and Knowledge Management Division.

Through this webinar CSR proposed following Action points :
  1. Passage of Women’s Reservation Bill in the coming session of parliament
  2. At least 1/3rd seats in all internal committees of political parties be reserved for women
  3. Increase political representation of women in internal affairs of political parties
  4. Inter-ministerial committees on state of women headed by cabinet secretary on line of National Mission for Empowerment of Women
  5. Women’s increased role in policy/decision making at all levels of Government
  6. Political parties providing at least 33% tickets to women contestant

Crisis Intervention Centre

CSR being the registered National Agency of the National Commission for Women (NCW) to handle cases regarding Domestic Violence (DV), Gender Based Violence (GBV) and the POSH Act implementation, have received and provided services to 44 cases instead of DV and GBV during the last three months. Apart from these, as External members of Internal Committees (ICs) of various government and non-governmental organisations/institutions under the POSH Act, CSR has received and handled 7 new cases and 2 on-going cases of sexual harassment during the last quarter. Out of these, 7 cases have been pro-actively finalised with reports submitted to concerned employing authorities.

Tweetchats and Social Media Campaigns

Say No to Child Marriage
With global data showing the disparity in which Covid-19 has impacted and highlighted gender binaries, the numbers of girls being pulled out of school in the face of economic depression and being forced into child marriage has been increasing rapidly. To ensure that this narrative is not lost in the mainstream, we conducted a #Tweetchat with experts including Pragya Vats, Head of Campaigns with Save the Children, Brinda Adige, Women, Children and Dalits Rights Activist, Sonal Kapoor, Founder, NGO Protsahan India and Ms. Satyashree, Gender and Childs Rights Activist.
Online Human Rights Violations Against Women
Online violence against women is a clear reflection of the gender discrimination and inequality that exists offline. Online, it becomes hugely amplified. The impact can be profound. The anxiety and fear suffered by the victims are compounded by a very real possibility of actual physical harm. The damage to victims' right to privacy, to freedom of expression, and to full participation in economic, social, cultural and political affairs is evident. Addressing online violence requires collective efforts from individuals, corporations, and governments.

At the Centre for Social Research we have been diligently working on this cause and as part of our campaign against Online Human Rights Violations Against Women, we organized a #Tweetchat in collaboration with Amnesty International India and Women’s Power Connect.
Transforming Youth with New Age Skills
Due to the pandemic, the youth of India has suffered a big loss, not just in terms of education but also future employability options and career settings. On #WorldYouthDay, we conducted #Tweetchat with experts panelists from NISARG National Network, a digital association platform and media organisation, NSDC and Skill Reporter; to talk about this critical issue and have an #ActionChat
#SocialMediaFacts
With our lives being led online, we ran a social media awareness campaign by sharing #SocialMediaFacts and engage with the youth about their presence online, the gender bias in accessing digital spaces and understanding how they stay safe and secure online.
  #ThrowbackWeekly
The Gender, Water and Climate Change division of Centre for Social Research took to their online handle to present short clips and photos of the constructed water conservational infrastructures, the women #WaterLeaders in their communities and about the impact of our water projects over the years.
     
#OnlineSafety
We have been using our social media handles to constantly reach out to the youth about #OnlineSafetyandSecurity, in addition to conducting these workshops, we also regularly update our handles with videos on how to stay safe online, what threats adults/kids face, the importance of being kind and understanding online diversity, and resources that are available for help.
  #SkillforAll
To highlight the importance of vocational training, especially in light of Covid-19 and the sharp increase in unemployment rates, we have been sharing success stories from our Skill’s Development Online Training batch to encourage equal opportunities and highlight how Skill Training Programs can facilitate holistic development of all individuals.

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Gender Training Institute:
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Social Surfing:
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TweeSurfing: 
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Gender Matters: 
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Centre for Social Research
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email: [email protected]
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