SRADHA has been working for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls; the empowerment of women; and the achievement of equality between women and men as partners and beneficiaries of development, human rights, humanitarian action and peace and security. SRADHA has undertaken the following issues:
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development.
Decades of mobilizing by civil society and women’s movements have put ending gender-based violence high on national and international agendas. India has laws against domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of violence. Challenges remain however in implementing these laws, limiting women and girls’ access to safety and justice. Not enough is done to prevent violence, and when it does occur, it often goes unpunished.
We partner with local stakeholders including women organisations, civil society organizations and other institutions to advocate for ending violence, increase awareness of the causes and consequences of violence and build capacity of women groups to prevent and respond to violence. We also promote the need for changing norms and behaviour of men and boys, and advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. We also advocate for expanding access to quality multi-sectoral responses for survivors covering safety, shelter, health, justice and other essential services.
Gender and the Energy Sector
Energy poverty is second highest in developing Asia, with 526 million people or 14% lacking electricity access. According to the 2011 India Census, 142 million rural Indian households representing, almost 85% of total rural households use firewood and other solid fuels such as animal dung, charcoal, crop waste and coal as the primary source of household energy. Only 55 per cent of all rural households still have access to electricity, despite an increase in installed capacity by more than 110 times in 62 years.
In India women to a large extent are responsible for household and community energy provision. Available data show that women and girls spend up to 5 hours a day in time-consuming and physically draining tasks of collecting biomass fuels, which constrains them from accessing decent wage employment, educational opportunities and livelihood enhancing options, as well as limits their options for social and political interaction outside the household. At the same time, cooking from biomass is particularly detrimental to the health of women and children. A large number mainly women and children – die prematurely every year due to household air pollution caused by traditional fuels. In addition, use of biomass for cooking has irreversible consequences for the environment. In developing countries 730 million tons of biomass is burned each year, emitting soot and carbon dioxide that contribute to climate change and drive deforestation and the loss of ecosystem services that forests support.
Since women play a significant role in energy provisioning at household and communities, women’s integration and involvement in the various steps of the energy value chain can expand both the scale and the quality of sustainable energy initiatives and leverage sustainable outcomes. Efforts to promote women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in sustainable energy will require identifying context specific opportunities, risks and gender-disaggregated barriers.
In their role as entrepreneurs, women could play a significant role in fostering inclusive and sustainable economic growth. However, this will require removing existing gender gaps in access to information, skills, finance, technology and markets that hold women back from establishing and managing viable enterprises. Because women are close to their customers and know local circumstances, women entrepreneurs have enormous potential to manage supply chain and acquire new creditworthy customers in rural areas, thus typically ensure in lowering the customer acquisition costs.
The objective of the intervention is to identify and remove structural gender-specific barriers facing women entrepreneurs, enhance women’s productive use of sustainable energy, and increase women’s participation and leadership in gender-responsive energy policy-making.