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Campaign for Gender Equality

Under the auspices of UN Women, International Campaign against Violence on Women is conducted regularly every year. UN Call for an active campaign world over on this theme for 16 days, starting from 25th November and culminating on 10th December Human Rights Day. All activist organizations world over responds to this call of UN and conduct campaign for 16 days and sensitize the society against all forms of violence on women. Dalit Sthree Sakthi responds to this UN call every year and conducts campaign on the theme of violence against women. As part of the annual feature, this year also Dalit Sthree Sakthi inaugurated its campaign against all forms of violence against women on 25th November. Dalit Sthree Sakthi specially focusses on the violence going on Dalit, Adivasi women and girlchildren. Further, Dalit Sthree Sakthi is seriously attempting to focus on gender inequality which is the root of all forms of oppression and violence against women. In this campaign Dalit Sthree Sakthi is enlightening the public in general about the patriarchal ideology and how it is rooted in the minds of all. Unfortunately, even women unconsciously adhere to the patriarchal ideology. Caste, religion, cinema and even the educational system propagate patriarchal ideology in various forms. Dalit Sthree Sakthi has geared up to conduct public meetings, gatherings in villages, towns, district centres on this theme and is conducting awareness camps.

This year’s Gender campaign by Dalit Sthree Sakthi was inaugurated on 25th November at 11.00 a.m.

through a press meet at Press Club, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. Press reporters of all important print and electronic media attended the Press Conference. The press meet was addressed by Jhansi Geddam, National Convener, Dalit Sthree and Bhagya Lakshmi, Hemalatha Coordinators of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Women Collective Leaders and dalit women activists also participated in the meet. The media persons were explained about the International importance of the campaign and the role of Dalit Sthree Sakthi in curtailing violence on dalit Adivasi women and girl children. The schedule of the campaign up to 10th December was released to the press. The need to sensitize the society on gender issues and the need to curtail all forms of violence on dalit women and girl children was explained to the press representatives.

After the press meet, from the afternoon the campaign was conducted in slum areas of Vijayawada. The slum areas of Balaji Nagar, Tarakarama Nagar and Ranigari Thota were covered.The slum residents were gathered at a centre point and they were explained about gender issues, the ongoing violence on marginalized women and how to combat the violence.

The women were motivated to oppose all forms of oppression and violence.

After the press meet and campaign on 25th there was cyclonic storm creating chill weather with rains. Despite the adverse climatic situation, the campaign continued and dalit women participated enthusiastically.

As part of the campaign on 26th in West Godavari district various villages were covered.Dalit

women gatherings of the villages were addressed and they were explained about the gender campaign and the need to fight against all forms of discrimination and oppression on women. The villages of Eluru, Pinakadimi, Chodimella, Koppaka and Vatluru of Pedavegi, Pedapadu mandals were covered on 26th November 2020.

On 27th November 2020 a conference on gender issues was held at Guntur in A.C. College conference hall from 11.00 a.m. onwards. This college is situated in the heart of the town and easily accessible to the people. The conference was attended by about 100 dalit women. The conference was addressed by Ms.Prasanthi Susanna, Managing Director of A.C. College spoke on the vulnerable situation of the women and stressed the need to continue to struggle for realization of the rights. She lamented that despite long struggles the rights guaranteed were not actually realized. She stressed the role of women as mothers, as mother is the first teacher to a child and the need for mothers to impart basic values to their children.

Jhansi Geddam, National convener of DSS explained about the theme and necessity of the campaign.She narrated various incidents of violation of rights of dalit, Adivasi women and how

they didn’t get justice in the present administration of justice.She explained how DSS has been relentlessly aiding the victims in getting justice.

Further, she elucidated various special laws that exist for the protection of dalit women and girl children, but how the laws are not properly implemented due to the deep-rooted bias of the personnel in the justice administration system. She cautioned the dalit women to be vigilant and acquire knowledge of the laws and rules, so that they can demand their rights. Coordinators of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States BhagyaLakshmi and Hemalatha also addressed the gathering. They recounted the incidents of violence that took place recently and what DSS has done in each of these incidents in getting justice. From among the audience the women collective leaders and Youth leaders came on to the dais and shared their experiences.

Before the commencement of the conference dalit women marched towards Lodge Centre at Guntur and garlanded Ambedkar statue.

After the completion of the conference in the morning of 27th, campaign was conducted in the villages of Tenali mandal in the afternoon. Kopalle, Angala Kuduru and Tenali villages were covered in which gatherings of dalit women were explained about the gender issues and ways to contain violence on women.

On 28thNovember 2020 campaign was conducted in a few more slums in Guntur city, IsraelPeta, Mission Forum, Gaddipadu, Namburu, Pedakakani. Large number of dalit women actively participated in the campaign.

With these meetings and conferences, the campaign in A.P. was completed and next the campaign was taken up in Telangana at Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Vikarabad districts.

On 29th and 30th November 2020 and 1st December 2020 campaign in the villages of Yethirajpalli, Milardevarampalli, Madireddypalli and other parts of Chevella, Vikarabad areas was conducted.

As part of the campaign a conference was held on 2nd December 2020 at 11.00 a.m. at Conference Hall, Municipal Office, Vikarabad.Heads of various mass organizations and advocates of the area participated and spoke in the conference. They extended solidarity to DSS.

Before the commencement of the conference dalit women marched towards Ambedkar statue and garlanded the statue. Then, a press meet was conducted followed by conference on gender equality.

On 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7thand 8thDecember the campaign continued in the villages and slums of Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy and Medchal districts. The following areas were covered during these days:

Veer Nagar, Chintal Basti, Prakash Nagar, CC Nagar, Gundala, Chanvelli, Malkapur, Khanapur, Aloor, Kushaiguda,Jeedimetla, Balaji Nagar, Tukaram Gate, Addagutta, Bholakpur and Asif Nagar.