The process of empowering girls and women in the villages that Nishtha works in begins through the education support and collectivization. However through the many years of Nishtha's experience we have observed that girls and women need all round support from their immediate circle of influence and influencers. It is important to first provide information to girls and women because that becomes their biggest weapon to fight all the impact of patriarchy on their lives. Information and awareness help them to first understand their rights and second take action towards ensuring their rights. Much of Nishtha's work and resources are dedicated to building opportunities for the girls and women.
Girls and women are aware of gender concepts. Girls and women build understanding on early and child marriage and how it affects the girl child. They are aware of human rights, legal provisions for girls.
Special emphasis is given to making girls and women connect with the judiciary, the police, etc., understanding how law provides for justice for women.
One important area of empowering girls is to build their understanding on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Women and girls have no control over their bodies and decision related to their bodies, their sexuality is taken by others. Breaking age old norms, taboos and practices related to sexuality, menstruation, contraception is important for women to have control over their rights.
Another important area is large campaigns and forums which help women and girls see the larger international scenario and realize that how women’s rights is not just a local issue but a larger social global issue. Nishtha has been actively commemorating the International Fortnight Protesting Violence Against Women. This year too through rallies, film screenings, poster exhibitions, street theatre, etc., Nishtha reached about 50000 people talking about ending violence against women.
As we talk about empowerment, Nishtha is also working towards empowering boys and men and many of our programmes focus on this such that they can help build an equal, violence free society. Though Nishtha's if often looked at as a women's organization, however to bring large changes in the society it is important to include men in our goal of ensuring human rights.