High incidences of violence and crime against women and girls early
The growing influx of gender based violence as high incidences of violence and crime against women and girls early marriages for young girls FGM and pregnancies at schools which result to drop out and expel from school, disturbingly high prevalence of problems amongst women along with other areas of vulnerabilities such as sexual transmitted diseases, reproductive errors- lend challenging dimension to the work required to be done to make more women friendly and to empower women themselves to create a supportive and enabling environment. The status of women in Maasai land is a subject which raises many concerns and link the society and other stakeholders as a whole since people retain distinct cultural traits that are oppressive to women. Also lack of awareness as well as lack of visible opportunities make them remain illiterate in most cases. At the same time their lack of confidence to compete in a men oriented economy with the same cultural traits that oppress them are also one of the contributing factors to the oppression of women in different dimensions since due to the unplanned nature of their growth basic service like health, education, skill development has not kept pace with other areas and out reachprogramme like mobile clinics, literacy in skill development classes have not made any significant impact in these areas.
Most women in their areas in Maasai land help their husband in their cultural obligations and also at times of work with the husband in their casual labour and in domestic help in neighboring affluent areas women are not valued and recognized despite women have a lot of manual work to do than men in their cultural dimension. Since they are completely tied up in earning the livelihood and taking care of their families, they have little opportunity to take care of their health and other requirements.
Findings show that women play a vital role in the development and sustenance of society at large. On account of the traditional patriarchy followed since time immemorial, often their contribution is not accounted and valued. With the changing times, the status of women both in the oriental world as well as in the occidental world has changed. Along with equality, and empowerment, today’s woman has also to tackle new challenges and shoulder responsibilities manifold specifically in the context of developing nations.
Mimutie Women Organization is looking into establishing gender resource and rescue centre as one of the institutional mechanisms desired to take proactive steps to address the area of concern is the creation of Gender Resource and Rescue Centre and provision of services by looking into collaborationwith the Voluntary organizations under the scheme of women welfare to focus on rescuing women and being advocate to their rights. Essentially the Centre is expected to take care of all dimensions related to women empowerment in a holistic manner.
The Gender Resource and ResuceCentre is envisaged as instrument to bring Social, Economic and Legal empowerment of Women particularly those belonging to the under privileged sections of society and those girls who run away from forced early marriages.
Why Establish a Resource and Rescue Center?
To fulfill the Organization Mission – A resource center is a basic tool in carrying out the mission and the content found in such a resource center will include material concerning philanthropy. Much of the work conducted by this grantmakers organization and community organizations begins with information: about potential recipient organizations; about grantmaker colleagues both local and international; about technical information related to philanthropy, organizational management and government regulations; about many related topics. A high quality information collection tailored to Mimutie organization is essential in serving members of the communities who are in vulnerable. The wide range of activities carried on by philanthropic support organizations requires accurate information available at all times. This resource center will help to eliminate wasted and costly search time and to produce higher quality work, so to maintain a high standard of performance for this rescue centre. The presence of a resource center shows a commitment to excellence within the organization and to the philanthropic community at large. It enhances professionalism and credibility and encourages others to look to the organization for its mission and visions towards women. Mimutie thought about maintaining a resource center that it will demonstrates a commitment to best practices in youth field, so in a larger sense, the entire community philanthropy movement benefits from the quality of the work of its participants in this rescue centre.
To create a record of the Organization – This resource center will collect its own organization’s material to compile a record of activities and individuals for future reference and research. Institutional memory is a critical but often undervalued aspect of organizations. The organization is often the only place in the country with broad knowledge and expertise about community philanthropy because as philanthropy continues to develop around the globe, resource center will play a central role in documenting its history and ongoing work to vulnerable groups.
Main Component of Activities:
The activities of Gender Resource and Rescue Centre are to encompass Social empowerment, Legal rights, Economic initiatives- skill building, Micro enterprise and entrepreneurship development, Health aspects Information sharing and networking aspects after rescue and saving lives, and non formal functional literacy.
Constituents of the Gender Resource and Rescue Centre
In keeping with Mimutie Women Organization the project will attach Multi stakeholders collaboration with the involvement of stakeholders and keeping this in view, the main constituents of the Gender Resource and Rescue Centre could be as under:
- Agencies concerned with women issues
- NGOs working with Women and Children
- Legal and Health Experts
- Vocational and Educational Experts
Objectives of the Centre
- To act as a catalyst for making women safe through social legal and economic empowerment
- To improve Health of women
- To impart skill for specific trades and to provide forward and backward linkages enabling women to be a part of productive work force obtain good remuneration.
- To provide facilities with linkages for school drop outs to return to mainstream education and to provide non formal functional literacy
- To establish a mechanism for linking existing government schemes for women and to enable women to access it better.
- To raise awareness on issue of women relevance and provide legal literacy about women rights.
- To set up a documentation center within the center which will act as a clearinghouse for various information about women and it will work towards a system of affiliation of the organization working on the same issue.
Functions and strategies:
1) Social Empowerment- The existing schemes of the Government for women including their welfare, old age, widows and for empowerment should converge at this window. Instead of duplicating the existing set up of concerned departments, the centre should act as a facilitator and provide awareness for better implementation of the schemes and to reduce the gap between the beneficiaries and the service provider. The Centres shall be a platform for awareness generation on social issues relevant for women disseminating knowledge about their rights, privileges, opportunities and threats. Issues such as safety of women, female foeticide shall be addressed through the information facilitation networks.
2) Economic Empowerment- The Centre will help to identify and provide training in conventional and non-conventional trades specifically through creation of Self Help Groups.The Centre will have a tie-up between beneficiary and relevant implementing agencies. The Centre will promote micro-enterprise development and establish effective marketing linkages.
3) Health- The Centre will help in organizing general Health check up at regular intervals for check up and issurance of referrals the center will ensure to cater psychologically for the girls rescued from fgm and early forced marriages. The centre will also promote sex education to adolescent in order to ameliorate morbidity in STD, early pregnancies and AIDS cases. The Centre will act as a modal point for creating awareness on the status of girl child and as a motivator for reduction in female foeticide.
4) Education- The Centre would endeavor to promote education among girl child and to reduce dropouts through linkages with open school and take up adult literacy.
5) The Centre should closely liaise with NGOs of the area, with lawyers, doctors and councilors to promote reporting of cases of violence and other crimes against women in the community and also to activate re-conciliation proceedings.
Methodology of Work:
The Centre will promote interaction with registered organizations and community groups, which are working at the districts level. In order to achieve the same goal, this center will identify modal NGO and other field NGOs for acting as resource center and activity centers. It is expected that the Gender Resource and Rescue Centre will be able to draw upon the resources of all the categories of women who have a potential to contribute to the overall development of the economy. Women will be encouraged to set up enterprise though self Help Groups. Interaction between the educated and uneducated groups will be the focal point of development of the Gender Resource and Rescue Centre so that all the three groups over a period of time are able to contribute each other’s development and at the same time achieve the overall objective of women’s empowerment. Centre wise action plan for interaction of these women groups and development in a phased manner will be worked out in close cooperation with the government, service providers and the NGOs.
Activities: 1) Social Empowerment:
- a) The Centre will act as a clearing window and keep forms regarding all relevant schemes of the society and the Government are as pertaining to women.
- b) Provide assistance for seeking help to any women with grievance by contacting the concerned department and the field NGO for ensuring proper follow up by the service provider.
- c) Centre will organize training camps for girls for developing:
- Negotiating skill
- Gender issues
- Civil defense
- Self defense
The center will organize periodic legal awareness camps and help in counseling/redressal of legal problems through follow up on cases pertaining women.
The center will identify school dropouts through the NGOs working in the area. These girls will be encouraged to enroll in the open schools and the field NGOs will maintain close link with the beneficiary to ensure continuation of the programmes. Functional literacy amongst adult women has to be a particular focus.
4) The Centre will also impart gender education for which material and training capacity will be developed.
The center will associate nearby government hospitals, dispensaries and health workers for holding General Health Camps where general check up as well as screening for RTI, STD and AIDS cases will be done.
6) Economic empowerment:
The center will promote vocational training in conventional and non-conventional trades and aim to develop entrepreneurs with marketing activities for both products and services linkages would be established with different schemes.
What do we need?
- Although this resource center needs money and land to acquire and fulfill the existing land provided by the village after being impressed with the work we are doing to save young girls from forced early marraiges and send them back to school and our other activities have been a good sign and witness to how we save vulnerable girls and women from cruelty ge
- ceiling boards,
- beds and tables later, and other items that will help in training girls and women to develop self-development skills.
Methods to accomplish this after a concrete building include:
- Hire an information professional for an initial period of time and include a staff training component for those who will continue to staff the resource center.
- Hire a consultant to plan and implement the project.
- Create appropriate staff to get basic technical training about maintaining a resource center.
Proposed Memutie Gender Resource & Rescue Centre
In this center we rely on various stakeholders to provide us with what they can help to achieve this according to what we need. At all stages the acquisition of this center will be made clear as we believe that it will not only be part of saving girls and women to live there for a while and be safe but will also be part of providing training for all to learn how to cope with life’s challenges.