December 5, 2011

Harnessing the power of mobiles to empower women in India

Livemint.jpg New Delhi: In a society where girls often get married by the age of 17 and have four kids by the time they turn 21, women typically face violence in one form or another, be it physical or mental, says Preeti Soni from Kutch, Gujarat. Soni is the executive director of Kutch Mahila Vikas Samiti (KMVS), which has been working to improve the lives of women for 20 years. Livemint reports via @JodyRanck.

quotemarksright.jpgLast year, the organization started Hello Sakhi, a mobile helpline for women, in conjunction with the local police department. A special cell has been set up to handle calls from women in nearly 940 villages in the west zone of Kutch. The initiative provides support to women through counselling, provides them shelter and, if need be, helps them file police complaints. It also gives training to groups of women to stand up against physical and mental harassment.

The initiative also informs village women about their rights, particularly property rights, and domestic violence. It works with a paralegal team—a group of two to three village women given training in the judicial system and basic rights of women.quotesmarksleft.jpg

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