Global India Fund in partnership with Samhita Social Ventures and Girl Rising and supported by the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi and its four Consulates in India, organised a workshop on “Effective Communication Strategies to Counter and Prevent Gender-Based Violence (GBV),” in Bhopal from April 8-10. This was the third in a series of five pan India workshops. The first two were held in Vijayawada and Trivandrum, while the remaining two will be in Ranchi and Jodhpur.
India currently ranks 125 out of 142 countries on the Gender Inequality Index. Through these workshops, Global India Fund seeks to equip Indian stakeholders (policy makers, women and community activists, social media groups and youth leaders) working to address violence against women, with the latest information, tools, programs and best practices used by American, South Asian and Indian gender specialists to prevent and counter gender violence. These workshops provide a platform for the cross pollination of thoughts and initiatives and an opportunity to help build organisational and individual capacity to address against gender violence.
Addressing the Bhopal workshop participants virtually, James Fennell, Cultural Affairs Officer at the U.S. Consulate in Mumbai emphasized the importance of cross-border networking. “I am pleased that the Indian audience and the visiting American workshop leaders have this opportunity to share their perspectives on women’s safety and empowerment, which is an issue that deserves attention and action around the world.”
Dr. Amita N Vyas, Founder, Global India Fund, and Associate Professor George Washington University, said, “It is a wonderful opportunity for people in the U.S. and India that care deeply about the prevention and treatment of gender based violence to spend time in a meaningful way and to learn from one another. These types of people to people ties between our countries will ensure that girls and women across the globe will continue to be a priority.”
Dr. Karen A. McDonnell, Associate Professor and Vice-Chair, Department of Prevention and Community Health, George Washington University, stated that “Violence against women and girls is one of the greatest injustices of our time. I was happy to share the public health implications for the prevention and action towards gender based violence with community leaders in India. I also learnt much from them that I am taking back to share in the U.S.”
Using innovative communication tools and solution-centric storytelling, these workshops address policy gaps, discuss global experiences, and engage with U.S., South Asian and national expert’s, build stakeholder capabilities and support a network of stakeholders.
The workshop focussed on:
● Identifying gaps in the existing local GBV narrative and an attempt to fill them
● Facilitating discussions around global experiences to promote cross-fertilisation of ideas for new programs, learnings, and sharing of best practices
● Engaging with U.S. and South Asian gender experts, to learn how other countries operate in similar socio-political contexts and how they have designed communication strategies.
● Creating networking opportunities between local and national stakeholders, as well as experts from the U.S. and South Asia to enhance India’s capacity in tackling GBV.
Addressing Gender-based violence requires holistic interventions at multiple levels. Hence, the workshop created awareness around this issue through the sharing and discussion of critical information. The workshop also facilitated the creation of a collaborative national and international platform for an exchange of ideas to counter gender based violence.>