2 July 2019

Local Mentor fights to end harmful traditions

Nilima Das has been working as a mentor (Missamari village, Sonitpur, Assam) to empower women and to sensitise all stakeholders in the area on VAW issues and local cultural practices that result in violence. There are a number of indigenous tribes working in the tea gardens in the Panchayats she works in. They suffer many injustices because of their differences from the mainstream local communities. Nilima Das also points out, there is high incidence of child marriage among them. A young girl is put to work as soon as she reaches puberty and her employability is also considered a sign that she has achieved the marriageable age. She is working with women's groups and other local stakeholders to change the mindset. Nilima mentions "Being a part of the project has enhanced my understanding and sensitivity on violence against women. Working as a mentor for the last two years have not only enabled me to advocate on community level but also enhanced my decision making capability within my family.” She and her fellow mentors (trained by Pragya with support from UNTF EVAW) conduct campaigns to make people aware of various discriminatory traditional norms and practices prevalent in the society that violates rights of women and girls and put them at risk.

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