Together against anti-women violence

SIEDS works in the region of Bangalore for a non-violent society and for the empowerment of women. The collective offers counselling for women affected by violence, in which husbands and families are also involved. SIEDS conducts workshops with women on the topic of violence. Women are strengthened and empowered to defend themselves against the various forms of violence at home and in society. SIEDS brings together members of the population, various social organisations and the authorities and involves them in the discussion on violence and equality. This is how the change towards equal rights for women at the social, official and legal levels may be effected. Photos EcoSolidar

Photo report about the project in India

The SIEDS office is always busy. The women and men who work here are very active and work with a lot of energy and commitment for the women affected by violence in Bangalore. They work together with women concerned and their families, lawyers and the authorities.

Shanta Bai is one of the women who have been working for SIEDS for a long time. She has a lot of experience and a large network in her communities. Thanks to her tireless efforts SIEDS has been able to achieve a lot.

Shanta conducts workshops, speaks to school classes and students, advises women affected by violence and does public relations work. She is often on the road and in conversation with everyone involved.

Rekha came into contact with SIEDS three years ago when she herself lived in miserable circumstances and in a relationship full of violence.

A lot has changed since then: She has left her violent husband and now passes on her experiences to women in similar situations as a consultant at SIEDS.

Mamatha Yajamman’s motivation for her commitment also derives from personal experiences with domestic violence. She has been advocating for women’s rights with SIEDS since 1996.

In her daily work, Mamatha looks after individual women who experience violence. She also conducts public relations work, organises sensitisation campaigns and speaks publicly about her work.

At universities and schools, young women and men discuss human trafficking and the violence among young people caused by poverty together with SIEDS. These issues were taken up under the influence of younger SIEDS team members.

The fact that young women can express themselves so decidedly and that men listen to them is not at all self-evident. In many schools, boys and girls do not talk to each other and it takes a while for them to get used to this change.

Whenever possible, SIEDS involves authorities such as the police in its work. On such occasions, police officers also have to face the accusation that the police often fail to respond to calls for help from women. Taking part in a public discussion on the subject of violence against women, they are forced to take a stand.

To be present in public is very important for the work of SIEDS. If, as here, the press shows interest, the topic is heard and the work of SIEDS is seen and noted by many people. A public statement by the police in front of the press increases the pressure on the state authorities to take a clear position and to effect changes.