The 157 South Asian women who are amongst the 1,000 women being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005, are struggling to get access to clean water, control over land and other resources; they are fighting against the destruction of local diversities, building bridges between conflicting communities, and working to protect the human rights of women and other minorities
93% of India's total workforce, which contributes 63% of the GDP, is employed in the informal sector. 96% of all women employed in the economy work in the informal sector, at low wages, long hours of work and no social security benefits. Sujata Gothoskar has spent decades working for the rights of women in the unorganised sector
She used to use a sickle to cut the umbilical cord. Now she uses gloves, scissors and thread when she conducts a delivery. In her nine-yard sari and traditional nosering Sugandhabai and her co-worker Shantabai manage the local self-help groups, take the ecological message to hundreds of villagers as they march through the Western Ghats, fight the country liquor mafia and hold the local administration accountable
'Stove death' is the bitter expression used to refer to the fiery punishment meted out to wives in Pakistan. In Islamabad alone, 4,000 women are believed to have been set ablaze. Shehnaz Bokhari braves death threats to fight the practice
Bimla Devi, a young dalit woman from Nagal Teju village in Haryana, has managed to ensure safe motherhood and deliveries in her village. She has got the upper and lower castes drinking water from the same tap. She has prevented a child marriage. And she has spread awareness about gender equality and panchayati raj.
The women of Itaha Kalpi, a drought-hit village in Bundelkhand, UP, came together across caste lines to map water and other resources available in their village in rangoli, and then on paper. In the process, the barefoot cartographers also learnt to map their inequities, their aspirations and demands, and began to voice these
The Orissa government earns crores from the tendu leaf trade. But the poor women employed in the binding centres work 12 hours a day for less than minimum wages. Pregnant women, who work these long hours without adequate drinking water or sanitation facilities and no healthcare, are the worst-affected
Efforts to tackle gender-based violence against women in India have concentrated on empowering women to assert themselves and prevent violence. Men have been insulated from the process of transformation, says Harish Sadani of Men Against Violence and Abuse. Until men are seen as part of the solution, the status of women will not change significantly