Monday, February 28, 2011

Community radio could be monitored in Jharkhand not banned altogether if the govt fears naxals!

Jharkhand’s voices crushed
Author(s): Chhandosree Thakur
Issue: Jan 31, 2011

Naxalite fear prevents community radio stations

imageJainatullah Hussain (playing dholak) wanted to start a community
radio (Photo: Chhandosree Thakur)JAINATULLAH Hussain of Kisko block in
Lohardaga district is an unhappy man. He had been running a radio show
for adolescents who have health-related misconceptions. The programme
was broadcast through Prasar Bharti and the airtime was purchased by
Manthan Yuva Sansthan, a non-profit he had been working with.

Realising the need for more programmes for adolescents, he thought of
setting up his own community radio station. He applied for a Wireless
Operating Licence and allotment of frequency to the Information and
Broadcast (I&B) ministry. His application was rejected. Reason:
allowing community radio stations would give thrust to Naxalite

Hussain’s is not the sole case. An RTI application filed on August 12,
2010, revealed that around 25 applications from Jharkhand were sent to
the ministry in 2008 for setting up community radio stations in rural
and sub-urban areas, mostly by development organisations. All were
rejected at the final stage.

The I&B ministry had approved 10 applications. The Defence Ministry
too approved them on condition that “the organisations abide by the
broadcast protocols and do not air any programme that goes against the
national interest or contains anything amounting to contempt of

The final approval comes from an inter-ministerial committee (IMC),
which has representatives from I&B ministry, home affairs, rural
development and defence ministries, Wireless Planning and Coordination
Wing, Prasar Bharati and Council for Advancement of People’s Action
and Rural Technology. On June 27, 2008, all except the home ministry
representative, favoured setting up the radio stations in Jharkhand.

“The home ministry representative produced an Intelligence Bureau (IB)
report that said Naxalite activity in Jharkhand was at its peak and
controlling or combating Naxalism in the state had gone beyond
control. Under such circumstances permission for community radio
stations might intensify their movement. Thus, all the 10 applications
were rejected,” an I&B ministry official said.

There are more than 125 community radio stations in the country and
most of them are located in Naxaliteaffected states like Andhra
Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and
West Bengal. Jharkhand has none.

State Home Secretary J B Tubid said, “We are unaware of this matter.
The IB is under direct control of the Union Home Ministry. Had it come
to us, we would have discussed it with the higher authorities, taken
view of other Naxalite-affected states, shared their experiences and
taken a decision only after assuring the pros and cons.” Naxalism
cannot be a ground to take away people’s fundamental rights, said
Rajiv Kumar, a senior legal practitioner at the Jharkhand High Court.

“Naxalism evolved from the failures of the governments. I am not
pointing out any political party as such. The home department itself
believes that Naxalism cannot be controlled without social inclusion,
people’s participation and initiation of development activities.
Moreover, community radio has been considered an important medium for
rural development,” he added.

Shashi Bhusan Pathak, a human rights activist, said, “Naxalism is not
the reason for refusing permission. The government does not want
people to be aware about their rights. Earlier, right to education was
curbed by converting schools to military camps. Now, freedom of
expression has also gone.” The objections have come despite the
Centre’s acknowledgment to the Community Radio Station policy in 2002
after seeing its success in other states.

Laadli awards (northern region) event in Delhi 14 March - everyone welcome!

Hi everybody!
The Laadli Media Awards for Gender Sensitivity, Northern Region are being held on Monday, the 14th of March, 2011 at Delhi. The e-invite is enclosed. Please block the date and join us at the function at Delhi. Since it is not a ticketed event we request you to forward the invite to all your friends, family members and colleagues who support the cause of the girls child in Delhi. Please help us make the event a grand success.
I would greatly appreciate if you would mark Bhairav on the mail when you forward it so that he can pursue with the RSVPs.
Look forward to an enthusiastic response from you
Best regards,

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Free books in regional languages for NGOs willing to pay for shipping

From Gautam John

Hello Everyone:

I work with Pratham Books [1] in Bangalore.

This year, we were rationalising our books in stock and realised that
we had excess stock in the following languages:

Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Kannada, Punjabi, Telugu and Urdu

A few of the books are in the 3-6 age category but mostly in the 7-10
and 11-14 category.

What we really wanted to do is to give these away, for free, to
organizations that could:

1. Utilize them effectively.
2. Will not otherwise be able to afford them and have not been able to buy books from us.
3. Pay for the shipping costs.
4. Be willing to write and photograph the journey the books take within their organization.
5. Be able to absorb large numbers of books - preferably 2000+ because the internal and shipping costs are much too expensive.

Urdu is a big focus for this effort.

We will apply some sort of filter on incoming requests.

That said, I was wondering if you might know any organizations that fit this bill please?




Friday, February 25, 2011

SCHOLARSHIP ALERT: $36,000 in Student Scholarship from SAJA! Deadline March 15

For 2011 the South Asian Journalists Association is offering $36,000 in student scholarships in various categories. The goal of the annual scholarships program is to assist students with pursing careers in journalism.

If you are a high school senior about to enter college, an undergraduate, or a student starting or continuing your graduate studies, and you intend to pursue a journalism career, here is your chance to get help with your educational expenses.

The 2011 SAJA student scholarships include the following categories:

Three SAJA scholarships for high school students $1,500 each
One SAJA Engendered scholarship for an undergraduate student $1,000
Three SAJA scholarships for undergraduate students of $3,000 each
One SAJA Engendered scholarship for a graduate student for $1,000
One SAJA Atlantic Monthly New Media scholarship $1,500
Three SAJA scholarships for graduate students of $5,000 each
One SAJA CNN scholarship for broadcast journalism for an undergraduate student for $2,000
One SAJA CNN scholarship for broadcast journalism for a graduate student for $2,000
These annual monetary awards recognize the reporting abilities and commitment of emerging journalists. Students from across the United States, Canada and South Asia can apply for the awards. But applicants must be pursuing their education in a North American educational insititution. The judging is conducted by SAJA professional members.

Applicants with financial hardship may be given special consideration. Recipients are expected to give back to SAJA by volunteering at the annual convention or at other events during the year. They also must provide an update of their journalistic endeavors and achievements at the conclusion of the academic year.

Applications must be submitted via e-mail by 11:59 p.m. (Pacific time), Tuesday March 15, 2010. Applicants may be interviewed by phone or in person by a member of the scholarship committee. Winners will be notified in April.

Direct questions to

PLEASE NOTE: The SAJA Scholarships are made possible, in part, through the generous contributions of the Arun I. and Asmita Bhatia Foundation; Hansa and Ramesh Butani of Darshan TV; and CNN. Our many thanks to them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Film Premere & Photo Exhibition 5 March in Delhi for Int'l Women's Day

Film Premere & Photo Exhibition on 5th March,2011 at India Islamic Centre Amphitheatre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi, from 6pm to 9pm on the occassion of International Women's Day being organized by Human Rights Law Network. The theme of the film and photo exhibition is "Mera Haq Surviving Pregenancy in India."

Help a Maharashtra women's organisation raise money to join the prestigious Unreasonable Institute for social entrepreneurship training

Swayam Shiksham Prayog (SSP), is a current finalist at the Unreasonable Institute. SSP now requires YOUR support to become an Unreasonable Fellow and give flight to its ventures!

What Does SSP Do?
Based in Maharashtra, SSP has worked with more than 75,000 women survivors of disasters and trained them to set up rural social businesses. Led by Ashoka Fellow Prema Gopalan, SSP is now looking to scale up its women-led rural retail business in 5 districts of Maharashtra and launch the Rural School of Entrepreneurship. The Rural School of Entrepreneurship will offer village women and youth entrepreneurs training, business counseling, mentoring, and fellowships and other resources to launch their enterprises.

To learn more about SSP, please click here.

The Competition
As part of the application process, the first 25 out of 45 finalists to raise $8000 USD will be able to attend the Institute for 6 weeks in Boulder, Colorado. As Fellows, they will undergo rigorous training, mentorship and access to investors to give wings to their idea.

How will rural women benefit from Prema's participation at the Unreasonable Institute?
Prema's own very unreasonable journey of social entrepreneurship has been inspired by the diligence of the rural women of India.

She will use her time at the Unreasonable Institute to help mentors and investors learn about, engage with, and invest in, village women entrepreneurs who live in resource-scarce districts of India, yet partner with great ease with large business corporations!

How can You Support Them?
Prema and SSP need to raise USD 8000 to make it to Boulder, Colorado, the venue of the Unreasonable Institute. You can contribute by clicking here, for a minimum amount of USD 10 and a maximum amount of only $100, if you would like to see SSP attend the Institute. Your small support to SSP will provide a significant fillip to women entrepreneurs in emerging Indian markets.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Live online screening of UN commission on the status of women

The fifty-fifth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from Tuesday, 22 February to Friday, 4 March 2011.
Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC-accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world will attend the session.

Live Webcast will be available for the following sessions.
· Panel 1
Key policy initiatives and capacity-building on gender mainstreaming: focus on science and technology
Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

· Panel 2
Key policy initiatives and capacity-building on gender mainstreaming: focus on education and training
Wednesday, 23 February 2011, 3 - 6 p.m.

· Panel 3
Review theme: The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child
Evaluation of progress in the implementation of the agreed conclusions on “The elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against the girl child”
Friday, 25 February 2011, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

· Panel 4
Emerging Issue: Gender equality and sustainable development
Gender equality and sustainable development
Tuesday, 1 March 2011, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

· Panel 5
Elimination of preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and the empowerment of women
Tuesday, 1 March 2011, 3 - 6 p.m.

· Panel on the priority theme of CSW 56 (2012)
The empowerment of rural women and their role in poverty and hunger eradication, development and current challenges
Thursday, 24 February 2011, 1.15 - 2.45 p.m.

For a list of delegations, panelists, and issues paper, please check the following website-

Monday, February 21, 2011

Asian Women's Film Festival to be held in Delhi soon

The 7th IAWRT Asian Women's Film Festival 2011 will be held at the India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi, on 5,7 and 8 March, 2011.

A list of selected films with the final program and exhibition timings is available on

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A great article about gender budgeting - something we should all demand

From the Skoch Foundation's Inclusion website:

Gender Budgeting in the context of the ICDS would require that the Budget takes cognizance of each of these factors and ensures corrective mechanisms to translate the phrases such as “inclusion” and “Government is committed to universalisation” that are used by the Finance Minister in his Budget Speech, into outcomes, says Aasha Kapur Mehta

The Union Budget is not just an annual statement of receipts and expenditures. It is an instrument for fulfilling the obligations of the state and a political statement of the priorities set by the government in allocating resources. As Elson1 explains:

‘The budget reflects the values of a country – who it values, whose work it values and who it rewards…and who and what and whose work it doesn’t’.

Gender Budgets are not separate budgets for women or for men. The purpose is to monitor expenditure, public service delivery and taxation from a gender perspective.2

Gender budgeting is a tool that can be used to ensure that the aggregate national, state, sector, departmental, programme, corporate or any budget is gender sensitive. It is an approach to developing plans in a participatory way, based on identifying priority needs of women as well as men and not just of those with voice. The purpose of Gender Budgeting is to achieve gender-just allocations and outcomes of all public expenditure. This requires identification of needs and priorities of women, especially those who are poor; examination of existing policies, programmes and schemes to determine whether or not they meet these priority needs; corrective reprioritisation of budgetary allocations so that they are adequate for meeting those needs; and taking requisite follow-up actions to ensure that desired outcomes are attained.3

What are women’s priorities in allocating the Household Budget given a budget constraint: Gender Budgeting at the micro or household level4- Routinely, when women decide how to spend the household budget, however small or large it may be, they give the highest priority to providing nutritious food for the family; health care for family members who are ill; expenditure on education and skills for children; followed by expenditure on necessary clothing, transport etc. Purchasing the essential quantities of food and other necessities requires access to money or purchasing power. This in turn depends on earned income or borrowing or wealth.

Most of us do not have wealth and would prefer not to borrow. In theory, income is a function of returns to the factors of production, land, labour, capital and entrepreneurship or in other words, rent, interest on savings, dividends, profits, etc. However, the income earned by most Indians depends primarily on:

a) availability of work or employment opportunities for the able bodied;
b) remuneration or wages/salaries received for work.
Good health and low mortality rates in turn depend on a large number of factors that include:
a) consumption of nutritious food;
b) access to safe drinking water for drinking, cooking and washing;
c) safe disposal of sewage to ensure no contamination of drinking water sources and spread of disease;
d) reduction in levels of drudgery in work; and,
e) access to inexpensive but quality medical care and medication in times of ill health.

Budget priorities at the Macro or National Level viewed through a Gender and Poverty Sensitive Lens given a Budget Constraint: Women’s Priorities in Budget Allocation - Women constitute almost 50 per cent of the population and as equal citizens, women have a right to stake a claim to their entitlements under all categories of public spending and not just token women’s programmes.

As described above, in any budget, however small, women give the highest priority to nutritious food for the family. The objective is good health. Purchasing power is needed to buy food. Purchasing power depends primarily on availability of work or employment opportunities for the able bodied and remuneration or wage or salary for work. Therefore if we determine budget priorities at the macro or national level on the basis of micro household priorities in budget allocation, or if we build macro budget priorities from a gender and poverty sensitive lens, then national priorities must include:

> the eradication of hunger and poverty;
> opportunities for “an adequate means of livelihood” through work for all those who are able bodied;
> access to safe drinking water;
> access to quality and affordable health care;
> safety nets for the old who are poor and for the poor who are disabled;
> access to education and skills; and,
> correcting the statistical invisibility of the paid and unpaid work contributed by women that contributes significantly to Gross Domestic Product.

What are the tools that can be used for Gender Budgeting?
Gender Budgeting in any area requires firstly, participatory assessment of the needs of women and men and the extent to which they remain unmet; analysis of sex disaggregated data pertaining to the relevant indicators; gender appraisal of legislation, policies, programmes and expenditure. Where gender-based gaps exist these need to be identified and rectified. Second, the adequacy of the budget allocated to each component of the programme needs to be checked. Subsequently, monitoring is required to see that the money gets spent as intended, in both financial and physical terms. Through impact assessment it is possible to determine improvements in gender equity in the initial situation through the interventions that were made.

Why do we need participatory planning and budgeting?

Because this will ensure that women are involved at the initial planning and decision-making stages of policy formulation and their needs will be taken on board and will determine the direction taken by policy. When playgrounds are planned for children, is the planning participatory? Are children asked what games they would like to play? Are both boys and girls asked this question? Are the constraints to girls using playgrounds identified and addressed? Are women asked where street lights should be installed in the village so that their security concerns are met? Or where the community tubewell or toilet block should be built?

Why does gender budgeting include appraisal of legislation?
Because even the most poverty sensitive of policies and legislations such as the Right to Work, can be gender blind or gender inequitable. For instance, historically, women constituted a large proportion of those who demanded the right to work under the Maharashtra Employment Guarantee Scheme (MEGS). The MGNREGS was patterned on the MEGS and many women have worked on MGNREGS worksites. However, while the MEGS guaranteed the Work on Demand to all adults willing to do unskilled manual work provided they were above 18 years of age and this was available round the year (except for the peak agricultural season), the MGNREGS provides the guarantee at the level of the household and not that of the individual. Therefore, the rights of women get subsumed under those of the household. Subsequently, the Ministry of Women and Child Development intervened and the Act provided that at least one-third of the beneficiaries should be women. However, if Gender Budgeting was a mandatory requirement for all new legislation, programmes and schemes, the right may have been vested in all adult individuals at the time of formulation of the Act.

When monitoring tuberculosis control programmes, is the data that is collected, disaggregated for men and women? How many men and women are treated? How many men and women are reported to suffer from TB? Is there a possibility that some women TB sufferers do not get treated because they do not get tested? Is there fear of stigma or lack of mobility or difficulty in going to a doctor or primary health care centre?

In the context of a programme such as the ICDS, Gender Budgeting would firstly require the identification of the extent of Grade I, II, III and IV malnutrition among girls and boys. The data available on the website of the concerned ministry shows that only half the children weighed in anganwadis were of normal weight. While levels of malnourishment vary between States/UTs, Uttarakhand recorded a shocking 95.64% of children as malnourished. Therefore it is not surprising that India is one of the four countries with the highest prevalence of underweight in children under five. With 42% of the world’s underweight children and 31% of its stunted children living in India according to IFPRI, 2010, this is now a global concern.

In Budget Speech 2010, the Finance Minister stated that:

“Government is committed to universalisation of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Scheme in the country. By March 2012, all services under ICDS would be extended, with quality, to every child under the age of six.”

However, juxtaposed against the reality of massive malnutrition, the statement is just words that cannot get converted into action. Such pronouncements are made about a host of “inclusive” schemes with similar results. The ICDS programme cannot deliver the outcomes required of it either for boys or for girls, due to a host of reasons. These include the unsanitary conditions in and lack of regular cleaning of public spaces in slums and jhuggi-jhopris (squatter settlements); poor and unsafe water; lack of funds for basic equipment such as toys, weighing scales, charts, medical kits, mats, stationery, brooms, etc., which are inexpensive but important sources of support; overloading ICDS supervisors with overseeing an unrealistically large number of anganwadis that are scattered in terms of geographical coverage leading to poor monitoring; overloading of staff with non-ICDS tasks such as attendance at events organised by political parties; poor supervision owing to non-ICDS-related demands on time; lack of training, skills and motivation of workers and helpers; unrealistically low provision for rents of Rs 400 to 700 per month for an anganwadi centre; unrealistically low levels of honorarium for anganwadi workers and helpers; poor quality of supplementary nutrition provided; among other factors.5 It is therefore hardly surprising the programme cannot make a dent in malnutrition.

Gender Budgeting in the context of the ICDS would require that the Budget takes cognisance of each of these factors and ensure corrective mechanisms to translate the phrases such as “inclusion” and “Government is committed to universalisation” that are used by the Finance Minister in his Budget Speech, into outcomes. Monitoring, evaluation and corrective action based on follow up and feedback would be needed across spatial units to determine changes in malnourishment levels for both girls and boys on a regular basis. l

1 Diane Elson, 1999. Gender Budget Initiative: Background Papers. Commonwealth Secretariat.
2 Simel Esim, 2000.Gender Sensitive Budget Initiatives for Latin American and the Caribbean: A Tool For Improving Accountability and Achieving Effective Policy Implementation. United Nations Development Fund for Women, February. (
3 Aasha Kapur Mehta, (2007). Gender Budgeting, Alternative Economic Survey, Daanish Books, Delhi.
4 This section and the one that follow it are based on Aasha Kapur Mehta,, Samik Chowdhury,, Subhamoy Baishya, (2004). The Budget: A Gender and Poverty Sensitive Perspective, National Commission for Women, New Delhi.
5 Aasha Kapur Mehta and Akhtar Ali, (2008) ‘Functioning and Universalisation of the ICDS in Delhi.’ Report submitted to the Government of NCT Delhi.

Aasha Kapur Mehta is Professor of Economics at the Indian Institute of Public Administration The views expressed are personal.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Submit a story about 'Miracles' before Feb 22 for a chance to win $100!

World Pulse is back with a new call for entries for our popular My Story department, this time on the topic of “Miracles.”

We invite you to submit your own personal story about “Miracles”—however you interpret this—for a chance to be published in our upcoming issue of World Pulse Magazine, themed Spirit, and receive a $100 honorarium!

We see evidence of miracles, big and small, on PulseWire every day. Moments that transcend our day-to-day life. Experiences that make us step back, breathe deeply, feel grateful, and open us up to the possibility around us.

What’s YOUR story?

Download an advocacy toolbox for securing women's access to land


The International Land Coalition (ILC) has published a resource book called “Securing Women’s Access to Land” which is a comprehensive advocacy toolbox that can be used by organizations advocacy and action-oriented research.

Specifically, the advocacy toolbox is useful for small organizations which have limited funds. The strategies outlined to carry out advocacy such as sensitising the media and lobbying do not require financial resources.

The book artfully explains about advocacy; how to develop an advocacy strategy; planning the communication strategy; how to lobby for rights; policy submission and constituency building.

The toolbox has been written by Saranel Benjamin Lebert and Tom Lebert based upon the materials developed for an ILC project in Eastern and Southern Africa. The core of this project was action-oriented research carried out by partners in seven countries with a view to using research results in advocacy.

This toolbox is available in English, French and Spanish. It can be freely downloaded from this link.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why hasn't the Women's Reservation Bill been passed yet?

This critique by Aysha Sumbul was copied from the People's Union for Civil Liberties website:

The real test of democracy is the creation of equality of opportunity for the hitherto deprived sections of society. It requires both a favourable social atmosphere and an individual attitude. Individual attitude and social atmosphere is a sort of reversible equation: one influences the other, in both directions. In practical terms it means that efforts have to be made at various levels of society simultaneously. Every attempt, in every direction, is bound to affect adversely some vested interests. So, one has to be prepared for a long drawn out struggle on all the fronts. Democracy in kitchen and bedroom goes hand in hand with democracy in Parliament and Panchayat. It has to become a way of life; it has to be adopted in literary vocabulary and in political discourse alike.

In the context of the present discussion it amounts to shedding of all mental reservations against reservation of seats for women in the Parliament and in Assemblies.

The idea of making a legal provision for reserving seats for women in the Parliament and State Assemblies came into being during Rajeev Gandhi’s tenure as the Prime Minister of India when the Panchayati Raj Act, 1992 (73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment) came into effect granting not less then 33% reservation to women in the Panchayati Raj Institutions or local bodies. Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda made the actual promise for reservation of seats for women in Parliament and State Assemblies in 1996. I.K. Gujral proposed the present form and shape of the Bill during his term as the Prime Minister of India.

The Bill in its Current form envisages reserving 181 seats in the Parliament for women. In practical terms its efforts would be that 181 male members of Parliament would not be able to contest elections if the Bill is passed. Also, there is to be a rotation of seats, i.e., a male member of Parliament can not represent the same constituency for more then two consecutive terms. Here lies the rub.

These two very provisions are seemingly the cause of the consensus arrived at by various political parties to dump the Bill. 181 seats in Parliament is too great a number to be sacrificed for the mere ideal of women’s empowerment or adequate political representation, the very idea makes the male politicians panicky. The clause of ‘rotation of seats’ is seen by the opponents of Bill to ‘strike at the very heart of democracy and democratic values’ as, according to their logic, the representative will not get a chance to nurture his constituency nor the electorate will get a chance to reward or punish their representative, as a corollary to it hardly any ties would be established between the two. This argument may hold water when it is discussed in classroom sessions but it cannot be taken as the sole basis to discard Women’s Reservation Bill altogether. Securing 33% reservation for women in opening the doors of opportunity for political empowerment to almost 50% of our population. It will not only serve the cause of democracy as the Panchayati Raj Institutions are doing at the grassroots level but will also go a long way in ensuring political equality through active participation of woman from both urban and rural areas. Also, if social equality through political empowerment is to be achieved the, Bill should include clauses which guarantee quota within quota to women belonging to scheduled tribes, scheduled castes, other backward castes, and minority communities so that a level playing field is provided for them as well.

It is also argued that the Bill in its present form would end up ensuring seats in Parliament for the female relatives of those who are already in power. To counter this situation, provisions can be added in the Bill, which provides for no reservation to women who have close relatives in active politics (An acceptable definition of ‘close relatives’ can easily be arrived at.) These women can contest from general seats. There had been suggestions in the past in the form of alternatives to the Bill. One is to amend the Representation of People’s Act 1951, to compel political parties to nominate women for one-third of their seats or lose recognition. This, according to Rajindar Sachar, former Chief Justice of Delhi, is flawed, as it would violate the Constitution of India, which guarantees its citizens the right to form association under Article 19(1)(c) as a fundamental right. Another alternative is to increase the number of seats in the Lok Sabha, which is currently based on the figures of the census of India, 1971, when the population of India was 54 crores. The numbers of seats were limited to 530 till further amendments. Now the Delimitation Commission has been asked to take the 2001 census as the basis for delimiting constituencies. According to 2001 census, the population of India has risen to 102 crores, therefore the number of seats are bound to increase before the next general elections. This should be reason enough to pave the way for the safe passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill.

Moreover, when the so called backward and fundamentalist society like Pakistan can grant 33% reservation to women in its Senate then why should India, the largest democracy in the world, lag behind.

World Bank International Essay Competition 2011 - submit a video by March 17!


World Bank International Essay Competition 2011
(deadline: 17 March 2011)

The World Bank International Essay Competition 2011 would like to hear your views on the opportunities, challenges and implications of youth migration.

Topic: Youth Migration

Who can participate?

The International Essay Competition is open to all young people, students and non-students alike, between the ages of 18 and 25, from all countries of the world.

If you are at least 18 and not older than 25 on May 15, 2011, you are eligible to participate.

Please note that if you were a finalist or winner of a previous World Bank International Essay Competition, you are no longer eligible to compete.

Length and format

All work must be submitted by individuals, group work is not allowed.

One participant may only submit one work per category. However, one participant may (but doesn’t have to, of course) submit work in both categories, that is: one essay and one video.

All submissions must be made online via the Essay Competition website. Videos are submitted via YouTube.

Submissions can be made in English, French or Spanish.

Your essay may not be longer than 4000 words (about 10 pages of standard text).

Essays are accepted in the following formats: .doc or .pdf.

You are also required to provide a summary of no more than 250 words. The summary will be used by the jury to make a pre-selection.

Your video may not be longer than 2 minutes.

To submit a video, you must create a YouTube account and upload your work on the YouTube website. Additionally, you are required to submit a form via the Essay Competition website, which will allow us to identify your work.

Read more on their website here

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

OECD Video Competition for 18-25 year olds

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has launched the Young people’s video competition on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

Young people around the world are invited to submit a short video describing their vision of “Progress.”

The competition is open to young people (18-25 years) in every country worldwide.

The Prize

  • An all expenses paid trip to Paris, France
  • Screening of the winning films at an international forum.
  • An opportunity to meet government, civil society and media from around the world.

Three winners will be invited to the OECD Forum in May 2011, with travel cost, hotel accommodation and daily allowance provided for five days.

The closing date for submissions is 1 March 2011. For more information, visit this link.

Source Link:
Copyright©FUNDSFORNGOS.ORG. Do not remove this link.
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

An open letter from friends of WAVE at the Afghan Women's Network against their government's condemnation of women's shelters

To The Gatekeepers of Women’s Honor: an open letter from the Women of Afghanistan:

This is not the first time we have gathered here. These walls, this table, this stove, this teapot – how often they have witnessed our gatherings, our frustrations, our stresses. How often they have welcomed this group of frustrated women friends, activists, and allies. How often they have heard us unload the same concerns: how fragile have been our gains, how meaningless have been the laws we’ve fought to have passed, how useless have been the policies we struggled to see implemented in this land where there is no belief in women’s rights. Where a woman’s position in society is considered a mere extension of her role in her family and tribe, and where ethics and beliefs are exclusively understood through a masculine definition, for which women pay the price every day.
Today, the latest blow: women’s shelters. Let us recall the story. First, an uncredible media related to power circle report falsely decries women’s shelters as dens of prostitution and immorality. In response, the government creates a Commission of high level officials – none of them experts, none of them shelter managers, none of them having ever lived in a shelter – to assess the situation. They produce a biased and incomplete report, without discussing their findings with the shelters themselves or the experts and organizations who support them.
We, the women activists, are now accused by the government of having dis-honoured the national pride of the country by publicly exposing the egregious and often humiliating violations of rights that women are exposed to. This, they said, shames us in the eyes of the world. This? The revelation of human rights abuse? Not the widespread corruption, the failure of governance? Instead, what shames us is the age-old Afghan tradition of providing safe shelter to those who most need it, and fighting for the rights of the vulnerable? This shames us?
In an attempt to ‘mend’ these problems and divert international assistance from independent women’s shelters into a regularized government channel the government is using women ministry as tool of curtailing women’s rights. The minister is shamelessly accusing women group of corruption without presenting firm evidence or taking initiative of correcting where problem exist.
On other hand according to the January financial report of the government, most of the ministries have failed to spend even 50% of their national development budget. And now they want to transfer yet more money into a government system that can’t even cope with the money they already have.
But the biggest question is not the funding – at least not for Afghan civil society, and for women’s groups in particular (who have, by the way, routinely optimized their minimum budgets in the past, making the most out of every single dollar received, and whose own financial reports are testament to that). No, the biggest question is what will happen to the women.
Unfortunately, the grandiose vows to protect and respect women’s rights that were made in the London and Kabul conferences and through the Lisbon Declaration have hardly been translated into real action by the Afghan government and its international allies. In fact, since those vows were made, the government has slipped backwards in its commitments to women’s rights. And now we are to put the most vulnerable women of our society fully in the hands of the government??
1 Afghan Women’s Network is an umbrella organization of women organizations, activists and human rights defenders in Afghanistan, with membership of over 5,000 individual women and over 75 non-government organizations.
The experience of running shelters in the last nine years shows that there have always been threats from state institutions and society’s informal power holders to both the women who run the shelters and those who seek refuge in them. These are not threats to cut funding, no. These are insidious threats; threats of betrayal of trust of the worst kind. For example, a 12 year old girl from Shindand District in Herat recently sought refuge in a shelter, but the government, under pressure from a Member of Parliament, handed the girl back to her family who then cut her to pieces.
And her story doesn’t even stand out from the rest. Her story is common. Some of the women we know are taking huge risks – heroic risks – not only with their own lives but also those of their children, to find refuge from abuse in these small safe houses. Some receive threats daily, hourly even. But the risk, for them, is worth it. These are women who have witnessed up close the torture and killing of other women, and have themselves been the victims of horrific abuse. They are already taking the maximum risk to escape it: they are putting everything on the line. Under this new regulation women would suffer even worse odds to protect themselves and their children. How can we allow that?
Today there is a woman in Takhar who is crying out and seeking justice against the powerful perpetrator who abducted, imprisoned, and then killed her daughter. The perpetrator is criminal nephew of an MP who right this moment is sitting in Parliament in Kabul, considered above law by the district authority. How much more blatant can this get?? Don’t you realize that every woman in Afghanistan knows that this is the situation? That for the Afghan government, this is considered normal??
Women who run shelters work every single day to safeguard the lives of their Afghan sisters, regardless of their politics and ethnicity, but are already up against tremendous odds in succeeding. Somewhere between 40 to 60% of all cases of known abuse are manipulated by an influential power holder, who uses his ability to pressure government to have his woman handed back over to her abusive husband or father from whom she sought to escape.
We ask our government – can you really take on the responsibility of safeguarding the lives of these women??
Will controlling women’s welfare, right down to their place of last resort, help you build your international image? Is this decision really made with the best interests of women in mind, even when you know that you rule the second most corrupt government in the world? Will this regulation be magically saved from the powerful and corrupt influences that infect every other part of your government? How could you do this? And more importantly, how can we make you stop it?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Call for Applications for the 2011 Global Model United Nations Conference to be held 10-14 August in Korea

The United Nations Department of Public Information is organizing the third annual Global Model United Nations Conference at Incheon, Republic of Korea from 10 to 14 August 2011 with the theme of “Sustainable Development: Advancing Human Progress in Harmony with Nature.”

In this conference, university students between the age of 18 and 24 years will be invited from around the world to role play as foreign diplomats and participate in simulated sessions of the United Nations General Assembly and other multilateral bodies in the UN system. While preparing for Model United Nations conference, students develop leadership skills and research, writing, public speaking and problem solving skills that they will use throughout their lives. In addition, participation also encourages consensus building, conflict resolution and cooperation and the enhancement of leadership skills.

The following are eligible to apply for the Global Model UN Officials positions:

  • Students who have participated in university-level Model UN conferences and who, preferably, have experience as secretariat and general assembly officials in those conferences
  • Students who have excellent organizational skills and research and drafting skills
  • Students who are at least 18 but not older than 24 years of age at the time of the GMUN Conference and
  • Students who will have been enrolled in a university during the academic year in which the GMUN conference takes place – 2010/2011
  • Students must be fluent in English and/or French (the working languages of the United Nations and of the Global Model UN Conference)
  • Students must have a good academic record at their university

Monday, February 14, 2011

Article about Videoblogging featuring WAVE on

Extract from full article which you will want to read here

Women Aloud Videoblogging for Empowerment (WAVE)

Who : Started by Sapna Shahani and Angana Jhaveri

Since : Sept 2009

Why is it Whackked! : A social initiative of a different kind, WAVE is a platform for young women across the country to voice their opinions about things that matter. They select one woman from every state with the help of NGOs and provide them with the required training, equipments and a monthly stipend to contribute to the project. Truly a one of it’s kind and a very innovative inittiative.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy V-Day everyone, with love from WAVE!

On this international day of love, let's honour V-Day, an initiative to end violence against women and girls. Check out or 'like' their page on Facebook/ follow them on Twitter...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Online video project similar to WAVE in a sense - Tole-rants!

This project encourages people to speak for 60 seconds about their views on a social problem. Like WAVE aims to project solutions from the grassroots, Tole-rants aims to inspire hope. Kudos!

Check out their website!

Students - enter the Dell Social Innovation competition by Feb 14 for a chance to win $50,000!

Want to change lives for the better? The University of Texas and Dell invite college students worldwide to take innovations from idea to reality by entering the 2011 Dell Social Innovation Competition. Cash prizes total more than $100,000! Enter online here by February 14, 2011. And if you're not a college student, you can still get involved by judging or mentoring! Email for more information.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Submit your video to the Liquid Cities Film Festival

Call for Artists: Liquid Cities & Temporary Identities . USA / Portugal / Colombia
Deadline: February 28, 2011

International ArtExpo is selecting all interesting video/short.films to include in the next 2011 Exhibitions:

- Liquid Cities & Temporary Identities at the Container Space located on the George Mason University Campus, Art & Design Building - Fairfax, USA (April 20, 2011).

- Liquid Cities & Temporary Identities at the FONLAD 07 in Wind Rose Culture Space - Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal (June 11, 2011).

- Liquid Cities & Temporary Identities at Festival Internacional de la Imagen in Auditorium Olympia - Manizales Caldas, Colombia (April 13-15, 2011).

The deadline for applications is February 28, 2011.

The selections will be based on two main concepts. With the first section, Liquid Cities, we will present videos about contemporary cities, future cities and possible connections between videoarchitecture and videoart experimentations. The second section, Temporary Identities, will show videoart works based on the concept of contemporary identities, new technologies and body borders.

The number of works with you can participate is unlimited. All works must be on DVD (PAL or NTSC), no matter what the original source medium. The maximum length of videos should be 10 minutes. Send your video submissions (Name/Surname, City/Country, Film title, Running time, Brief film synopsis) with a CV/biography, videography and an introduction about the piece to:

Luca Curci Architects
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 33
70122 Bari, Italy

International ArtExpo is a not for profit organization that provides a significant forum for cultural dialogue between all artists from different cultures and countries. We depend on the support of you. ArtExpo is grateful to all of the institutions, corporations, and individuals who support our efforts. We work with a number of national and international galleries as well as publishers, museums, curators and writers from all over the world. We help artists through solo and group exhibitions, gallery representation, magazine reviews and advertisements, press releases, internet promotion, as well as various curatorial projects.

Participation open to: professional artists, architects and designers, associate groups and studios.

Thanks for all,
Luca Curci

International ArtExpo
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 33
70122 Bari (Italy)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

12th University on Youth and Development

In the framework of the 2010 UN International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding
CEULAJ, Mollina (Spain) 12 – 19 September 2010

The University on Youth and Development (UYD) is an activity jointly organised by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, the Spanish Government (INJUVE), the European Youth Forum (YFJ), the Spanish Youth Council (CJE) and other international youth organisations.

Since its first edition in 2000, the University takes place once a year bringing together representatives of youth organisations and youth movements from all over the world who gather in the CEULAJ (Euro-Latin-American Youth Centre) to discuss, train and be trained as well as to take political action around the main issues on the global agenda.

In 2010, the University on Youth and Development will be gathering for its 11th Edition launching renewed hopes and aspirations, objectives and challenges for the partners, reinforcing this as the space and home of Global Youth Work and the Global Youth Movement.

The University on Youth and Development is composed of various activities (Seminars, Training Courses, Workshops) organised by more than 10 partners and will gather close to 300 young people from all over the world.

Get more info here.

Global Education on-line training course - deadline Feb 18

Spring course, 28 February - 25 March - Apply until 18 February 2011.

a North-South Centre new pedagogical tool

Following the launching of the Global Education Guidelines – on-line version (re-edition 2010) available from North-South Centre (NSC) website and hard copy available upon request – the NSC Global Education programme offered its first Global Education on-line training course in 2009. Since three courses are offered annually, in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

This introductory online training course on global education (GE), with a particular focus on human rights (HR), targets practitioners in the field of education and development, teachers, social and youth workers, as well as policy-makers, civil servants and local and regional authorities.

This four-week long online learning course involves 8 hours of learning per week, which includes reading, discussion and response to interactive exercises. It is based on approximately 150 pages of educational material that include a diversity of interactive individual and group exercises with coached assignments, a glossary and a virtual library as well as a discussion forum. Such exercises aim at developing competences in the fields of team-building, mapping of GE/HR situation in participants’ countries, GE/HR strategies and GE/HR activity development.

The overall evaluation of the pilot course is very positive, with a high rating of satisfaction among the participants’ evaluation questionnaire sent after each course, considering participants’ diverse professional and geographical background.

Evaluation questionnaire assess the useful/missing aspects of the course; relevance of the exercises/pedagogical tools/time-frame; role of the coaches; improvement of the course; increased knowledge acquisition by participants and possible impact on professional background after the course

Participants professional background vary from Youth leaders, Educators, Civil Society activist, International organisations, Local Authorities and Ministries, from countries from all continents.

Read more here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Videoblogging as students - express what you think!

Mike Wesch, (of The Machine is Us/ing Us), has a Video Call for Submissions out (deadline is Feb. 15, 2011).

WAVErs, please consider submitting your own Visions of Students Today video - here's the link:

Jan 19th, 2011 by Prof Wesch

Here is the video call for submissions and some more tips and guidelines below:

Tag your video VOST2011 and it will automatically appear here and in this feed. It will also appear at our project basecamp, which will feature ongoing posts, comments and links from our core research team (my 2011 Digital Ethnography class)


Think of this as “A Vision of Students Today” inverted. Watch that video to see how we created a commentary on the classroom and different media by using the classroom and those media as part of the commentary itself. (For example, if you want to comment on texting in class, make a video of yourself texting in class and type something in the text that makes a comment about texting in class.)
If you find powerful and interesting statistics (like “45% of students don’t learn much in college”), you can then find clever ways to express them in video form. Make sure you cite your sources in the video description.
Since this is about all learning, not just learning in the classroom, consider how, when, and what you are learning outside the classroom. Think about how you encounter, shape, and are shaped by various media forms (TV, Google, Facebook, texting, books, magazines, etc.). How are you learning with these devices? *What* are you learning with these devices? Don’t just think about the content you are learning. We learn what we do. What habits of the mind are you learning when using these media? How might they be changing the way you think about, and act within, your relationships with others? Another way to frame this project would be to call it “My Mediated Life.”
If you use Twitter, include your Twitter ID in the video description or send it to me separately. We will be embedding the video on a page with additional resources, credits, etc. and this would allow people to find you (if you want to be found!). We will also be experimenting by embedding the video in an interactive website that uses some of the new capabilities of HTML5 that will allow other resources on the page to “interact” with the video, and may be able to use live Twitter feeds as part of this project.
When you submit your video, add a Creative Commons License in the video or in the video description that clearly indicates to others that your footage is available for remix. (I use the CC by-nc-sa which allows people to remix my material as long as they give proper attribution, do not use it for commercial purposes, and share what they create with my material with the same license.)
We are all super-excited to see what you come up with. Please submit by February 15th and then join us in the remixing! Grab other people’s videos and make your own. We’ll continue to post tips here on this blog, including where to find good music that is free to use, and how to create a compelling and powerful video.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

EcoArts Tour of India - WAVE bloggers invited!

Dear WaveIndia Bloggers,
I am very thrilled to view your work and to know about your mission. I am the founder of EcoArts Tours, a company that creates sustainable travel programs with a focus on the arts. This May, we are hosting an India EcoArts Tour (see flyer) that showcases the amazing environmental conservation and arts preservation efforts taking place in Spiti Valley. Additionally, Tushar Arun Gandhi (Mohatma Gandhi's great-grandson), will lead our Delhi portion of the tour to explore Gandhi's Legacy today.

I extend an invitation to all you amazing women to come on the tour and share your philanthropic experience with the blogging community. Please feel free to help spread the word about this tour, as we would greatly appreciate your support. Feel free to contact me at anytime with questions or for more information. We hope to have all registrations for the tour by mid-February. Thanks!


Rosalyn Salters
✉ 1517 North Point St, #353 San Francisco, CA 94123
☎ 415-680-3474

Friday, February 4, 2011

Letter to US leaders to pass the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA).

Dear President Obama and Secretary Clinton,
All my life growing up in Bombay, we heard stories of poor women's husbands getting drunk and beating them up regularly. People actually counsel wives to think again when they want to walk out of abusive relationships because the societal stigma of being divorced is far worse than being an abused wife.

The majority of girls, including myself, have been molested one or more times growing up. I remember at least four occasions when men have kissed, or caressed me forcibly. And I am from a progressive upper middle class family. When I traveled by train across town to college, I would throw punches as I walked downstairs to the platform because that is how often I found my buttocks getting pinched or my breast felt. I resorted to using the most crass Hindi swear words so that the men around me would be sufficiently shocked into leaving me alone.

These stories are so commonplace that my girl friends all have their own versions of the same tales. I cringe when I think of the stories that go untold in rural areas where girls aren't empowered to speak for themselves. I urge you to do what you can to help innocent girls and women everywhere who are victimised by silent societies.

- A WAVEr.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Swapathgami Filmmaking Workshop in Udaipur - Scholarships may be available

dear friends
Hope you all are doing well!
I am writing to let you know that the sixth annual Swapathgami Filmmaking
Workshop will be held from January 28- February 7, 2011, here in Udaipur,
Rajasthan. Our intention is to support community media and diverse

As in years past, we will jump into filmmaking and organic living! We will
spend our time: making a film with a team, discussing various kinds of
films, participating in learning exchanges, bettering our interviewing
techniques, making a sound story and an image story, and much more! A few
different independent / swapathgami filmmakers will be coming to support our
learning process. If you want to learn more about the workshop, check out
images and happenings of past years’ workshops at . also have a look on
youtube (search for swapathgami)

No prior filmmaking experience is necessary, nor are any qualifications or
degrees. We are looking for dynamic, creative, sincere people to be a part
of this workshop. We only have room for 25 people this year, so please get
in touch as soon as possible, if you're interested.

We will be serving delicious vegetarian and zero oil food and focusing on
local grains (bring your favorite recipes as well). We are asking that
people cover their own travel to-from Udaipur, and contribute Rs.1500 for
food, accommodation and materials. As with all Swapathgami events, people
are invited to give what they can; scholarships are available to those who
need them. And if you can, your additional contributions help to support
other peoples’ participation. We are proud to say that the Swapathgami
Network does not take any funding, but rather is financed by its own

Please feel free to forward the invitation to others. Please let me <> know, as soon as possible, if you are interested in
coming so that we can reserve your seat.

Best wishes and love,
Manish, Ruchir, Gungun, Vishal, Gyan, Sanjay
Manish Jain
Shikshantar: The Peoples' Institute for Rethinking Education and Development
83 Adinath Nagar, Udaipur, Rajasthan, 313004 INDIA
Tel: 91-294-245-1303
Web: Skype: manishjainudaipur

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Question from WAVE videoblogger Sakshi Saini regarding training poor women about effects of climate change

Dear Members,

I am working on a project funded by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and National Communication, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India (NATCOM) on Climate change and its impact on water. As a part of this project we are trying to collate some of the adaptive measures being taken by the community.

Government of India and several research institutes are conducting research to develop strategies for enhancing adaptive capacity of society for food security, energy security etc. Women in Indian society are mostly responsible for accession and management of resources particularly water. However, awareness on climate change is limited, particularly in urban areas.

Since climate change is likely to have a significant impact on poor women, it is imperative that awareness levels on coping strategies to climate change need to be enhanced. Appropriate communication materials that can raise the awareness of poor urban women about climate change, its impacts and possible adaptation strategies are essential. In this backdrop, an effort is being made to develop a campaign module for the Urban Poor Women residing in the slums of Delhi.

In the base line study it was observed that women living in slums have almost no knowledge about climate change and adaptive mechanisms, although they are facing the brunt of it. Promotion of suitable practices to adapt to climate change will be the main focus of the campaign. The campaign strategy that ultimately emerges through these stakeholder consultations will be field tested in randomly selected slums of Delhi.

Given the above background, I would like members’ inputs on the following:

What could be the components of such a campaign strategy for urban poor women residing in the slums of Delhi?

Are there any modules/ training materials (Design, Methodology, IEC materials and Tools) that have been used in other states?

Are there any examples of efficient, effective and reliable training and capacity building systems being followed by communities to deal with climate change for urban poor women?

Your responses would help us in drawing up a suitable and effective capacity building strategy. All inputs would be suitably acknowledged.

Sakshi Saini
Department of Development Communication and Extension
University of Delhi
New Delhi

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Learn how to be a rockstar!

The YP Foundation


An interactive, multi-year workshop series for interested, upcoming and established young artistes that explore information, ideas and models that protect promote and publish Independent Music in India.

The programme aims to provide young people, specifically artists and students working with/interested in the field of independent music with training and skill development opportunities.

Register Now for workshops on Music production, promotion & marketing, protection and Education! Registrations are on a first come first serve basis.

Registrations and queries:


Shubha Mudgal, Aneesh Pradhan, Vishal Dadlani (Pentagram), Uday Benegal (Indus Creed), Anup Kutty (Menwhopause), Mandar Thakur (Times Music), Prithwish Dev, Clarence Gonsalves, Gucci Singh, Surojit Dev (Them Clones), Gaurav Vaz (The Raghu Dixit Project), Anindo Bose (Advaita), Jishnu Das Gupta (Swarathma), Dhruv Jagasia (Manager - Indian Ocean & Midival Punditz), Ritesh Khokhar (Bridge Music Academy), Sahil Makhija (Demonic Resurrection), Neysa Mendes, Vijay Nair, Bobby Talwar (Only Much Louder), Arjun S Ravi (Indiecision), Vijay Kate, Shiv Ahuja, Abhish Mathew (HIT 95 FM)


Furtados, Underscore Records, Max Mueller Bhavan, Bluebells School International,

Bridge Music Academy, Only Much Louder, Max Muerller Bhavan, India Habitat Center

Media Partners:

Radio One, MTV Noise, NH7, Indiecision,

Follow Us!



The YP Foundation is a youth run and led organization that supports and enables young people to create programmes and influence policies in the areas of gender, sexuality, health, education, the arts & governance.

The organization promotes, protects and advances young people’s human rights by building leadership, and strengthening youth led initiatives and movements. Founded in 2002, we have worked over the last 8 years directly with 5,000 young people to set up over 200 projects in India, reaching out to 300,000 young people.