Gender based violence is the common phenomenon in almost all the countries. Religions, Customs, age – old prejudices has been the major factors. Apart from these factors,  meagre participation of women in education, economic spheres and the value system which has been against women have made women dependent on men. All these factors have made women ignorant of their rights and if not, they do not have easy access to justice.

Violence can be of different forms. Physical violence which includes assault, serious injuries or burns etc. Sexual violence which includes extreme form of rape resulting in taking away the dignity of a person. Verbal abuse which includes use of filthy language etc. Social violence which includes humiliation from the community. Emotional violence includes depriving a person from love, care, concern etc. Other forms of violence includes financial, violence, denial of education, access to health facilities etc. Gender Based Violence that threatens the well being, rights and dignity of women has emerged as the global issue.

The issues related to gender based violence are being raised and discussed in different forums.  Shakti Vahini in partnership with US Consulate, Kolkata and other local stakeholders is organizing a two day workshop  to address issues related Gender based Violence and Inequality on 9th  & 10th February, 2017 at American centre, Kolkata. The workshop titled “woMEn: Understanding my Responsibility in Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Inequality  is one of the series of workshops that have been planned across east and north east India to focus efforts on strengthening gender equality on university campuses and also the global fight to end gender based violence.

The workshop has been attended by nearly 75 students belonging to various universities and colleges of West Bengal and Delhi such as Delhi school of Social Work and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi, Amity University, Jadavpur University, Calcutta University, Muslim Institute Study centre, Maritime University, Maharaja Srischandra College, St. Paul’s Cathedral Mission College, St. Xavier’s College, Shyama Prasad college, Scottish Church College, Army Institute of Managgement, Unitedworld School of Business, Basanti Devi College, St. Josheph’s College, St. Josheph’s College, Shri Shikshayatan College, Loretto College, Ashutosh College and Lady Braborne College from across West Bengal state.

Inaugural Session – U.S. Consul General Mr. Craig Hall 

The Hon’ble Consul General, Kolkata initiated the two day workshop stating that Gender violence is violation of human rights and therefore there is the utmost need to come together and address the issue. According to him, it is the responsibility of every human being to understand the problem and come together towards addressing the issue of Gender Based Violence and Inequality. According to him, in this fast changing world, the mindset of the people has also been changing. To curb this problem both Indians and Americans has to come together. This is because we work together because every life matters and the more we work together, we will be able to influence more people from other countries as well. When men and women are treated with dignity, the entire individual will be benefiting. Therefore the two days workshop had been organised. He also mentioned that he admired the commitment to be part of a change. It is a generational change which is possible but it can’t happen without changing popular culture. The way we come together and learn different skills, use of different tools to communicate with society and implement in the community, then the change can happen.

KOLKATA GBV WORKSHOP – “WOMEN: Understanding my Responsibility in Addressing Gender-Based Violence and Inequality”