women-as-agents-of-change

Who We Are

We are from Mumbai’s red-light area.

We are daughters of sex workers.

We are girls who were trafficked.

We are survivors.

We are young women with big plans and big dreams.

We are leaders.

We are agents of change.

Kranti means “Revolution” in Hindi – and we are the Revolutionaries!

What We Do

Kranti is a non-governmental organization (NGO) that empowers girls from Mumbai’s red-light areas to become agents of social change. Kranti believes that, when girls like us have access to the same education, training, and opportunities as people from privileged backgrounds, we can become exceptional leaders.

Our backgrounds give us added value as leaders and agents of social change because we’ve had to develop innovativeness, compassion, and resilience in the face of marginalization and discrimination. By combining our experiences with the support, opportunities, and confidence Kranti gives us, we can revolutionize not only our own lives, but also our community, the people around us, and all of India. Look out world – here come the Revolutionaries!

How We Get There

Therapy: Because change starts from within
At Kranti, we believe that the first and most important step of becoming a social change agent is learning to love oneself. All of the Revolutionaries have faced abuse, rape, and other types of violence, as well as the emotional and mental burden of coming from India’s most marginalized populations. To help us overcome society’s prejudice toward us, our mothers, and our community, Kranti offers many kinds of therapy, including art therapy, dance movement therapy, and cognitive based therapy.

Education: Because changing the world requires critical thinking as well as literacy
At Kranti, we believe the purpose of education is not to attain employment; it is to achieve empowerment and social change. We study in mainstream schools and open schools, and attend trainings with partner NGOs, including Swaraj, PWESCR, CREA, and Pravah. We are also free to design our own curriculum and measure our own progress.

Extracurricular: Because social change is led by well-rounded human beings
Each Revolutionary is required to take two extracurricular activities: one physical and one artistic. We’re learning everything from photography, drawing, singing, piano, and drums to karate and dance!

Social Justice: Because social change must be taught and learned
The Social Justice Curriculum covers 20 topics including caste, class, religion, environment, gender, sexuality, and women’s rights. Through a combination of workshops, documentaries, theatre, guest speakers, and field trips, we learn about the root causes of India’s biggest social justice problems, what the situation is today, and how we can help solve the problem. We even get to design and implement our own projects for each social justice unit.

Workshops and Theater: Because changing the world requires practice
We have led dozens of interactive workshops across India for over 15,000 people at schools, companies and NGOs; topics range from trafficking and sex work to gender equality and sexual abuse. We have also written a play about their lives, which we have performed in over 50 venues in India. By telling our stories, we’ve changed audiences’ mindsets about us, our moms, and our community.

Travel: Because you can’t change the world without seeing it first
Kranti takes between 3 and 5 trips each year, including an annual Himalayan trek in India, Nepal, or Bhutan. Traveling provides the opportunity to learn from various NGOs and to lead workshops around the country, as well as develop the confidence, grit, and resilience that can only come from traveling.

Armed with laptops, blood-pressure monitors and pregnancy tests, the young women ride their bicycles to remote villages providing health, agricultural and IT services. They are known as “Infoladies,” and they are working to bring change to rural Bangladesh.

“I feel like a rockstar while passing through the village roads, as children clap when I pass them,” said 30-year-old Infolady Shahina Begum.

The program — launched by local not-for-profit Dnet to facilitate the broader dissemination of information technology in the country — has gained worldwide attention and may soon be replicated in other countries in Africa, Latin America and South Asia.

“An Infolady is an entrepreneur. They are innovative, and sometimes they come up with services that were very much in demand but not available,” said the head of the initiative, Laura Mohiuddin. “These women are also agents of change.”

Read more via Al Jazeera English
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Fatima Jibrell

Fatima is a Somali environmental activist dedicated to reducing the process of environmental degradation and desertification in Somalia.

In 2006 Fatima produces Charcoal Traffic,a short fictional film illustrating the environment conflict in Somalia due to charcoal production, in consultation with Hot Sun Film.

But rather than choosing to limit herself to raising awareness Fatima has been committed to working towards solutions. In 2004 She founded Sun Fire Cooking which offers solar powered cookers as an alternative to charcoal for domestic use.

Fatima is founder of The Horn of Africa Relief and Development Organisation now known as ADESA.

Fatima received the 2002 Goldman Environmental Prize and the 2008 National Geographic Society Foundation Award for Leadership in conservation.

Trailer to Charcoal Traffic

Mosaic of Muslim Women’s Interview with Fatima  

Women experience conflicts differently to men as victims of sexual violence, internally displaced persons, refugees, combatants, heads of households and political and peace activists…

Hence, the [UN Resolution 1325] calls for a gender perspective when planning refugee camps and peacekeeping operations, and recognizes the importance of the representation of women when reconstructing war-torn societies. The resolution identifies women as both victims and participants in armed conflict, as well as ‘agents of change’.

—  What is UN Resolution 1325? From The development of the women, peace, and security agenda in the SIPRI Yearbook 2016.

Aswan Mohamoud Jibril at 26 became one of Somaliland's first female prosecutors.

Born and raised in Borama, which lies on the Ethiopian border, she has became a very passionate advocate for women’s equality in the region.

Aswan’s determination to fulfill her dream of becoming a lawyer led her first to apply for a scholarship to study law supported by UNDP.

“I was alerted of the UNDP-sponsored scholarship programme for women. I applied, and was lucky enough to be accepted. I graduated and secured an .LL.B in 2009. Two days only after my graduation, I enrolled in a 10-month internship programme, together with other female law graduates, through the Somaliland Women Lawyers Association, thanks to UNDP support,” she said.

Aswan was appointed as a prosecutor with the Somaliland Prosecutor’s Office, and spends her days in court prosecuting those convicted of a range of crimes, but mainly of crimes against women and children. 

what’s “on purpose”?

through our on purpose label, Kate Spade & Company partners with and transforms a community at a time by employing its primary agents of change: women.

we believe that when the women making on purpose products are financially and personally empowered, they’re uniquely positioned to transform their community. we know that when women thrive, amazing things happen: their familiies become stronger, their neighbors inspired and their communities deeply changed for the better.

we launched on purpose in 2014 in masoro, rwanda and the pieces are made by the artisans of masoro: 150+ talented women who are all owners in an independent and profitable social enterprise called ADC. 

we’ve fully integrated this supplier into our value chain and renounced the per-production donation or charitable contribution approaches more commonly seen around the world. instead, we’re helping them find their niche in the global marketplace so they can experience long-term growth and profitability. 

because while kate spade new york and jack spare are their sole clients right now, we’re excited for the day when the artisans of masoro become suppliers for other companies, too. and when that happens, on purpose will move to another underserved community in the world that has potential for growth, and another, and another…

empowered women. strengthened communities. big(ger) dreams.
it’s all on purpose.


shop the latest on purpose collection and read the stories of on purpose in the community section of our blog.

aljazeera.com
India's Barefoot College lights up the world

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Barefoot College, founded by a farmer from Tilonia and a social worker from Delhi, helps to bring electricity to villages around the globe by training poor women to be solar engineers.

“Women are incredible agents of change. The problem is they have been either barred from participating in development as they didn’t have knowledge, as they are blocked from access to literacy, education, money. Once they get rid of these barriers, it all opens up,’’ said Megan Fallone, senior advisor to Barefoot College.

kyotoreview.org
Buddhist Women As Agents of Change: Case Studies from Thailand and Indonesia

“Consisting only of men, the Theravada Buddhist ecclesiastical authorities in both Thailand and Indonesia do not recognize bhikkhunis (a fully ordained female monastic). In this context, the aspiration and determination of Buddhist women to be female monastics in the Theravada Buddhist tradition in the 21st century reflect their role as agents of change to bring renewal to their faith. Their convictions and actions affirm women’s spirituality and gender inclusiveness as envisioned by the Buddha in establishing the female monastic order. They are able to survive and even grow due to their ability to attract their own supporters and followers. Furthermore, those who aspired to be female monastic are able to travel outside of their countries to be ordained due to the transnational dimension of Buddhism. These Buddhist women thus reclaim their identities and roles from only being supporters of Buddhism to that of spiritual leaders, religious innovators and ritual specialists. The Theravada Buddhist ‘tradition’ is a changing one as the female adherents stake their claim to their rightful heritage as female monastic. Similarly, the identity and roles of Buddhist women are fluid.(…)”

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Maryan Qasim is a humanitarian, an obstetrician and gynaecologist who has worked  as University lecturer, scientist and school teacher for over 15 years. She has lived and worked in Somalia, Yemen, the Netherlands  and Britain. She is the former minister for women’s development and family affairs, and is an adviser in the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.

She now serves as the Minister for Human Development and Public Services in Somalia.

“There’s been increasing recognition that empowering women and girls is a key change agent for development,” says former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “Education is powerful, which is why some people want to stop it and why we should feel so passionate about assuring that it occurs.”

Gillard joined forces with Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative on Wednesday to announce a commitment to raise $600 million for girls’ education. 30 other partners, including the United States government and organizations from the private sector, also joined the pledge to reach 14 million girls around the world in the next five years.

Read more via Time.

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Students of Al Basiir School  a boarding school for the blind in Mogadishu, Somalia. The Al-basiir School for the Blind and Deaf-Blind is made up of 29 local and internally displaced children, most of whom have lost their vision due to measles.

Al Basiir School was founded in January 2011 to provide a learning opportunity for blind children. Those involved had carried out house to house mobilization to convince parents of blind children that the children could also learn and attend the boarding school.

 It was a struggle to find rent, accommodation and food for the children but they had received support from the Somali Women’s Development Centre (SWDC).

read full article