Gender and other forms of Social Discrimination
The Indian Constitution declares that everybody—regardless of sex, caste, religion, and economic, political and social status—should get equal opportunities, status and rights. However, it is a sad reality that gender and other forms of social discrimination remain prevalent in the patriarchal Indian society. Women and girl children, in particular, are subjected to sex discrimination and at many times are denied of their fundamental human rights.

Unequal gender relations affects women and girl children’s lives from the moment they were born to the moment that they leave this world. The social stigma attached to their gender brings about the burden of poverty (especially for SC/ST/dalits) and further aggravates their marginalisation.

YUVA Rural’s approach to address the issue of gender and other forms of social discrimination is the advocacy on gender mainstreaming, a process to achieve greater gender equality and overcome the costs of women’s marginalisation.

Empowerment of women—through greater participation in decision-making, attending to their self-esteem and well-being, and building their economic, social, cultural and political capacities—is a main agenda in the initiatives of YUVA Rural. The unit is committed in creating a society that empowers women as equal partners and ensures the promotion and fulfilment of their fundamental human rights.

Under this thematic area, three main projects are being undertaken by YUVA Rural: i) Women’s Empowerment through Women’s Organisation (WEWO) and ii) We Can End All Violence Against Women (We Can); and iii) Combating HIV/AIDS through Community Engagement. In addition, a separate workshop on women and land rights has also been held.