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About SWATI
Key Initiatives

In order to promote human rights of women and the marginalized, influence formulation and implementation of gender just policies, and build an enabling environment for the achievement of the democratic rights for all, we have defined the following key areas of intervention:

Our Approach

Setting up sustainable and decentralized leadership initiatives has been a hallmark of SWATIs work approach. The independent women’s collectives – Mahila Vikas Sanghs, Women’s justice committees – Mahila Nyaya Samitis, and Citizens’ rights help desk - Nagrik adhikar Sahayta Kendra are a few examples of this approach.

To increase the outreach of its work, SWATI aligns with other groups and organizations through capacity building and networking for collective action in areas including violence against women, right to information, and advocacy for reproductive health concerns of women.


Background

SWATI has been working toawrds the vision of bringing about socio-economic empowerment of women since 1994. In the initial stages of our work we have focused specifically on the Surendranagar district of Gujarat, India, one of the most backward districts in the state due to its proximity to the Little Rann of Kachchh - a tough, inhuman terrain, home to some of the most socially and economically marginalized communities. In order to build women’s leadership at the grassroots level and help women gain control over resources in a just perspective, we organized women into large-scale collectives consisting of several villages, which focus on developmental issues of women and communities. These collectives have since become sustainable and independent.

In those initial stages we utilized a socio-economic empowerment perspective that focused on mobilizing women for their primary needs of water, health, economic control etc. As our work progressed, we soon began to realize that violence is a hard reality of most women’s lives. This is the single biggest impediment to any kind of empowerment for women. Unless we work on curbing this scourge, the goal of women’s empowerment remains a mirage we may keep chasing. SWATI’s work has since been based on the premise that violence against women has such vast dimensions - to succeed in combating it, the effort needs to be equally vast and broad based.

While Violence Against Women remains a primary area of concern for SWATI we today focus on issues related to grassroots democaracy and governance . This includes promotimg the use and implementaion of Right to Information Act (2005), food security, women’s right to land and property, monitoring and advocacy for several major laws that benefit women and the marginalized, such as the Right to information act (2005), Protection of Women against Domestic Violence act (2005) etc. As a support and managing organization, which we are today, we focus our work on the Surendranagar and nearby Mehsana and Patan districts of Gujarat. However, through our partners and research and publications, we now have a much wider impact.

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