Our Work

COUNSELING

Most of the activists from Aawaaz-e-Niswaan have come to the organization and to the broader social movement through their own personal struggles and through collectively dealing with issues that are generally considered by society to be `merely personal and individual problems’. The counseling program keeps us in touch with the everyday concerns of Muslim women.

Women, most of who are staunch believers in religion are unwilling to accept the inequality in the Muslim Personal law which allows men unlimited power and control over their lives. For this reason we with other feminist organizations are working on a petiton for Gender Just Laws to ensure women receive a just treatment.

Counselling at Aawaaz-e-Niswaan does not end with the resolution of the dispute, the relationship with the women continues in many ways. Women who come with disputes stay on as members of Aawaaz-e-Niswaan, assisting other women and the counsellors at Aawaaz-e-Niswaan as members of the organization.

Counselling sessions are conducted every Wednesday between 2-5 at the Kurla office (hyperlink to address and preferably google map) and on Tuesdays between 2-5 at the Mumbra office (hyperlink to address and preferably google map)

 

EDUCATION

The education program works with the belief that women’s state of dependence cannot be altered unless they have the skill and knowledge that will enable them to be self-reliant. Equally important is the need to alter the mindset to counter the conditioning, which has led women and girls to perceive themselves as the ‘second sex’ which has eroded their self confidence.

The work of education has many facets with programmes catering to the needs of basic literacy to moving on to confidence building of girls to enter mainstream/ formal education as well as question the patriarchal controls over their lives.

We award scholarships for higher education to girls, conduct basic literacy courses, computer classes and a very popular personality development course to help young girls and women develop confidence and life skills. Applications for scholarships are accepted from May to June every year.

Scholarships to minorities are also provided by the government. For more information visit www.dte.org.in

 

TRAINING PROGRAMS AND WORKSHOPS

The trainings conducted by Aawaaz-e-Niswaan have been informed by the experiences, perspectives and needs of women and members. The issues covered range from understanding gender issues, violence against women, Muslim personal laws, health and sexuality.

Apart from perspective building, skill training is also an important aspect of our work. Writing workshops to help volunteers learn media skills and creative writing resulted in a newsletter and ‘Umang’ – a creative writing journal of poetry, short stories and features and the book ‘Ink se Bhare mere haat… Shirin ke naam’ in memory of Shirin Kuchedkar who passed away on 1st March 2009. Shirin, a retired professor was an active volunteer of Aawaaz-e-Niswaan for nearly ten years teaching volunteers English. Click here to order Copies of ‘Ink se Bhare mere haat… Shirin ke naam’, Umang and other publications. In 2009 we conducted a photography workshop in collaboration with Point of View for women who had approached Aawaaz-e-Niswaan with issues of domestic violence. Click here to view the photos and calendar which was a result of this workshop.

A number of trainings were possible simply because of the volunteers and friends of Aawaaz-e-Niswaan who conceptualized and worked on them. Aawaaz-e-Niswaan is grateful to all its members and volunteers who in the 24 years journey have contributed and enriched our work.

 

AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS AND ADVOCACY

Fundamentalist mindsets of religious structures or political groups have tried to quell the voices of resistance, voices which promote the rights of minorities and marginalized especially of women. Their intent is to keep women subjugated.

Aawaaz-e-Niswaan has conducted several awareness campaigns on political, economic, cultural and social issues and violations of human rights. We have held demonstrations and street-corner meetings, poster campaigns, exhibitions and distributed leaflets on a range of issues – from domestic violence, atrocities against minorities in different parts of the country, the implementation of the Srikrishna Commission report, the police attack on couples in a park in Meerut, the ban on dance bar girls, the attack on Tasleema Nasreen among others.

Aawaaz-e-Niswaan believes that all attempts to curb and suppress the rights of individuals in society must be resisted and has campaigned relentlessly to uphold the principles of equality and justice in society. The Muslim Women’s Rights Network is an advocacy platform initiated by Aawaaz-e-Niswaan to campaign for the rights of Muslim women. We believe in the rights of women as equal citizens of the country and have consistently advocated for Gender Just Laws for women.