International Women's Day 2020


Prof Swaminathan's message for the International Women’s Day – 8 March 2020

There is a growing realization that gender justice and equity are vital for a happy home and society. Unfortunately, media reports indicate that violence against women is tending to grow. To overcome this problem and to have a gender happy society, we need to pay concurrent attention to education, regulation and social mobilization. This year marks the beginning of the UN Sustainable Development decade. Sustainable development will be possible only if it is built on the foundation of gender equity. It would be useful if in every Panchayat a small group of men and women constitute a committee for monitoring gender justice. Suitable parameters for measuring equity will have to be developed. For example, the male – female sex ratio at birth is an index of the attention given to both male and female children. Similarly, the male female ratio in population provides an idea of the importance given by the society to both women and men. I therefore hope that on this International Women’s Day, all Panchayats will set up a Gender Equity Committee and entrust them with the task of monitoring progress.

Gender equality - Generation equality

Gender is a non-negotiable theme across all programme areas of MSSRF’s work. Specifically, the organization has worked extensively on the Voicing Silence programme from 1993- 2008 with the objective of giving "voice to the voiceless", raise consciousness and empowerment at individual and collective level. For this theatre was used as a tool to bring changes and developed with the participation of marginalised women’s groups. Empowerment of women continues to be the main part of MSSRF’s effort in addressing challenges of sustainable and equitable development.  Multiple strategies are necessary to reach the set goal. The vision, mission and goals of the Programme Area are:

VISION: Achieving improved position of women and equitable gender relations in sustainable development initiatives

MISSION: Implementing the mandate in relation to gender, poverty and sustainability

GOAL: Mainstreaming gender across the Foundation’s initiatives through

a) Interdisciplinary approach and

b) Research and interventions on pro-poor and pro women and sustainability mandate through Grass-roots Institutions (GRI)


Organically inspiring – the tale of an Odisha woman farmer

On first sight, Ms Raimati Ghiuria who lives with her husband and three children in Koraput district, seems like any other woman from Odisha. However, this resident of Nuaguda village is a role model for many women like her. For Ms Raimati is a woman of many roles, a farmer, a Community Resource Person and a trainer. Read more


Karshakashree Award for Kerala Woman Farmer

The Karshakashree Award that recognizes an outstanding Kerala farmer has been awarded to a woman farmer from Palakkad. The prestigious award instituted by the Malayala Manorama group of publications carries a cash award of Rs. 3 lakhs, a gold medallion and a citation. Read more


Addressing Gender equality key to achieving development

Pratishtha’s message on starting the change from within the family to create a change in the community rang loud in a session that emphasized the importance of focusing on women as key agents of development in rural India. According to an IFAD report, agriculture and related sectors employ more than 90 per cent of the total female labour force. Read more


Implementing the Food Security Act: Prof M S Swaminathan

The National Food Security Act is a unique one and make our farmers proud since they were mainly responsible for taking our country from the days of the Bengal Famine to the time we can confer the legal right to food with home grown food. Read more


Integrating gender, for greater Resilience

Building climate resilience – important especially among marginalized communities - needs innovative approaches. This is where the ‘Building Resilience’ project is making headway in the states of Odisha and Assam in India. Read more


Rural women present real-life stories that break gender stereotypes

Maheshwari, who hails from a fishing village in Puducherry, was among eight women from different villages who have seen change in their routine lives, due to technology, innovation and the support of their husbands. Read more


Empowering women with clean energy – at home and in agriculture

The need to make LPG use the ‘new normal’ and engender the ‘Draft National Energy Policy’ was highlighted at a one-day consultation on ‘Political Economy of Gender and Energy ’ on November 1, 2017. Read more



Saving Women from occupational hazards : An area of serious neglect

On this day, we should decide to identify and eliminate gender specific health problems.  Job opportunities without adverse health impact need to be promoted. Read more



Strengthening Parliamentary Democracy: Prof M S Swaminathan

Our Parliament was designed to promote discussion and decision on areas of national importance.  As repeatedly pointed out by our Former President Shri  Pranab Mukherjee, the Parliament is now often prone to disruption due to differences of opinion among major parties. Read more


Tele Health session on women's health and empowerment

Women Empowerment refers to the creation of an environment for women where they can make decisions of their own for their personal benefits as well as for the society. Read more


Financial Empowerment of Women can help reduce violence

One of the reasons women continue to face violence is because of lack of control over their financial resources.. Read more




Support empowerment of women through Dairy Farming

The Kulumai Milk producer company was started mainly for the farmers to get better price as per the quality, for their milk. Many women who are part of this producer group were originally in Self Help Groups taking loans mainly for farming activities. Read more


The Empowerment of Tribal Women: Prof Swaminathan

I am very happy that Smt Kamala Pujari of Koraput has been included as a Member of the State Planning Board of Odisha. She has been a leader in the participatory research programme we started in 1994 at Koraput. Read more



Gender Policies and the Rights of Farm Women -Prof.Swaminathan 

I am glad the Kerala Government has announced a new gender policy with focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. More than 50% of women are involved in activities connected with crop and animal husbandry, fisheries, forestry, agro-processing and agribusiness. Read more


How collectives are improving the livelihoods and well-being of single women: learning from Puducherry

Sarala is a 35-year-old single mother belonging to socially marginalized community. She is working as an agricultural labourer in Poriyur village, Puducherry. She has been a member of a self-help group (SHG) belonging to the Innuyir Grama Sangam (IGS), a federation of women SHGs, since 2000. Read more


Training for government promoted Women Self Help Groups by MSSRF

In a unique effort, Biovillage Resource centre, MSSRF has started giving livelihoods training and exposure visits to government promoted Women’s Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Puducherry for their economic empowerment. Read more