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)
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.