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Organisational Profile

Organisational & Activity Profile (2003-2007) Of EQUITY FOUNDATION , A Forum for Women and Child
123- A Road No. 5-A Pataliputra Colony
Patna, Bihar

Equity Foundation :  is a non-governmental organisation founded in 2002, with the primary objective of empowering women and creating new pathways for overcoming the obstacles to Women / Child development through a synergy of “Knowledge”, “Voice” and “Action”. It was formally registered under Societies Registration Act in March 2003. The core areas of its focus are providing technical assistance to innovative programmes and strategies for women’s human rights, political participation and economic security. As a learning and knowledge – based organization, the Foundation integrates its activities in a feedback process of pioneering, learning, information sharing and advocacy and facilitates active dissemination of information regarding women and child issues through seminars and workshops.

Establishment of the Forum

Registration:

The Equity Foundation was registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 on 26 th March 2003.

Governance:

The Forum has a steering committee and an advisory committee.

Steering Committee: The committee has 7 members including the Coordinator of the Forum. Brief information of the members is attached in Annex 1.

Advisory Committee: Service on the advisory committee would be by invitation of the steering committee, and would also be extended to external Organisations working in the areas of women and child related issues. An advisory committee of 7 to 15 members will offer broad guidance drawing upon their expertise and experiences to help the Forum to define its agendas to fulfill its goal and missions.

SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS

Eminent personalities are invited to share their views and interact.

Provide training on issues like: Tools of Empowerment, Gender based violence, Gender issues at workplace, Sexual Reproductive Health, Safe Motherhood, Adolescent Sexuality and Life skill Approach, Domestic Violence, Girl Child, Disaster Management and Physical Construction with gender perspective etc.

TOOLKITS

On issues such as: Safe Motherhood, Girl Child, Gender and HIIV/AIDS, Role of Adolescents in gender equality, Youth and Water, Population and Development, Disaster Management, Status of women in Bihar etc.

lossary for Development Planners.

RESEARCH & SURVEYS
Media/ Gender
Adolescents
Trafficking
Women in Panchayati Raj
Sexual Harassment at Workplace

Other Works
Gather materials for a lecture or Speech on wider issues. Locate the best journal to which to submit your paper.
Find training & Resource materials.
Compile Publications lists.
Find background information on a country or region with a special focus on Bihar.
Keep up-to-date on topics of interest.
Find current information on any issue for preparing new articles and stories.

NETWORKING
Supporting women’s causes nationwide.
Member of Implementing Best Practices in Reproductive Health supported by USAID and WHO (IBP), and Women Power Connect.

FUTURE PROSPECTS
Launching a Women’s Publication
Establishing a state of the art Training, Documentation and Resource Centre

ACTIVITIES since 2003-2007

EQUITY FOUNDATION from its inception has been carrying out various activities on a diversity of fronts every year. The organization carried out many activities for the year 2003-06. The entire gamut of activities undertaken in course of the year is presented under the following heads:

With Educational Institutions

Prepared a Toolkit on Safe Motherhood which was presented by Augustine Veliath Communications Officer UNICEF Patna for Safe Motherhood Day on 11 th April 2003.

Did a survey on Sexual Harassment at workplace in Patna with the assistance of Gender Knowledge Center Magadh Mahila College, Patna (2003-2004).

Slide Presentation on Youth & Water on International Youth Day on 12 TH August 2004 at Magadh Mahila College. CARE was also invited.

Review of literature on Adolescent and youth reproductive and sexual health for the PG Center of Sociology Magadh Mahila College.

Presentation on Importance of Adolescents in Population Control on World Population Day- July 10 th 2004.

With State Women Commission, Bihar

Prepared a report on ‘The Indecent Representation of Women in the Country’ which was presented to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry at India International Center, New Delhi by the Chairperson National Commission for Women on 27 th March 2003.

Organised a two days workshop for the Foundation Day of State Women Commission, Bihar on 19 th – 20 th September 2002. The theme of the Seminar was ‘WOMEN HOW FREE HOW EQUAL?’

Researches Undertaken

Research Topic – ‘Indecent Portrayal of Women in Print and Electronic Media’- This report is an outcome of discussion with the cross section of society in Patna Bihar who shared their perceptions about the indecent portrayal of women in print and electronic media, both at national and regional level. An attempt has been made to analyse the construction of gender and nation in Indian media and thereby to highlight the ideological beliefs and assumptions underlying and reinforcing the stereotypical definitions of Indian womanhood.

Research Topic- ‘The Bad Karma’- An ethnographic study on the life of sex workers in Bihar’s one of the biggest red light area Chaturbhuj Sthan (a population of 3500 sex workers) with a special focus on their health. This six month study was the outcome of a series of interactive sessions with the sex workers residing in this area.

Research Topic- ‘Sexual Harassment at Workplace’- A data based survey on the situational analysis of workplace harassment of working women in the organised sectors of Patna (Government, health, NGO, judiciary, media and academic institutions).

Research Topic- ‘The Denial of Existence’- A study based on the plight of Musahar women in Madhubani a very remote region of Bihar. This study also highlighted the working pattern of various government and non governmental organisations working for this downtrodden class.

Other important activities

The Foundation organized a one day seminar on Campus Violence- ‘Fighting bias and hate crimes on campus- Providing a safe educational environment: Promoting diversity, tolerance and safety’ with a special focus on Sexual Harassment in the academic institutions. The Seminar was targeted at the students and faculty of various colleges with an objective of making them aware of their responsibilities in ensuring a congenial campus environment. It was aimed at providing an orientation to explain code of conduct and appropriate campus behaviour. A host of eminent panelists were invited to chair the seminar.

The Equity Foundation in networking with the Center for Women Empowerment organised a project presentation competition and an awareness quiz on the eve of Republic Day. Students of DPS, Don Bosco and several other schools participated in the competition.

Trainings and Workshops

Invited by the Planning Commission of India, IHD and UNICEF to participate as an Expert on issues related to Children’s Development in India for National Consultation on “Children in the 11 th Plan” on January 18 th -January 19 th , 2006.

Selected by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to attend a 6 day Leadership For Result (L4R) training workshop with a special focus on People living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) at Alwar, Rajasthan (January 20 th – January 26 th 2006)

Invited as Resource Person by DEEPAYATAN (Bihar State Adult Education Resource Center) for a training workshop to present a paper on ‘Gender Equality through Adolescents’ (22 nd November 2005).

Invited as Resource Person by DEEPAYATAN (Bihar State Adult Education Resource Center) for a training workshop on ‘Equity, Equality and Empowerment’ (23 rd September- 24 th September 2005)

Invited as Resource Person by NSS, Patna University for a training programme of Peer Educators (Sponsored by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India) to present a paper on Gender and HIV/AIDS (4 th February, 2005).

The Website of Equity Foundation was launched in November 2005
(www.equityasia.net).

Major Activities since July 2006:

The 2 day interactive Seminar on ‘Bihar Panchayat Elections- A turning point in the role of women leadership?’ was organised by Equity Foundation (A Forum for woman & Child) at Hotel Maurya, Patna The activities spanned two days – 6 and 7 July, 2006 with more than 100 elected women panchayat representatives from East Champaran to Gaya, from Khagaria to Buxar and from Siwan to Raxaul participating actively. Apart from the women panchayat members, academicians, researchers, members of Non-Governmental Organisations, International Organisations, media-persons etc., as well as Senior Government officials participated. As many as 35 speakers including the Panchayat Representatives from several districts participated in the different sessions. The welcome address was given by Ms. Nina Srivastava Director Equity Foundation. The inaugural session was addressed by Sri Narendra Narayan Yadav, Honorable Minister Panchayati Raj, Bihar; the honorable Chief Guest Mrs. Manjulika Gautam, Adviser Women & Child Planning Commission of India. Mrs. Indu Sinha (CENCORED); Mr. R.P. Sinha (Secretary, State Election Commission), Sri OmPrakash (Convener Gandhian Action Network; Convener Bihar Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyaan), Ms. Amita Paul, IAS Member Board of Revenue; Mr. T. N. Singh Expert on Panchayati Raj and former secretary Bihar Rajya Panchayat Parishad were the Speakers for the different sessions. Dr. Suraiya Parveen from AASRA chaired the session. Among the major highlights of the two-day seminar was the inaugural Address by Sri Narendra Narayan Yadav, Honorable Minister Panchayati Raj, Bihar and speech by the honorable Chief Guest Mrs. Manjulika Gautam, Adviser Women & Child Planning Commission of India. A large chunk of delegates were in the age group of 30-40. Moreover, the delegates were from different districts and posts. Women belonging to the Scheduled Castes, particularly the most oppressed ‘Musahar’ community, in large numbers. The seminar also drew a large number of Muslim women from the most backward districts. The numbers of men escorting the women panchayat members were less. The percentage of illiterate and barely literate women panchayat members among the participants was more. The inaugural session was followed by an open house session with the Panchayat Representatives on different dimensions of women’s political empowerment. In 1993 one of the most important step for the empowerment of women and increasing their participation in decision making was taken by reserving 33% seats for women in Panchayati Raj institutions. This paved the way for election of around one million at the village, block and district level. By now most states have completed at least one five year term. What has been the experience of women during their first tenure? What lessons can be learnt for the future from this experience? In 2006 one of the most important step for the empowerment of women and increasing their participation in decision making was taken by the Government of Bihar towards reserving 50% seats for women in Panchayat Raj institutions. Bihar is the first state to give 50% reservation to women in Panchayat.

The Organistion conducted a 2 day National workshop for women panchayat representatives on Women in Panchayats- issues & challenges: A Gandhian Perspective on November 5-6, 2006 in collaboration with. Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti New Delhi (Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The Prime Minister of India is the Chairman of the Foundation). 150 women panchayat representatives from 20 districts of Bihar attended the workshop.

A national workshop on Towards Gender-Responsive Budget” (Strengthening Women Empowerment through gender responsive budgeting) was organised on 15 th April 2007. It was sponsored by planning commission of India. Dr. S. Hameed Member planning commission inaugurated the program. Ms. Firoza Mehrotra from UNIFEM, Ms. Nandita Mishra Additional Economic Adviser Ministry of women and Child, Dr. Vibhuti Patel, Head of department of Economics, SNDT University, Maharashtra were the Chief Resource Person.

Ongoing Research:

Qualitative and Quantitative research for Documenting the Status of ‘Economic Participation of Women in Bihar’ is being conducted by Equity Foundation (A Forum for Woman & Child) Sponsored by the Planning Commission of India . The study is being conducted in 4 districts of Bihar (Kishangunj, Vaishali, Madhubani, E. Champaran), with a sample size of 600 respondents per district. The sample size is 2400. It is important to understand problems of women’s economic participation to accelerate the process of women empowerment and keeping this in mind Equity Foundation (EF) is carrying out the research study to examine the nature and extent of women’s economic participation in rural Bihar with the following objectives in mind.

Examine needs of rural women affecting their economic participation.

Explore conditions/factors that facilitate/inhibit Women’s economic participation.

Analyse govt. policies/practices that facilitate or inhibit women’s economic participation (WEP) in the light of their own perceptions.

Make them recognise that political and socio-cultural changes will often be necessary for women to achieve economic empowerment which in its turn may result in political empowerment outcomes.

Finally making them aware that, activities at all levels — micro, institutional and macro-policy — are needed to achieve the desired result of women’s economic empowerment.

The Executive Director Equity Foundation has been nominated the State Point Person for HDRN (UNDP-TAHA project on trafficking and HIV/AIDS) to provide technical support (e.g.- organizing a series of state-level workshops for providing leadership for result training to the stakeholders working on trafficking and HIV/AIDS).

DOCUMENTATION AND NETWORKING

Other Ongoing Activities

Holding series of Interactive sessions with the PG/BA/IA students of Magadh Mahila College and other educational institutions.

Providing resource materials on various issues (gender, reproductive health, population etc. to several colleges and other Organisations such as Population Research Center, Science College Patna and Research Students from other universities outside Bihar.

Equity foundation Knowledge, Resource, Information and Training Center (EFKRC) is providing information and resource materials to NGOs, Researchers and students on various issues related to their area of work (HIV/AIDS, Gender, Education, Poverty, Population, Empowerment, Health, and Adolescents etc).

Provides training to students on Research Methodology, RCH, Report Writing, Documentation, Writing cases on the basis of observation etc. to students of rural development, Industrial Management and Sociology under the Youth for development programme . The objective is to prepare them as master trainers.

The interested journalists, NGOs, lawyers, and scholars are provided with information on various topics as and when they want. Besides the like-minded NGOs are provided with assistance in the matter of accessing information on different schemes, formulation of project proposals and reports, preparation of background materials and facilitation in holding of meetings and workshops etc.

Guiding students from different universities pursuing internship programme.

PROVIDING CONSULTANCY & COUNSELLING SERVICES AND ORGANISING 3 DAYS TRAINING COURSES FOR DEVELOPMENT/MANAGEMENT STUDENTS/NGOs ON:

Research Technique.
Clarity over Research and Research Topics.
Sampling.
Methodology.
Clarity over preparation of Concept notes and reports.
Reference Material related to the Research Topic.
Guidance and assistance in structuring presentations (through Slides and PowerPoint).
Guidelines for Proposal and Project Planning.

Formation of SHGs.
Panchayati Raj.
Gender.
Health.
Empowerment.
Population.
Several other Social/Economic/Political issues.
Women & Legal Literacy.
Gender Perspective in Disaster Management

The EF has set up a Forum for Bihar Gender Budget Network (FOBGBN) and manage it. The future plan is to achieve gender responsive budgets both at the district and state level. We intend to train all the district legislators, Panchayat representatives and other stakeholders in the state. The idea of this forum came out of the resolutions of the National Workshop on gender budgeting conference that EF organised on April 2007. This forum will act as a platform of making gender responsive state budgets. The goal is to achieve gender- balanced state and district budgets that address the needs of women and men, girls and boys equitably and give full attention to other marginalised groups like people with disabilities.

Books Published:
Women struggle for Existence.
Gender & Budget.
Diary (Title- Little women strong personalities) – Profile of grass root women in Bihar.
Resource materials for Women Panchayat representatives.
The bad Karma (Ann Ethnographic study of women sex workers in Bihar) Published and presented at Global Forum for Health FORUM 9

E-mail: equityasia@gmail.com
Website: www.equityasia.net

Ph: 0612- 2270171 (o); 09334129755 (Rim)