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We want to help other women, but don’t know how. Here is a list of online and offline support for women in India for different context.
Very often, we want to help other women, but don’t know how. Here is a list of online and offline support for women in different contexts.
Any feminist worth her salt, knows that the idea that “women are a woman’s worst enemy,” is a lie. Women are often the biggest sources of support and solace for other women.
Sometimes, providing that support lies completely in our hands. We can provide a listening ear, or a shoulder to lean on. We can spend money on women owned businesses, and spread the word about them. Furthermore, we can encourage, celebrate and cheer on.
Sometimes, however, it is not as simple. We may not have the necessary knowledge or resources. Or, our social location and life experiences may diverge so much from theirs, that we may not truly understand what they are going through. At such times, we need to connect them to others who can support them best.
Here are a few contexts in which women may need help, and a list of organizations equipped with the necessary experience and know-how to do so. This is not a comprehensive list of contexts in which women may need support. Nor is this a list of every organization that works to support women – just a few that a quick google search reveals.
To list every situation in which women may need help, or every resource/organization that can provide that help, is beyond the scope of this piece. However, please feel to respond in the comments about the sources that you know about that provide invaluable support for women.
Given how sacred marriage is considered in India, divorce is still seen as a taboo, and often it is women who bear the brunt of it.
Women who are divorced, widowed or have just chosen to remain single, are often faced with the challenge of being a single parent in a society that is always ready to judge them. Here too, support groups can help them find solidarity and help.
For domestic workers in India, who are usually women, caste, class and gender interact to create particularly difficult challenges.
Dalit and Adivasi women are amongst the most vulnerable sections of our population, owing to their social location.
Their women’s forum and a grievance forum, help women identify and prioritize strategies for the issues they face, including but not limited to, domestic violence, trafficking, land rights, girl child education, etc.
People belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community face a great deal of marginalization on a daily basis. For queer women, (lesbian, bisexual, trans women, and women who are aromantic/asexual), who must combat misogyny in addition to homophobia, the fight is tougher.
Sex workers not only face extreme violence and deprivation, but often also don’t get the help they need, because of the stigma against sex work.
Entrepreneurship is rewarding, but it requires a lot of resources to undertake successfully, and for women entrepreneurs, this can be especially difficult as they have to navigate traditionally male dominated spaces to make their mark. Solidarity from other women can be a big step up in such situations.
This article links to several funding schemes for women entrepreneurs in India.
Women returning to work after a break face many challenges, but they are capable and committed. There are many corporate programmes, nowadays, that help women get the upskilling or mentoring they need to make a smooth transition.
Some women, especially the most vulnerable, are still underserved. We can offer our support for women indirectly, by donating to or volunteering for the few organizations that serve them, allowing them to widen their reach.
We must petition the central and local government bodies to adopt policies and create the infrastructure necessary to support women.
Image source: arvndvisual on Pixabay
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