Celebrating International Women's Day

Celebrating International Women's Day

17 March 2014
Tejaswini Hiremath and Priya Pillai

STRIVE partner Karnataka Health Promotion Trust (KHPT) celebrated International Women’s Day – 8 March – in Bagalkot, northern Karnataka, India. Sixty women gathered at the high school ground to participate in sporting events, including a tug of war and 100m race, with prizes donated by a gram panchayat member.

In our daily routine of caring for the children, working at home and earning daily wages, we never have time for ourselves. Today, we had time and an opportunity to think about the significance of girls’ education.

Local government authorities, the headmaster of the high school, the president of the federation of self help groups and KHPT staff watched a play by high school students about girls’ education.

KHPT has been working on HIV prevention in rural northern Karnataka for over a decade. Programmes with female sex workers’ cooperatives showed the importance of negative gender norms as barriers to women’s capacity to protect themselves. KHPT has now launched two programmes, working with STRIVE consortium, that focus on norms:

  • Samata, to improve adolescent girls’ health and life options by completing high school
  • Samvedana Plus, to reduce violence and increase condom use within the intimate partnerships of female sex workers

KHPT designed International Women’s Day events to generate community discussion of the importance of education for girls. Congratulations to outreach workers Basamma, Survana and Venkamma and supervisors Parimala and Mahadev for mobilising their communities. 

Photo credit: Guy Natanel for STRIVE