AIDWA

What does AIDWA do?

AIDWA addresses the problems of women from a perspective of gender, citizenship and class engaging in a host of activities. Help women victims of family violence get justice through hundreds of legal aid and counselling centres and groups, and more significantly, through collective actions of women, including the victims. It has run campaigns in neighbourhoods against wife beating, dowry demands etc., and has in many cases successfully mobilised community action in support of the victim. In many incidents AIDWA has very successfully initiated legal action in courts in defense of the victim. AIDWA is also involved in running a campaign with others against child sexual abuse. Its units initiate local action at the neighbourhood level to improve the lives of women on the issues of civic amenities, like ration cards, water supply, sanitation, health issues etc. AIDWA has specifically been focussing on the importance of food security and has organised numerous agitations for enhancing and guaranteeing supplies of essential commodities to the poorer sections while also demanding ration cards for single women and women headed families. It holds rural women's conventions along with peasant organistions to evolve charter of demands and mobilising women in mass movements for their implementation. AIDWA units have been responsible in many areas for ensuring equal minimum wages for women workers, for women's land rights, for joint pattas in land distributed etc. AIDWA is also active in raising issues of working women and works with trade unions in many areas. AIDWA is committed to struggles for the eradication of the caste system. It is actively involved in organising dalit women against upper caste oppression. At the same time it mobilises other sections of women in support of dalit women. In many villages AIDWA has led struggles of dalit women’s rights to drinking water from common wells. Similar efforts are being made on the issues specific to tribal women and women of the minority communities. At present AIDWA is actively involved in the mobiisation of women within different communities to reform respective personal laws while striving to widen the scope of secular laws. AIDWA works for equal rights for women of all communities. AIDWA has formed cultural groups in many States which stage street plays and encourage cultural activity and expression of women’s feelings and demands through songs and poems. AIDWA has formed media monitoring committees both at the National & States levels, and is trying to expand the network of such committees. The effort is to build up a sustained intervention on the portrayal of women in the media and the struggle against commodification of women, obscenity, pornography. AIDWA has initiated and has also been part of numerous interventions both through direct action of mobilisation and through lobbying in critiquing macro policies of Governments with a view to changing or reversing them in favour of women. AIDWA independently and unitedly has been successful in making changes in many such areas including legal reform. AIDWA runs campaigns to develop a secular and scientific temper among women and actively works to nurture and sustain communal harmony. AIDWA has taken up issues of women and child health. It has helped in immunisation programmes and conducted camps for discussion on women's health issues and knowledge about their bodies. It has strongly campaigned against invasive hormonal contraceptives. In some areas AIDWA is running creches for working women while demanding expansion of facilities for child care. AIDWA takes political positions on wider issues including mobilising women for pro-women democratic and progressive candidates in elections to Parliament, State Assemblies and for local bodies. AIDWA was part of the joint and successful, effort to achieve one third reservation of seats for women in local bodies and is now campaigning for the extension of reservation to higher elected bodies. Thousands of AIDWA members have fought elections to local bodies. AIDWA is actively involved in training programmes for elected women members of local bodies.

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