Tuesday 4 October 2011

Charity Project Proposal: Women's Rights Organisation Dadyal

This is a collection of ideas regarding a potential Women's Rights Organisation in Dadyal, written by Sameer Hussain of Dadyal Online. Share your thoughts and ideas at the Dadyal Online Facebook page.

Setting up an organisation that helps women to speak out about domestic violence, rape, forced marriage and other issues that are affecting their lives.

A phone helpline which anyone can contact anonymously to report their problems and discuss them with a woman who is trained to deal with such calls. A poster campaign will be used to promote awareness of this service, posters will be placed on walls and shops around the bazaar and surrounding areas. Posters will be in both Urdu and English. As with any such helpline service, it is likely that there will be prank calls and time wasters, so this will have to be taken into account.

The project team will consist of educated and knowledgeable woman from the region, who have a good understanding of the problems that women are likely to face. They will also have good communications skills, the ability to listen is as important as the ability to give sound advice and counselling services. The identity of the project team will not be known to the public, apart from those members who are a part of the management team.

Workshops will be held to educate women about their rights according to Islam, and also to promote knowledge of the religion amongst women who rarely have the opportunity to seek such knowledge. The team will also visit women at their homes to have discussions and to promote awareness of the project. Women will be encouraged to speak out against all forms of injustice. For example, if they are being forced into marriage, they must realise that it is their right as a Muslim to object and seek extrenal help if their family doesn't listen to their concerns.

With Forced Marriage cases, the help of international organisations such as Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) may be seeked if required.

With Rape cases, emotional support will be given to victims and support to ensure that they have the financial and legal/political backing to fight their case. So that justice is done and that the rapist is given the appropripriate punishment.

Support can be given to women who are begging on the streets, to find them work and to discourage them from begging by educating and informing them of why it is not good practice.

Girls from poor families who cannot afford an education will be given financial help with fees. Transport services such as a school van service can be arranged for those who do not have cars or motorbikes and live at a distance from school or college.

If victims of abuse require face to face contact, this can be arranged at a hospital behind closed doors. If a woman feels that it is not safe for her to share her problems because her family will find out, then she can visit a hospital pretending to be ill and a female member of the team can discuss her problems with her without anybody else knowing about it. In some cases, it may be that only moral support is required, with other cases especially if physical violence and/or death threats are being used against the victim, the matter will be escalated. The team will have contact with senior police officials and senior politicians who will intervene and carry out the actions necessary to ensure that the victim is no longer subject to abuse.

Poor families that cannot afford to get their daughters married will be given support.

Pregnant women to be given free blood tests, free folic acid tablets as required and financial support to take them through the process of child birth. Poor women risk their lives as they cannot afford the medical care required to take them through the process of giving birth. 

Sameer Hussain
Dadyal Online

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