participating organizations

13Mar12

The final groups we have decided come from five different organizations: Global Concerns India, Karnataka Domestic Workers Union, Indian National Trade Union Congress, Fedina and Munnade. The participants are predominantly domestic workers, but also include construction workers and garment workers. Originally we were going to run a pilot and dialogue with each of the groups, and then choose the three we thought would benefit most from the program to continue for the next 12 months. However, the women responded so positively during all the pilots and were so eager to show up for the dialogues, that I decided that I couldn’t say no to any of them as long as they were committed and motivated to participate.

The issues that have come up include serious challenges such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, depression, debt, substance abuse of the spouses, labor rights and gender inequities. However, we try to meet the group where they are. So some of the women may not be prepared to face these difficult issues yet, and the problems that come up include whether or not to bargain with a vendor, how to get a loan returned from a friend, or how it makes them feel when they are gossiped about. The important thing is that these are topics that are actually happening in these women’s lives, they are issues that they think about and feel the need to respond to.

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