The Neetham Campaign in Kudumbshree, Kerala, which aimed to sensitize people on violence against women and children and bring about gender justice, ended on a positive note.

Begun on February 10, Neetham used interactive means such as movie screenings, competitions and group meetings to drive home the message. Awareness sessions were being held on crucial issues of gender equality, women’s rights and child safety across the state with the help of local self-governments.

“Through the first phase vulnerability mapping survey conducted by Kudumbashree, LSGs have earmarked Rs 11 crore for child and women protection schemes at the panchayat level,” Harikishore told The TOI

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Women speak up on issues of violence

The campaign witnessed participation from women in large numbers who came out and delivered their personal accounts of violence and physical abuse. In a survey conducted under the campaign, over 38 lakh women from Kudumbshree revealed that they had been subjected to some form of abuse at least once in their lives. Many women also talked about their retaliation efforts against domestic violence and inhumane treatment.

Promoting women-friendly spaces

A three-day programme was held in the state capital before the conclusion of the campaign. The government has reiterated their seriousness towards decreasing the cases of violence and promoting child and women friendly public spaces. Against the backdrop of horrifying conditions of safety for women in the country, such efforts provide a sigh of relief. However, supplementing words with actions will be necessary in order to bring on-ground changes.

Sensitization efforts and awareness sessions

The TOI reported, “As part of that, family get-together meetings were organised in 2, 53,906 Kudumbashree Ayalkootams (neighbourhood groups of women) and 906 community development societies (CDS). Films on prevention of violence against children and women are screened as part of the awareness sessions. Competitions, including photo contests, are held for the participants on the topics women and employment, women empowerment through Kudumbashree, women and governance, Kudumbashree officials said. Kudumbashree gender resource persons, block coordinators, community counsellors, facilitators and other officials had actively organised the campaign.”

The campaign has received widespread applause from different parts of the country for putting much-needed attention on issues that plague the country.

Read: Do We Need A Gender Equality Ministry Like France?

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