September 21, 2018 By Carolyn Ziv, Fund staff On a hot and sunny day last July, Jaimini, Sailesh, and their young daughter arrived at the local Nari Adalat—or ‘women’s court’—in their home town of Vadodara, India. The couple was seeking help working through marital issues involving Sailesh’s family, who were harassing Jaimini for not meeting […]
September 13, 2018 By David Mattingly, Vice President for Programs A week after India’s Supreme Court struck down a colonial-era legal provision used to criminalize same-sex sexual relations and undermine the rights to privacy and choice, activists across the country are still celebrating—and here at the Fund for Global Human Rights, we are rejoicing with […]
An openly trans woman in her mid-20s, Sana fights for the rights of people like her at Swatantra—the Indian transgender rights organization she founded in 2016. A Fund grantee, Swatantra’s mission is to prevent others from experiencing the discrimination and abuse Sana endured as a child and young adult—experiences that were fresh in Sana’s mind during a recent interview with the Fund.
At first glance, the Behen Dooj festival in Rajasthan, India might look like some sort of women-only dance party. But a closer look reveals that behind the dancing, singing, and celebration lies some serious feminist activism—and seriously fierce activists. Last October, over 500 single women gathered in Rajasthan for the third annual Behen Dooj bash. The women created the festival as a safe space where they can express themselves freely and share their experiences—something they can’t do publicly because of the stigma associated with living by themselves.
Every day, we are inspired by the human rights activists who demand dignity for the most vulnerable members of their communities. Jan Sahas, based in India, is one such organization. In the face of abuse and intimidation, Jan Sahas champions opportunity for women and girls known as Dalits, or “untouchables.” Because of their low placement in […]
Within India’s diverse and complex social fabric, the Dalit community has long been the country’s most persecuted, excluded and abused population. Deeply entrenched cultural norms and traditional beliefs around caste in India mean that Dalits – currently an estimated 3.4 million in India – are still seen by many as the “untouchables” who are destined to live and work on the fringes of society. Dalit women face the brunt of this discrimination, and routinely face staggering abuse and some of the highest rates of sexual violence, leaving them vulnerable to poor health and extreme poverty.
Dozens of governments are adopting means to limit the activities of NGOs and impede their access to foreign funds. Beijing, for example, just passed a law that restricts the activities of foreign NGOs and subjects them to police investigation. Unfortunately, the Chinese communist party is just one of many governments to do so. Indeed, this law is part of a robust, international trend of similar legislation implemented by politicians that fear the interference of foreigners as well as civil society’s unprecedented capacity to mobilize — which is due in part to new technologies.
Members of the Ariadne-IHRFG Donor Working Group on Cross-Border Philanthropy, including Fund staff David B. Mattingly and Poonam Joshi, discuss the worrying trend around the world of legislation that puts restrictions on funding and narrows the space for civil society organizations.
The Fund supports over 35 organizations through its South Asia program in India. Working in such a vast and complex context has required the Fund to build a strategy based on on-the-ground research and to support organizations that are working on the most cutting-edge issues. With the Fund’s support, our grantees have advocated for stronger […]