All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM) is a movement initiated and promoted by NCDHR (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights) at the national level to focus exclusively on Dalit women. Its genesis is rooted in an attempt to address severe vulnerabilities faced by the 80 million Dalit women and girls who are socially excluded and lie at the bottom of India’s caste, class and gender hierarchies.
AIDMAM aims to support and strengthen Dalit women to address violence and access justice and rights through networking, enhancing skills and leadership at district and state level. AIDMAM’s objective is to Empower Dalit Women to challenge against Caste, Class and Patriarchal Norms. Support Dalit Women to liberate Dalit Women from their multi-dimensional issues.
Improvement of Dalit women and Leadership Programme
AIDMAM initiated the programme in September 2009 with the primary intention of strengthening Dalit women elected representatives in the Panchayats of five states of Northern India. The aim is to enable these women to be aware of their rights and responsibilities in the areas of addressing violence against women and ensuring more effective allocation, planning and utilization of Panchayat funds. Beginning from the orientation workshop to the insights into Panchayati Raj and the specific role of women has been remarkable. Each Dalit woman in the Panchayat faces a unique set of challenges which are specific to her own context. AIDMAM firmly believes that the Panchayati Raj Institutions have for the first time, mandated space for Dalit women in local decision making process. This is a very significant step, however without the required support and capacity, this powerful tool is completely decimated. The casteist and patriarchal society only continue the cycle of oppression in different ways.
In the past few months of engagement on the issues pertaining to Dalit women in Panchayats, AIDMAM have come across some stories of amazing grit and courage as well as those of sheer helplessness and ignorance. But in each of the women that AIDMAM has engaged with, we can feel a strong sense of commitment and willingness to break the traditional shackles and grasp the reins of power. What the women are looking for is information, solidarity and support from the community and civil society groups. Given this, the Dalit women have displayed the potential of making changes possible within the Panchayats.
Overall objectives of the programme
Equip Dalit Women Sarpanches to engage and advocate for better policy implementation in addressing violence against Dalit Women and access to justice
• Study and document the constraints and barriers and Dalit Women Sarpanches
• Enhance their capacity of DWS in six states in addressing violence on DW in their districts
• Promote a State level network of DWS
• Advocacy work with state for more effective participation of DWS in PR
Study the impediments of Dalit Women Sarpanches in addressing the violence against Dalit women
• State level consultations with Dalit Women Sarpanches and Civil society organizations.
Strengthen DWS and CSO’s in addressing violence
• Capacity development of DWS and CSO’s
• Fact finding of cases, follow up, report preparation
Coordination at the State and National levels
Progress and meeting reports
Intended impacts of the project on the target group/beneficiaries
DWS will recognize the need for addressing critical issues associated with the rights violations and development of Dalit community and Dalit women in particular.
Skills of DWS, social activists and academic will be increased in monitoring of penal and pecuniary justice.
DWS will be in position to represent the cases to concerned officials and members of state and district monitoring and vigilance committees
The results, impacts of the project will be shared in the wider human rights environment, which will support, strengthen human rights efforts at different levels.