Sometimes research findings are starkly revealing! Take this for example – if half of the country’s population is women (though fast dwindling as a ratio), why should it be that women’s issues are such a low priority when it comes to donation?
While I say this in a frustrated tone, I am not at all belittling other causes like religious giving or disability that seem to be donation favourites. I am just stating the irony of the fact that women in this country are accorded such little focus when they are subjects of such extreme discrimination and violence on a daily basis. 47% of girls are married before the age of 18, 51% face sexual harassment on the way to school, 1 in 3 murders of women are due to domestic violence, and in so many states girls are not even given the chance to be born as sex ratios reach alarming levels – take Haryana’s for instance, 830 for every 1000 boys!
At Breakthrough we have decided to swim upstream!
We’ve decided that we will test the theory that people don’t care. We believe that we can change attitudes, and that there are enough people who will join us in making the world a better place for women and girls.
Herein lies the genesis of the #MakeitSafer campaign. A fundraising campaign aimed at involving people at large in bringing an end to the sexual harassment of young girls as they travel to school. It’s a campaign that hopes to get people to donate to what is probably THE most vulnerable segment of our society – the school going girl. It’s also a campaign that hopes people will join in and fundraise for us by starting their own pages on BitGiving. And finally, it’s a campaign that hopes people will share their own stories of sexual harassment and thereby break taboos and build greater empathy.
I am personally very hopeful that our belief in people will pay off. That we will have a resoundingly successful campaign that many people will support in order to make it safer for girls across the country. That we will swim magnificently upstream, just like the salmon does.
– Yogita Verma