Naina Kapur read a newspaper article on the case of a minor raped by police officers.
Sakshi was registered as a creative education centre dedicated to the practice of everyday equality and in particular assisting women, adolescents and children who are victims of gender violence.
The founders of Sakshi travelled through different rural areas asking women what was their need in the area of justice. By and large women across responded with the greatest need as “our dignity remains intact”. Thereafter Sakshi compiled a simple booklet on sexual abuse in 12 different languages for mass distribution. Sakshi started conducting training and awareness for women and communities on issues of gender violence and access to justice.
Sakshi carried out an extensive study within India focussed on determining the need for gender equality education for members of the judiciary. The study proved that gender discrimination existed in judicial decision-making in India, and that judges were in real need of gender equality education. The purpose of embarking on an effort towards supplying this education was a need to ensure that judicial decision-making would be more equal and fair.
Sakshi was the force behind the Vishakha Guidelines, the judge made law on Prevention of Sexual Harassment at Workplace.
Naina Kapur started the Asia Pacific Advisory forum on judicial education on equality issues under the aegis of Chief Justice Ahmadi. This was a unique model for creative leadership and equality education and its success lay in a breakthrough partnership between judges and NGOs in the South Asian Region. Sakshi was the coordinating agency for this network of five countries in the region; Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka, Pakistan and India.
This model was selected as the best practice program by UNIFEM. It has become a credible model for judicial education, which brought home the social reality of both, the women who experience violence and of those who sit in judgment upon them.”
In Sākshi vs Union of India, Sakshi contended that the narrow understanding and application of rape under Section 375/376 IPC only to the cases of penile/vaginal penetration runs contrary to the existing contemporary understanding of rape as an intent to humiliate, violate and degrade a woman or child sexually and, therefore, adversely affects the sexual integrity and autonomy of women and children in violation of Article 21 of the Constitution.
Sakshi published Walking Wisdom, a training manual for judicial education on gender equality that emerged out of the work done through the Asia Pacific Advisory Forum on Judicial Education on Equality Issues. It also contains a set of 8 CDS.
Each disc has a special title:
1. Women’s inequality : presentation by Justice D.R.C. Campbell —
2. Challenging the normal : presentation by Naina Kapur —
3. Mental health impact of violence: presentation by Dr. Achal Bhagat —
4. Sita’s daughters: performance by Malika Sarabhai —
5. Kahani meri tumhari : play by Sakshiand Trial and error : puppet show by Varun Narain —
6. Unkahee : play by Sakshi —
7. Substantive equality : presentation by Kathleen Mahoney —
8. Sexual assult (multimedia CD-ROM)
Sakshi published the highly acclaimed two volume handbook entitled “Senses & Soul- A Workshop on Sexuality”. This rich resource pack is a creative inspiration for potential sexuality educators or for individual readers. The pack is equipped with a handbook of experiential exercises supported by six one minute films and a facilitator’s guide on how to use these films. In addition the pack includes a documentary film by Sakshi called Mirror Mirror on the Wall… Who am I After All?, a 29 minute film which captures the positive and healthy spirit of one school’s experience with Sakshi’s sexuality education program.
Everyday Equality a Behaviour Change Communication Programme initiated in order to build capacities and spread awareness about Equality and Inclusiveness across the social strata through experiential learning workshops and mass communication mediums including theatre and films
Sakshi was part of the consultation for the sexual assault bill 2010
Senses and Soul a programme on responsible sexuality implemented with 600 girls with limited access to their basic rights.
Sakshi spear headed many national level consultations to ensure that the legislation on Prevention, Prohibition and Redress of Sexual Harassment at Workplace is placed under the equality umbrella and upkeeps the progressive aspects of Vishakha Guidelines
Handbook on Sexual Harassment at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act 2013, prepared by Smita Bharti and Naina Kapur. Jug Jug Jiyo was awarded the UNFPA Laadli Award for Best Theatre.
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