Brothers Making a Difference for WomenDate: 11/5/2013
In a sea of stories showcasing the brutality of men against women and girls in India, there appears an island: the Kant Brothers. Since 2001, the three brothers, Rishi, Nishi, and Ravi, have been proposing legislation, demanding that laws be enforced, improving access to services and empowering victims to take action. They have taken on violence against women, honor killings, human trafficking, child labor, slavery â€” a cluster of connected problems that are deeply socially-entrenched - through their organization, Shakti Vahini (http://shaktivahini.org/). I have not worked with their organization (yet!), but I see great potential in Shakti Vahini, and in the men who run it. The fact that their work recognizes that men's mindsets in India have to change for substantive reductions in violence to occur sets a great example for men the world over. From an article about their efforts: â€˜ â€œLaw-enforcement, administrative officials, the state government, the law makers, they all have the same patriarchal views,â€ Ravi says. â€œWe have to fight the mindset of society.â€ In large part, their work means dealing with the police. â€œOne big challenge is working with law enforcement agencies,â€ says Ravi. â€œThey are the first response agency whenever there is a crime against women. They need to be sensitized day in and day out. They need to be sensitized at a mass level. The mindset has to be changed. This is a major challenge.â€ The Kants have plenty of experience with what it takes to make this happen. The organization has been involved in training of more than 6,000 policemen across India, and has developed specialized training units and intervention teams to work closely with the police.' Fabulous. I wish them great continued success.