Women in India, in general, continue to suffer discrimination, harassment and violence, women belonging to minority communities suffer additional disadvantage owing to their minority status and lack of proper representation. This is more so with Muslim women, who are besieged with poverty, patriarchy and religious restrictions, affecting their socio-economic status. Muslim women are discouraged from taking up secular education and gainful employment in the contemporary society. An added dimension is the biased bureaucracy, which has been thwarting the aspirations of women belonging to minority communities, which denies them of the benefits extended by the government.
Thus, there is a need to make women belonging to minority communities become aware of their rights as citizens of a democratic state. In the case of Muslim women, it is necessary to make them realise the rights granted to them under Islam. In general, the minority women have to understand that without secular education, their children cannot avail the opportunities available in the contemporary world and an uneducated mother cannot deal with problems of the modern society. Minority women have also become aware of their political rights and seek their due.
The training camps involve addressing women by experts on gender studies, Islamic and Christian scholars and women leaders. The activity will be organised in places where active coordination is available from local NGOs/Women’s groups.
At the end of the training programme, it is expected that the participating women will become aware of their rights and the importance of secular education and act as trainers and transmit what they have learnt to their communities and localities.
Besides lectures by experts as aforesaid, the participants will be provided with booklets giving the details of government schemes, case studies of successful women/girl students.
Problems faced by the participants in availing benefits of government schemes and/or gaining admission to secular schools will be discussed and brought to the notice of the appropriate authorities, who will be invited to the workshops.