Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha


People should believe that they can change things. It is not about a few activists fighting for other people’s rights. Anybody who has imbibed this understanding should be able to go and fight for their rights.

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Sex Workers & Allies South Asia (SWASA) in partnership with NSWP, APNSW, NNSW, JMMS, Standup Movement, Daffodil Collectives, Sex Workers Network Bangladesh made a joint submission to the UN Women on developing an Inclusive Policy on sex work.
In this episode of Indianama, we visit Sangli where the Devadasi culture still exists and have also established a union for themselves. The Devadasi culture they say has existed for centuries and the Devadasis need to follow certain rules and customs. The women feel proud of the fact that they are able to take care of their entire families by taking up this profession. (Audio in Hindi)
In 2007 SANGRAM Plus --a collective of HIV affected women in Sangli district was formed. SANGRAM Plus works to create a collective consciousness among Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Sangli district in order to strengthen their ability to assert their rights and negotiate safety. Womens rights are particularly difficult to talk about because they challenge traditional patriarchal structures. The group creates a safe space for women to discuss their rights as well as the legal and ethical issues affecting people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA). They have contributed to the planning and implementation of programs for the care of PLHA and their families. SANGRAM Plus works to address the intersection of violence against women and HIV/AIDS.
This brief (3.5) minute clip by the Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP, Prostitutes Collective Against Injustice), encapsulates a succinct response to Prostitutes of God, a sensationalized and factually flawed documentary produced by Sarah Harris for VBS TV. Countering the distorted perspective in the film, women from VAMP present their incisive views about sex work; religion and faith; livelihoods; issues of consent; ethics and cross-cultural sensitivities while making documentary films. The women in Sangli from VAMP recorded video responses to the film. In the age of the internet, women in countries far away who used to be the objects of white peoples gaze with no right of reply now have access to the representations that are made of them, and the technological means to answer back. A naive westerner may seize the headlines, but theres now scope for there to be a debate and to bring those who in the past would have remained voiceless victims into that debate to represent themselves.It is a great opportunity to put the record straight. This clip has been produced by Sangli Talkies, the newly-launched video unit of SANGRAM / VAMP. Watch! In solidarity, VAMP and SANGRAM
Reason I Left school
A short film by the International Network of Sex Work Projects. Taking the Pledge features sex workers from Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Cambodia, Mali, Thailand and more. They describe the problems created by the anti-prostitution pledge required to receive USAID and PEPFAR funds. In English, Khmer, Thai, French, Portuguese and Bengali, with English subtitles.
Meena Seshu, of SANGRAM on the need for a UNAIDS Guidance Note that focuses on the rights of sex workers, and their role in combating HIV/AIDS; filmed as part of a participatory video project at the International AIDS Conference, Mexico City 2008.
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