SIEDS works in the region around Bangalore for a non-violent society and for the empowerment of women. The collective offers counselling for women affected by violence, in which husbands and families are also involved. SIEDS conducts workshops with women on the topic of violence. Women are strengthened and empowered to reject the various forms of violence at home and in society. In spite of the seriousness of the topic, there is laughter on these occasions. SIEDS brings together the population, various social organisations and the authorities and involves them in the discussion on violence and equality. This is how the change towards equal rights for women at the social, official and legal levels is driven forward.
The SIEDS office is always busy. The women and men who work here are very active and work with a lot of energy and commitment for the women affected by violence in Bangalore. They work together with women and their families, lawyers and the authorities.
Shanta Bai is one of the women who has worked for SIEDS for a long time. She has a lot of experience and a large network in her communities. Thanks to her tireless efforts SIEDS has been able to achieve a lot.
Shanta gives workshops, speaks to school classes and students, advises women affected by violence and does public relations work. She is often on the road and in conversation with everyone involved.
Rekha came into contact with SIEDS three years ago when she herself lived in a relationship full of violence and in inhuman conditions.
A lot has changed since then: She has left her violent husband and is passing on her experiences as a consultant at SIEDS to women in similar situations today.
Mamatha Yajamman’s motivation for her commitment also derives from a personal experience with domestic violence. She has been advocating for women's rights with SIEDS since 1996.
In her daily work, Mamatha looks after individual women who experience violence. She also conducts public relations work, sensitisation campaigns and speaks publicly about her work.
At universities and schools, young women and men discuss about human trafficking and the violence among young people caused by poverty together with SIEDS. Under the influence of younger SIEDS team members, these issues were taken up.
It is not self-evident that young women can express themselves so decidedly and that men listen to them. In many schools, boys and girls do not talk to each other and it takes a while for them to get used to it.
Whenever possible, SIEDS involves authorities such as the police in its work. On such occasions, police officers also have to face the accusation that the police often respond insufficiently to calls for help from women. Taking part in a public event on the subject of violence against women, they are forced to take a position.
The presence in the public is very important for the work of SIEDS. If, as here, the press shows interest, the topic is heard and the work of SIEDS is seen and perceived by many people. A public statement by the police in front of the press increases the pressure on the state authorities to take a clear position and to take measures.