From February 3–9, everyone is invited to celebrate International Development Week (IDW) together with the community of international development and humanitarian aid organizations, including CJI. For more information on what others are doing and the different ways to participate, see here.
Since 1990, Canadians have spent one week each year focusing on how we contribute to poverty reduction, social justice and humanitarian assistance around the world, particularly in developing countries. The theme for #IDW2019 is “Together for Gender Equality.”
Gender equality with Lok Manch
This year for IDW, Canadian Jesuits International is focusing on the gender equality initiatives of Lok Manch in India.
Lok Manch (“People’s Forum”) is a national platform for promoting the dignity and well-being of marginalized people in India through policy interventions and improved access to legal entitlements, including the right to food as stipulated in the National Food Security Act. Lok Manch is comprised of about 100 Jesuit, lay and secular organizations in 12 states. It is envisioned as a movement of and by women, the urban poor, Dalits (aka Scheduled Castes), adivasis (aka Scheduled Tribes) and other excluded communities.
More than 3,000 community leaders (of a projected 5,000) have already been trained and 50% of these leaders are women. They work with communities to provide up-to-date information on entitlements, how to access these entitlements and what to do if there are shortcomings in the system.
For more on the gender equality goals of this project, see Lok Manch Gender Policy.