NAWO Odisha’s Campaigns :
The driving force behind NAWO’s campaign activity is the motivation to challenge the existing status quo, the existing value system; to speak justice to act directly for change. NAWO advocates with institutions to corporate gender in their policy and activities. The main campaigns of NAWO’s are as follows:

  • Declining Sex Ratio
  • Anti-Trafficking Campaign
  • Sexual Harassment at work place
  • Anti liquor campaign
  • Two Child norm Campaign
  • 33% reservation for women in state assemblies and Parliament
  • One Billion Rising Campaign
  • Campaign on safe Migration

Campaign against Female Foeticide/ Declining Sex ratio :
The National Alliance of women since the publication of the 2001 census data has been deeply concerned on the issue of the fast declining Sex Ratio among children of the age group 0-6 years. Unfortunately the issue was not taken seriously as Odisha was considered better placed in the rankings than most of the developed states of India and it was pushed back as the problem of Northern India.
But all this changed with 2007 and the Nayagarh district female foetus incident. (Please see box)
This has been an important campaign for NAWO and its partners more so since then. Post understanding and capacity built on the issue (PCPNDT Act), NAWO organised training for all the important stake holders in Odisha, which was widely attended and was then taken forward in a campaign mode.
The state government under pressure for the first time initiated the PCPNDT cell, which was set up within the premises of the Health & Family Welfare department and was funded by UNFPA. It is only after the setting up of this cell that the state of Odisha can claim to some amount of systematic monitoring of Ultra Sound Clinics in the state and the enforcement of the Act.
Also as a result, it created massive consciousness at a scale, with many nongovernmental organizations and civil society actors, now playing an active role of monitoring the enforcement of the Act. Some of the lead organizations, who have taken the campaign as their core organizational activity are CARD in Khurda and Nayagarh district; GUC in Nayagarh district and JEETA in Angul and Deogarh district of Odisha.
We also organised meetings with the women SHG members, ASHAs, AWWs to create awareness on the PC & PNDT Act. Similarly government officers, private hospitals and even in case of an alliance partner CARD, (Khurda) a transporting auto driver was used as a medium of change by sensitization.
It is one of the frontrunners in our issues and we will continue to emphasize for a gender just society, which will say No to Female Feoticide. To ensure our continued activity, we are part of the state level PCPNDT advisory committee and also in several district level committees. Our micro and macro actions are aimed at creating awareness,influence the stakeholders and enforce the law.

Anti-Trafficking Campaign :
Trafficking of women in Odisha is found to be closely related to poverty and patriarchy. A woman’s marriage is a social must and the lack of resources for the expensive Indian marriage makes trafficking a face saver.

Areas with high trafficking as per our study :

1. Kendrapara,
2. Balasore,
3. Malkangiri and
4. Nayagarh Districts.

Place to traffick :
Women are trafficked to the states of UP, MP, AP, Delhi, Chattisgarh Gujarat, Punjab and West Bengal. About 80 % of the women have gone to UP. Within Orissa women are trafficked to cities such as Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and tourist spots such as Puri, Konark, Chandbali, Digah and industrial towns such as Angul, Rourkela and Damanjodi.

Our Work to address trafficking :
Along with Narishakti, NAWO organized various workshops and trainings to facilitate a systematic and sustainable intervention in the area of trafficking of women and children in Orissa. We launched campaign Jagyaseni to fight trafficking.

The main aim of the campaign is to create an environment where trafficking as a development issue is understood and addressed in the broader socio-political and economic context. While we are against trafficking, but in its guise we do not want to impede women's mobility. Our campaign recognizes people's desire, especially women's desire/ dream, to live a better life. Jagyaseni does not aim at curbing women's mobility rather it demands a safer environment.

Campaign against Sexual Harassment of Women At Workplace :
As already mentioned above, we have been actively campaigning for the law for protection of women at workplace, as our long years of work with women has shown us the tremendous vulnerability women face at work places. Thus after the formulation of the Act, we set out to make sure that it did not, like many Acts of the Indian state, remain a paper tiger, but actually helped women with safer workplaces. We took a many pronged approach.

  • We directly took up cases as third party; some of the notable cases being in three universities, Berhampur, Ravenshaw and Utkal University;
  • We worked at activating the district level LCCs; distributed IEC material, provided them with guidelines of the Act, trained them and made them accountable;
  • We trained and generated awareness among the LCCs at the district level as well as state level government and NGOs.
  • We wrote to the Law Minister to audit 20 organizations to check for the enforcement of the Act in their premises. We demanded that the Industries minister ensure when signing MOUs that the laws of safer workplaces for women are enforced by the corporations.

We continue with our efforts through our public voices, our membership in state and non state institutions, corporations and through our lobbying with the media on the issue of a safe workplace for women

Anti Liquor Campaign: OdishaMadaMuktiAbhijan :
NAWO Odisha conducted a rigorous campaign against liquor consumption and liquor vending in the state as this was perceived by the women's groups as contributing to growing violence and poverty among marginalized sections and affecting affecting women of all sections.

In the year 1992, the then Chief Minister Mr. BijuPattnaik had banned the production and sale of Mohuli liquor in the 11 tribal districts of the State and had entrusted women with special police powers to curtail the spread of Mohuli liquor. In the year 1996 when a new Government came into power the ban was revoked. This saw the advent of the Anti liquor campaign spearheaded by NAWO. Thousands of women from all districts spontaneously joined the campaign.

The Campaign also systematically propagated the economics behind the liquor revenue and its political backing due to revenue collection and vested interest of a few politically connected liquor barons whose interest was to make money at the cost of the poor tribal’s. To build pressure on the government for Total Prohibition - continuous attempts have been made, and we are still on.

The Activists of “MadaMuktiAbhijan” Demand:
1. To discard the Odisha Excise Act 2005 and to publish Gazette notification for enactment of Odisha Liquor Prohibition Act 1956.
2. To discard the rule/system “the government organizations can open liquor shops anywhere they wish to do so”.
3. At the time of opening new liquor shops and renewing old shops, public opinion is not being taken into consideration. Rather these liquor shops are being opened near schools, temples, markets and railway stations. Hence we appeal to you to cancel these shops and to take stringent punishment against the officers who have given permission for these shops.
4. To withdraw the false cases unconditionally, which have been lodged against the activists of the “MadaMuktiAbhijan”.
5. To provide power to the activists of the “MadaMuktiAbhijan” for liquor prohibition.
6. To ban the broadcasting of advertisements on liquor products.
7. Not to give tickets to alcoholics for contesting in elections.
8. To include liquor prohibition in school curriculum.
9. To convert the “State Beverage Commission” into “Liquor Prohibition Commission”

Two child Norm Campaign:
NAWO since its inception has been involved in the empowerment of panchayati raj representatives. One state level training of trainers, 5 regional trainings and more than 20 block level capacity building trainings for PRI representatives have been held.
Our experience working with PRI members made us realizethat this conditionality eliminated women who had no choice and control over their sexuality and hence arose a need for a systematic campaign to lift this provision. NAWO demands the revocation of the conditionality on the following ground:

This conditionality is against the ideology of ICPD plan of action as well as Population Policy of India, which focused on Population, Development and Gender, and emphasizes on population stabilization through increased awareness and access to health facilities rather than through incentives or disincentives like "Two Child Norm". NAWO highlights the anomaly that exists between Government policy and Acts.

The District resource centers regularly interact with Panchayat representatives on this issue. Though the Central Government, Minister for Panchayatiraj Affairs has already requested the state Government to withdraw the rule, the state Government is not willing to do so. We continue to lobby on the issue.

33% reservation for women in state assemblies and Parliament :
The women’s reservation bill and its passage were reduced to a tragedy by Indian politicians, when it was introduced in the parliament for the first time. Shouting, abusing in the Houses of parliament, tearing copies of the Bill and creating unexpected situations to get the house adjourned, became the order of the day. And finally the Bill was rejected. Patriarchal values and mindsets it seems had won the day, even in modern India.
Amid all difficulties and uncertainties after 14 years of struggle the Women’s Reservation Bill was finally passed unexpectedly and dramatically in the RajyaSabha on March 9, 2010.
Women’s Reservation Express was a national campaign whose main objective was to mobilize support demanding the passage of the women’s reservation bill. The participants and supporters were the local activists, women leaders, artists, intellectuals and other civil society members. Put together in 25 days from conceiving the idea to implementing it, it was the largest campaign ever in support of the women’s political participation.
The Karawan passed through several districts of Odisha, coordinated by the NAWO, Odisha chapter. Around 400 people from 10 districts of coastal and central Orissa like, Puri, Khurdha, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Angul, Deogarh, Jajpur, Nayagarh, Jagatsinghpur etc., joined one of the several meetings organized in different parts of the state. National Alliance of women, Odisha chapter in collaboration with Aaina, AIDWA, CARD, GUC, Action Aid, The Hunger project, BGVS, RARE, Sansristi, ISD, IWD, FARR, Adhikar, JEETA, MAHIYASI, PRATIKAR, IWD, WORD, PIPAR, Project Swarajya, AYESA, SMPU, ORISSA, VISWASS, UAA, VASUNDHARA, JAYGASENI, NFDW, UTKAL MAHILA SAMITI and many others successfully organized the programme.

One Billion Rising Campaign:
The call for OBR campaign had been given by the well known feminist activist, playwright and actor Eve Ensler. It aimed to mobilize and bring out one billion people on the streets across the world on 14th February, 2013, to sing, dance and protest, to end violence against women and girls ONCE AND FOR ALL.
In Odisha the One billion rising campaign involved several organizations, individuals, academics, College and university students, artists, poets, cine stars, media personalities, women’s organizations, Government departments, mass and civil society organizations.
The Launch of the OBR campaign took place on the 24th of November 2012 at the Bhanja Kala Mandap in Bhubaneswar. More than 500 people participated. Two posters and a leaflet was also launched and distributed to all district representatives present there. MsBishakhaBhanja shared about the world wide campaign and its significance. Ten invited guests spoke on the issue of Violence against Women. Many students also participated and the programme ended with all the participants taking an oath not to commit or accept /tolerate violence and also to protest when they witness violence. A video with the voices of well known people from different backgrounds supporting the campaign was also made.
The Odisha Chapter of the One Billion rising campaign began with a small preparatory meeting planning for the launch on 25th November 2013 coinciding with the International Day to eliminate violence against women.
Through the campaign we were able to reach thousands of people. Through three TV talk shows between November 24th 2012 to 14th February 2013, we reached out across the state. More than 25 organizations were involved in the campaign directly. 5400 signatures were collected on 14th February in the city of Bhubaneswar alone, ratifying the call to end Violence against Women. More than 10,000 people participated in the campaign activities directly. We do different kinds of programmes as a part of OBR campaign to say no to violence against women. Starting from signature campaign, candle light protest, mini marathon, two wheeler rally, awareness programs in schools, colleges, universities and hostels, meeting with upper legislative bodies( women cooperators of Bhubaneswar municipal corporation) to flash mob, feminist poetry recitation, folk dance, pala( folk cultural programme by women) etc.

Campaign on safe Migration:
Distress migration to different parts of the state, in search of livelihood and food is a harsh reality of a very poor state like Odisha. Previously confined to only the Southern and Western districts, migration in search of employment and to escape from hunger and debt is now an all pervading phenomena in the state. The workers who migrate do so under perilous conditions and women often live under the threat of sexual abuse and violence.

The Government of Orissa does not register migrants in a desegregated manner, hence there is no separate record telling us about the number of female migrants. These women are very vulnerable to exploitation, as there conditions of work are insecure and informal. There are several instances of them being trafficked into slavery like situation.

NAWO has been also organising women Migrant and Domestic workers into unions along with SEWA (Kerala). We are training women migrant workers and building their capacities for livelihood as well as managerial and bargaining skills to save them from exploitation.