Sukarya – NGO

Empowering Voices: The Gender Equality Mission of Sukarya

By Meera Satpathy

Introduction: Leading the Charge for Gender Parity

At the forefront of the Gender and Development (GAD) process, Sukarya is unwavering in its commitment to building a society that prizes participation, empowerment, equity, sustainability, and human rights. Our mission revolves around empowering individuals, particularly young girls, fostering self-determination, and nurturing the potential in every individual.

Empowering Over Two Decades

For over 25 years, Sukarya has been a beacon of change, actively dismantling Orthodoxy, Illiteracy, and Ignorance. Our initiative is focused on transforming societal perceptions to educate and empower young girls, which is crucial for closing the gender gap and achieving gender equality.

The Journey to Gender Equity

Our comprehensive approach to gender equity includes centralizing gender in development, deciphering social norms, embracing GAD, linking welfare and economy, and showcasing the transformative power of empowerment. We celebrate our program’s achievements in promoting gender equality and address the global concern for gender equality.

India’s Gender Gap: A Pressing Concern

India’s ranking of 127 out of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2023 serves as a stark reminder of the challenges ahead. This ranking, reflecting significant gender disparities, emphasizes the critical need for concerted efforts like those of Sukarya.

Eradicating Discrimination and Combating Child Marriage: A Dual Focus

Our unwavering commitment at Sukarya is twofold: to eradicate gender-based discrimination and to combat the global issue of child marriage. We focus on abolishing practices like child marriage and early motherhood, recognizing that these are significant barriers impeding the development and growth of young women. Child marriage, in particular, poses severe health risks and economic implications. Notably, India is home to one in three of the world’s child brides. By prioritizing action against this practice in India, we are dedicated to safeguarding and empowering young girls, ensuring they have the opportunities and support needed to thrive and contribute to society.

“Give Her A Voice”: Empowering India’s Future

Our initiative “Give Her A Voice” is dedicated to empowering India’s large adolescent girl population. Recognizing their untapped potential, we are committed to investing in their development, which is essential for the nation’s progress.

Customized Curriculum

We understand that each girl is unique, and our curriculum is tailored to address the specific challenges they face. Topics such as adolescent health, menstrual hygiene, early pregnancies, forced marriages, sexual violence, nutrition, family life skills, and gender knowledge are covered comprehensively. We empower girls with digital skills, educate them about gender discrimination and social issues, and emphasize the importance of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) for maintaining good health. Community engagement and communication are essential components of our holistic approach.

Certification for Validation

Upon completing the program, the girls receive a certification that not only acknowledges their educational achievement but also validates their commitment to self-improvement.

Lead Girls: Nurturing Future Leaders

Sukarya’s commitment to long-term sustainability led to the creation of the “Lead Girls” initiative. In each program batch, two exceptional girls are identified as “Lead Girls.” These promising individuals undergo specialized training in gender, rights, and leadership. They then become change agents within their communities, organizing training sessions, events, and community mobilization efforts. This initiative not only nurtures future leaders but also creates a ripple effect of positive change.

Ghar Se Shuru: Empowering from the Ground Up

The “Ghar Se Shuru” Program is integral to our mission, placing parents at the center of our gender equality efforts. Recognizing their influential role in household dynamics, the program engages parents in both the Gender Equality and Education on Wheels Programs. By educating and sensitizing parents, we create nurturing environments that foster positive health practices and gender equality. The Lead Girls within the Gender Equality Program emerge as dynamic change agents, advocating for gender equality and working to dismantle societal norms. This parent-centric approach reinforces our belief that lasting change in gender attitudes starts within the home.

Sukarya’s Impact and Partnerships

Since 2017, we have empowered 15,000 adolescent girls through our interventions in Delhi, Haryana, and Rajasthan. In 2022-23, supported by Girls Opportunity Alliance, ERAN Fund (Part of King Baudouin Foundation), Hughes Systique, Sukarya USA, Microsoft Giving, we trained an additional 5,000 girls, significantly enhancing our program’s impact and reach.

Expanding Horizons: Reaching the Marginalized

We aim to empower marginalized girls in slums, peri-urban and rural areas, helping them to recognize their potential and rights. Our goal is to foster partnerships to extend our program’s reach and impact, ensuring no girl is left behind.

Inclusive Gender Equality: The Road Ahead

Looking to the future, Sukarya plans to broaden its focus to include adolescent boys, recognizing that gender equality is a shared responsibility. Educating boys to champion gender equality is essential for building a balanced and inclusive society.

Building a Collective Movement for Equality

“Giving Her A Vocie” is more than just an initiative; it’s a movement dedicated to shaping tomorrow’s leaders and championing gender equality as a fundamental human right. Through education, empowerment, and advocacy, Sukarya is committed to creating a world where every individual, irrespective of gender, can realize their full potential and contribute significantly to society. Our vision is to build a future where gender equality is not just an aspiration but a lived reality for all.

Joining Hands for Change

I invite you to join us in this vital mission. Your support, whether as a corporate partner under CSR initiatives, a funding agency, or an individual donor, can make a significant difference in the lives of these young women and the broader quest for gender equality. Together, we can create a world where every girl has the opportunity to realize her full potential, free from discrimination and inequality.

Empower a girl, empower a nation. Join Sukarya in our mission to transform lives and societies through gender equality.