Can you imagine women participating in sports by wearing sari?!

“It is a challenge to the people who say that women cannot run when they are in the sari.” One proud organizer of the event commented. “We proved the strength of women by playing outdoor games. Women can do anything if they have the desire to do”. She added.

Ms. Rina Devi, an ASHMITA fellow of Jan Sahyog Kendra, was one of the organizers who ensured participation of women wearing sari in the race competition. Ms. Tukleswari Devi, another ASHMITA fellow of Damodar Mahila Mandal, mobilized the community women to participate in football match wearing sari.

‘16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence’ was organized by ASHMITA in the year 2017; the fellows of ASHMITA network run the campaign from 25th November to 10th December in 11 districts of Jharkhand.

The best-known global campaign to end gender-based violence is the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence from 25th November to 10th December. It is an annual international campaign to communicate the message of gender-based violence as a violation of fundamental rights. It was initiated in 1991 by the participants of Rutgers University Center for Women’s Global Leadership Institute in Rutgers, New Jersey, USA. The 16 Days Campaign has become an international annual event that rallies activists, government leaders, students, academia and the private sector in many countries around the world to demand an end to gender-based violence.[i]

Srijan Foundation established Gender Resource Centre (GRC) in February 2016. GRC is a state level gender resource center that ensures availability and accessibility of information, materials, and evidence on the issues of violence against women. ASHMITA is an initiative of GRC. It is a collective of 13 NGOs in 11 districts of Jharkhand working at the grassroots’ level placed in diverse socio-cultural settings who have extensive experiences of working towards gender equality. Its aim is to create a safe and a violence-free environment for women and adolescent girls.

It is great to see the women participating in sports wearing a sari. Nowadays, the modern women are not at all comfortable to do any sort of work by wearing a sari. Whereas, the participation of women in certain outdoor games wearing a sari is a remarkable achievement by the ASHMITA network. This proves that women can perform any task in whatever condition they are in.

The participation of women and girls in sport challenges gender stereotypes and discrimination and therefore is a vehicle to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. In particular, women in sports leadership can shape attitudes towards women’s capabilities as leaders and decision-makers, especially in the traditionally male domain.[ii]

The eye-catching events organized by the fellows of ASHMITA network with the objective to combat gender discrimination and violence in the various districts of Jharkhand has started to create history in the modern era.



[ii] Page no – 3, Women 2000 and beyond – PUBLISHED TO PROMOTE THE GOALS OF THE BEIJING DECLARATION AND THE PLATFORM FOR ACTION, December 2007, UNITED NATIONS Division for the Advancement of Women Department of Economic and Social Affairs


Written By- Tanaya Nag & Edited By- Mujeebu Rahman