The development of women and their leadership is an integral and essential part of the liberation of marginalised communities. Women from marginalised communities suffer triple discrimination based on caste, class, and gender. They are often subjected to extreme violence and dehumanisation, even torture and murder. The Devdasi system of temple prostitution is the most extreme form of sexual exploitation of Dalit women, where Dalit girl children are forced into prostitution from a very young age.
Since its inception, the Manuski Trust has had a strong women empowerment program, focusing on Dalit and tribal women, aiming to raise their self-esteem and encourage a sense of security, sense of peace, contentment, and happiness. Manuski helps raise awareness about their constitutional and legal rights, and addresses issues of gender based violence and discrimination.
Manuski helps tackle issues such as
- access to education
- access to reproductive rights, and
- participation in local governance.
Manuski’s major interventions include:
- Addressing social discrimination and inequality through legal and constitutional ways and means.
- Generating data on the issues and rights of marginalised women through authentic research and documentation.
- Regularly organizing conferences and training programs for marginalised women leaders at state and national levels.
Today Manuski has a network of around 500 women leaders at the Maharashtra state level. It has a network of 200 local leaders at Panchayat (village) level in Latur and Nanded districts. Manuski built the capacities of 42 Organizations from SC/ST and NT-DNT communities, and women lead many of these.