Indrani is the founder of Indrani’s Light Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women around the world with the tools to live healthy and meaningful lives. As a survivor of domestic violence as a child and young adult, she is a tireless and fearless advocate for ending gender-based violence worldwide. She leads trainings globally with PSI to give local leaders the tools to work with survivors of violence.
Gender-based violence not only undermines the safety, dignity, and health of millions of women, but also the economic stability and security of nations.
Gender-based violence is an issue around the world, but in India and Trinidad & Tobago in particular, it thrives on imbalances of power between men and boys, women and girls, and is reinforced by unhealthy gender relations. It manifests in many ways, including physical, sexual and psychological violence and is most often perpetrated by those closest to the survivor. Gender inequality and cultural norms are the root causes of violence. Impeding their recovery, survivors tend to seek support from families and friends, rather than at health facilities. In both countries, coordination between existing health providers is weak, leaving survivors unaware or out of touch with trained local support.
In two countries, this project is testing a novel approach to preventing gender-based violence and supporting survivors that engages local organizations, families, community leaders, and policymakers in a coordinated response.
Wajood, in India, and Make It Stop, in Trinidad & Tobago, are two pilot initiatives that are designed with four key components to tackle gender-based violence: building political will and stronger policies to address gender-based violence; expanding support services for survivors, training health care providers, and increasing awareness of these services; building the capacity of community groups to transform harmful gender norms; and engaging men and boys as a key part of the solution.
Two years after the start of the project, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a three-year agreement with Indrani’s Light Foundation and PSI to create a $10 million program.
This is now the largest grant in India for gender-based violence prevention. The partnership with USAID will expand program activities to reach many more women and girls, amplifying the program’s impact in tackling violence across India.