Samarthan Mahila Sangathan is a grassroots collective working for women’s dignity and gender justice in Bhavnagar, Gujarat. It is associated with Utthan – an organisation that was founded in 1981 to help marginalized communities in the Bhal region of Gujarat to self-organise.
The Sangathan has started Nyay Samiti (Justice Committee) – an initiative by the women of the community who work in alliance with other legal institutions, panchayats and other local level government institutions to ensure gender justice in their regions.
The Nyay Samiti has been spreading awareness across the district on violence against women and taking up cases of violence against women. The issues which the Nyay Samiti deals with include domestic violence, denial of property rights, discrimination and stigmatisation of women due to, for example, son preference or witch hunting.
The Nyay Samiti and its members face various kinds of backlash such as threats from family members for working on issues related to women, caste discrimination, and use of violence by the community to stop their work.
ઘર્ષણથી ન્યાય સૂધી (Conflict to Justice)
This short video highlights the work of Samarthan Mahila Sangathan (SMS) and how Nyay Samiti (Justice Committee) addresses various forms of violence against women in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, India. The film also shares insights on how the members sustain the movement and its gains in the face of various forms of backlash from their families and community.