At Shadhika the young women are at the center of their own fight to create a better world for themselves and for their communities.
By Lisa Acree, Board Member
August 6, 2020Reading Time: 3 minutes
When women–all women–share equitably in the economic, political and social leadership of our world, so much of what we hope for–equality, peace, climate justice, healthy democracies, healthy and educated people, to name a few–are transformed.
This is why I support Shadhika, and believe in our mission with all my heart. Our world’s largest democracies have to lead this change, and India is key.
At Shadhika the young women are at the center of their own fight to create a better world for themselves and for their communities. Shadhika partners with women-led, NGOs in India – grassroots organizations on the ground who know what they are doing and why they are doing it. We help bring the young women in these programs together to create their own solutions and action plans, and then get out of the way so they can lead the change.
When I visited India with Shadhika a few years ago, I met Radha*, a woman who’s story belongs to her, but I will share that she was on the street at a very young age. We were telling our stories, and to illustrate hers she showed us a pillow she’d made.
She shared how it was full of old rags that represented her past, made now into a beautiful pillow with the image of a ladder on it– a ladder symbolizing her journey to become who she is today: an independent young woman who supports herself and others as a driver of commercial vehicles (to the amazement of many as she confidently navigates her city, changing cultural ideas about women as she goes). Shadhika did not give her that ladder or build it for her – that was all her. She just needed a community to believe in and love her, and now she’s a role model for young girls and women in India, and everywhere. When she leads, change follows.
Radha’s* name has been changed to protect her identity.
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