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International Women’s Day invites us not only to celebrate the achievements of women till date but reminds us that gender equality remains a significant challenge, one that is hindering potential competitiveness, growth and prosperity of women across nations.
Sambhavi, an initiative of Humara Bachpan Trust (HBT) organized a series of events to reflect on the importance of gender equality, to celebrate the successes of women, and to acknowledge the work that is still left to be done on the occasion of International Women’s day.
Humara Bachpan Trust (HBT) is a not for profit organization advocating for safe and healthy living conditions with improved socio-economic status of communities living in poverty. It is led by women, youth and children who identify the issues, prioritize them and propose solutions to address those issues before the appropriate authorities. SAMBHAVI is an innovative model of women empowerment of HBT emphasizing on fore fronting the women and girls in raising their issues and empower them for a better socio-economic status.

To mark the day and theme of the year ‘#BalanceForBetter’, women and girls came together from different slums of Bhubaneswar to participate in events hosted to commemorate the day. The events were held at Saheed Nagar Kalyan Mandap & Khandagir Bari, where cultural programmes were conducted, with a strong underlying message of women empowerment. Role models who have laid avid examples of fighting discrimination, attempted to forge equality, and achieved their aspirations were facilitated. They spoke about their experiences and encouraged others to take up this challenge of fighting discrimination, while supporting each other as women. There was a panel discussion on the topic ‘Ending Violence against Women’, and it helped widened the mental horizons of one and many. Youth groups prepared ‘selfie-cards’ with their opinions and powerful messages of women empowerment. Street plays were also conducted on the theme of gender violence, gender parity, and the psychological importance of gender balance, with a motive to break stereotypes and the orthodox views of gender in society. The events ended with a cultural programme and women left feeling much more encouraged and motivated to make a change.

Alongside, IWD was also observed at Sambhavi Skill Training Center in Chandrashekharpur where women undergoing skill training came together to spread the message of women empowerment, and importance of skill training & gender equality. Women spread messages of empowerment through placards, posters, paintings, and took a pledge to fight against discrimination and create a more gender balanced society. They also expressed their aspirations through powerful song ‘Hum Honge Kamyab’, sending out a message of skill training being a road to empowerment. They took photos striking the official #BalanceForBetter pose, portraying a strong message for the need of gender balance.