Generating evidence

Fact-findings and legal case evidence of violence against Dalit women collected across six States in India.

Improving implementation of domestic law

SFC report on violence against Dalit women in rural Karnataka led to commitments from Indian politicians in Delhi and Criminal Justice Systems Officials in Karnataka to action to improve police responses.

Strengthening international monitoring architecture

SFC succeeded in its advocacy efforts to have ‘protection of women and girls from caste/descent-based discrimination’ included in the update to CEDAW General Recommendation 19.

Disseminating information and ideas

Sisters For Change, in partnership with KDMV, NDMJ and DSS, have launched two national reports in India evidencing the failure of the Indian State to prevent or respond to violence against Dalit women.

Violence against Dalit women is born from intersectional discrimination – in terms of gender, poverty and caste – and becomes a social mechanism to maintain Dalit women’s subordination and reduce their capacity to participate in society or realise their rights.

In June 2016, Sisters For Change, in partnership with Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike (KDMV) published its first report on violence against Dalit women and girls based on project work and evidence gathering in Southern India (Karnataka). The report, Breaking down barriers to justice: Making the Indian criminal justice system work for Dalit women victims of violence, catalysed action by the Additional Director General of Police, Civil Rights Cell, to improve State implementation of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act and undertakings from the Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department, Karnataka to improve monitoring of the implementation of the act with a special focus on women and girls.

In March 2018, Sisters For Change, in partnership with the National Dalit Movement for Justice (NDMJ) and Dalit Sthree Sakthi (DSS), published its second report, A Call for Justice. A Time for Change: Addressing caste and gender based violence against Dalit women and girls in India, which included evidence from across five States of India. Through in-depth legal case evidence and analysis of hundreds of cases of violence against Dalit women and girls, the findings in this report highlight the multiple obstacles that Dalit women face to access justice and persistent and systemic violations of Dalit women’s human rights, including their fundamental rights to equal protection of the law.