Supporting Local Leaders in Advocating to Prevent Sexual Harassment in India


Deepa Pawar, CIP Leader

With support from the Collective Impact Partnership, CIP Leader Deepa Pawar is advocating to advance implementation of India’s national Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act.

5 leading global health organizations partnering together on the Collective Impact Partnership

Meet Collective Impact Partnership (CIP) Leader Deepa Pawar. Deepa is the founder and director of Anubhuti, a young women-led organization working for equity, justice, and democracy.

A member of a vulnerable nomadic tribe, Deepa began working as a social activist when she was 14 years old. She has spent nearly two decades working with women, communities, NGOs, and state and local governments on issues of gender, health, rights, community development, and sanitation.
Deepa’s primary interest area is youth leadership. In years of working with young women and men, she has formed youth groups and mentored young leaders to advance gender equity and rights in their own families and communities, as well as at the national level.
Deepa is a core team member of the nationally and internationally acclaimed Right to Pee campaign, a grassroots, young women-led initiative for safe, accessible, and dignified public toilets for women, girls, trans persons, and the disabled. As a voice for social and economic justice for girls and women, she writes in newspapers and magazines, speaks on news channels, and advocates with government officials and political leaders. Deepa was a finalist for the CII Foundation’s Women Exemplar Award in Health in 2018 and is the winner of the 2018 Tell Her Story contest held by UC Berkeley.

“My main inspiration is my experience in my community, where I have seen women and girls deprived of the fundamental rights of health, education, and equity. As a woman, I deeply understand the impact not having these rights can have on our lives.” – Deepa Pawar, CIP Leader

With support from CIP, Deepa is advocating to advance implementation of India’s national Prevention of Sexual Harassment at the Workplace Act so that all government-aided colleges in Maharashtra institute internal complaint committees, enabling women to more effectively report complaints of sexual harassment. The ability to report complaints of sexual harassment contributes to a safer education environment for women, expands their access to colleges, increases their employability, and contributes to their ability to be economically independent.

Read more about Deepa’s work in an interview with PHI’s Rise Up.

CIP Leaders at the 2019 Collective Impact Training in India.
Deepa (front, fourth from right) and CIP Leaders at the 2019 Collective Impact Training in India.

The Collective Impact Partnership is a collaboration that leverages the powerful work of Rise Up, How Women Lead, the Public Health Institute, Global Fund for Women, and World Pulse to increase the economic power of women and girls in India.

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