About Us
 
Introduction Who are we
Goals India Board
Principles International Board
Be a part of PWESCR Our Staff
 

Introduction

Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (PWESCR) is an international initiative in the area of gender and economic, social and cultural rights. PWESCR works to promote women’s human rights, especially in the context of economic, social and cultural rights by bringing a gender framework to policy, law and practice at local, national, regional and international levels through ever-evolving strategies and activities in both conceptual and practical realms. PWESCR, in its initial phase will have a South Asia regional focus. However, as we get support from other regions, we plan to expand this initiative globally.

What is PWESCR?

PWESCR is an international advocacy and educational initiative in the area of women and their economic, social and cultural rights (ESCR). From its base in India, PWESCR, works to promote the human rights of women, addressing women’s poverty, health standards, and right to food, education, water and work. We do that by bringing a gender perspective to policy, law and practice at the local, national, regional and international levels.

PWESCR is currently particularly focused on South Asia. It is estimated that women form 70% of the world’s poor and two third of the world’s illiterates while they own only 1% of the world’s wealth. Women often work longer hours than men, but substantial part of their work remains unrecognized under-valued, and unappreciated. And the possibility of violence permeates their lives from birth to death. Women’s poverty is our focus and we seek to explore how international human rights framework can be used to address these issues.

PWESCR was started in 2005 out of a critical need to develop international human rights organizations in the Global South that are able to network, share expertise, strengthen human resources, and create tools to raise awareness around women’s ESCR. Our leadership development programme is aimed at addressing these needs from the local to the global.

One in every two women in South Asia faces violence in their daily life (Unifem, 2007). There are 50 million fewer women in South Asia than what a balanced demography demands. PWESCR’s work gives special attention to implementation and 3monitoring of women’s rights in South Asia by working with UN Treaty Bodies.

PWESCR seeks partnerships with other networks and continues to strengthen its relationships with key organizations working on an agenda similar to ours in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and North America.

What Does PWESCR Do?

PWESCR carries out its work for ESCR on a number of fronts. We conduct action-oriented research to provide deeper analysis of  women’s economic, social and cultural issues and to facilitate new strategies for defending human rights.

PWESCR’s programme facilitates collaboration between various networks and organizations to work at all levels for the
actualization of women’s human rights. We are actively engaged in pushing for social security as a right for workers in the unorganized sector. The Social Security Now campaign is aimed at highlighting the survival needs of the poor, particularly  women and the marginalized. While leading the campaign in two states of India, PWESCR has also trained others in monitoring skills.

We engage in advocacy, working to strengthen standards and full implementation of government’s commitments within the international human rights framework. In order to monitor women’s economic, social and cultural rights in India, PWESCR has initiated a collective action process. The short term goal for this peoples’ collective is to develop a shadow report to India’s Government report for the UN Committee on ESCR. India is scheduled to report in May 2008.

PWESCR also provides technical assistance and imparts human rights education to individuals and to women’s groups on monitoring and self-representation skills through leadership development programs. Towards this objective PWESCR also organizes its leadership development school each year. Grassroots women leaders from South Asia benefit from the trainings by acquiring knowledge and new leadership skills. These women leaders in turn train others.

PWESCR provides human rights education and training to enable participation of other social organizations in the monitoring of human rights bodies such as the Council for ESCR and CEDAW among others.
 

Goals

  • To establish links and foster collaborations in order to enhance learning, as well as develop shared strategies to advocate problem- solving alternatives at all levels in the context of gender.

  • To build leadership and capacity of groups, organizations, activities and other actors in the field of human rights and economic justice to promote women’s ESCR

Principles

  • All human rights are universal, indivisible, and interdependent. Civil and political rights are mutually interdependent on
    economic, social and cultural rights.

  • Women’s economic and social empowerments are fundamental to full realization of women’s human rights.
    Gender analysis is crucial to advance all ESCR.

  • Human rights mechanisms are on organizing, mobilizing and empowering tool in addition to an international legal framework.

  • An intersectional analysis ensures that women from marginalized communities are not left behind.

Be a part of PWESCR

We take this opportunity to invite you and your organization to join us in this endeavour — to develop shared vision and to strengthen partnerships to advance women’s human rights. Your input based on your experiences working in this area would be critical as we start conceptualising on women and ESCR priorities.

  • Do you work on women’s economic, social and cultural rights? What are the areas of your focus?

  • What has your experiences been both in terms of successes and challenges promoting women’s ESCR?

  • What priorities would you suggest PWESCR to consider?

  • What advice can you give us as we develop this new programme?

  • Would you like to receive information about PWESCR’s future activities?

  • Would you like to join our list serve?

Who we are: Board, International Board and Staff

 

India Board

 

Bidhu Bushan Dutta

Bidhu Bushan Dutta is a founding member of the North East India Council for Social Science Research in Shillong. He served as a Member of Parliament of India as a Presidential Nominee from 1993 to 1999. He was on the Standing Committees of Defense, Human Resource Development and Rural Development, and also a member of the Consultative Committee of External Affairs. He was head of the department of economics of St. Anthony's College at North Eastern Hill University, Shillong. He was a member of state planning boards of Meghalaya and Assam. He is a founding member and president of Women's College Shillong, and founding member and president of the Shillong Academy Secondary School. He is a founder, chairman and managing trustee of Sri Aurobindo Institute of Indian Culture, Shillong. He has published many articles and edited books on economics, social science and political science.


Gagan Sethi

Gagan Sethi is a development educator, a practicing organisational development expert, and a gender trainer. As founder of Janvikas, he has helped set up several strategic organisations in India, Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan, Sahjeevan, Drishti, Centre for Social Justice, HID Forum, Econet, to name a few. He was appointed as member of monitoring group by National Human Rights Council (NHRC) to monitor human rights violations during the Gujarat earthquake and communal violence. Is professional expertise lies in human and institutional development, training, designing organisational development interventions, moderation and strategic planning. He has designed and conducted over 400 training and development programs in the fields of rural and urban development on issues such as social forestry co-operatives, ecology-related grassroots programmes, organization of schedule castes and tribes, legal awareness, lobbying and advocacy work, and youth and women. He now focuses on governance and accountabilty in the nonprofit sector. He continues his association as mentor to Centre for Social Justice and as a promoter and resource person for Centre for Governance Studies. He serves as a consultant for a number of international NGOs, include Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, Christian Aid and Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). He is the author of Developing Capacities in Governance for Nonprofits.


Ratna M. Sudarshan

Ratna M. Sudarshan is currently a fellow at the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), New Delhi, India, and is doing research on the role of education in bringing about gender equality and socal change. She has been Director at the Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi, from 2003-2011; and prior to this was a principal economist at National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), New Delhi. She was a member of the working group of feminist economists set up by the Indian planning commission for the eleventh and twelfth plan, and of the gender sub group for engendering the BPL census 2011, Ministry of Rural Development. She has been a consultant to several international agencies including International Labour Organization (ILO), Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) and UN Women. She has researched and published on women in the informal economy, with special focus on home based work, social protection and local economic development; gender and education; research and policy linkage; gender and evaluation. She is associated in an advisory capacity with several NGOs. Recent publications include a co-edited book, Naila Kabeer, Ratna Sudarshan and Kirsty Millward (eds), Organising Women Workers in the Informal Economy, Zed Books, London (2013).


Priti Darooka

Priti Darooka is the founder and executive director of PWESCR (The Programme on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). Working in partnership with diverse groups and networks, she continues to provide support and is part of several initiatives on women's poverty, right to livelihoods including right to land, social security and right to food. She strives to make human rights framework and mechanisms relevant to address issues of poverty. With expertise on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, she works closely with the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and various UN rapporteurs. She has assisted women from civil society groups from several countries to participate in CESCR review process. She helped PWESCR develop its leadership institute in women's ESCR, an innovative leadership development programme. She was previously at the Ford Foundation, in New York and assisted the Foundation in its grant making in the areas of International Human Rights; Women's Rights and Gender Equity; and International Economic Policy. She also helped the Foundation in the creation of ESCR net and in linking works of feminist economist with human rights advocates. Prior to the Ford Foundation, she was at UNIFEM (United Nation's Development Funds for Women) where she worked on violence against women indicators and assessment and coordinating UNIFEM's work in Afghanistan. As a consultant to the Center for Women's Global Leadership, she organized a women's rights hearing at the UN conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. She was the National Campaign Coordinator with UNITE for their Global Justice for Garment Workers Campaign. Priti has also worked with community based organizations such as Manavi, and Urban Justice Center (UJC), She was also involved in the Stop FTAA (Free Trade Area of Americas) campaign and focused on different aspects of trade, and women's lives, from a feminist and human rights perspective. Priti has authored and presented many papers in various international conferences and forums. She has a Masters degree in women's studies from Rutgers University in the US. Priti is a founding member of SAFA (South Asian Feminist Alliance) for ESCR and a member of core group for Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors. She is also the Feminist Focal person for South Asia for CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness. She has recently been appointed member of the Global Reference Group for Bread for the World.


Biraj Patnaik

Biraj Patnaik is the principal adviser to the Supreme Court of India commissioners on the right to food. He was closely associated with the processes of drafting and lobbying for the National Food Security Act. He has been actively involved in the Right to Food Campaign in India from its beginning. He was a member of many government committees and involved in the reforms of food schemes. For close to a decade he worked in Action Aid. He was one of the co-founders of the Mitanin community health worker programme that trained and deployed more than 60,000 women health volunteers in Chhattisgarh. He is the founder-member and on the board of several organisations, including State Health Resource Center, Public Health Resource Center, Centre for Equity Studies,, Mobile Creches and Amnesty International India. He is on the International Editorial Board of the Global Food and Nutrition Watch. He has a master's degree in management from the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, and was a Chevening Senior Gurukul Scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.


Wansuk Syiem

Wansuk Syiem joined the Indian National Congress in 1977. She was an active member of the National Students' Union of India as well as the Seva Dal prior to joining the mainstream political party. An elected member of the All India Congress Committee (AICC), Syiem has been chairperson of the Meghalaya State Social Welfare Board, besides being general secretary of the Meghalaya Pradesh Congress Committee and vice-president of the All India Mahila Congress. A veteran Congress leader, she became the first woman Rajya Sabha member from Meghalaya in 2013.


Dr. Indira Hirway

Dr. Indira Hirway is Director and Professor of Economics at Center for Development Alternatives, Ahmedabad, India. The major areas of her interest are poverty and human development, labour and employment, globalization and related policies, development alternatives and development paradigms, environment and development, environment accounting, gender and development, and time use studies. She has written several books and published a large number of research papers in reputed Indian and international journals. She has been associated with a number of expert groups, task forces, technical committees and study groups set up by the Indian central and state governments as well as international bodies. She has spent several semesters as visiting fellow / faculty at Oxford University, Erasmus University at Rotterdam, Amsterdam University, University of Utah at Salt Lake City and at Levy Institute at New York University. She has chaired the working group on gender and agriculture, land issues, innovative finance and public private partnership set up by the planning commission for the eleventh plan. She is also a member of the feminist economists group set up by the planning commission for engendering the eleventh plan and the expert group set up for designing gender development index (GDI) and gender empowerment measure (GEM) in India.

As far as time use studies is concerned, she is associated with the following Indian and international expert groups:

  1. Chairperson, Technical Committee set up by the Department of Statistics for conducting the first (pilot) time use survey in India.

  2. Member, Expert Committee set up for designing follow up action on time use methodologies and time use classification set up by CSO (GOI

  3. Member, Expert Group on Time Use Activity Classification, set up by UN Statistical Division, New York

  4. Member, Regional Resource Group, set up by ESCAP, Bangkok for integrating unpaid work n to macro policies

  5. Consultant to UNDP (Manila) for APGEN Programme and Consultant to UNIFEM, UNESCAP, Bangkok for the project on Gender Approach to Data Collection

  6. Resource Person / instructor in Annual Training Programme on IWG-GEM at University of Utah, USA (on Engendering Macroeconomics and International Economics)

  7. In charge of designing Unit One (time use component) of the Virtual Course of IWG GEM

  8. Member, Executive Committee, IATUR (international Association on Time Use Research).


Recent Publications:

Employment Guarantee Programme and Pro-poor Growth : The Study of a Village in Guajrat, (2010), with M R Saluja and Bhupesh Yadav, Academic Foundation, New Delhi.


Unpaid Work and the Economy: Gender, Time Use and Poverty in the Global South (2009), co-edotor with Rania Antonopoulos, Palgrave Macmillan, UK.


Restructuring of Production and Labour under Globalization: A Study in Textile and Garment Industry in India (2008), ILO Regional Office, New Delhi.


Towards Mainstreaming Time Use Surveys in National Statistical System in India (2008) (Edited by Indira Hirway and S Jeyalakshmi), Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, New Delhi.


Application of Time Use Statistics (2003) (Edited by Indira Hirway), UNIFEM & Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, New Delhi.


Valuation of Coastal Resources: The Case of Mangroves in India (2007,(with Subhrangsu Goswami) Academic Publications, New Delhi. has studied for her Masters in Economics at Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University and for her Ph D at Department of Economics at University of Bombay, Mumbai.

 

International Board

 

Priti Darooka Founder, Managing Trustee, Executive Director

Priti Darooka is the founder and executive director of PWESCR (The Programme on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). Working in partnership with diverse groups and networks, she continues to provide support and is part of several initiatives on women's poverty, right to livelihoods including right to land, social security and right to food. She strives to make human rights framework and mechanisms relevant to address issues of poverty. With expertise on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, she works closely with the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and various UN rapporteurs. She has assisted women from civil society groups from several countries to participate in CESCR review process. She helped PWESCR develop its leadership institute in women's ESCR, an innovative leadership development programme. She was previously at the Ford Foundation, in New York and assisted the Foundation in its grant making in the areas of International Human Rights; Women's Rights and Gender Equity; and International Economic Policy. She also helped the Foundation in the creation of ESCR net and in linking works of feminist economist with human rights advocates. Prior to the Ford Foundation, she was at UNIFEM (United Nation's Development Funds for Women) where she worked on violence against women indicators and assessment and coordinating UNIFEM's work in Afghanistan. As a consultant to the Center for Women's Global Leadership, she organized a women's rights hearing at the UN conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa. She was the National Campaign Coordinator with UNITE for their Global Justice for Garment Workers Campaign. Priti has also worked with community based organizations such as Manavi, and Urban Justice Center (UJC), She was also involved in the Stop FTAA (Free Trade Area of Americas) campaign and focused on different aspects of trade, and women's lives, from a feminist and human rights perspective. Priti has authored and presented many papers in various international conferences and forums. She has a Masters degree in women's studies from Rutgers University in the US. Priti is a founding member of SAFA (South Asian Feminist Alliance) for ESCR and a member of core group for Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors. She is also the Feminist Focal person for South Asia for CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness. She has recently been appointed member of the Global Reference Group for Bread for the World.


Manuel F. Montes

Manuel F. Montes is Senior Advisor on Finance and Development at the South Centre in Geneva, Switzerland. He was previously Chief of Development Strategies, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) where he led the team that produced the World Economic and Social Survey (WESS), the annual UN analysis of development and international cooperation issues. Before that, he was Chief of Policy Analysis and Development in the UN's Financing for Development Office. He also served as Regional Programme Coordinator, Asia Pacific Trade and Investment Initiative based at the UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo, Sri Lanka; Programme Officer for International Economic Policy at the Ford Foundation in New York, 1999-2005; Senior Fellow and Coordinator for economics studies at the East-West Centre in Honolulu, 1989-1999; and Associate Professor of Economics at the University of The Philippines, 1981-1989. He has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Developing Economies (IDE) in Tokyo, at the United Nations University/World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU/IWDER) in Helsinki, and at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). His recent publications have been in areas of macroeconomic policy, development strategy, income inequality, climate change financing and industrial policy. He holds a PhD in Economics from Stanford University. He held the Central Bank Money and Banking Chair at the University of the Philippines from 1984 to 1991.


Roberto Bissio

Roberto Bissio is executive director of the Third World Institute (Instituto del Tercer Mundo, ITeM), a non-profit and advocacy organisation based in Montevideo, Uruguay. He coordinates the secretariat of Social Watch, a global network of citizen organisations from over 80 countries that reports every year on how governments and international organisations implement their commitments on poverty eradication and gender equity (including Millennium Development Goals). He is a member of the Civil Society Advisory Committee to the UNDP and of the international council of Third World Network (TWN). He served on the boards of the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and of the Montreal International Forum.


Ton Waarts

Ton Waarts took his Masters Degree in Development Economics at the Netherlands School of Economics, the later Erasmus University Rotterdam. He continued to work there after his studies as a lecturer-researcher at the Centre for Development Planning for about ten years, in the first years as assistant to Professor Jan Tinbergen (the first Nobel Laureate in Economics). In that period he served on research and evaluation projects in Thailand, with the United Nations Mekong Committee, and in Mexico with the Investment-bank Nacional Financiera and the UNAM University. After that he was appointed by the Dutch government as Executive Director of the National Committee for Development, a semi-public organisation to raise public support for development issues. Following the UN-conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), the task of this Committee was enlarged to include environmental issues and he was appointed the first Executive Director of the National Committee for Sustainable Development and International Cooperation. Upon invitation of former members of the European Parliament he became the Executive Director of the European Network for Street Children Worldwide in Brussels, a non-governmental network organisation, servicing NGO's working with street children all over the world. In the field of Human Rights he was co-founder and chairperson of Dignity International, an International NGO for capacity-building on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. As a "hobby volunteer" he is member of the board of Kunst Zij Ons Doel (KZOD), an artist society in the area of the Dutch city of Haarlem, with about 100 artists as members. That organisation is one of the oldest artists societies in the Netherlands, dating from anno 1821. For his contribution to Dutch society and the promotion of development policies in European countries, he was awarded a Knighthood by the Queen of The Netherlands in 2001.


Barbara Y. Phillips

Barbara Y. Phillips is a social justice activist and co-founder of Bending the Arc: The Robert Howard Annual Social Justice Symposium honouring her late husband. She works as consultant in the fields of philanthropy and social justice, most recently for the national American Civil Liberties Union and Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. She was a law professor and civil rights lawyer before serving as the Programme Officer responsible for the women's rights portfolio in the Peace and Social Justice Program of the Ford Foundation. She chaired the board of the African Women's Development Fund USA, a sister-foundation to the African Women's Development Fund in Accra, Ghana. Her publications include Reflections on Social Justice, Feminism and Philanthropy, Freedom Center Journal (Spring 2014); Dignity and Human Rights: The Missing Dialogue, Programme on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, New Delhi, (2011); and numerous articles in academic journals about democracy.


Maria Virginia Bras Gomes

Maria Virginia Bras Gomes, born in Goa, India, is a senior social policy adviser in the Ministry of Solidarity and Social Security of Portugal. From 2003 to 2010, she was a member-and from 2008 to 2010 served as vice-chair-of the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She has represented the Committee in a number of working groups and resumed as member in 2013. She is a member of PWESCR's International Board; the European Social Network high level advisory group on de-institutionalisation (United Kingdom); the Board of the Portuguese UNICEF Committee; and the National Human Rights Commission. In 2008, she was a faculty member of the Nottingham University Human Rights Law Centre Summer School; in 2009, of the UNDP Global Human Rights Community of Practice Meeting; and in 2011, 2012 and 2013, of the PWESCR Leadership Institute in Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. She has also conducted training in treaty body reporting, on behalf of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in a number of States Parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, in Africa. She has also made presentations on social security and social development issues and economic, social and culural rights at a number of international conferences and seminars. Published articles include The Future of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; and Individualisation and the Crumbling of the Welfare State, published by Palgrave Macmillan; Human Rights and Development: The Two Sides of the Same Coin, published by Iboorberg Verlag GmbH & Co, KG; and Multicultural Europe: Combating Racism and Intolerance, published by the French National Consultative Commission for Human Rights; Discrimination, Mega Development and Conflict: The Insurmountable Triangle, published by Duncker & Humblot.

 

Our Staff


Priti Darooka, Founder and Executive Director

Priti Darooka is the founder and executive director of PWESCR (Programme on Women's Economic, Social and Cultural Rights). Working in partnership with diverse groups and networks, she continues to provide support and is a part of several initiatives on women's poverty, right to livelihoods including right to land, social security and right to food. She strives to make human rights framework and mechanisms relevant to address issues of poverty. With expertise on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, she works closely with the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and various UN rapporteurs. She has assisted women from civil society groups from several countries to participate in CESCR review process. She helped PWESCR develop its Leadership Institute in Women's ESCR, an innovative leadership development programme. She was previously at the Ford Foundation, in New York and assisted the foundation in its grant making in the areas of international human rights; women's rights and gender equity; and international economic policy. She also helped the foundation in the creation of ESCR-Net and in linking works of feminist economists with human rights advocates. Prior to the Ford Foundation, she was at UNIFEM (United Nation's Development Funds for Women) where she worked on violence against women indicators and assessment and coordinated UNIFEM's work in Afghanistan. As a consultant to the Center for Women's Global Leadership, she organised a women's rights hearing at the UN Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. She was the national campaign coordinator with UNITE for their Global Justice for Garment Workers Campaign. Priti has also worked with community-based organisations such as Manavi, and Urban Justice Center (UJC). She was also involved in the Stop FTAA (Free Trade Area of Americas) campaign and focused on different aspects of trade and women's lives, from a feminist and human rights perspective. Priti has authored and presented many papers in various international conferences and forums. She has a master's degree in women's studies from Rutgers University in the US. Priti is a founding member of SAFA (South Asian Feminist Alliance) for ESCR and a member of core group for Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors. She is also the feminist focal person for South Asia for CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness. She has recently been appointed member of the Global Reference Group for Bread for the World.

Kripa Basnyat, Programme Officer for Leadership Development

Kripa Basnyat helps PWESCR promote women's ESCR and economic justice. She builds leadership and capacity of South Asian groups, organisations, activists and other actors in the field of women's human rights. Hailing from Nepal, Kripa also coordinates PWESCR's Leadership Institute in Women's ESCR, Garima (Women's Leadership Development Programme in Hindi) and Women, Poverty and Human Rights, a two-day learning programme. She holds a master's degree in politics and specialises in international relations. Before joining PWESCR in 2011, she worked as a programme officer in Himalayan Human Rights Monitors (HimRights) in Nepal. Kripa supports children's education in marginalised groups as a joint secretary of Solidarity for Societal Change Nepal (SOSOCN). She is also an alumnus of PWESCR's 1st Leadership Institute, 2011.

Kriti Tuteja, Communications Officer

Kriti Tuteja takes care of PWESCR's online and offline communication requirements. With a P.G. diploma in development communication from Jamia Milia Islamia and a bachelor's degree in English honors from Delhi University, Kriti has three years of work experience in the development sector. Before coming to PWESCR, she was a senior communications coordinator at Udayan Care, a child rights organisation. Kriti loves paper quilling and writing poetry.

Arpita Ghosh Hajra, Programme Officer Monitoring and Evaluation

Arpita Ghosh Hajra oversees monitoring, evaluation and technical aspects - including mapping and database management - for smooth implementation of PWESCR's programmes. A graduate of Indian Institute of Management, with training in public policy and management, she has prior work experience as a research fellow with National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Department Of Science and Technology, Govt. of India. A National Merit Scholarship 2006 nominee and National Eligibility Test award winner in 2010, Arpita has a keen interest in dramatics and performing arts.

Dyuti, Programme Officer (part-time) for Leadership Development

Dyuti wants to be listed only with her first name! Dyuti (Ailawadi) assists PWESCR's leadership development team in organising and coordinating the annual Leadership Institute. She is also part of the SAFA secretariat. A feminist/human rights defender/activist at heart, she has completed her Master of Philosophy degree from Delhi School of Economics in Sociology. Dyuti also works with Centre for Social Justice in Assam towards conflict rehabilitation. She has worked as a research assistant on a project with Aastha on tribal women's land rights. More recently she worked with Partners for Law in Development (PLD) on the Sec. 377 Supreme Court Case, where she put together the case summaries. Dyuti enjoys to explore the world through books, music, dance and travel.

Juno Varghese, Research Associate

Juno Varghese facilitates gender-sensitive policy discussions and looks at national policies through a feminist lens. She works closely with the National Right to Food Campaign and Women's Unpaid Work. She holds a master's degree in gender studies from Ambedkar University. As an assistant programme officer for At GrassRoots (ATG), Juno supported the agenda of economic inclusion and empowerment of marginalised and vulnerable communities. As part of ATG, she also worked with The Leprosy Mission Trust India on women empowerment projects. Juno loves to collect newspapers clippings.

V.K. Srinivasan, Manager Accounts, Finance and Administration

V.K. Srinivasan manages PWESCR's budget, finance and accounts. He also oversees general administration. Holding a master's degree in commerce, he has more than 30 years of work experience, including nearly 20 years in the corporate sector. Finding more meaning in what first began as voluntary work, he eventually made the shift to the NGO sector. He enjoys watching cricket

Maya Varma, Officer Accounts and Finance

Maya Varma handles financial transactions and other statutory business related to accounts and finance at PWESCR. She holds a bachelor's degree in commerce from Kerala University and has more than 15 years of working experience in acccunts and finance within the NGO sector. She loves to explore places around India and has often travelled with her son as a backpacker through difficult terrains. Maya is a keen follower of activities and issues in the field of human rights in India.

Amit Kumar, Office Assistant

Amit Kumar ensures that administrative tasks are efficiently carried out. He has been part of PWESCR's team since 2013 and maintains correspondence files, stationary and records. He also supervises housekeeping. Previously, Amit has worked with the Rotary International's India National Polio Plus Committee. He holds a bachelor's degree in arts from EIILM University and has also completed certificate courses in computer, library and information science.

Prakash Chand, Office Assistant & Driver

Prakash Chand works closely with Amit and ensures that the office functions smoothly. Additionally, he is the office driver. Before joining PWESCR in 2010, he worked as an administrator with Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust and Human Rights Law Network, a division of Socio Legal Information Center.