Germany supports campaign against pre-natal sex selection in Delhi
For a second consecutive year, the German government is extending grant support to a project ‘Meri Shakti Meri Beti’ implemented by Delhi-based NGO Centre for Social Research (CSR). The project aims at curbing the incidents of pre-natal sex selection in Delhi. The financing agreement was signed by Germany’s Ambassador in New Delhi Michael Steiner and Ranjana Kumari, director of CSR on Tuesday, 12 February at the German Embassy.
Germany has allocated Rs. 70,00,010 (approximately 100,000 euros) to the project for the period from 1 February – 31 December 2013. Commenting on the support of the German government, Dr. Kumari said, “Centre for Social Research has been working on the issue of sex selective abortions since 1987 through a range of direct action programmes, education initiatives with local authoritative bodies and the community at large, and advocacy and lobbying campaigns at national and international levels. Our partnership with the German Embassy over the past four years has given us the opportunity to better structure and resource our programmes. It has also helped us to expand the reach of these initiatives and to positively impact more women across Delhi and beyond.”
Enlarge image (© picture alliance / Arco Images GmbH) The overarching goal of 'Meri Shakti Meri Beti' is to curb declining sex ratio in Delhi by changing people’s mindset about rights of girl children and their value in society and improving implementation of the PC-PNDT Act.
In the new phase of MSMB, CSR aims to strengthen city-wide efforts to combat sex-selection that are currently disconnected and operate on a limited scale. The aim is to collaborate with NGOs across Delhi to replicate the MSMB model, improve the quality and effectiveness of community-level activities addressing sex-selective abortion, and increase broader public awareness of the issue.
The programme will also focus intesely on improving implementation of the PC-PNDT Act and prosecution of cases under the Act through judicial training programmes that address weaknesses in establishing appropriate evidence. This work will leverage district-level relationships with government officials and local partners that CSR developed during Phase 1 of the programme.
After signing the grant agreement, Ambassador Steiner said, "I commend Dr. Ranjana Kumari and her team at CSR for their impressive work in the field of human rights and women's empowerment. Grassroots work is essential in order to curb the decreasing sex ratio in Delhi and to improve the situation of the girl child. We will continue to promote gender equality as it is a central pillar of our human rights policy."
Improving women’s human rights is a central element of the German government’s human rights policy, encompassing both national policy towards women and foreign and development policy. Since the 2000 Millennium Summit, Germany has spent well over half of its bilateral development cooperation funds to promote projects which have a proven positive impact on gender equality.