Every year, we produce an exhibition for WOMAD festival. This year, our exhibition is focused on women’s and girls’ journeys towards power and equality.
As we gather at this year’s WOMAD festival, we are all reminded of the joy of coming together and spending time with others. After facing so many unprecedented challenges over the last two years from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all navigating how to brave our transformed, post-pandemic world. What lockdowns and unknown dangers hopefully taught us here, and around our globalised world, is that we are all dependent on others; humanity acting together for a common good has much more power than hate, division, and competition.
What we hope you will take away from this exhibition, and Action Village India (AVI), is how we are passionate about the power of respect and solidarity as part of supporting rural development. For if modern development is going to empower and make just changes, it must be led by women and men who truly know their societies, who can be fully supported to work towards their priorities, in the ways that they determine.
As such, AVI prides itself in being an organisation which prioritises our partners in India and the communities they work alongside. We learn from them about their struggles and how better to create positive change for others. Crucially, we hope the work of our partners and our dialogue and interactions with them can counter harmful stereotypes and highlight the resilience and common humanity we all share in this world for making it a better place.
Through this exhibition we hope to show you the work we support our partners to undertake on women’s rights and gender equality; we explore how women face continuous challenges to gender equality at all stages of their lives and reflect on ways of tackling patriarchal mindsets and behaviours. We hope to highlight the strength of women, despite all the obstacles thrown in their way. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: ‘A woman is like a tea bag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.’
Empowered women make for more peaceful, cohesive societies, and a better, more equal world; something which we should all be striving for every day.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this exhibition – it could not have been done without you all!
During our recent visit to India, we asked women from different States, what having power and equality means to them.
The answers were eye opening and shocking at the same time. Within our exhibition we have included photographs of some of these women and their expressions of what having power and equal rights means.
This exhibition was a labour of love and a collaboration of many different people – here in the UK as well as in India.
We would like to thank them all for their contributions including: