Exhibition 2022

Women’s and Girls’ Journeys towards Power and Equality

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!

What does having POWER/EQUAL RIGHTS mean to you?

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.

Gender Equality Quiz

How many women and girls are missing globally because of parents preferring to have sons?
If current trends continue, how many girls between 6 and 11 years across the world will never get to primary school?
Across the world, how often does a girl under the age of 18 get married?
Globally, as an adolescent girl between 15 and 19 years old, what are you most likely to die from?
Globally, how many women experience violence?
In India, how many miles do rural women walk a day to collect water?
Globally, across all sectors and occupations, women on average earn less than men. On average what % of men’s wages do women earn?
As of December 2021, how many countries in the world have at least 50% women parliamentarians?
What percentage of women over the age of 60 years are widows in India?

Village Matters Newspaper – Gender Equality Edition

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this exhibition

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:

  • Vikram Nayak for producing the beautiful cartoons
  • Dr. Rani, Anindita Majumdar, Theroshene Naidoo, Bimla Chandrasekaran, Elanor Jackson, Vanessa Comparolo, Jill Carr-Harris, Ramesh Sharma and Manisha Gupte for their contributions to our newspaper Village Matters – Gender Equality Edition
  • Elanor Jackson and Kanwal Ahluwalia from Genderflection for providing and letting us adapt their gender equality quiz
  • Trustees and volunteers of Madras Café and Action Village India to be the thinking force behind this exhibition
  • Emily Lewis for all her dedication, work and extra hours to produce this exhibition


Gender-based Violence: What is going on?
Vanessa Comporolo
Page 6
  • Zargar, A.R. (2022) 11 arrested after woman allegedly gang raped, tortured and paraded through streets in India.
  • WHO (2021) Violence Against Women. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/violence-against-women
  • Chakrabarty, p. (2020) Crimes Against Women Increase by 7.3% says latest Crime Bureau Data. https://www.shethepeople.tv/news/crimes-against-women-india-increase-by-7-3-says-latest-ncrb-data/
  • Newsclick (2020) 88 rapes a day in 2019, says NCRB report; conviction rate alarmingly low. https://www.newsclick.in/88-rapes-every-day-2019-NCRB-report-conviction-rate-alarmingly-low
  • India Today (2022) 26-year-old Telangana vet burnt to death: Don’t hang up, am scared, she told sister in last call. https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/hyderabad-doctor-rape-killed-burnt-charred-called-sister-details-case-trending-1623634-2019-11-29
  • Singh, N. (2022) Girl, 13, raped by police when she went to report rape in India. https://www.independent.co.uk/asia/india/uttar-pradesh-lalitpur-minor-raped-police-b2071405.html
  • Suri, M. and Woodyatt, A. (2021) Father arrested in India for beheading his 17-year-old daughter. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/05/india/father-beheads-daughter-india-intl-scli/index.html
  • Anon (no year) Gender-based violence in India.

The journey to women’s land rights

Elanor Jackson & Ramesh Sharma
Page 7
  • Bina Agarwal, Pervesh Anthwal & Malvika Mahesh (2021) How Many and Which Women Own Land in India? Inter-gender and Intra-gender Gaps, The Journal of Development Studies, 57:11, 1807-1829, DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2021.1887478
  • Sunita Kushwah, Shailwala Dei, and Srishti Kushwaha; “Feminization Of Indian Agriculture, Key Of Doubling The Agricultural Income”; (Ijcmas.Com, 2018)
  • Nitya Rao Mamata Pradhan Devesh Roy (2017) Gender Justice and Food Security in India A Review, IFPRI Discussion Paper 01600
  • Guardian article – https://www.theguardian.com/globaldevelopment/2022/may/06/challenging-patriarchal-land-rights-india-shreya-kalia
  • Nitya Rao Mamata Pradhan Devesh Roy (2017) Gender Justice and Food Security in India A Review, IFPRI Discussion Paper
    01600 – https://ebrary.ifpri.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/131054/filename/131265.pdf
  • Anupma Mehta – Business Standard April 17, 2018, https://www.ncaer.org/news_details.php?nID=252&nID=252
  • Nitya Rao Mamata Pradhan Devesh Roy (2017) Gender Justice and Food Security in India A Review, IFPRI Discussion Paper
    01600 – https://ebrary.ifpri.org/utils/getfile/collection/p15738coll2/id/131054/filename/131265.pdf
The complexities of gender inequality  
Emily Lewis & Manisha Gupte
Page 8
  • BBC (2019) What is India’s caste system?
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals: Gender Equality. https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/gender-equality/

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