The need to create an effective forum for the enlightened women of Rajasthan and urge to fight against discrimination in the society was felt by many women belonging to various walks of life in Jaipur. To combat collectively forms of exploitation and discrimination, to strive for empowerment of women, made women employee of the university and the colleges to come together to form Rajasthan University Women's Association in 1975. While RUWA was continuously working to fullfill its objectives it was only in 1982 that a constitution of the Association was registered under the Societies Registration Act and the first Executive Committee was elected In 1984 after rigorous efforts, the Association was given due recognition by the Syndicate of University of Rajasthan in the same year . Mrs G.J. Unnithan,Mrs.Chandrakanta Dandiya,Miss. Lucy Jacub, Dr. Pawan Surana, Dr, Chandra Bharilla has been the moving spirit behind establishment of RUWA and its recognition by the university. She have made significant contribution in strengthening the organization and raising funds for Shakti Stambh.
The Year 1975 was a landmark in the history of Women's movements. The U.N. gave it recognition by declaring 8th March to be the International Women's Day and soon after declared the International Decade of Women (1975-1985). Since then on this day, Women all over the world come together not only to express solidarity but also reiterate that women's movement is a concrete social movement which has emeraged out of the ideology of feminism and has become a potent agent of social change. As a social movement, it recognizes that individuals have capability of constructing and reconstructing identities. Although society is shaped by cultural forces, individuals create and contribute to the society in which they live. The specifics of any society change with time, with new kind of person with different kind of ideas, sometimes organized into a collective movement. One such phenomenon happened in the year 1975 in the University of Rajasthan when some senior public- spirited women teachers of the University got together to work for social justice and right of women. The condition of women, they relaized, in the State of Rajasthan was singularly pathetic.The literacy rate, particularly for women was one of the lowest in the country .Certain anti-women practices like,dowry,sati,child marriages and female infanucide were rampant. there was a dire need for raising social consciousness-in both men and women - to bring about the attudinal change towards the plight of women. the first anti-dowry rally was organized by RUWA under the leadership of Dr. Chandrakanta Dandia in 1976-77. It had created ripples in the complacent atmosphere of the University. For the first time, after the freedom movement women had come out on the streets of Jaipur to protests against a social evil. This was indeed a daring effort on the part of the University women in the 70s.
The selfless, dedicated work of these pioneering women bore fruit. By 1982, RUWA became a registred NGO with a proper constitution. Membership grew, so did the scope of membership. It was now extended to staff members of all the affiliated colleges of the University in Jaipur and 10% membership was open to non-University women who shared the aims and objectives of RUWA.Throughout the 80s and 90s RUWA raised its voice to protest against the social injustice and discrimination against women in all walks of life.
Apart from the local issues,RUWA has been occiupied with border national and international issues. It has sent its recommendations to most of the World Conferences on women-the First at Mexico in 1975.Second in Copenhagen 1980. Third in Nairobi 1985 , and the fourth in Beijing 1995. RUWA has worked to get the recommendations implemented. Perhaps the most evident was the move by the goverment to build up mechanism to facilitate gender equality. A high level National Commission for women and National Policy Statement on Women were mooted and major part of the recommendation made by RUWA have been implemented .Perhaps the most evident wad te move by the government to build up mechanism to facilitate gender equality. A high level National Commission for Women and National Policy Statement on Women were mooted and major part of the recommendation made by RUWA have been implemented. Subsequently RUWA,along with other like-minded NGOs advocated for the establishment of the State Commission for women and All Women Police Stations and Drafted a format of State Plane for Women, which was submitted to the Goverment of Rajasthan. There has been a demand for "Official National Mechanism" through which international institutions related to women can operate and interect with the women organizations at the national level. So that the international System can have a network through which it can monitor and implement international legislation. It has been now recognized and accepted that this would need a bridge,which can pressurize the National the National and State Governments to incorporate the issues into goverment policy. Women NGOs can best perform this task. RUWA has continuouly acted as a pressure group to suggest amendments in the legal laws concerning women, to promulgate new acts in Parlament to enable women to achieve equity and social justice.
By now RUWA has acquired it own identity and established credibility. Public Service, not publicity is the aim of RUWA many women in distress have taken refuge in RUWA's Shakti Stambh- Short Stay Home, Hundreds of families have been saved from breaking by the timely support and guidance at the Family Counselling Center (FCC) of RUWA; many were provide legal aid to get social justice. Mrs. G.J. Unnithan, Miss.Lucy Jacub, Dr. Sarla Grover, Dr, Chandra Bharill,Dr. Alka Rao, Dr Pawan Surana,Dr. Renuka Pamecha, Dr. Lad Kumari jain, made a significant contribution in strengthening the Shakti-Stambh.
Apart from working for women's right and emprovement, RUWA has always risen to the occasion in time of national disasters in the country. Whether it was the ravaging earth- quake in Latur or the destructive cyclone in Maharshtra, repeated drought in Rajasthan or the devastating earthquake and floods in Gujrat, RUWA has always reached out with help and support for relief and re-habilitation to the unfortunate victims.
The 21st century has bought new opportunities and challenges which the NGOs have to go through.What RUWA needs today is new blood in the form of spirited youth joining us in its march ahead to combat the regressive, anti-social forces working against achieving gender equality and freedom for women. Will the new generation of young Girls and women rise to the occasion ? Women have a right to speak and right to be heard. They can organize, assemble and debate the issues which concern them most. Technology has opened new opportunities in the field of employment. Women are occupying their rightful place and proving their worth. Yet in many more areas they have to struggle to attain the required attention, in the elected bodies - Parliament and Legislative Assembly they have to acquire 33% reservation for themselves. This struggle needs the support and participation of new voters (of 18 years of Age) as they will be the major beneficiaries of the Women Reservation Bill if it is passed by the Parliament.
Initially RUWA's major interest was to ensure Women's right to equality, their right to speak and to be heard and assert their capability to assebble, and organize and debate openly the issues which concern the women most in all walks of life . With a missionary zeal RUWA undertook the task of ensuring Human Rights of women including actions to end violence against women,a life span approach to women's education and health to ensure equality by minimizing the gender discrimination and working towords women's full participation in political and economy decision making.
The bord mission has broadened its vision too with distressed women who come to RUWA as a result of broken marriage and family bring children along with them. It necessitates arrangements for the inmates, of Shakti Stambh and Other Women their education and providing them nourishing dite until the women became self-dependent and their resatelment in the family. The rehabilitation programmes undertaken by RUWA , RUWA-run Shishu Needh (creche)established in 1992 as a part of Working Women's Residence located in the University Campus shoulder the responsibility of looking after education and health of these children. The International Federation of University Women's (IFUW)action Plan (1992-1995) propagated the theme Women's Future, World Future, Education for survival and Progress with Focus on the Girl Child-The Women of Tomorrow. This have been adopted by RUWA as its own objectives to work for RUWA took up the task of seeking justice to Girl Child and ensuring her rights- to be born to grow get proper nourishment education,health care freedom from discrimination,sexual exploitation,harmful practices, child marriage right inheritance etc. In Feb-March -2008, the Women NGOs of Jaipur and other cities of Rajasthan undertook a massive campaign against prenatal sex sefection and female feticide which resulted into total ban on the female feticide and sex-determination tests in the government run and private hospitals. A number of Doctors have lost their job and facing legal cases registered against them by the NGOs for including into this unlawful practice Ruwa's contineous campaign against Domestic voilence against Women,Prohibition of Sexual harassment at workplace and probhibition of Child Marriages
RUWA is working with the Central and State Commission for Women for elimination of all forms of violence and atrocities against women, girl child and adolescent girl in public and private spheres, Probhitation of child marriages .Ruwa gives Socio-legal and moral Support to Child marriage victim, Rape victim and tose whome wants to come out from prostitution/brothele. It is engaged in the sensitization programme organized for men in various departments and awareness for the transformation of their mindset and bringing about attitudinal change at the societal level.
- To ensure non-discriminatory treatment of women in the education, employments and other social conditions.
- To activcty make efforts for removal of social cvils and other conditions detrimental to the status and development of women.
- To share out training and experience for the welfare of the less privileged women inside and outside the University.
- To Undertake all such Programmes which will contribute to overall development of women.
- To make efforts to increasing women's education in all fields specially science, technology and other professional fields .
- To work for the better and appropriate facilities for working women/students/scholars of the university and the constituents /affiliated colleges, like hostels, creches , common room with toilets and better working and study environment.
- To promote and strengthen the common academic social abd economic interest of its members and to provide opportunities and facilities for socio-cultural contacts.
- To provide a torum for discussion of all problems of the members and seek their solutions by all constitutional means.
- To act as a representative of the women of the University of Rajasthan, where such representatives are required.
- To establish contects, if necessary, with similar registered and recognized associations for the promotion of the common interest .
- To help in establishing Member's Welfare Found for providing assistance to members and their dependents at the time of dio necessity.
- To undertake and assist in the relief work in time of calamities and disasters.
- To undertake activities for the implementation of Human Rights and promotion of world peace.
---Rights of Girl child
---Eradication of violence, inequality and injustice, discriminaton against women in educatin, employment,property rights,inheritance etc.
---Ensure rightful place of women in elected bodies -Parliamrnt & Legislative bodies Assemblies of the states-minimum 33% seats to be reserved for the women.
---Right of Girl child to be born, to grow,to get educated and become responsible citizen of the country and play her role in the nation's life.
---Provide protection to lonely and single old -(windows and unprotected) women against exploitation, cheating,ill-treatment by family members,real /adopted children, relatives and family friends and ensure a peaceful and dignified living to them.
--- Increasing health and educational facilities for rural women and young girls who are not able to visit the hospitals and attend schools located far from their place of residence by seeking mobile hospitals and mobile schools for them.
- Fighting violence against women
- Liaison with police and administration
- Taking the Delegation to support women issues
- Creating the awareness and environment against discrimination and Saxul harassment at the work place
- Organizing awareness programme,discussion,semiars,workshops,debates,and song / poster competitions etc..
- Providing support to rural and urban women workers
- Associating with other pressure groups on all common issues related to women
- At the moment campaign for prevention of female feticide in major occuption of the NGOs of jaipur. Collectively they are fighting against this menace. Ruwa Organised 12 workshops with leaders of Six Communities Named- Jain,Sikh,Brhamin,Jat, Rajput, Maheshwari for the Prevention of Sex Determination and Female feoticide in 2005 - 06. Ruwa Organised Six Workshops with NSS Student of Jaipur Based Colleges on the same issue in 2008-09. Ruwa is palnning to Organise these workshops and Campaign with the centre for women Studies of university of Rajasthan,Jaipur , Mohanlal Sukhadia University Udaipur , and Jaya Naraian Vyas university jodhpur, from July 2009.
Another major problem that is making the NGOs to seek special protection laws for senior citizens. especially those who are poor,incapacitated by age related deficiencies and diseases and get the laws framed to provide servere punishments for those who are ill-treating their old parents ,parents in law after taking away their assets,property and even pension. Old age homes government aided but are run by the NGOs appera to be comparatively better solution of the problem RUWA participated in the rescue operation of Mrs. Pwan Kumari-an old lady harassed by her family and locked in side a room, Mrs. Santosh Chadda and Narbada devi and cooperated in there rehabilitation.
- RUWA is workingto open a mental Health Cell as a supplementary body to improve the functioning of family Counselling Cel and also shakti stambh as these days most of women coming to RUWA for help are either between the age group of 18 to 25 or old women harassed by their children and family members. The are often mentally disturbed and need mental health treatment.
- The young inmates are often intolerant, impatient, angry and indisciplined. They need to be given attention by well equipped and well trained personnel in the Mental Health Cell. A research wing attached to it and also ti the University Department of Psychology can work to find out reasons for such behavior. This younger set of inmates has little respect for social institutions family & parents, and attach little importance to the sanctity of marriage as an institution. Establishment of Mental Health Cell is on priority agenda of RUWA. However , it all depends on the financial support from the ministry of Human Resource Development , State or National Commossion for Women (NCW) or any other agencies like the World Health Organization / UNICEF etc.
RUWA's efforts were instrumental in-
Establishments of independent centre for women studies in the Unieversity of Rajasthan, 1981
suggested amendments to important laws related to women from 1975 to present.
Establishment of the first women police station of Rajasthan at Jaipur on March 8th 1989.
Construction of working women's residence in the campus which was inaugurated by the state Governor, his excellency M.Chenna Ready in 1992.
Establishing and managing Shakti Stambh-Short stay Home, family counselling centre, and a 24-hour helping with a TOLL FREE NO. Phone Number 10922.
Provided shelter, counselling and rehabilitation to many women and arranged the education of their children of three to seven years of age.
Generated awareness against "sati" and participated in the massive anti-sati campaign organized but the women NGOs in the state since 1987.
Prepared and submitted the constitution of the State commission for women to the government of Rajasthan for consideration.
Prepared the draft of State Plan for women and submitted to the government of Rajasthan for consideration.
Organized a British Council sponsored workshop on "Listen to the women's Vote" on the eve of 1999 election in which women legislators from the parliament and the state legislature, panch, sarpanch educationists doctors, .
Engineers, Advocates and Media Persons Participated.
Prepared and circulated the RUWA's Demand Charter which contained demand for mobile Schools, Mobile Hospital for rural woman, compulsory registration of marriage, women's right to husband's property and employment for women health insurance group insurance and other facilities like crèche for the small babies for Urban & Rural sector.
It also demanded protection of girl child, her education, health, nutrition and protection form any kind of exploitation.
organized a state-wide campaign for propagation women's right to equality and justice in 1998 RUWA had undertaken a programme for formulating rules for compulsory registration of marriage and ensuring right of married women to husband's property.
RUWA is continuously participating in the vigorous campaign (2006) led by women organizations of Rajasthan for banning the sex determination test female feticide. It is being run at state level and tremendous success has been achieved as many doctors involved in this cruel practice have been punished and a number of clinics where these test and termination of pregnancy were taking place have been close down.
A one day seminar has been planed in December to review the existing laws related to women. Examine their applicability and asses their impact and suggest improvement if needed. the existing laws will be codified and successful cases will be highlighted,lawyers,judges,legal experts, professors and student of law ,members of various NGOs will be participating .RUWA is organizing workshops,symposium,round table discussions on the recent law on Prevention of Violence Against Women to generate awareness among the young girles in the school and colleges, house-wives. Rural and urban women in general and encourage them to make use of the law in safeguarding themselves against violence of all kinds at all levels of society and seeking justice.