Sakshi is a capacity building organization, (regd NGO, 1993) that began as a rights initiative NGO with a specific focus on sexual violence against women and children. It was founded in 1992 with the purpose of giving voice to the silence that masked women’s Equality and Sexual Rights in context of violence. An adverse finding of the Supreme Court of India in a test case involving the gang rape of a minor girl by two police officers was a catalyst to Sakshi’s formation.
Since then, Sakshi has integrated a right based approach with peace building initiatives to bring about sustainable social change. For Sakshi, equality is the founding principle upon which all human rights are built. The work focuses on 4 programmatic areas: diversity & inclusiveness, gender & sexual rights, peaceful coexistence and leadership. Sakshi’s mandate is to make equality a reality for vulnerable groups.
Sakshi aims to empower youth, women, children, and marginalized groups by focusing on life skills, equality, and gender mainstreaming by developing skill sets for dialogue, negotiation, conflict resolution and transformational leadership through social arts, trainings/workshops, research and communication for sustainable development.
Sakshi’s work has led to the development of a sexual harassment law, drafting of a reformative sexual assault law, design of special procedures for women and children in sexual violence cases, creative resource development and a sustainable Asia Pacific Advisory Forum on Judicial Education on Equality Issues, selected as a BEST PRACTICE programme in 2001 by UNIFEM. It has also become a credible model for judicial education on human rights in emerging International Courts.
Sakshi has produced many mainstream theatre performances promoting gender equality including the award winning play, Jug Jug Jiyo.