Indian activist Elsa Marie D’Silva’s efforts to end gender-based violence recognized by UN chief

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Indian activist Elsa Marie D'Silva's efforts to end gender-based violence recognized by UN chief
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Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder of the Red Dot Foundation. (Case)

The United Nations:

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres honored Indian gender activist and social entrepreneur Elsa Marie D’Silva for her efforts in combating gender-based violence, saying examples like his filled him with hope for the future.

“I’m thinking of people like Elsa Marie D’Silva from India, who co-founded a platform that brings together and maps sexual violence and harassment…Her efforts are mobilizing thousands of young people around the world to break the silence and end gender-based violence,” said António Guterres in his keynote speech at the 9th Alliance of Civilizations Global Forum in Fez, Morocco.

The UN chief said he was also thinking of people like Magdalen Amony of Uganda, who lost a family member to the Lord’s Resistance Army and is now helping former child soldiers to reintegrate into their communities in the face of severe human trauma and distrust.

“And I think of the work of people like Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye who led opposing militias in Nigeria. Today they are united in friendship and partnership to defuse religious strife.

“It’s examples like these that fill me with hope for the future,” he said.

Elsa Marie D’Silva is the founder of the Red Dot Foundation and president of the Red Dot Foundation Global (Safecity) which is a platform that documents sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. Under his guidance and leadership, Safecity has become the biggest crowd card on the issue in India, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria and Nepal.

Ms. D’Silva has received numerous awards for her work, including the Equal Rights and Non-Discrimination Award at the 2022 World Justice Challenge; Finalist in Trust Law Impact Awards 2022 and winner of Shree Shakti Award by UN Women India and Government of India (MeitY) 2022.

She was 2020 Gratitude Network Fellow & 2019 International Women’s Forum Fellow, 2019 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, 2018 Yale World Fellow, 2017 Stanford Draper Hills Summer School Fellow, 2017 Chevening Gurukul Fellow at Oxford University and an alumnus of the Swedish Institute (2012) and the US State Department’s Fortune Program (2016).

Ms. D’Silva is part of the policy strategy group on World We Want 2030 People’s Voices and Action Platform to advance the 2030 Agenda – SDGs – comprised of UN entities, CSOs, private foundations, organizations bilaterals, universities, media and young people. . She is also a member of the United Nations Inter-Agency Network for Youth Development, according to her website.

Mr Guterres told the gathering that as he travels the globe today, “we see a world in crisis”.

“Human rights and the rule of law are either neglected or outright attacked. Hate speech, misinformation and abuse proliferate, targeting women and vulnerable groups in particular. Intolerance and irrationality are rampant,” he said.

“And the old evils – anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, persecution of Christians, xenophobia and racism – take on new life. These hateful and harmful afflictions feed off each other,” he said. declared.

The UN chief emphasized that together the world can build an alliance of peace that spans the global and the local to respond to the trials of the times “if we recognize diversity as a richness; and whether we invest in inclusion; and if we ensure that each of us – regardless of race, ancestry, origin, origin, sex, religion or any other status – can live a life of dignity and of opportunities”.

He said the Holy Quran teaches that God created nations and tribes “so that we can know each other”.

“In this time of peril, let us be inspired and stand united as one human family. Rich in diversity, equal in dignity and rights, united in solidarity,” Mr. Guterres said.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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