Nadiya Shafi and RSCD Announced as Winners of 2nd Martha Farrell Award

The two winners, selected from 147 nominations, were felicitated at the 2nd Martha Farrell Award Ceremony on April 25, 2018

2017 Winners

Most Promising Individual

Rakhi Gope
Community-based Social Activist
Alipurduar, West Bengal

Rakhi Gope is a resident of a tea estate in Falakata in Alipurduar District of West Bengal, who has been leading the fight against child trafficking within her community, for the last 11 years. She has been working in an extremely difficult context, where she has faced numerous threats to her life. She has rescued hundreds of victims of trafficking and facilitated their rehabilitation by linking them to government-sponsored livelihood and shelter programmes. Rakhi works in 134 villages, which comprise more than 75,000 households, where she has mobilized and sensitized the community, to become alert towards trafficking and prevent it within their families. She has also worked effectively with the local administration and serves on the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

At the young age of 31, Rakhi is an inspiration to many young girls and women in her community, for whom she envisions a safe and a violence free future. Like Martha, she leads by example and is undeterred in her fight against trafficking.

To know more about Rakhi Gope, watch:

Best Organization for Gender Equality

Majlis Legal Center
All-women Organization Defending the Legal Rights of Women
Mumbai, Maharashtra

Majlis Legal Centre was founded in 1991 by Advocate Flavia Agnes. It is an all-women organization, based in Mumbai, which is dedicated to providing legal support and legal training to women. It believes in women’s rights lawyering by women. It has defended over 50,000 women in Maharashtra in their struggle against domestic violence and sexual violence and has trained over 4,000 women lawyers on various laws related to women’s rights. Majlis has employed only women since their inception and currently, they are a team of 35 women lawyers and social activists, who work on issues of domestic violence and sexual violence. To sustain their all-women team, Majlis provides for a very caring and a supportive workplace for all their employees. The employees, who have recently given birth or have young children, are provided work suitable to their needs (part-time/flexi time/work from home). They can also bring their children to office.

Martha always emphasized on the importance of engendering institutions. At Majlis, creating a workplace that enables women to fulfill their potential within the organization is the key to engendering institutions.

To know more about Majlis, watch:

2017 Finalists

Advocate Jayshree Satpute
Co-founder, NazdeekNew Delhi Advocate Jayshree Satpute is a human rights lawyer and co-founder of Nazdeek, a legal empowerment organization committed to bringing access to justice closer to marginalized communities in India. She has been advocating for women’s rights in the Supreme Court and the High Courts. She also believes that strategic litigation should be accompanied with community-level action. Therefore, she has been building the capacities of the women in the communities so that they can fight for their own rights. Jayshree is leading change by making justice accessible for women.

Commander Pritika Sharma
Indian Navy OfficerMumbai, Maharashtra Commander Pritika Sharma is an Indian Navy Officer, who has been working towards making Indian Navy a gender-inclusive workplace. She has spearheaded a long drawn legal battle, currently in the Supreme Court, for implementing a uniform exit policy for male and female naval officers. She is also an educator and a trainer in the Navy, where she has designed a gender syllabus for the institution and undertaken more than 1000 gender sensitization sessions for both male and female navy officers. Cdr. Pritika has also been counselling and supporting her colleagues if they face sexism at the workplace. She is leading change by making her workplace a gender sensitive workplace.

Advocate Savita Ali
Dalit Feminist ActivistPatna, Bihar Advocate Savita Ali, a Dalit feminist activist and a lawyer, has been raising her voice against honour killings, Khap Panchayats and sexual violence against Dalit girls and women. A Dalit woman herself, Savita has also faced violence and discrimination, which motivated her to work for the rights of Dalit women. Campaigning from door to door, she has reached and mobilized countless Dalit women and girls in Haryana and Bihar and provided pro bono legal support to them. Savita is leading change by standing for the rights of the Dalit women from her community and foregrounding the crucial intersection of   gender inequality with caste inequality.

Kirthi Jayakumar
Founder, Red Elephant FoundationChennai, Tamil Nadu 28 year old Kirthi Jayakumar is a women’s rights activist, a writer, an artist and a peace activist. Being a survivor of child sexual abuse, bullying and racism, she believes in the power of personal histories and has been curating many stories of women who have survived violence or are leading change in their communities. In 2013, she started The Red Elephant Foundation, civilian peace-building initiative that works for gender equality through storytelling, advocacy and digital interventions. Kirthi is leading change by foregrounding the stories of women who are unheard or never covered by the mainstream media.


Care India Solutions for Sustainable Development
Comprehensive Programmes on Gender, Health, Education and LivelihoodNoida, Uttar Pradesh  CARE India has been working for the last 65 years for the empowerment of women and girls in marginalized communities, through its programmes on health, education and livelihood. Working in 14 states in India, with 2000 employees, CARE is ensuring gender equality both within and outside its workplace. CARE’s management dashboard monitors gender diversity within its staff. It has implemented various affirmative policies to ensure a gender sensitive and a gender equal workplace and is currently working towards making all its programmes gender transformative. CARE India is leading change by being a fair and a just employer to women.

Durbar Mahilla Samawaya Committee
Sex Workers’ CollectiveKolkata, West Bengal Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) is a collective of 65,000 female, male and transgender sex workers in the red light area of Songachi, Kolkata, West Bengal. It works for the rights of the sex workers and is also run and led by sex workers. DMSC prevents exploitative practices within sex work, by making aware sex workers of their rights, stopping the entry of minor and trafficked persons within the trade and by ensuring quality education and livelihood for the children of the sex workers. For DMSC, the key to ensure a lasting change is by working with the sex workers, for their rights, by mobilizing and unionizing them.

Mahilla Rajsatta Andolan
Campaign to Strengthen Women’s Participation in Local GovernanceNavi Mumbai, Maharashtra Mahila Rajsatta Andolan strengthens women’s participation in Panchayti Raj Institutions (PRIs). Evolved in March 2000 in Maharashtra, MRA is run and lead by elected women PRI members, with the motto of “Vote Hamara, Raj Hamara” (Our Vote, Our Governance). MRA has increased women’s participation in local governance by facilitating regular mahila gram sabhas, advocating for women centered policies at the panchayat level and by training and educating women PRI members about their rights and duties. MRA is leading change by engendering governance and developing community level women’s leadership.

Technological Solutions for the Empowerment of Rural WomenVallikavu, Kerala Ammachi Labs Research Center has been innovating technological solutions that are “inclusive and non-disruptive” to empower and better the lives of rural women. They undertake livelihood and life skills training of women, which trains them for “non-traditional jobs”, i.e., jobs not traditionally done by women, such as plumbers, electricians, masons, etc. Ammachi Labs not just employs people from varied social and educational backgrounds, but also different sexualities. Currently, 60% of its employees are women, who are encouraged to undertake research. It provides an enabling workplace for all its employees (especially women) and is leading change by eliminating gender-based discrimination at the workplace.

Photo Gallery