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kNOw Fear: Making Rural Public Spaces Safe for Women and Girls

Despite constitutional guarantees, violence both within and outside the home is an ever-present threat and an everyday reality for a large majority of women and girls across India. In recent years, greater attention to incidents of violence against women in urban areas has produced new evidence about different forms of violence there. However, similar understanding of and evidence on the scale and different forms of violence against women in public spaces in rural areas does not exist. Acute violence against women and girls in rural areas has remained unaddressed, receiving scant policy attention.

This project proposes to fill this gap by developing and validating an innovative evidence-informed model, kNOw Fear, to foster freedom from violence and safety for women and girls in rural public spaces in India. It will identify specific pathways of gender-based violence prevention and deliver an intervention model where both young women and men will come together to change attitudes, transform gender-regressive norms and practices, and contribute to making local governance institutions accountable to women's safety in rural public spaces.

The project will concurrently build capacities of the elected members of local governance bodies, the Panchayati Raj Institutions, who are constitutionally mandated to ensure social justice and equitable development. The intention is to encourage them to respond to violence against women and girls, thereby positioning public safety for women and girls as a critical component of rural local governance. kNOw Fear will be led by the International Centre for Research on Women in collaboration with the Society for Women's Action and Training Initiatives (SWATI) and SETU Abhiyan, a group of development organizations in Kutch, India.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Navsharan Singh
Total Funding
CA$ 799,800.00
Institution Country
United States
Project Leader
Dr. Nandita Bhatla
International Center for Research on Women