Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti

The Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti or Society for Respect for Women and Earth, also known by its acronym MAJLIS, which in turn means a collective, was formed by Dalit and Adivasi women of western Madhya Pradesh in 2016 to advance the two most neglected causes of women’s empowerment and conservation of the environment. Traditionally, women have had to work more, they have been denied the right to inheritance of property, they have had to assume total responsibility for house work and the care of children and the elderly and this work is not counted as of being of any economic value, they have had to go underfed and have been subjected to domestic and external violence of the worst kind. As a consequence of this secondary status women have to bear more babies to ensure that there are male progeny who will inherit the property and provide security in old age. Along with this there is social control over the sexuality of women so that men can be assured that the children born to their wives are truly theirs and so ensure the purity of their descent. Naturally all this affects adversely the lives and well being of women. Therefore, MAJLIS works to improve the situation of women by acting for their education, health and livelihoods. Women are also the primary care takers of the environment and as a consequence of their oppression the environment too suffers due to over exploitation. So empowerment of women goes hand in hand with the conservation of the environment and that is why sustainable agriculture, forest, soil and water conservation and renewable energy are also focus areas of the organisation. Establishment of a gender just, equitable and sustainable society through the collective action of women and men in rights based action and development work is the aim of the organisation with special focus on the well being of Adivasi and Dalit communities.