Posted by: ginalazenby | August 25, 2013

Making India safe for 600 million women & girls …


I was parking my car outside the village hall for my yoga class when the news came over the radio … another gang-rape in India. My heart sank. I stayed to listen to a few of the details.  The only reason this story is making global news is because it follows on from the horrific attack and murder in Delhi last December (BBC magazine report) and the only reason that rape hit the headlines was because it was so very vicious and fatal.  Sadly women, are raped all the time in India (all over the world actually) but the cases never make news. In fact, one of the challenges in India is the culture that has tolerated rape by not taking it seriously. Many women who do go to the police to report rape are asked to drop the charges, marry their attacker to hide their shame or worst still … they are raped by police. Imagine that in the UK?!  It is totally unthinkable…. and yet Indian women are still unsafe in India.

I know one woman who will be extremely saddened to hear this news: Deepa Narayan. She is an amazing women’s champion who has spent the last 30 years writing about and working on poverty issues with NGOs and the World Bank.

We met at the Gathering of Social Change Leaders at Hollyhock. There were 100 of us there and I didn’t manage to connect with everyone during the week but Deepa was a fellow yoga class attendee so we got talking. After the event was over I managed to catch her for a quick chat on video.  She’s certainly a powerhouse and she shared how, while going through a period of introspection about what was next for her to do (I know that space well!), her engines were re-galvanised when she heard about the rape in Delhi December 2012.  Since then she has been churning about how best to tackle the monumental change in culture that is needed in India.

(I had a second conversation with Deepa how she is now seeing the positive results of initiatives where women are beginning to change the balance of power. Read that blog post ).

Do watch the interview.



  1. how amazing that you connected with my dear friend Deepa at Hollyhock, and I’m so glad you did, and interviewed her, she is doing some awesome work.
    love & blessings
    ramona galardi

    • Yes Ramona…. amazing that you know her! So many folks there, I might not have done … she really is inspiring. Watch out for the second interview coming. G

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