Geeta is a Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation and Executive Director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women. She is also a member of the WHO Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for health emergencies. In 2017 she was a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and served as co-Chair of the Gender-Based Violence Task Force of the World Bank. From 2011 to 2016, Ms. Rao Gupta served as Deputy Executive Director at UNICEF and from 2010 to 2011 was a senior fellow at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to that, for over a decade, Ms. Rao Gupta was the president of the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW), a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., dedicated to using research to shape international development policies and programs to empower women and girls. Under her leadership, ICRW catalyzed policy and programmatic change for women and children around the globe. Over the course of her career, Ms. Rao Gupta has served on several boards, such as the Global Partnership for Education, GAVI, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and the MAC AIDS Fund. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Harvard University’s 2006 Anne Roe Award and the 2007 Washington Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” Award. Ms. Rao Gupta earned a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Bangalore University and an M.Phil. and M.A. from the University of Delhi in India.
Sia is the Program Director for the 3D Program for Girls and Women, where she is responsible for strategic direction, program management and partnerships, and leads the programmatic focus on violence against women and girls in public spaces. Sia has over 25 years of experience working in international development, with organizations such as the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, the International Center for Research on Women, the Population Council, Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN), and the International Women’s Health Coalition. Her work has involved public policy, advocacy, training and capacity building, institutional strengthening, and strategic communications, with a focus on gender, reproductive and sexual health and rights, violence against girls and women, HIV/AIDS and education. Prior to joining the 3D Program, Sia served as a Senior Gender Consultant with UNICEF, where she contributed to the implementation of UNICEF’s Gender Action Plan and the design of its gender capacity development program. Earlier, she served as Senior Technical Writer and Editor with agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network, including the University of Central Asia and the Global Centre for Pluralism. Sia serves as the co-chair of the Learning Working Group of the Movement for Community-Led Development. She has a Master of Social Services (Clinical) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Honors) from Bryn Mawr College.
Vanessa is responsible for establishing and maintaining the Program office, managing the Program’s emerging communications platforms and designing many of the documents produced by the Program. With a background in office administration that spans the private and public sector, Vanessa brings a broad spectrum of knowledge and experience in effective program management and support. She has a long-standing interest in women’s empowerment and equity programming at the intersection of race, culture, and class, serving as a founding member of a race, equity, diversity and inclusion initiative at a prior organization. Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from the Catholic University of America.
Ravi provides overall guidance and technical support to the ICRW 3D team with a focus on data, research and evaluation. Working closely with government departments, civil society and corporate partners, Ravi ensures strategic partnerships, advocacy and program development. Over the past three decades, Ravi has worked and published extensively on gender equality, including girls’ and women’s safety, reproductive and sexual rights, and economic empowerment in India and other countries in Asia. Ravi serves on various strategic national and international bodies and research and program advisory committees and review boards. He has served as a member of High Level Committee on the Status of Women, Government of India and the Rights & Empowerment working group of the FP2020 Initiative. Ravi holds a Doctorate degree in Social Sciences from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai.
Sapna supports the 3D team in its research and documentation activities. She is passionate about gender and governance and believes that the 3D Program brings the two together. Sapna has worked in the development sector as a researcher for the past seven years. She has conducted research and documented innovations in the field of improving public service delivery and promoting social inclusion in India. These innovations span sectors -national and state governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and the private sector, and cover themes ranging from health, education, environment, child development, gender and ICT for development. Currently, at ICRW, Sapna coordinates and conducts qualitative research studies on health and reproductive rights. Sapna holds a Masters in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University, India.
MASUM works with rural women in perennially drought-prone areas of Pune and Ahmednagar districts of Maharashtra state, and activities include women's right to health and low-interest credit, confronting gender-based violence, building a progressive perspective among young people and enhancing women’s rights in all areas of life. Political participation of women, both as elected representatives and as empowered citizens, and strengthening of child rights through village-based children’s councils (Bal Panchayats) are ongoing interventions. At the state and national levels, MASUM is committed to training and capacity building of NGOs, CBOs and a variety of stakeholders in increasing people’s access to economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights. MASUM is also involved with campaigns and networks that strengthen women’s rights from local to international levels.Visit Website
We pick up what someone has discarded as having no value and give it value through our labour. Long ago in 1990, we were treated like the trash we collect. People would shoo us away like they would dogs. They would cover their noses when they passed us. It hurt. We were not sitting in garbage because we enjoyed it! We were there because we wanted the recyclables. We mostly worked alone, sometimes with friends who did not care too much about it either. Our mothers and grandmothers had done it before us. It was this work that brought us money to feed ourselves and our families. In 1993, we gathered and talked like we never had before, venting our anger and frustration at the way we were treated like trash! That was the turning point. That day we decided to stand tall. That day we decided to walk with dignity on the road we had never travelled, as human beings. Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP) is our trade union. It brings together waste pickers, itinerant waste buyers, waste collectors and other informal recyclers, all self-employed workers. We recover, collect, categorise and sell scrap materials for recycling. We also provide garbage collection, composting and related waste management services.Visit Website
SWaCH is India’s first wholly-owned cooperative of self-employed waste collectors and other urban poor. It is an autonomous enterprise that provides front-end waste management services to the citizens of Pune. Our mission is to engage an entrepreneurial workforce of waste pickers into an efficient, responsive and accountable organisation and work in partnership with the municipal solid waste management system to transform the SWM situation in Pune. SWaCH envisions a society that is socially just, economically equitable, culturally plural, politically democratic, environmentally sustainable, peaceful and humane.Visit Website
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.Visit Website
Leadership for Equity (LFE) brings together multiple stakeholders - from students to government officials and partner organisations - to build effective public education systems that can address the needs of all children in Maharashtra, India. LFE works at both depth and scale to enable administrative reform by creating platforms, providing proximate support and building capacity at each level of the system.Visit Website
The Centre for Environment Education (CEE) was founded in 1984 as a Centre of Excellence in Environmental Education in the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. CEE strives to improve public awareness and understanding of the environment and promote the sustainable use of natural resources. CEE works with partners and various stakeholders to connect people and share experiences on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at a local, national and global level. Over the last decade, CEE has organized four major international conferences on ESD and is committed to ensuring that recognition is given to the role of education in the promotion of sustainable development.Visit Website
Leveraging its rich cultural and natural heritage, strong human capital and strong business environment as key strengths, Pune aspires to become the most liveable city in India by solving its core infrastructure issues in a “Future-Proof” way, and by making its neighbourhoods beautiful, clean, green and liveable through involvement of the community of Pune. As part of the smart city plan, we have created a comprehensive roadmap and plan to execute both elements of the smart city mission – local area development and pan-city development. Basic feasibility analysis has been done for each of the planned initiative.Visit Website
As individuals and organizations committed to the successful implementation of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we call for enhancing the power and capacity of communities to take charge of their own development. Community-led development requires a long-term process that empowers citizens and local authorities to transform entrenched patriarchal mindsets and take effective action. As expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 29, “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.” Participatory local governance is the only pathway through which most people will have this opportunity.Visit Website
Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune, established in 1930 by the Servants of India Society, is the oldest research and training institute of Economics in India. It is dedicated to research into the socio-economic dimensions of the Indian society, and carries forward the legacy of Gopal Krishna Gokhale who founded the Servants of India Society in 1905 with a view to promote education and develop capabilities among Indians for the governance of the nation after it had attained its political independence. The Institute is renowned for its initiatives in qualitative research in diverse areas of economic theory and practice, and is credited with pioneering contributions by way of surveys, research, informed debate, analysis and critique which have shaped public discourse on major socio-economic initiatives and in formulating economic plans at the regional level in the State of Maharashtra, as well as the national level.Visit Website
In 1896, Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve set up an Ashram at Hinge, Poona to educate widows and other women as he believed in empowerment through education. The Mahila College started by Hindu Widows Home Association, was then established in 1916 as Indian Women's University with 5 students. In 1921 a plot of 24 acres of land was purchased for the college building at Yerandavana, Poona.Visit Website
Tech Mahindra Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of Tech Mahindra. It was set up in 2007 with a vision of empowering through education. Educated, skilled and able women and men are a country’s true strength. We aspire to see children who are purposefully engaged, youth that is constructively employed and a society that provides equal opportunities to people with different abilities. Through its corporate social responsibility initiatives, the Mahindra Group commits itself to this.Visit Website
Chaitanya is one of the pioneers of community based micro-finance institutions in Maharashtra. It facilitated the formation of the first Self-Help Group (SHG) federation in Maharashtra- ‘Grameen Mahila Swayamsiddha Sangha’ with the objectives of creating a habit of savings and credit among group members, generate external resources and provide a forum for exchange of information and experience to large groups of women. Since its formation, Chaitanya has played a catalytic role in spreading the SHG movement in and around Maharashtra. At present 40 federations promoted by Chaitanya are owned and governed by women members of 8,500 plus self-help groups and work as strong sustainable institutions that perform financial and other social/developmental activities.Visit Website
Sangini Mahila Jagruti Mandal is a social organization founded in December 1999. We work with various deprived communities for their overall empowerment. We believe that ‘WE’ together can change the world. To create a cast-free, class-free, race-free and gender equal society, we organize various workshops and training for adolescents, youths and women; implement various government schemes and programmes; and establish various facilities for adolescents, youths and women.Visit Website
Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Foundation works to implement a ‘village social transformation mission’ that reforms villages in Maharashtra affected by natural calamities and other social, economic, livelihood, connectivity and infrastructural challenges into model villages. VSTF creates an inclusive growth model for scaling up and transforming villages in rural Maharashtra towards self-sustainable development and a collaborative and focused effort to provide last-mile service delivery and build infrastructure to empower the villages and undertake rural development.Visit Website
Dedicated to improving well-being through leading hygiene and health solutions, Essity strives to achieve long-term value creation for shareholders, customers and consumers, society and employees. Our strategy and operations are based on a sustainable business model aimed at achieving profitable growth and responsible value creation, with our customers and consumers as the focal point. Essity aims to positively impact the well-being of people and the planet through educating on better hygiene, breaking down taboos on menstruation and incontinence, and accelerating change through circular solutions that reduce our carbon footprint.Visit Website
Mental Health Advocate,
Theatre and Film Actor
Founder and CEO, Leadership For Equity
Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Head, CSR, Bharat Forge
Senior Advisor, JAGORI - Women’s Training & Resource Centre
Director, Forbes Marshall
Managing Director, Maharashtra Village Social Transformation Fdn.
Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue and Forest Department, Government of Maharashtra
Senior Advisor, Women, Land and Productive Assets
McKinsey Global Institute
Indian Police Service (Retired)
Chair Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences
Specialist, Documentation and Communication
Director, Centre for Women's Studies
India Law Society Law College
Journalist and Media Consultant
Consultant, CSR Cell, Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation
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