#SingleButNotAlone: ActionAid campaigns for rights and entitlements of single women

New Delhi: On the occasion of International Widows’ Day, ActionAid Association organized a digital campaign to highlight the issues and demands of single women in the country. Run on Twitter under the hashtag, ‘#SingleButNotAlone’, the campaign succeeded in bringing to the fore voices of single women from across the country. With active participation and support from single women’s collectives, grassroots-based civil society organizations and networks working on the issues of single women, the Tweetathon also saw ‘#SingleButNotAlone’ trending nationally on Twitter.
On the occasion, ActionAid Association also shared grounded recommendations for Draft National Policy for Single Women with relevant ministries in the Union and several State governments and officials in the district administrations. Recently developed by the organization and published under the title, Single, But Not Alone, this document substantiates the need for a comprehensive policy to deal with the issues of single women and their specific needs. “This document lays out an agenda for protecting and promoting the rights of single women through interventions to address the stigma, discrimination and violence faced by them,” says Sandeep Chachra, Executive Director, ActionAid Association. “It also talks about the need to ensure single women’s access to basic services, including education and health, livelihoods, social security, property and other resources to enable their socio-economic and political empowerment,” he further adds.
The life of single women has always been and continues to be one of struggle, deprivation and in innumerable instances, violation of the basic human rights. “We need to remember that single women are not a homogenous category. Beginning with the local diversities in which they are located, single women are found in several vulnerable contexts in our society, and belong to different categories – widows, unmarried, separated, divorced, abandoned and deserted. And because of this diversity, the issues they are burdened with are diverse too, with stigma and discrimination staying common across the spectrum,” shares Sushila Prajapati, Program Manager, Women and Property Rights, ActionAid Association.
ActionAid Association has been working with single women across states for over two decades now, building their collectives and enabling them to claim their rights and entitlements. It also continues to campaign towards expanding the definitional focus of single women from just widows to other “single” women too needing policy attention.

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