Welcome to Part 2 of our February 2023 Inspirational Interview with Amrita S. Nair, founder of The Silent Sexism Project and Editor-in-Chief of The Intersectional Feminist magazine.

Ms. Nair is an activist and lawyer whose passion lies in public law, criminal law, and human rights. As the founder of The Silent Sexism Project (TSSP) and The Intersectional Feminist magazine, she understands the insidious ways in which discrimination and denied access to resources affects communities across the fabric of society. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles, and child abuse as roots of violence, as well as non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of Indigenous peoples, and organising movements across boundaries for peace and justice. She currently lives and practices in Bombay.

In this part of the interview, Ms. Nair talks about the impact of her organisation in changing attitudes towards sexism and VAW, the future plans for TSSP, and the role men and boys can play in ending VAW.

Part 1 of this interview was published 5 February 2023.

All photos are courtesy of The Silent Sexism Project.

6.Since 2019, what sort of impact has TSSP had on India’s approach and attitudes towards sexism and VAW?

Education, awareness, and dialogue are key components for facilitating change and we are constantly working in that direction. TSSP reached out to 60 to 70 villages across India to educate women on their rights regarding domestic violence, abortion, and sex determination. We also rehabilitated more than 55 women in Bangalore from their abusive households and provided legal aid and assistance in addition to mental health support with the efforts of TSSP. Furthermore, as mentioned before, we have conducted sex education classes in colleges and schools which include discussing difficult subjects such as rape and domestic violence. These initiatives have impacted and brought about a significant change in the mindset of people.


7.How do you think men and boys can help end violence against women?

In our society, men hold a lot of power, and, therefore, they can effectuate a lot of change. They need to be sensitive about the issues faced by the women in their lives and educate themselves on concepts of gender inequality and toxic masculinity. Men need to be introspective and unlearn the patriarchal notions ingrained in them. They have to be able to identify and call out instances of VAW in their day-to-day interactions, be it at home, school, or work. Learning to handle rejection in a positive manner and understanding consent is also extremely important. Additionally, they have to realise their words have impact. For example, casually cracking rape jokes trivialises the struggle that women face in their lives. They have to start believing survivors of VAW and provide safe spaces for them to share their problems and thoughts.


8.Tell us about TSSP’s plans for the future. What campaigns, programs, or projects do you have coming up in the next 5 years?

We have a lot of exciting upcoming projects. Here are just a few of them:

  • lobbying for the rights of sex workers and working on a legal framework, regulating the profession;
  • researching programmes to come up with a curriculum for the judiciary on how to handle instances of gender-based violence;
  • expanding our legal aid program to reach out to all marginalised sections of society across India;
  • engaging with prisoners, advocating for prison reforms, providing access to sanitary products and preventing violence and discrimination in prisons;
  • policy making for LGBTQ+ issues in India;
  • challenging archaic discriminatory laws regarding gender and engaging with parliamentarians to remove them and make new laws protecting womxn, children, and other marginalised sections;
  • establishing anti-sexism squads in colleges and creating safe spaces;
  • collaborating with other organisations to conduct an annual conference for womxn to discuss these issues and discussing reforms that womxn want.


9.How can The Pixel Project’s supporters engage with and support the efforts of TSSP to stop violence against women?

The Pixel Project’s supporters can engage with and support the efforts of TSSP to end VAW by volunteering with us, writing for us, and donating to our cause. They can engage in our educational programmes and share the knowledge and information gained from them with others. They can engage with the team and share their ideas which can be translated into action toward ending violence against women.


10.In your considered opinion, how can we end violence against women for good?

There are multiple ways to approach this issue and I am listing them for easy interpretation: 

  • a sex education programme that includes a rights-based approach, wherein the participants are taught about consent and their rights when subjected to any form of sexual violence;
  • working towards eradicating gender norms that propagate VAW;
  • protecting women in digital spaces to prevent cyberbullying and cybersex harassment, such as revenge porn, and pushing for laws related to content moderation and robust grievance redressal mechanisms; 
  • increasing visibility and acceptance of the sexual and reproductive rights of womxn;
  • calling out sexual violence against women in all its forms;
  • policies in workplaces to protect women from any form of violence or harassment;
  • conducting surveys (anonymous) about domestic violence and marital rape;
  • creating communities and self-help groups for women where they can freely discuss their thoughts.