Seaside Resident Wins Award on Behalf of Indian Women
February 17, 2011
In June of 2009, Seaside resident Louise Berry met women leaders in Himachal Pradesh active in Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan, a social movement working to secure land rights for single women throughout India. On behalf of ENSS, Berry is one of three winners in the Property Rights: Identity, Dignity & Opportunity for All competition, and a $50,000 award will go to ENSS.
There were 211 applicants from 47 countries to the online challenge, led by Omidyar Network and Ashoka’s Changemakers. The competition is designed to recognize innovators that are enhancing access to land rights for the world’s poor and marginalized populations.
Since 2009, Berry has worked with her daughter, Humboldt State University professor Kim Berry, and Monterey resident Jennifer Erickson to educate the public about the single women's movement. They launched a blog to bring attention to rural Indian women "who have been economically and socially marginalized by virtue of their single status."
"I felt I just had to do something to support their cause,” Louise Berry said in a statement. “Their determination and strength inspired me to help them realize their goal of gaining access to land for the creation of new families of single women and their children." ENSS
In her competition application, Berry wrote, ENSS "designed a plan to create a new family formation, the "naya sasural" (new marital family): an older single woman joins with a younger single woman and her children to create an economically viable, mutually supportive family unit."
With the award, ENSS plans to create a pilot program of five naya sasurals (comprised of 10 single women and their children) to demonstrate the value of these new family formations, and the importance of long-term land lease rights.
Kim Berry speaks tonight on the single women's movement, Feb. 17, at 6pm in the Karas Room of the Library and Technology Center at Monterey Peninsula College. Sponsored by the Reentry and Multicultural Center. Free.